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 a suit and a tux is satin. But let's clearly go through the main differences between a tuxedo and a suit:
What makes a tuxedo a tuxedo? Easy:
- 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 suit pants don't.
If you already have the information you needed - great! We wanted to make it straightforward. You are ready to design your tux. But if you want to learn more, such as:
What to wear to a wedding
When to wear a tuxedo
What exceptions there are
We will cover that in the following sections. Feel free to share this infographic so everyone knows the differences between these two products and knows how to use the correct word to define each of them:
Tuxedo vs Suit for Wedding
What should you wear to a wedding: a wedding tuxedo or a wedding 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 is 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 in 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.
Blue Checkered wool 1 Button 3 piece Suit with pocket square and lapeled double breasted Waistcoat
Grey pure wool wide lapel 3 piece Suit with a pocket square and shawl lapel double breasted Suit Vest
Grey Houndstooth Wool Blends wide lapel Slim Fit Three piece Suit and peak lapel Dress Vest
Prom Tuxedo vs Prom Suit
Going to prom is a very exciting occasion for every high school student. Show some self-confidence and wear whatever you feel glamorous in. Just follow these simple rules:
- If you want to wear a bow tie, choose a tuxedo
- If you just want to wear a tie, wear a suit. You can combine your suit with a tie but don't wear a bow tie.
Our advice: Don't match your tie or your bow tie with the color of your partner's attire. Please don't. Be strong.
Blue floral Polyester-Rayon Dinner Suit with pocket square
Black floral Polyester peak lapel Tuxedo
Ligth floral Polyester 1 button Tuxedo
Light floral Polyester Tuxedo with pocket square
Black floral jacquard rounded lapel Tuxedo
Dinner Suit vs Tuxedo
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
|Business||Suit||A suit offers the perfect balance of professionalism and style, making it the go-to choice for business occasions.|
|Casual||Suit||A casual suit with a relaxed fit and lighter colors is versatile for informal meetings or dates.|
|Formal||Tuxedo or Dark Suit||For formal events, a tuxedo or a dark suit exemplifies elegance and style.|
|Black Tie Event||Tuxedo||A black tie event traditionally requires a tuxedo - it's the epitome of class and sophistication.|
|Daytime Wedding||Suit||A suit in a light color palette is perfect for daytime weddings as it maintains a festive yet elegant appearance.|
|Beach Wedding||Suit||A light-colored suit made from breathable fabric such as linen or cotton is ideal for beach weddings.|
|Night Wedding||Tuxedo or Dark Suit||For evening weddings, a tuxedo or a dark suit adds a touch of glamour and sophistication.|
|Prom||Tuxedo or Suit||Depending on the dress code, both a tuxedo or a stylish suit can make a great impression at prom.|
Tuxedo Jacket vs Suit Jacket
Both tuxedo jackets and suit jackets have a similar structure but in terms of satin, button, fabrics, color and accessories you can see these differences:
- Satin. Tuxedo has a satin lapel (even with a contrasting color, 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. You can find wool tuxedos and velvet tuxedos.
- Color. 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. In addition, suit pants should be combined with a belt, and tuxedos should be combined with a sash.
Black tuxedo pants are often worn with a blue or white tuxedo jacket. A white tuxedo jacket can be paired with black, red, and white accents for a formal outfit. Mismatched jackets and suits can also be fashionable.
- Have satin stripes
- Combined with a sash
- Don't have satin stripes
- Combined with a belt
Tuxedo Shirts vs Suit Shirts
You already have an idea what suit shirts look like. When it comes to patterned shirts, it can be difficult to find the right combination, but we'll discuss that in a different blog post. A white collared shirt will always work with any suit.
Tuxedo shirts are a bit different:
- A tuxedo shirt has to be white (only in some cases could black tuxedo shirts be accepted).
- Tuxedo shirts usually come with wingtip collars. This is perfect for displaying your bow tie.
