Tuxedo Wearing Guide

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Both sexes look refined and chi in the tuxedo.
Both sexes look refined and chi in the tuxedo. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The tuxedo has transferred from an evening ensemble for males to being a daring and classic evening suit for women. Both sexes look chic and refined in a well-tailored suit; however, there are rules to ensure you're wearing the right style and proper fit. Once you have the rules down, you can add your own spin to make the tuxedo a versatile part of your wardrobe.

Ensure It's the Right Fit

For men and women, the right fit means it should hug the natural shape of the shoulders with high arm holes. Peaked lapels are preferable to the shawl or notch collar. Jacket cuffs should reveal about 1/4 inch of the shirt, while pants should never be cuffed on tuxedos. Take the suit to a tailor to ensure pant hems aren't too long and the jacket isn't too broad. The shirt worn underneath should fit as well as your tuxedo jacket.

Have your tuxedo fitted to ensure proper fit.
Have your tuxedo fitted to ensure proper fit. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Know the Rules

Know what a tuxedo suit is -- a black or midnight-blue wool suit with a satin lapel or grosgrain and a peaked style. The matching pants are trousers banded with a single braid of silk or satin going down the outer seam. A black silk bow that matches the lapel facings is worn at the neck. Black dress socks in wool or silk complete the look with black dress shoes. Vests, cummerbunds or suspenders are optional elements to the tuxedo. A white button-down is the mandatory shirt, and it should fit as well as your tux. In summer, a white jacket can be worn in place of the typical black or navy.

Understand what a tuxedo is to ensure you're wearing it properly.
Understand what a tuxedo is to ensure you're wearing it properly. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Add Individuality

Break the rules once you know them. Ladies can wear a bra top, pussy-bow blouse or a blouse with feminine frills. Stick with a white or black top, and ensure the layers aren't loose but well fitted to avoid looking sloppy. Step away from the black leather-soled shoe -- the typical tuxedo shoe -- and wear a flirtatious stiletto in black lace, nude or white leather. Men, break the rules by pairing the jacket with a colored pant; just ensure they match the color of the lapels. Wear a chic pair of sneakers or choose a straight tie that matches the fabric of the lapel instead of a bow tie. There are also various tuxedo colors and patterns for daring men and women to try.

Women can pair the tuxedo with a feminine stiletto.
Women can pair the tuxedo with a feminine stiletto. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Mix and Match Sepearates

Take advantage of the tuxedo's versatility and dressy appeal to refine everyday basics. Both sexes can wear a tux jacket with a skinny pair of jeans. Men can wear the jacket as a blazer paired over a cardigan, hoodie or basic T-shirt. Create the right smart-casual balance by ensuring the look is simple without loud patterns, colors or accessories.

Try pairing a tuxedo jacket with a pair of jeans for a smart casual look.
Try pairing a tuxedo jacket with a pair of jeans for a smart casual look. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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