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How to Properly Accessorize Your Tuxedo

Depending on the event you are attending, there are plenty ways of accessorizing your tuxedo. Let’s take a look at some of the accessories you can consider, and how they can complement your tuxedo.

If you look closely at a formal event, you’ll notice that most tuxedos are virtually indistinguishable. That’s fine if you don’t want to be noticed and disappear in the crowd, but if you want to stand out, you should accessorize. If you do it right, you’ll be noticed for all the right reasons.

There are many ways in which you can play around with your tuxedo to make yourself more noticeable. But one of the most important things to remember is not to get carried away; leading a traditional tuxedo is a conservative outfit and your accessories should complement your look, not overwhelm. If you're not sure what you may wear, check with the host before the event, as some black-tie events literally mean wearing a tuxedo and nothing else.

To start with, you need to have a tuxedo. Although you can rent one when you need to, it's a much better option to buy a tuxedo and make sure it will be the perfect fit for you. You will also be more comfortable in your own suit, and you can add it to your wardrobe so that you have something to wear to your next formal event. Once this is done, you can now start looking at accessories.

Choosing a Tie
Everyone knows that you cannot wear a tuxedo without a tie. Technically you could, but it just won't look right. You can choose between a straight tie or a bow tie, and each has their own benefits. If you choose to wear a bow tie you might want to spend a few hours learning how to properly tie one, rather than wearing a clip-on. The difference will be visible and it’s not very flattering either.

Whether it’s a wedding, corporate event or a red carpet appearance, bow ties remain popular and very versatile. There are many different styles and designs when it comes to choosing a bow tie. They are available in virtually any color imaginable, and you can choose from materials like satin, leather, velvet, silk, cotton and more. Then you get a list of novelty bow ties, which you should wear with caution. Unless you have a very good reason, these ties usually don’t belong at a black tie event.

If you are looking to move straight tie, spaced to stick to the basics that you know will work every time. A black silk tie never disappoints and perfectly complement your black tuxedo. Don't wear a tie that is too thin, but avoid a very rugged design as that won’t be flattering to your formal look.

Wearing a Cummerbund
A cummerbund is a very handy accessory for multiple reasons; it helps to prevent food and drink spillages on the front of his shirt, and it also helps to keep your tummy tucked in. Try to avoid wearing very bright colors unless the event requires it, for example, when you are attending a wedding for you or one of the groomsmen. You may have to wear a cummerbund that has to match the colors of the bridesmaids’ dresses, in which case a bright color will fit in perfectly.

Vests
Vests
can be a great accessory to any tuxedo, as long as they complement the outfit. Although your vest and tie patterns don’t have to match, be careful if you do wear patterns together as they absolutely have to go hand-in-hand. If you wear two different patterns it can be distracting to the eye and it can spoil your entire outfit. A great combination is a solid vest, paired with a patterned tie. The color of the vest is important, for e.g. a solid black vest goes very well with almost any color tie.

Suspenders Are In
Tuxedos generally don't come with belt loops, so it's a good idea to wear suspenders. Suspenders are not only functional and practical, but they make for a great accessory to your tuxedo. Avoid clip-on types, and rather go for suspenders with buttons. You can choose a color that complements your outfit but don't choose a color that is too bright so that it attracts attention away from your outfit. Suspenders can be in an ‘H’ shape, or an ‘X’ shape at the back, depending on how you want to wear them. It doesn’t really matter which option you choose, as long as you are comfortable with them.

Jewelry
There are many traditions when it comes to wearing jewelry, and generally, the only visible bit of jewelry that you should wear should be your wedding band and cufflinks. In some cases, you may want to wear a wristwatch or bracelet, but use this option sparingly and only when the occasion demands it. If you want to wear a watch, avoid anything that is too bright and modern. Rather choose a classically styled watch that has a black leather band. And try to avoid anything digital.

Cufflinks
Stay away from cheap cufflinks as they can bring your entire outfit down. You want to wear cufflinks that are elegant and discreet, so if you don’t have a pair like that, borrow one. Keep it sophisticated and you’ll do wonders for your overall image. Every time you drink or shake someone’s hand, they will be visible, so it’s an important accessory that should be well thought out.

There are many other accessories that you can consider if the event requires it; you can choose lapel flowers, scarves, formal jewelry, hats, pocket squares and more. Just make sure that you never overdo it, that the accessories match your outfit, and that you choose ones that will complement your look.