- Tux shirts always have french cuffs because they have to be worn with cufflinks.
- They can have pleats (OPTIONAL). Here is an example of a pleated shirt:
White french cuff Cotton blend wing tip collar Pleated Tuxedo Shirt
White french cuff poplin cotton bow tie collar Pleated Tux Shirt with hidden buttons
Premium White no-iron cotton wing collar Pleated Tux Shirt
White french cuff poplin cotton wing collar Tux Shirt with hidden buttons
White poplin cotton bow tie collar Black Tie Shirt with hidden buttons
If you have read till here, you now know all the secrets 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.
Tuxedo Shoes vs Suit Shoes
As you can imagine, tuxedos require a more formal pair of shoes than a suit would. To be on the safe side, we recommend taking the traditional path and pairing a tux with the classic tuxedo shoes: Black oxfords - the shinier the better. If your aim is to dress down your tuxedo, then a pair of black leather loafers would also be acceptable. Avoid broguing or any other decorative details, and if you can, go for a wholecut shoe instead of a cap-toe shoe.
Suits, on the other hand, do not require the classic formal oxfords, nevertheless, they must still maintain a business casual style. Keep your options between derby shoes, oxfords, monk shoes or loafers. As for the color, keep it between shades of dark brown to black. Brown goes well with navy blue and could be a nicer option if your usual choice is a blue suit. Brogues or wingtip shoes are also welcome for a suit outfit.
Tuxedo shoes - black flora leather
How to Combine a Tuxedo
Here is the basic combination of a tuxedo. Boring? Well, yes, but also safe. Black Tuxedo with white handkerchief and white tuxedo shirt with black bowtie and cufflinks. Do you want something different? Try applying different bowties, lapel shapes and even satin color while customizing your tuxedo.
- Choose the Right Outfit: Begin by selecting a tuxedo that is properly tailored and complements your body shape.
- Shirt Selection: Opt for a white dress shirt with a wing-tip collar for a traditional and sophisticated look.
- Accessorizing: Select a black bow tie and a white pocket square. Adding a cummerbund or a vest can further elevate your look.
- Shoes and Socks: Polished black patent leather shoes and black socks are the classic choice for tuxedos.
- Final Touches: Your tuxedo should be neat and wrinkle-free. Also, pay attention to your grooming.
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. Try different combinations while designing your custom suit.
- Choose the Right Outfit: Choose a suit that fits you perfectly. The color should be appropriate for the occasion and your body type.
- Shirt Selection: Stick to neutral-toned shirts like white or light blue. Patterns like stripes and checks can add depth.
- Accessorizing: Pair your suit with a tie that complements the color of your suit. Pocket squares and cufflinks can add personality.
- Shoes and Socks: A suit can be paired with leather oxfords, loafers, or brogues. Match your sock color with your suit.
- Final Touches: Ensure your suit is well-pressed and your overall grooming is impeccable.
How to combine a Suit vs How to combine a Tuxedo
|Step 1: Outfit||Tailored tuxedo that flatters your body shape.||Perfectly-fitting suit, color matching occasion and body type.|
|Step 2: Shirt||White dress shirt with wing-tip collar.||Neutral-toned or patterned shirt.|
|Step 3: Accessories||Black bow tie, white pocket square, optional vest.||Complementary tie, pocket squares, and cufflinks.|
|Step 4: Shoes and Socks||Polished black patent shoes and black socks.||Leather shoes matching suit, sock color aligned with suit.|
|Step 5: Final Touches||Neat, wrinkle-free tuxedo, impeccable grooming.||Well-pressed suit, top-notch grooming.|
Does This Apply Also to Women's Suits and Tuxedos?
Just as men have a plethora of options when it comes to dressing formally, women also have a delightful range to choose from. In recent years, women’s suits and tuxedos have gained popularity for their elegance and empowerment. They are now a go-to choice for many women attending weddings, proms, business meetings or formal events. Let’s delve into whether the distinctions between men's suits and tuxedos are applicable to women's attire.
