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Difference Between Tuxedo and Suit

tuxedoTuxedo vs Suit
Tuxedos and suits have different functions. While a suit is more of a conservative affair, and mostly worn at work during the day, a tuxedo is more for semi-formal evening events. Tuxedos tend to be more flamboyant affairs, what with a satin lapel and satin stripes running down the outside legs of the pants. Moreover tuxedo shirts have a pleated front and can be worn with cuff links, studs and other similar accessories. The picture is complete with patent leather shoes.

Suits on the other hand are a relatively staid affair. The lapel will be of the same cloth as the rest of the suit, with no embellishments on either the jacket or pants. A plain -front shirt and regular shoes will complete the picture.

Tuxedos usually come with one button, though that convention is now being broken, while a suit will have two or three buttons. That apart, Tuxedos have pointed lapels as opposed to the notch labels of suits. Of course the most characteristic trait of a Tuxedo is its black color (sometimes white). A suit of course could be any color. Another important distinction is the fact that one usually always only wears a bow instead of a tie with a Tuxedo. That is not the case with a suit.

suit2Cummerbunds or waist coats are de’riguer with a tuxedo, but the point is you do not wear a tuxedo without a reason. To explain in lay terms if one has a business meeting to attend, a business suit is the way to dress whereas if it is a dinner, or a college re-union one is going to a tuxedo will be called for. The point is that the two ensembles of clothing may be similar, but one will never be able to substitute for another. As some would say-perish the thought!

The types of accessories which go with a tuxedo are quite typical. For instance a formal shirt can be with or without pleats, but will never have a pocket at the front of the shirt. Cummerbunds, vests, pocket squares and bow-ties go with tuxedo, but never with a suit. All in all both the suit and the tuxedo are garments which enhance a man’s visual persona, making him look suitably flamboyant or elegant as per the demands of the occasion. The well groomed male would do well to note the above tips, and make a knock out impression every time he steps out for a business presentation, or the ceremonial dinner.


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2 Comments

  1. Apparently pocket squares are now worn with suits as well, (not just tuxedos), according to an article in the online magazine The Art of Manlinesss: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/06/15/how-to-fold-a-pocket-square/

  2. Second that on the pocket squares with a suit. My understanding from job search sites is that one’s best suit for a first job interview should be dressed up with a good pocket square. I would presume it’s also appropriate for other occasions in which the workaday suit is under-dressed and the tuxedo would be over-dressed. Sub-semi-formal. A plain-front shirt with cuff links would be the next step up as one nears but doesn’t quite reach semi-formal.

    For sub-semi-formal, I suspect the right ground would be to treat it like a lady’s red carpet attire: legs or cleavage, not both. Pocket square or cuff links, not both. One is snappy, both is trying too hard.

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