How is a tuxedo different from a suit

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The difference between a tuxedo and a suit is more than just their color. In the UK, a tuxedo is called a dinner jacket, but the name is becoming more universal. The key difference between the two is that a tuxedo is more dressed-up than a standard suit. The use of satin is what sets a tuxedo apart, with the lapels, buttons, and pockets often featuring black satin detailing. The material of a tuxedo jacket may also have a slight sheen, which is not typically seen in standard suits.

While both suits and tuxedos can have notch and peak lapels, tuxedos are the only ones with shawl lapels, which are a single piece of material that extends from the collar to the waist. Tuxedos, namely dinner suits, tend to be single-breasted, while suits have two buttons.  Generally, the fewer buttons a jacket has, the more formal it is.

However, there are ways to put a personal twist on black-tie attire. One option is to try a velvet jacket in a jewel tone, or even a brighter color. Another is to flip the traditional monochrome palette by wearing a white dinner jacket over a black shirt. For a more relaxed look, a fine woolen rollneck can be just as refined as a shirt and bow-tie, but with added comfort. Ultimately, while it’s good to follow dress code rules, the best looks often come from putting a unique spin on traditional attire.

In addition to the differences in material and lapel styles, there are other subtle variations between suits and tuxedos that can affect their level of formality. For example, tuxedo trousers typically have a satin stripe down the side of the leg, while suit trousers do not. Additionally, tuxedos are traditionally worn with a cummerbund or waistcoat, while suits are not.

Another factor to consider when choosing between a suit and a men’s dinner suit is the occasion. Tuxedos are typically reserved for more formal events, such as black-tie weddings, galas, or awards ceremonies. Suits, on the other hand, can be worn for a wide range of occasions, from job interviews to business meetings to more casual events like dinners or parties.

One common misconception is that a black suit can be worn in place of a tuxedo, but this is not the case. While a black suit can be dressed up with a tie and dress shoes, it lacks the special details that make a tuxedo appropriate for formal events. The use of satin and the shawl lapel are unique to tuxedos and not typically found on suits.

However, that’s not to say that there’s no room for personal style within the confines of formalwear. As mentioned earlier, velvet jackets in jewel tones are a popular trend, as are brightly coloured bow ties or pocket squares. Another option is to experiment with different textures, such as a tweed blazer or a wool suit with a subtle herringbone pattern.

Ultimately, whether you opt for a suit or a tuxedo depends on the occasion and personal preference. While tuxedos are undeniably more formal, suits can still look sharp and put-together when paired with the right accessories. And with a bit of creativity, it’s possible to add a personal touch to even the most formal of dress codes.

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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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