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Tuxedo suit vs suit

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I went and looked at a three-button notch lapel tuxedo today and was wondering other than the sheen of the lapel what the difference between a tuxedo and a suit is? Does the difference lie in the accesories associated with the tuxedo such as the cummerbund or vest? Is it also okay to wear a tuxedo without either a cummerbund or a vest? If I did do that would I have to wear a belt?
post #2 of 29
MOST importantly, please do not buy a notch lapel dinner jacket (tuxedo). Dinner jackets should be shawl or peak lapel only, a notch collar is simply an abomination.

to answer the rest of your question: A tuxedo consists of a jacket (usually in black, sometimes white, midnight blue or a color if a more informal version) which has (generally) satin or grosgrain lapels, cloth-covered button(s) and a matching pair of trousers with a detail down the outseam matching the lapels. The most common classic dinner jacket ("tuxedo") is a one-button single breasted version, and there are also two to three button single breasted and six button double breasted, shawl and peak lapel versions.

Wearing the whole outfit without the cummerbund or waistcoat would not work. Wearing the pants or the jacket with other parts, if you knew what you were doing, could work. Personally I have been looking for a good pair of tux pants to wear with other stuff. A dinner jacket with beat jeans, etc. has long been a fashionable possibility, although you really do have to know what you're doing to pull it off. Wearing the whole thing without actually having a reason simply would not do.

j.
post #3 of 29
Agree with J on all points - some other considerations: tuxedo trousers do not have belt loops because they are meant to be worn only with either suspenders or a cummerbund. Also, tuxedo trousers should never be cuffed, unlike formal suits, which classically, always featured leg cuffs. The traditional color of a tuxedo is black, or very very dark navy or burgundy. Some variations include black trousers and white jackets. Trousers are rarely white. Shoes are patent-leather or somesuch shiny material. The shirt is white and traditionally has ruffles, french cuffs and a wing collar. Cufflinks and button links should match. The cummerbund and bowtie set should match as well. Black is the traditional color but there are many variations and I think the bowtie is not at its best in black. Some of the best tuxedo manufacturers include Hickey Freeman, Dunhill, Boss Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna.
post #4 of 29
I've never seen a three-button tux. Actually, I've only seen a two-button one a few times. As said earlier, the most common is the one-button (that's what I have). Anyway, I have also stressed over the belt loops. I attended a semi-formal dinner over the summer and I wore my tux with an open collar shrimp colored (basically a man-ish pink) shirt without a vest or cumberbund. I liked the look and got a lot of compliments, but it still bothered me about the belt (not noticable bc you keep your jacket buttoned and on for the most part). I almost wrapped a belt around myself just for the look but then it would have slid up and down and I didn't want that. You're right about the "lack of loops" being due to the accesories (cumberbund or vest) which would hide a belt anyway.
post #5 of 29
Just wear braces with the outfit if you're going to use it informally. There's no rule against braces for casual suit wear. I know it doesn't provide the visual effect that a belt would but they are definitely appropriate, and while I've never gotten a compliment on a belt or a comment on the lack thereof, I've gotten plenty of compliments on my cool braces.
post #6 of 29
I know it's been awile since anyone's posted on this thread but i thought i'd add a few things for anybody coming across it-

A tuxedo is traditionally a single button, single breasted jacket worn with a cumberbund or vest.

Wearing a multi-button jacket is either seen as very tacky or stylish if you can pull it off (but there is a very thin line) so you should be careful.

a double-breasted jacket is a great way to differentiate yourself in a less-traditional way, just be aware that it will draw (mostly positive) attention to you. It is very important that you don't wear a cumberbund or a vest with a double breasted jacket, because it won't lie correctly, and well...it's just not proper lol.

NEVER wear a belt with a tuxedo-even when you are dressing it down to be chic- tuxedo pants are adjustale so you don't have to wear one, and good pants will always have buttons sewn in the inside of the waist-line for traditional suspenders which are much more fashionable anyways.

And i want to re-emphasize a previous poster - buying a notched lapel tuxedo is a waste- peaked lapels are much more in style and formal (for tuxedos anyways).

also be careful about wearing colors of tuxedos other than black- once you move to a different color than a black tie and black jacket/trousers, there are a litany of formal rules which pop up, which, while they may make no difference to you, will make you look very unclassy-

just my two cents,
~Will
post #7 of 29
Thanks! I've been waiting six years for someone to clear this up!

Welcome to Sf.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
Thanks! I've been waiting six years for someone to clear this up!

Welcome to Sf.

post #9 of 29
I wore my 1 button peaked lapel tuxedo with a white shirt and a skinny black tie. It worked perfectly in the setting that i was in, which was prom. If you are going to something a little more strict, you may have trouble.
post #10 of 29
What is most appropriate for vents; single, double or none?
post #11 of 29
I was under the impression that the traditional tuxedo jacket has no vents.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldridge View Post
I went and looked at a three-button notch lapel tuxedo today and was wondering other than the sheen of the lapel what the difference between a tuxedo and a suit is? Does the difference lie in the accesories associated with the tuxedo such as the cummerbund or vest? Is it also okay to wear a tuxedo without either a cummerbund or a vest? If I did do that would I have to wear a belt?

To be honest, a single breasted peak lapel jacket looked great 30 years ago, would look great now, and will still continue to look great in 30 years.

The thing with black tie is that if you keep a good fit and stay classic, it will look timeless. A three button notch lapel could look ridiculous in 30 years and make you regret wearing it.
post #13 of 29
People have been wearing notch lapel dinner jackets for a long time, since the 50's. While less classic, I doubt it could be called an abomination.

I had one made and went with a single button notch lapel. It looks great. I have never liked peak lapels, and after doing enough research -- there are pictures of everyone from JFK to Clooney wearing notch lapel tuxedos -- I nixed the peak lapels.

However, I agree that I wouldnt get a three buttton. One button looks much better.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
A three button notch lapel could look ridiculous in 30 years and make you regret wearing it.
I think it looks ridiculous today.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird's One View View Post
I think it looks ridiculous today.
This is true about three button notch lapel tuxedos, even though I own one. I stumbled upon it yesterday as I was culling my closet. It's now among items to be sent to charity. What was I thinking?
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