Why Tuxedo Accessories are so Important
There are many reasons why you need to own a tuxedo. Whether you are invited to a wedding, or need to attend regular formal events as part of your job description – a tuxedo is a great asset to have. But the accessories are just so important, and here are a few tips and reasons why.
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.
Although you can easily rent a tuxedo, it's a much better option to buy a tuxedo and make sure it will be the perfect fit for you. You’ll have one available at a moment’s notice, and you will also be more comfortable in your own suit. 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 Your Accessories
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.
Cummerbunds are very handy accessories for many 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 you or one of the groomsmen 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.
Cufflinks and Studs
One of the guiding principles of black tie wear is that the working parts of the tuxedo are either hidden or dressed up. The outer pant seams are covered with a satin stripe. The waistband is covered with a cummerbund or a vest. The pockets are minimized to slits with satin facing around the opening. It goes with the shirt buttons as well.
If you don’t have a placket shirt that hides the buttons altogether, you should use studs for your shirt closure instead. This is in keeping with the principle of dressing up the working parts of your ensemble and will go a long way towards pulling your tuxedo together. You should also wear matching cuff links, regardless of the kind of shirt you are wearing.
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.
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.
While truly classic tuxedo coats have only one button on the front, most contemporary tuxedos have 2. Occasionally a 3-button tuxedo will come along as well. So, it is important to know which buttons to button. With a 3 button coat you usually button the top button, and always button the middle button. Never ever button the bottom button.
With 2 button coats, always button the top button. Never ever button the bottom button. One-button coats are quite obvious. Basically, never button the bottom button, unless you have only one button. Incidentally, this rule also applies to vest buttons. Never button the bottom button of your vest.
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.
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.