How to Wear a Tuxedo Shirt & Tie

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A tuxedo shirt and tie are different than any other shirt and tie a man wears. They require more care, more preparation and more time to put on. Most men rarely wear a tuxedo shirt and tie. As a result, it is common to be confused about how to properly put on a tuxedo shirt and tie a tuxedo tie.

Things You'll Need

  • Tuxedo shirt
  • Cuff links
  • Studs
  • Box tie

Pick the right tuxedo shirt. There are three main varieties: the laydown collar, the wingtip collar and the Mandarin collar. The laydown collar looks like a standard formal shirt collar. The wingtip collar is a band with two small wings on both sides of the top button. The Mandarin collar is just a band with no wings. Pick a collar style that suits your taste. They all work exactly the same with a bow tie.

Notice the front of the tuxedo shirt. There are ruffles down the front of the shirt and there are four missing buttons. This is what makes a tuxedo shirt unique. Most tuxedo shirts also have French cuffs. This requires the use of cuff links to secure the sleeves.

Make sure that the tuxedo shirt is crisply pressed. This is essential to the formal look. Take the shirt to a professional cleaner and ask for heavy starch.

Put on the tuxedo shirt and put on the cuff links first. This will keep the sleeves from flapping around while you put on the rest of the jewelry. Work the cuff links into the cuff holes from the outside inward. If you have trouble doing this, ask someone to help you.

Button the lower buttons of the tuxedo shirt. Next, work the tuxedo shirt studs into the button holes from the bottom up. This can be tricky. Insert them diagonally then flatten them out once they are inside the hole. Again, if you have trouble doing this yourself, ask someone to help you. Finish by buttoning the top bottom on the tuxedo shirt.

Put on the bow tie. This is relatively easy if you are using a pre-tied bow tie. Nearly everyone who wears a bow tie uses them. All you need to do is adjust it for your neck size and hook it around your collar. If you are wearing a laydown collar, the entire bow tie should sit above the collar. If you are wearing a wingtip collar, the wingtips should be between the ruffles of the bow tie. Mandarin collar tuxedo shirts are usually not worn with bow ties. For instructions on how to tie a standard bow tie, see Resources.

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