How to Wear a Tuxedo: A Beginner’s Guide to Formal Dress Attire

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Are you a formalwear novice? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Check out this article for our beginner’s guide on how to wear a tuxedo.

2.3 million people get married every single year in the United States alone. The average amount of people that get invited to those weddings are 178. Chances are, you’re going to be on the Wedding guest outfits list of at least one of those .

If the wedding is formal, you’re probably going to have to wear a tuxedo. But the sound of that can be intimidating if you don’t know how to wear a tuxedo or have never done it before.

If you are a tuxedo novice, make sure you know what to wear and how to wear it before you show up for someone’s big day and in all the pictures.

Tips on How to Wear a Tuxedo

When the dress attire is black tie, that means that you’re wearing a tuxedo. Learning how to wear a tuxedo isn’t something you can do on the day of the event. First, you have to know a few rules to make sure you’re looking sharp.

Don’t Skip the Bow Tie

If you’re walking a runway or trying some bold new fashion choice, you might opt not to wear a bow tie and risk looking like you’ve never worn a tuxedo before in your life. The choice is up to you, but to get the classic tuxedo look, wear a classic tuxedo bow tie.

Wearing a bow tie with a tuxedo is tradition, and you’re paying homage to that tradition when you wear a tuxedo. People might think that you don’t know how to wear a tuxedo if you pair it with a regular tie.

Get a Real Bowtie

The best type of bowtie to get is one that you tie yourself. If you’re used to clip-on ties and bowties, this is the occasion to learn how to do it for yourself.

If you think that’s a skill that you could never learn, you thought wrong. There are plenty of clear instructions online that teach you how to tie a bowtie. Practice makes perfect.

You can also seek someone out who knows how to tie a bowtie. A sales associate at a local store could also be your next best bet for teaching you if you’re really struggling with learning from other sources.

People will be able to tell if you’re wearing a fake bow-tie. Don’t be the fake bow-tie guy.

Don’t Get Colorful

It’s called a black tie for a reason. If you show up in some other variation of the tuxedo in a different color, people might not take you seriously. Or you’ll be the talk of the event — but not in a good way.

The most daring deviation you should go for away from black when choosing a tuxedo is a dark blue modification. This color can still look classy and will likely out go out of style with age. But if you’re looking for something that can never go wrong and will never go out of style, black is the way to go.

The Right Pants

Your trousers should match the tuxedo jacket you are wearing. It’s uncommon that you’d buy a pair of pants separate from the tuxedo jacket itself, but if they’re any different in color or style, you’ll look like you’re playing dress up.

The material of the pants should be the same as the jacket. They should be high waisted so that if you opt to wear a cummerbund, it will be able to fit snugly.

Do not get pants with cuffs or pockets that stand out. You can choose whether you want your pants to have pleats, but plain fronts are a classic and simple way to go.

Consider Accessories

If you choose to wear suspenders, they should never be seen at any point in the evening.

You can wear a pocket square or boutonniere, but both are optional to the look. And if you are wearing a proper tuxedo, it will be formal enough without the addition of these accessories.

Cufflinks should be black, classic, and understated. If you wear a cheap or gimmicky cufflink, the entire effect will be wasted.

Your Socks Should Be Long

Don’t wear socks that will risk showing your ankles if your pant legs get pulled up. If you sit down and your ankles are showing when you’re wearing your tuxedo, then your socks aren’t long enough.

Your socks should be black as well. A good rule of them is to have them go at least halfway up the shin.

Your Shoes Should Be Shining

So, you’ve gotten your tuxedo all figured out. But don’t forget the shoes.

Your shoes should be in top condition because if you go through all the trouble of making sure your tuxedo is up to speed and don’t wear proper shoes, the effort is lost. You should wear oxford style shoes, and they should be shined.

Did we mention your shoes should also be black? Your shoes should be black.

Get the Perfect Tux

Make the process of wearing a tuxedo as stress-free as you can with taking steps like finding the most affordable option and researching fashion.

Rent a Tuxedo

A tuxedo is a formal piece of clothing, and chances are you’re not going to wear one more than once every few years.

Wearing a tuxedo is like riding a bike. Once you know how to wear a tuxedo, you’re not going to forget. So if you don’t have one in your closet, it’s not a big deal.

Why spend on all the money on a tuxedo when you could just rent one? You may know how to wear a tuxedo now, but you should know how to buy one, too. You can get a tux hire easily online and get the fitting, color, type, and price that you want.

Keep the Fashion Going

If you need fashion tips for anything from another formal event to everyday life, you can find your inspiration online.

If you’ve never gone to a formal event before or don’t know what to wear to a specific place, don’t show up looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. Know how to wear a tuxedo or whatever else you wear by doing your research.


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