What is the difference between a suit and a tuxedo? The structure might be the same and sometimes you may hear the words tuxedo and suit being used indistinctly to refer to a suit jacket and suit pants. The main difference between suit and tux is satin. But let's list clearly which are the main differences between tuxedo and suit:
- Tuxedos are worn with bow ties and suits either with or without a tie.
- Tuxedos have satin lapels, which can even be from a different shade while suits lapels are made of the same fabric.
- Tuxedos have also satin buttons while suits have the usual suit buttons, not covered by a piece of satin fabric.
- Tuxedo pants include a satin stripe, while suits pants don't.
If you already have the information you needed, great, we wanted to make it straightforward. If you still want to know about when to use a tuxedo, what to wear to a wedding, or what the exceptions to those rules are, please keep reading. Feel free to share this infographic so everyone knows the differences between these two products and they use the correct word to define each of them:
Tuxedo vs Suit for wedding
What should you wear to a wedding: a tuxedo or a suit? Both are good options. It depends on what it says on the invitation and if doesn't, ask the groom. If the groom doesn't know what to tell you, just follow some of these recommendations:
- For daytime weddings: if in doubt, better wear a suit. A tuxedo is mostly seen as night attire.
- For evening weddings: suit and tuxedo. Both are great options.
- If the invitation says black tie attire required: you can never go wrong with a tuxedo.
- If the invitation says black tie attire optional: feel free to choose whatever you prefer. But make sure that if you choose a suit it has to be on a dark shade or you get a little bit more creative and choose a burgundy tuxedo.
- If it is a destination or beach wedding: probably the wedding guest attire will be more relaxed so you can wear a light shade suit, and even consider linen if the temperature can be a problem. In this kind of event, you can wear a business suit but you will be sure much more comfortable in a linen-cotton suit. The groom might wear a tuxedo anyway. Come on, it is his day, he can wear whatever he wants.
- You can wear a waistcoat with both but please check our tuxedo vests if you are wearing a tuxedo.
Tuxedo vs Suit for prom
Going to prom is a very exciting occasion for every high school student. The question what to wear on this day is very simple. Show some self-confidence and wear whatever you want. Just follow some simple rules to avoid standing out too much or not being able to take a look at your old prom pictures once you are a grandpa.
- Maybe the easiest question is: do you want to wear a bowtie? Then choose a tuxedo.
- You don't want to wear a tuxedo: then wear a suit. You can combine your suit with a tie but don't wear a bow tie.
Another extra tip: don't match your tie or your bow tie with the colour of her dress. Please. Don't. Be strong.
Dinner Suit vs Tuxedo
Fast answer: a dinner suit is the same as a tuxedo. "Dinner suit" is a term that helps you understand when to use a tuxedo. As we said previously in this post: it is an evening attire which can even be called an evening suit or evening dress (for men). Call it the way you want, probably you will hear more about the term dinner suit in the United Kingdom but it is not unusual to hear about it in the United States.
When to wear a Tuxedo vs Suit?
Tuxedo or Suit. What should I choose? Let's make it easy:
- Business → Suit
- Casual→ Suit
- Formal → Tuxedo or dark suit
- Black tie event → Tuxedo
- Daytime wedding → Suit
- Beach wedding → Suit
- Night wedding → Tuxedo or dark suit
- Prom → Tuxedo or suit
Tuxedo Jacket vs Suit Jacket
Both tuxedo jacket and suit jacket have a similar structure but in terms of satin, button, fabrics, colours and accessories you can see these differences:
- Satin. Tuxedo has satin lapel (even with a contrasting colour, usually black), satin buttons and even an optional satin stripe over the pocket.
- Buttons. While tuxedos use to have only 1 button, suits are usually 2 buttons but you can also see them with 1 or 3 buttons in single-breasted jackets.
- Fabrics. Suit fabrics are more versatile including all kinds of wool but also linen and cotton blends. Tuxedo fabrics are usually wool and wool blend fabrics or velvet.
- Colours. Tuxedos are usually black, blue or white. But it is not unusual to see red or green shades. For suits, the usual shades are grey and blue but then it is becoming common to see beige shades, especially while wearing linen.
- Accessories. Suits can be combined with a belt, pocket square and tie. Tuxedos can be worn with a tuxedo sash (try to avoid belts if possible), bow tie and also pocket square.
Tuxedo Pants vs Suit Pants
Maybe you haven't noticed it, but tuxedo pants have satin stripes on each external side of them. Suit pants don't. That would be the main difference. Then also remember that suit pants should be combined with a belt, and tuxedos should be combined with a sash.
It is really common to wear black tuxedo pants, even when you are wearing a blue tuxedo jacket or a white tuxedo jacket. You choose. If you are wearing a white tuxedo jacket it will even highlight more wearing a black bow tie, red handkerchief and white tuxedo pants. A really powerful night event outfit. It is not so common on suits wearing a contrasting jacket, but you can also find great combinations for your broken suit.
Tuxedo Shirts vs Suit Shirts
Tuxedo shirts have some particularities vs suit shirts.
You already know how suit shirts look like. It is not always easy to combine with the right suit when it comes to shirt patterns but that is a topic for another post. A white collared shirt will always work with any suit.
For tuxedo shirts it is quite different.
- A tuxedo shirt has to be white (only in some cases black could be accepted).
- Tuxedo shirts use to have wingtip collars so they are perfect to show better your bow tie.
- Shirt cuffs on a tux shirt are always french cuffs because they have to be worn with cufflinks.
- They can have pleats (OPTIONAL). Here you have what a pleated shirt is:
If you have read till here, now you know all the secrets to differentiate between a tuxedo and a suit. You are ready to see who wears a tuxedo based on the standard rules and who doesn't and to decide what to choose for your next event.
How to combine a Tuxedo
Take a look at this picture that summarizes most of the concepts about the differences between a Tuxedo and a Suit:
How to combine a Suit
Take a look at the "How to combine a suit" starting pack. Handkerchief + tie + belt. What about the shirt? No need to be a french cuff shirt, but you also can.
Take a look at Hockerty Tuxedos Collections: