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Formal Wear Etiquette: How to Wear a Tuxedo

Blue Cobalt Tux

As a symbol of professionalism and class, tuxedos are commonly associated with formal events, high-class gatherings, and fictional characters like James Bond. And yet, because they are not an outfit typically worn throughout our day-to-day lives, many can be unfamiliar with how to wear a tuxedo. If you want to learn more about wearing a tux, here's a look at the kinds of clothing you'll need and what design options are best suited for formal attire.

When to Wear a Tuxedo

First, when is wearing a tuxedo appropriate? You will want to don a fancy tuxedo for evening events that take place after 6 PM when it's darker out. In addition, there are some gatherings with a black tie dress code that requires attendants to wear a formal tuxedo. These black tie events can include weddings, private parties, and other gatherings of similar formality.

Dress Shirt

When wearing a tuxedo, you should always pair it with a white dress shirt to contrast the dark hue of the jacket. However, there are some variations to dress shirts that you ought to keep in mind during your preparations. There are dress shirts with traditional point collars and others with wingtip collars, which are designed to be worn with bow ties — perfect for those who plan to wear a black bow tie for the event. With that said, both collars are acceptable options to consider.

After buttoning up your dress shirt, it's time to insert the cufflinks into the wrists. Although there are several types of cuffs, the kind you will want when wearing a tuxedo is double cuffs. Also known as French cuffs, they're twice as long as other styles, and their cloth must be folded to accommodate their length.

Tuxedo Trousers

The next step in learning how to wear a tuxedo is stepping into the trousers, pulling them up, tucking your dress shirt into them, and zipping them up. There are multiple options available for tuxedo pants, including those with a black or midnight blue, a black silk stripe down the front, and other variations. However, be mindful to avoid trousers with lapels, as they are not considered formal.


Some may find that wearing a tuxedo feels strange without a cummerbund wrapped around their waist. This sash covers that waste and helps it appear smoother and neater — however, do not wear a cummerbund with braces attached. 

Socks and Shoes

When it comes to wearing a tuxedo, black socks will always complement the classic black color. In addition, the shoes you slip on and tie afterward should be of a similar color. Black patent leather is a classic option, as are plain and round-toe shoes. With that in mind, never wear casual shoes, like sneakers, or any footwear that has highly detailed stitching and patterns.

Tuxedo Jacket

The last step in wearing a tuxedo is putting on the jacket itself. As you can imagine, there is a wide range of tuxedo jacket styles to choose from. Some may prefer the tried and true single-breasted style over double-breasted — although the latter can appear stylish. Tuxedo jackets also come in peak and notch lapels or a shawl collar. At the end of the day, however, classic black tuxedos will always be the best color for formal gatherings.

Now that you know how to wear a tuxedo, browse Buy4Less Tuxedo to find the perfect apparel for your upcoming event. From men's tuxedo jackets to high-quality tuxedo shirts, we have everything you need to be stylish at a formal gathering. Contact us today for more information.