When I was younger I mistakenly thought that all men's tuxedos were pretty much the same. They were the penguin suits that men wore to weddings, proms, and other fancy events. I assumed they came in different colors (my father's cream colored suit pictured in my parent's wedding album served as proof of this) but that the only other real differences were found in the shirts worn beneath the tux, and the various accessories accompanying the ensemble. Clearly I was wrong. I was talking to my fiancée the other day about his tux, or more accurately, his lack of tux, and we discovered that there is a lot more that goes into choosing the perfect outfit for a man on his wedding day than either of us realized. I'm going to go ahead and break down for you some of what we learned and explain to you how to use this to your advantage when you, or someone you know, start to search for the perfect wedding tuxedo.
The most important part of finding the perfect men's tuxedo for the groom-to-be is making sure the suit fits properly. If you're not sure about how to determine if something fits, the first step is to try it on - WITH SHOES AND PROPER SHIRT. Seriously, you need to go the full mile when trying on a tux to make sure that nothing is going to change between the fitting and the big day. Trying a tuxedo jacket on over a t-shirt is not going to be the same as trying it on over a shirt meant to go with a tux. Similarly, you want to make sure the shoes you are wearing are at least similar to those you will be wearing at your wedding. Once suited up, hold your arms at your sides with your fingers stretched out, and then check to see where the hem of the jacket ends. The hem should not be longer than your middle finger, and the shirt cuff should just slightly peek out from the jacket sleeve. It shouldn't peek out more than half an inch. Your pants should break over the front of your shoes slightly and skim the back of your heel.?
Traditional or trendy, there are multiple tuxedo styles to choose from. Some of the most popular include:
Dinner Jacket - This style works really well during warm weather and for more casual weddings. Have you seen Casablanca? Think Humphrey Bogart in that movie and pair the dinner jacket with formal black trousers.
Morning Coat or Cutaway- Very traditional for morning weddings, this style has a single button at the waist and a broad tail in back. This coat is usually paired with striped trousers and a winged-collared dress shirt.
Stroller Coat- This one is similar to the one we just talked about but is usually hip length. Usually worn with a waistcoat.
Tails- This coat is short with two long tails in back. It is usually paired with a white pique shirt and suspenders, a vest, and a bow tie.
Traditional Tux - For the fancy, traditional evening or night wedding the traditional tux is a great option. The most classic is the single button style.
Choosing the Lapel
Different jacket styles also feature different lapel styles. I'm outlining three below:
Peaked Lapel- This style of jacket lapel features two fabric points which project upward on both sides with minimal spacing between the collar and lapel.
Notch Lapel- V-shaped cuts point inward where the lapel and collar meet the jacket in this style, which is especially good for grooms with a slimmer build as the style tends to accentuate the horizontal.
Shawl Collar - This style has a very rounded jacket lapel. This style looks elegant when trimmed with contrasting piping or a satin stripe and is good if you are hoping to create a more vertical line.
Now that you know the basics about styles I've got a couple final things for you to take note of. If you decide to wear a waistcoat with your tux, do NOT wear a cummerbund too. One or the other boys, not both! I personally think waistcoats look great with any suit so I'm dropping some subtle hints to my guy hoping he leans in that direction, but that is just my personal preference.
There you have it! A rundown of tuxedo styles, information on how to make sure the tux fits, and some more little tidbits of information on men's tuxedos. I hope this helps some of you out there! If you have any other great tips let me know! I'd love to hear them!
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