A well-tailored tuxedo is a simple yet great way for a man to look his best. But let me guess: if you have come to this post, you probably are one of those who are still afraid to wear one! Anyway I have some good news for you: the task is easier than you think.
When to wear a tuxedo?
If your next wedding invitation, theater show ticket or evening party dress code gives you “the option” to wear a tuxedo, then you really can't miss the opportunity of trying on your smartest attire. You can also use it if you want to look really dapper in a first date or in a formal dinner at a chic restaurant (what about New Year’s Eve?).
How to build a tuxedo?
A black or midnight blue dinner jacket is a good start to build your tux. The white dinner jacket is only allowed in luxury black-tie events in a tropical climate. Otherwise I suggest that you choose another color for your attire if you don’t want to look like another Justin Bieber (excuse me Beliebers!).
Try it with green, burgundy and royal blue if you want to make a statement at a fashionable party.
Single-breasted jackets (one or two buttons) fit all sizes and body types, while taller men look better in a double-breasted jacket. The collar style basically depends on your tastes: choosing a shawl-collar will make you look like Sean Connery in James Bond, but peak and notch collars are also a classic, elegant option for a gentleman. Finally a little bit of a shiny fabric on the lapels will add a sophisticated touch to your attire.
Whatever it is the style that you choose, the most important thing is that the chest and lapels of the jacket contour the shape of your chest without squeezing it or being too loose.
The jacket should reach the thumb knuckles with arms relaxed. The jacket sleeve should be one-quarter to one-half inch shorter than the shirt sleeve, exposing a simple watch with a leather band or silver cufflinks.
For shirts, if you choose a fitted spread or semi-spread collar, French cuffs and nice white cotton you will never go wrong. Avoid the wing collar unless you are a magician, a waiter or a casino croupier.
Now, let’s talk about pants: a common mistake is to cut them too long. The general rule is that pants should touch at least the top of the shoe. If you want to give a stylish touch to your tuxedo you can go for a shorter cut which expose a bit of ankle.
Finally, you can introduce an evening waistcoat or a cummerbund in order not to have a big jump in contrast from the white of your shirt to the darker color of your pants.
Shoes and accessories:
When it comes to shoes, shiny is the way to go. Either if you choose some slippers or black leather shoes it is fundamental that they shine. Some people also like to match their Oxford shoes with their tux. In this case there’s no problem at all but once again, make them shine!
And now, the final touch: accessories. You can add a boutonniere, some suspenders (they are better that a belt in this case), a simple watch or a pocket square. Your cummerbund should always be paired with your bow tie, preferably in a matching fabric. Avoid neckties: they are not very appropriate for formal wear.
Now that you have the rules, it’s time to start playing: build your own tuxedo and get ready to rock it!