9 Rules and 3 Exceptions for Wearing a Tuxedo
The tuxedo is the king of the man’s wardrobe. Perfectly stylish, it enhances the male body like no other suit. In fact, this is the assigned suit for gala dinners and premieres: it’s an evening dress thus it must be worn exclusively by night, in occasion of ceremonies starting after 6 pm.
A tux is the elegant men’s suit par excellence, and there are a few rules to follow by the occasion.
This because the tuxedo is not a very strictly codified suit, and during its story, it’s been updated and modified many times.
Its origins are traced back to the XIX century. It was called “smoking” because it was a service jacket used in the smoking rooms of the men’s clubs by the Londoner gentlemen, in order to avoid the smell of the smoke on their suits.
The name “tuxedo” as we know it today, was introduced by the dandy Griswold Lorillard in 1886. He was a member of the Tuxedo Club in New Jersey, from which he took the name of this special suit. And while the name “smoking” is still used in Italy to call the tux, in Great Britain it’s simply called “dinner jacket” and “dinner suit” for Australians.
Few rules to follow to look amazing in your tuxedo
- The typical tuxedo jacket is one-button, that must be always fastened, except when sitting, and you can unbutton in case you’re wearing a vest under your suit.
- The jacket must be without splits, flaps and sporty pockets.
- The two-button double-breasted jacket version, must be always fastened.
- The lapels must be in silk satin, and the bow tie must be tied and never ever be a pre-tied or a clip-on.
- Of course, the bow tie must be of the same color of the tuxedo, and in the same silk satin of the lapels. And it’s called black tie not for nothing: the white tie is just for tails, not for tuxedo.
- The dress shirt must be white, in cotton or silk, long sleeved, with jewel cufflinks or in mother-of-pearl while the tux front can be straight or plissé
- Pants have no belt loops, because they are hold up by suspenders.
- Shoes: only patent leather pumps
- Socks: long, black, and in silk
But… exceptions are permitted
- The traditional color of the tuxedo is black, of course. But the midnight blue version introduced by the Duke od Windsor is not only permitted, but it is also a variation of excellent class. Please leave the other colors to stand-up-comedians.
- Shoes: shiny leather Oxford shoes are also permitted
- Bow tie: if not specifically requested, and if you’re not going at a theatre premiere or at a very important gala dinner, you can also leave the bow tie home and choose to wear no tie at all: just remember to unbutton the two first buttons of your dress shirt.