Basic Tuxedo Styles

Learn about the different tuxedo styles you can choose from. A black tuxedo is about the most traditional and formal outfit any man can wear. It oozes charm, class and sophistication. As long as the tux is perfectly fitted, it makes any man instantly look ten times sexier.

Tuxedos are always popular in men's fashion, varying slightly according to current styles. Regardless if you're wearing a black, tailed coat with a lacy, white ruffled tie or a short, simple coat with a thin, black bow tie, classic tuxedo styles include the standard coat, pant, shirt and fancy-tie combination.

To find the perfect tuxedo, you must examine each element of the garment, and always focus on quality. The obvious cornerstone for any garment is the fabric used to create it. Picking the right material for a tuxedo can play a vital part in the suit turning out sharp or shabby.

First, decide in which conditions the tuxedo will be worn. Will it be indoors or outdoors, will it often be hot or cold? This helps you decide how thick and heavy you want the basic material to be. If you'll often be in warm conditions, then silk or thin worsted wool is a smart choice. If the conditions will be on the chilly side, try wool, cashmere, thick worsted wool or a blend to help keep warm.

Colors and Patterns
There's not much choice when it comes to the color or pattern of your tuxedo. Black and blue-black are your basic selections. Most tuxedos distinguish themselves from a fancy suit by holding onto that sharp black color, and even "blue" tuxes are usually so dark that they look black anyway.

The 1970s witnessed a flood of colorful tuxedos for men to wear, including velvet ones. The look didn't last long and died out for good reason. It just looks tacky. If you absolutely have to have some color, remember that the darker the color, the better. Use some deep burgundy, forest green or midnight blue. Steer clear of petal pink, powder blue or canary yellow.

Pattern selections in tuxes are limited to various types of stripes. Since a tuxedo needs to look crisp and fluid, patterns such as diamonds and checks tend to clash. Use shadow-stripes, pinstripes, double-stripes and subtle stripes to make the material and style seem richer.

Coats and Pants
A traditional tux uses a single-breasted coat, though you can also find double-breasted tuxes. A regular jacket cut is the most common look, although long and tailed coats are still used. Tailed tuxedos tend to appear only in weddings these days, but they can occasionally be seen at awards shows.

Tuxedo pants need to be as simple and crisp as possible. There's never a belt loop on tux pants, so suspenders are used to help secure the garment. Cummerbunds or vests are often used to either hide or decorate the shirt and suspenders.

The coat and pants of any tuxedo need to fit as crisply as possible, and the same rules apply with a tuxedo as they do a normal suit. Make sure to have a sharp pant break, cuffs that cover your shirt and a smooth lapel. The shoulders should fit dead-on, ending right at your natural shoulder.

Tuxedo coat and pants almost always need to be personally tailored for your body. The crisp image this extra step provides is often worth the extra money. Start with tailoring the pant break, then work on the sleeve cuffs and then move to the shoulders, back or waist if needed.

Make sure anything you may need to carry, such as a wallet or cell phone, fits into your suit coat or pants pockets. A perfect suit is a waste of time and money if you ruin it with a huge cell phone lump in the breast pocket.

Shirts and Ties
Your shirt, tie and accessories are about the only place you can add some color, flair or personal style to the tuxedo look. Shirts are supposed to be classy and white, but this is one rule that can sometimes be broken. As long as the shade you choose is subtle, it can be used for your shirt.

The best tuxedo shirts do not use buttons. Instead these shirts require cufflinks and studs. A shirt stud is basically a fancy button that comes separately from the shirt. Shirt studs should be black, or they should match your cufflinks, as well as the rest of your outfit.

Ties can use any color, but they need to look sharp and sophisticated. Depending on the situation and how you carry yourself, a royal purple striped bow tie can work, as can a red polka-dotted one. Regular ties are never acceptable.

In some cases, especially if you're going with a historically themed tuxedo, you can wear an elaborate cravat or fancy ascot instead of a bow tie. If you are wearing a cravat or ascot, try using a little tiepin that matches your cufflinks to help bring the look together perfectly.

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