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The Tux Look

Posted on August 07 2018

Whether you’re looking to match the page boy with the modern groom, or just trying to chase down the latest trends, this guide will hopefully answer all your questions about the pinnacle of boys and men’s clothing: the tuxedo..

The biggest difference between suits and tuxedos is the use of silk satin in the design of the tuxedo, most prominently on the lapels. Suits are almost always made with a consistent fabric on both the jacket and pants—no special lapels, no satin leg stripes. And most tuxedos have silk-covered jacket buttons while suits have normal buttons.

So, should you wear a tuxedo to your event? The tuxedo is designed to elevate your appearance above the day-to-day suit. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you’re probably celebrating something special. Only you can decide whether a tuxedo is the garment you need. Look deep inside yourself, meditate, wander off into the desert on a spiritual quest for which formal wear best calls to your soul. Or, you know, just take a look at the event, its dress code (if there is one), and what other people you know are wearing—and follow accordingly.



Shawl collar tuxedo.
Shawls aren’t just for little old ladies. Shawl (collars, that is) are characterized by a modern, rounded shape, and are primarily seen on tuxedos and dinner jackets. While shawl lapels are pretty much only found on black tie-appropriate garments, some would argue that they are less formal than a peak lapel. You could also argue they have more panache. Use your judgment based on the event and your personal style.

Tuxedo Button Styles Tuxedo button styles.

Generally, the fewer the buttons on the closure, the more formal the jacket. Think of ultra-formal tailcoats: the jacket doesn’t even close! Tailcoats usually have some buttons, but none of them are functional.

Single-button jackets are the most formal in modern menswear, and not coincidentally, most single-button jackets are tuxedos or dinner jackets. Two-button jackets are more versatile but a little more casual, too. They can be dressed up or dressed down, from a cocktail party to a black tie optional wedding. You can find modern tuxedos with two-button closures, but they’re most often used in suiting.

The most common type of placket style, and one you usually can’t go wrong with. Fabric is folded over and sewn with a fused interlining for a classic (and symmetrical) look.


Tuxedo NeckwearTuxedo neckwear styles.

Bow Tie vs. Necktie

We’ve already established that the traditional approach to a tux is to match it with a bow tie, so if you’re attending a really formal or strict black tie event, make it a bow tie. But not every event has that strict of a dress code, and modern style means a lot more wiggle room for personal expression.



When it comes to wearing a tux, patent lace up shoes is an easy, go-to choice. The patent shine works in harmony with the shine of a tuxedo’s lapels, making it an ideal match. Simple equals elegant.


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