We often come across the question- What is the difference between a tuxedo and a suit? To a lot of men, this may seem very normal but there are many who are unaware of the physical and symbolic representation of a tuxedo.
The primary difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the incorporation of satin. While a suit can be made of any fabric with contrast lapels, in a tuxedo the lapel, pockets, and buttons are made of black or tonal satin. Some modern tuxedo options have minimized the use of satin to a thin satin trim on the lapels but this remains the physical difference between the two.
While a suit can be worn to work, to any occasion or even to bed (like Barney Stinson), a tuxedo symbolizes the quintessential evening look. Some even say that a Tuxedo should not be worn prior to 5 pm in the day, while a suit can be worn whenever wherever. A tuxedo is whipped out only during a special occasion; your wedding for example or the opera. It exudes elegance and demands attention.
Like most things in life, tuxedo’s too have exceptions, something we call “Tropical Black Tie” or the “White Dinner Jacket”. This is traditionally worn with a white cutaway collar shirt, black accessories, black pants, and a white dinner jacket.
The jacket should have a 1 button front, self-flap pockets, and a self-shawl lapel. It is a tuxedo, but not one that incorporates any satin.
STYLING YOUR TUXEDO
Accessories – While you can play around with your suit accessories, there are few norms associated with a tuxedo. Ideally, a tuxedo is paired with a bow tie and a cummerbund.
Shirts & Shoes – The traditional tuxedo shirt has a wing collar and front tucks or frills (the frills are not mandatory for modern tuxedos), and for your shoes, always choose black patent shoes.
Waistcoat – You can choose to wear a waistcoat with your tuxedo as well but low neck-lined.
Traditionally a tuxedo is far more expensive than a suit. The very reason that they are occasion and detail specific make them a luxurious addition to a man’s wardrobe. Most men often choose to rent out a tuxedo for prom, their weddings or any official galas, as they are not worn as often as suits. At Tailorman, suits range around 13k-16k, whereas tuxedos range around 19k.-21k in our Ready-to-Wear line.
TUXEDO’S FOR WEDDINGS
If you’ve decided to wear a tuxedo, you can choose to have your groomsmen also wear tuxedos for continuity. You may also decide that you want to stand out from the pack, and therefore have your groomsmen wear suits.
When it comes to deciding between a suit vs. a tux as a wedding guest, take a look at the invitation. If the invitation says “White Tie,” or “Black Tie Preferred” you should wear a tuxedo. If the invitation says “Black Tie Optional” or “Formal,” you may choose to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit. For all other weddings, your best bet is to wear a suit.