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tuxedo help

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok so i dont know much about a tuxedo, im wearing one for prom and have a few question for you guys. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you in advance. 




1. Can i wear a regular white dress shirt or should i buy a tuxedo shirt ? If i can wear a regular dress shirt does collar style matter ?


2. If i buy a tuxedo shirt should i get a plain front or not ? what color studs white or black? and what collar style ? 


3. Do i need one of those black things that goes over the lower part of your stomach or not? 


4.Jacket, this is what i have (sorry for the bad picture) its 2 button, im have it altered/tailored to be more slim fitting whether i wear it or not, can i wear this or should i try to buy a different one. if i should buy a different one what style. 




Keep in mind this is not a very formal gathering and i know almost nothing about tuxedos so any help/advice is appreciated. 


post #2 of 8
Hi. I'd also suggest browsing some threads on tuxedos. The search function is your friend. As for your questions:

1. No. Get a tuxedo shirt. A rental place will have them if you are going this route; otherwise buy one.

2. Subtle pleats or a marcella / bib front are both equally acceptable. Entirely personal preference. I think that a black onyx or similar stud set with either silver or gold is probably your safest bet unless you really like something else. Cufflinks can either match the studs or not. I think a turndown collar with a moderate spread (the sort you see on a regular dress shirt) is your best bet. A wing collar CAN work BUT should only be worn if you are wearing a tuxedo with peak lapels. A shawl lapel takes a turndown collar. Notch lapels on tuxedos should be burned.

3. The black thing that goes over your stomach is a cummerbund. You absolutely need one of these or a waistcoat / vest. A properly cut formal vest will be barely visible under your tuxedo jacket. Avoid the ones that go up to mid-chest.

4. There are three things wrong with that jacket IMO. Two buttons is the biggest issue for me. Second biggest issue is notch lapels (should be either peak or shawl). Final issue is flap pockets. Tucking in your flap pockets essentially solves issue 3. As far as the other issues are concerned, it depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to look better dressed than 90% of your classmates, you will be fine in this if you get it tailored, wear a cummerbund / vest, decent shoes and a proper self-tie bow tie. If you want to get as close to the classic ideal as possible and have a tuxedo you can wear for awhile and truly look your best, get a new one. Key features to look for are (i) one button, (ii) shawl or peak lapels and (iii) no vents in the back (a double vent if you truly must).

Keep in mind at your age that you may continue to grow so buying a replacement tuxedo may not be a practical purchase. Good luck.
post #3 of 8
Anything and everything you could ever want to know about black tie is right here:

Check out the site and you'll be able to make an informed decision based on your budget and desire to stay classic or go more contemporary.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

thank you !!!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

also does a tuxedo shirt have to have studs on can it have regular buttons

post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by white collar View Post

also does a tuxedo shirt have to have studs on can it have regular buttons

It doesn't need to be studded, but regular buttons are a no-go.


If you don't feel like spending extra on the studs, try finding something with a hidden placket (ie: the buttons are covered), though shirts like these are generally hard to come by on when on a budget.


post #7 of 8
I have marcella front tux shirts - one with a French front (hidden buttons) and one with studs. Both made by Thomas Pink and cost about $40 each on eBay.

I agree with most of what was posted above. You will find almost zero fans on this board of notch lapel dinner jackets, but personally I'm not such a one button Nazi. One button looks clean and sharp and formal, but if you have a two button and everything else is in place I wouldn't sweat this myself. You can get a decent modestly priced dinner jacket at Jos A Bank or Men's Wearhouse but don't tell anyone on here where you got it!
post #8 of 8
Your jacket will do you just fine. You're a high school kid going to prom, it isn't an official State Dinner. Get it tailored as you mentioned, tuck the pocket flaps in and you're good to go.

You need to have at least one white, French-cuff shirt with a normal collar in your wardrobe. Forget the funny wing-collar kind. As suggested above, make intone that has the placket covering the shirt buttons and it will perfectly do double-duty as your tuxedo shirt. Don't worry about a dedicated tuxedo shirt with pleats or fancy fronts unless you know you'll be doing lots of black-tie events.

But do get yourself a fitted, self-tie bowtie. What's your neck size?
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