Similarities and Differences in Fabrics and Components
For women, the same basic differences between a suit and a tuxedo apply. Women's tuxedos generally feature satin lapels, satin buttons, and sometimes a satin stripe down the side of the trousers. Just like men's tuxedos, these elements give women’s tuxedos a more formal and polished look compared to suits. Suits for women, on the other hand, typically have fabric lapels and regular buttons, similar to men’s suits. Women's suits also offer more versatility in fabric choices, just like men's suits.
So, to sum up, all the differences between a tuxedo and a suit also apply to women's suits and women's tuxedos.
Styling and Accessories for Women Tuxedos
When it comes to accessorizing and styling, women have a wider array of options. For tuxedos, women can opt for a classic bow tie, a lavallière tie, or even a more feminine option like a satin or silk blouse with ruffles. Waistcoats are not as common for women's tuxedos, but a cummerbund is an elegant choice.
In contrast, suits can be paired with a variety of blouses, dress shirts, ties, or no tie at all. Suits offer a more relaxed yet sophisticated look, and there’s more room for creativity in accessories and combinations.
Women's Footwear: Tux vs Suit
For women's tuxedos, it’s common to wear high heels or elegant flats that are more on the formal side. Patent leather or a material with a sheen is often chosen to complement the tuxedo's satin elements.
When wearing a suit, women can opt for more variety in their footwear, ranging from pumps and loafers to heeled boots. The choice of shoe can drastically alter the vibe of the outfit, from ultra-professional to chic casual. But, what about women's loafers? They are the perfect spring-summer footwear.
Penny Loafer - black flora leather
Penny Chunky Loafer - black flora leather
Penny Chunky Loafer - black flora leather
Chunky Loafer - black flora leather
Footwear can transform an outfit, and the same holds for women's suits and tuxedos.
- For tuxedos: stiletto heels, sophisticated flats, velvet loafers, or any formal footwear that complements the overall attire are usually chosen. The shoes often match the sheen of the tuxedo's satin elements, ensuring a cohesive look.
- When it comes to suits, women can play around with their shoe choice based on the occasion and personal style. Classic pumps, chic boots, fashionable sneakers, or loafers - the options are limitless and can swing a suit from strictly professional to fashionably relaxed.
Occasions for Women's Tuxedos and Suits
Similar to men, women would typically wear tuxedos to black-tie events, gala dinners, or sophisticated evening weddings. Suits can be worn at business meetings, daytime weddings, or more casual events.
- Women's tuxedos are the perfect choice for black-tie events, formal dinners, or sophisticated evening weddings. The satin accents provide an elevated elegance that fits perfectly into these high-end settings.
- Women's suits, on the other hand, offer greater versatility. They can be dressed up for business meetings or semi-formal events, or dressed down for casual day outings, providing an effortlessly chic look.
Light Pink 6B double breasted Floral Tuxedo with shawl gold lapels - relaxed fit
Light Pink jacquard Tuxedo with shawl gold lapels
Light Pink Floral Tuxedo with peak blue lapels
Customization and Personal Style
One of the most exciting aspects of women's suits and tuxedos is the ability to infuse personal style. Women can play around with cuts, colors, and fabrics to create an ensemble that is both unique and flattering. The classic black tuxedo is timeless, but experimenting with different colors and textures can make a statement.
In conclusion, while the basic elements distinguishing suits from tuxedos are similar for both men and women, women often have a broader range of styling options. This allows for the creation of ensembles that can range from classic and elegant to edgy and contemporary.
Take a look at Hockerty Tuxedos Collections:
Burgundy Wool Blends peak lapel Tuxedo with pocket square
Navy Blue Wool Tuxedo with pocket square
Velvet shawl lapel Tuxedo
Steel Blue Wool Blends Tuxedo with handkerchief