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Suit Or Tuxedo: What's the Difference & What to Wear

At first glance, there may not be much of a difference between a suit and a tuxedo. Actually, the opposite is true. In a traditional tuxedo, there are plenty of small details that differentiate it from a suit. And these small details make a difference in the occasions that either is appropriate for. 

Style Differences

In a traditional suit, styles are about as varied as they can be. Lapel width, pocket style, colors, button style, shoulder styles... The options are endless, which makes a suit an incredibly versatile investment. A tuxedo, on the other hand, in its most traditional sense, is a very recognizable style and made for utmost elegance on specific occasions. 

A traditional tuxedo has satin features, like a satin lapel, satin buttons, even a line of satin down the side of the pant leg. These are all featured in our Gable Tuxedo, which is inspired by incredibly classic tuxedo designs. Suits tend to have more understated features, like shell buttons, fabric lapels, and varied button styles. 

As for accessories, when most people think "tuxedo," they think cummerbund and bowties, which have, historically, been an essential part of a tuxedo's styling. While we're now seeing the styling of a tuxedo transform, involving long neck ties and a vest as opposed to the bowtie and cummerbund, the essence of a tuxedo and any event it is worn for, is elegance.

Another feature that make a tuxedo stand out is that tuxedos are exclusively worn with white shirts, such as our Tuxedo Shirt. The crisp, stark difference between the black and white offers a highly contrasted, immediately put-together look to the outfit.  

Whatever you style your tuxedo with, it will give you an elevated appearance, due to its many, highly stylized details. 

Accessorizing a suit, on the other hand, can be done in a plethora of ways. Depending on your mood for the day, you can throw any shirt beneath it, pair it with a long tie, a short tie, throw a pocketsquare in there, etc. Suits are versatile for a million reasons, one of which is their ability to be styled exactly as you want it to. 

When to Wear 

The differences in style are about as different as the occasions each of these two options are appropriate for. 

For a black-tie event, a wedding, a gala, anything considered "formal," a tuxedo is the way to go. While you may have less chances to don a tuxedo than you do a traditional suit, it's still an important investment - and we're not only saying that because we're biased. One one time investment in a custom tuxedo can last a lifetime, helping you save money where you might have had to purchase more than one tuxedo, alterations, repairs, more alterations... The list goes on.

Adding a tuxedo to your wardrobe is a big, exciting moment, and we know that choice isn't made lightly. However, finding the right tuxedo is a crucial step in the purchasing process. 

A suit can have many wears, from a date night to a business meeting to a family dinner. This makes it all the more important to invest in a durable, high-quality piece that provides you the confidence in tossing on that suit jacket, knowing it won't be your last wear. 

Whatever you wear, wherever you wear it, you deserved the luxury of a suit (or tuxedo) handmade for your measurements. Check out our shop to see all of our options, and build your wardrobe today. 

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