Post # 1
I’m confused about the difference between a suit and tux. I always thought “James Bond” when I thought of tuxes. Now, I’m looking at pics and it is really hard for me to tell the difference. I saw one in person, and it just looked like a black suit to me. FH doesn’t want to wear a bow tie, vest or a cumberbund… without any of these things, is it just a regular suit?
Post # 4
Hi. I’m no expert, but my understanding of the difference is that a tux usually has the satin lapels, or satin trim on the lapels, and also a satin stripe down the outer seam of the pants. A suit would not have these extras which sort of make the tux more “dressy.” I don’t think you HAVE to wear anything with the tux… traditionally I believe its worn with a bow tie and a special tuxedo shirt, but your fiance can wear whatever he likes i think. Mine may just wear a regular tie, or vest and tie. Hope this helps!
Post # 5
That helps, I’ll have to check up close to see if I can tell the difference 🙂
Post # 6
I think the shirt also may be different. When we looked at tuxes, we talked to the salesperson about the shirts – tux shirt vs. plain shirt. The tux shirt had the ruffle-like things on the front (ok, maybe not ruffles, but some sort of texture). The pants also make the difference – we also want suit pants without that lining down the side. That’s my understanding, anyway.
Post # 7
“Tuxedo” has become difficult to define. Back in the olden days it was a lot easier. There were two types of fancy evenings: formal and semi-formal. Formal required “tailcoats,” semi-formal required “tuxedos.” Both formal and semi-formal black tie events had a dress code, so the dress code was your definition of a tux. The classic tuxedo is either black or midnight blue (think Steve Martin in Father of The Bride). The lapels of the jacket are either in satin or grosgrain (both are types of silk). The pants have a stripe of fabric that matches the lapels. The classic tuxedo also required a waistcovering—cummerbund or waistcoat/vest—that matches the lapels. (No waistcovering required if it’s a double-breasted jacket). The shirt was always white, had a textured front (pleated, pique, etc.), and typically has french cuffs and could accept black onyx studs where the shirt buttons go. Originally the uniform required a bow tie matching the facings of the lapel. So if you had satin lapels, you’d have a satin bow tie. Traditionally, the tuxedo was finished off with a white linen pocket square and more formal shoes like black patent leather, or highly shined regular black shoes, or something called opera pumps that I’d never wear. Ever.
So there you have it. That’s a tuxedo if you are following black tie dress code, even to this day (except now it’s acceptable to wear a black straight necktie).
Rules are made to be broken, so “Tuxedo” is now sort of an Eye-Of-The-Beholder thing. And if it’s not a black tie event—if you’re just dressing a wedding party or a prom king, then “tuxedo” is a whole different word. You can do whatever you want. There are no rules. It’s your party. You set the dress code.
So to your question: if he doesn’t wear a vest or a cummerbund, then he is not wearing a traditional tuxedo because he is breaking a “Black Tie Rule.” And he’s also not wearing a “regular suit,” because regular suits don’t have silk lapels. So he is wearing an unfinished classic tuxedo. Or he’s wearing a suit with satin lapels. However ya wanna look at it.
Post # 8
Oh. I left out one detail. On a tuxedo, traditionally the lapels were either peak or shawl—notch lapels were usually reserved for regular suits. As life became less formal, they started making tuxedo jackets with notched lapels. Still, peak or shawl is prefered for a black tie affair. Below, you’ll see a shawl tux following pretty much every rule. You’ll see the original intention of the waistcovering too: it covers the white part of the shirt that bulges out over the black pants. Gives it a more formal look than if the white shirt was peaking out under his jacket when he puts his hands in his pocket. Obviously, this only works if your waistcovering is the same color as your jacket and your pants.
And here’s a peak lapel:
And the less formal notch lapel: