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How To Tuxedo? Everything You Need To Know About Tuxedo Etiquette

The tuxedo is by far the most formal clothing a man will have the opportunity to wear in his life. Tuxedos are not for day-to-day wear, and are instead reserved for special occasions that require a man to look his absolute best. Whether it be for his wedding, bar mitzvah, or black tie gala, the tuxedo fills in when a suit simply isn’t enough.  The following guide will provide crucial information when it comes to tuxedo etiquette, ensuring that you look and feel your absolute best on the big day or night.


There are a couple of options available when it comes to style of tuxedo, mainly single or double-breasted.  A proper single breast tuxedo will come with just one button. This look often creates the desired cleaner and leaner silhouette many men are looking for. The double-breasted tux, on the other hand, can have up to six buttons. This offers the wearer some freedom with regards to button stance. They may opt for the minimal 1×2 stance, or go for the more traditional and flattering 6×2 stance.

When searching for the right tuxedo, you’ll also have to consider the style of lapel you like best. One of the most important pieces of tuxedo advice we offer is that men only wear a tux with peak lapels or shawl collar, never notch lapels which are typical of everyday business wear.

Other important notes to keep in mind are that a double-vented jacket tends to look the best, however your body might be better suited for ventless or single-vented option. Also, tuxedo jackets should never have flap pockets. Stick to the sleeker jetted pockets.


Black is of course the standard color when it comes to tuxedos. If you’re attending a formal event that requires a tux, you simply can’t go wrong with black. However, if you’d like to make a bit more of a statement and break from the status quo, there are a few color options available. Many men opt for a rich midnight blue that is more bold than a traditional navy suit, but still maintains a classic look as a black tuxedo would.

The Vest

When donning a tuxedo, most wearers will choose to add either a vest or cummerbund. These pieces began as a way to keep the wearer’s torso covered in front of others, upping the formality. Just like the jacket, vests can be single or double-breasted. If you decide to go for the cummerbund, make sure that the folds face upwards.

The Trousers

What truly distinguishes tuxedo trousers from regular suit trousers are the racing stripe down the side of the leg, which was actually a detailed carried over from military uniforms. This striping is typically one of two materials: satin or grosgrain. Another difference between tuxedo and suit trousers is that tux trousers do not have belt loops. In formal attire, belts actually tend to ruin the sleek silhouette of the ensemble. Since you won’t be able to wear a belt, it is important that the trousers be impeccably fitted, or you invest in a pair of suspenders.


The Shirt

The most formal shirt option is the French Cuff shirt. Therefore, proper tux etiquette dictates that it is really the only shirt option that should be considered when wearing a tux. You will have to decide, however, the style of collar you’d like to wear. More formal shirts will have either a turn down or wing collar. Either option will suit your ensemble, but keep in mind that if you go with a wing collar, the “wings” should remain behind your bowtie.


The primary accessories for a tuxedo are the cuff links, bow tie, pocket square, shoes and socks.

Cuff links:

When it comes to the cuff links, you may be tempted to go for a flashy pair. However, it is safer to invest in a high quality, stylish pair to match the formality of the occasion.

Bow tie:

You have a great deal of freedom with the bow tie. There are a variety of shapes, sizes and fabrics to choose from, although the most classic options are typically velvet, satin, or silk. If possible, the fabric of the bow tie should ideally match the fabric of the jacket’s lapels.

Pocket Square:

Keep the pocket square simple. Opt for a white or cream colored silk, cotton, or linen piece. In terms of the fold, go for a clean and simple square fold.

Shoes and Socks:

You’ll want to look for a simple and plain pair of shoes that is either velvet or leather. Consider black patent leather oxfords, black plain toe oxfords, or even velvet slippers. There is really not too much freedom when it comes to your socks. Select those that are black, silk, and over the calf.