How To Put On A Tuxedo: A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide
A gun is only good if you know how to use it. Well, the same goes for your formalwear. What good is fancy tuxedo if you don’t even know how to properly put it on? Fear not, because we’ve put together this step by step guide for beginners outlining the main differences from putting on a regular suit versus a tuxedo.
First Thing’s First
First things first, it should go without saying that you need to get all of your cleansing and grooming out of the way before proceeding with anything else. Shave, brush your teeth, and fix your hair, etc. because the last thing you want is a toothpaste smudge on your fancy new tux before your big event.
The first articles of clothing to grace your body should your underwear (and undershirt if needed) followed by your socks, pulled up as high has possible. If (men’s) garter belts for socks were still a necessity, this would go next, but improvements in sock technology has proved them to be obsolete in modern day.
Next will be your shirt, but before you put it on, you’ll want to put the shirt studs in. Above each shirt button there is a small hole where the stud will go. Place the first stud at the second button from the top of the shirt. To insert the stud, push the small colored side through the hole until it appears next to the original button.
Apply one to each button hole going down the shirt until all four studs have been used. (Some tuxedos may come with a cummerbund and not require all four studs to be used as your midsection will be covered. If not, ideally your tuxedo jacket will be buttoned, hiding the one lower button without a stud). So when you put your shirt on, you should use the studs to fasten, rather than buttons.
The Cuff Links
Go ahead and button your shirt up (all buttons) as you prepare to administer your cuff links. You’ll notice two button holes on the cuff of your shirt, one on the outside of the wrist and one on the inside between the two buttons.
Take the cufflink and rotate the clasp into the form of “T”. Using your other hand push the small end of the cufflink through the outside button hole. Bring the other side of the cuff closer and continue pushing the cufflink through the inside cuff between the two buttons. Then, rotate the clasp to keep the cuffs in place. Don’t forget about the forearm button which needs to be closed as well.
Now that you’ve got your shirt and socks on, put on your pants and pull them up to your waist. The top of the waist band should rest at your hipbone. Tuck your shirttails into your pants, smoothing them out as you do so to avoid any ruffles in your trousers. Take the waistband and button it, don’t forget your zipper. If your pants aren’t tailored exactly to your body (or you’re wearing a rental), you’ll probably need to adjust the side clamps for a perfect fit.
Before you put your tie on, flip your collar up, and button your shirt collar. Most tuxedo rental prettied neckties have a hook and clasp at each end and an adjustable tab for lengthening and shortening the tie. (If not, tie a simple tie knot and administer like a suit tie). Fasten the tie around your neck and adjust it. Flip your collar down and make sure that it covers the entirety of the tie around your neck. The tie should be fit snug, so the bow or knot sits up and does not sag down.
Next step is putting on your vest. The vest should cover your waistband and hug your torso in hopes to create a clean silhouette if and when the jacket is removed. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to utilize the adjustable strap in the back.
You’ll want to fasten a few buttons starting at the top, just to see how the original fit is to start with. If not ideal, remove the vest and adjust the buckle on the back to either loosen or tighten. You may have to do this exercise a few times to get it right. Remember, a vest is meant to be snug, not tight. Once you are comfortable, button all of the buttons, except for the bottom one, which is traditionally left undone.
Last but not least, put on your tuxedo jacket. Most have two buttons and traditionally, you only keep the top one fastened. Feel free to unbutton when you sit down though. Make sure you shirt cuffs and cufflinks are just a tad visible under your jacket sleeve.
There you have it! Follow these step by step instructions for how to put on a tuxedo and you’ll be ready for any formal event.