The tuxedo, the end-all-be-all of formal dress options. If worn properly, it can make even the most modest man look like a million bucks. Nowadays, tuxes are coming in all kinds of new styles and colors to suit nearly every man’s preference, but don’t count out the old standbys, either, we’re truly living in a time where there’s a tux for every man. So, whether you’re headed to a wedding, a formal holiday party, a NYE bash, or an awards event, there’s an equally stylish option for every occasion.
A few guidelines before we dig in...
1. Focus On Fit - As always, make sure you fit and tailoring are sharp and dialed in, this is your chance to look your absolute best.
2. Satin Please - Make sure your tux has satin trim on the lapels and pants, it's what sets it apart from just your regular black suit (plus it looks fly-as-hell).
3. It’s Called Black Tie For A Reason - No matter what style or shade you go with, keep your tie (bow or not) black. That goes for your shoes too.
4. When The Sun Goes Down - We’re not going to be total sticklers here but the tux is best for events in the evening or at night.
5. Don’t Be Shy, Wear It - We’re not saying rock it at the club but this is you at your absolute best, show it off, even if it says “optional” on the invitation.
The Classic: Peak Lapels
Known for its uber-classic look and design, the peak lapel is the go-to for men’s formal suits, including tuxedos and double-breasted variations. The namesake “peaked” look of the lapel will help you stand out, even when every other guy is wearing a tux, too.
Best When Worn: At any traditional event or black tie wedding, or if you want the most timeless look around.
The New Hues: Charcoal and Navy
"Black tie" doesn't exactly have to mean "black tux" these days. In a sea of black variations, it’s nice to be able to separate yourself from the rest of the stiffs in the ballroom, without sticking out like a sore thumb. We’ve pretty much reached peak charcoal/navy tux at this point and it’s seen a resurgence in the wedding and formal gala circuits, as well as on the backs of some of the most stylish men on the planet during awards season. Wear these new hues the same way you would a traditional black tux: black tie, black belt or suspenders, black shoes. Done.
Best When Worn: At functions where the invitation clearly reads “Black Tie Optional”, or if you’re looking for an extra dose of style.
The Retro: Shawl Collar
Speaking of retro vibes, the shawl collar is another variation that reaches back to the glory days of old-school glamor and brings it into a new era. Whether in black or navy, the shawl collar tux is smooth as butter, subtly stylish, and a great way to mix up your black tie look while still remaining timeless.
Best When Worn: To any lavish party, evening weddings, or anytime you’re looking to channel your inner Bond.
The Modern: Notch Lapels
Slimmer and a little less formal than the traditional peak lapel, notched lapels are a staple in much of the modern menswear world. If you’re searching for a look that keeps in with a strict dress code, but still gives you the opportunity to exude a more updated style, the notch is your best bet. If you’re looking to go on the slimmer side of things, a notch is an ideal choice for a more fashion-forward stance.
Best When Worn: Any time that the dress code rules can be bent just ever so slightly, or if you’re looking for a bit of edge on the slim side.
The Standout: The White Dinner Jacket
Praised for it’s soft, off-white hue and dashing appearance, the white dinner jacket harkens back to the days when The Rat Pack ruled Vegas and no fucks were given. Not for the timid, the white dinner jacket is definitely going to place you squarely amongst those being noticed, but this time, it’ll be because of your conversation-starting swag.
Best When Worn:: To any especially festive occasion, or when you’re looking to seriously stunt on the competition, Gatsby-style.