Men’s Tuxedos; a beginner’s guide

Men’s tuxedos. For over 120 years, they have been the pinnacle of high-class menswear. They traditionally came in mostly black, but are now available in a very wide range of colors.

For something that appears quite often in movies, TV and magazines, not much is really known about men’s tuxedos to the average person. If you ask your average dude about tuxedos, their answer will most likely be something like this: “it’s that uncomfortable outfit you wear to your prom or wedding.”

People may not know them well, but Men’s tuxedos have become essential!

Well, men’s tuxedos might not be something that you really bother to know a whole lot about. But what I do know is that every man worth his salt wears one during important rites of passage in his life. These include baptisms, proms, weddings, honorary formal dinners, and more.


And rightfully so; nothing makes a man look better or more distinguished than an honest tuxedo. And nowadays, there’s many different varieties of men’s tuxedos. There’s peak lapels, which look amazing with a bow tie. There’s notch lapels, which are a bit more on the casual side. And the rounded shawl lapel is great for dressing up without too many ‘points.’

Fit is just as important as style!

The fit should definitely be one of the main things to consider when deciding on your men’s tuxedo. Right now, fitted tuxedos are all the rage; they taper in the waist, feature smaller shoulders, and lend a slimming appearance to the wearer. However, if you’re a larger fellow, perhaps consider a standard fit, which compliments a larger build without hiding it behind baggy clothes.

But for the last several years tuxedos have been seeing a steady decline in the number of people who wear them, even to weddings. This is partially due to the trend of ‘dressing down,’ making suits acceptable for taking your vows in. I’m on board with that, but there’s a disturbing trend of brides dressing their men up in jeans and button-up shirts, sometimes with suspenders.


Now, to each their own, but I would think the most important day of a man’s life deserves the best outfit. It’s a wedding, not casual Friday. Picture James Bond wooing the newest Bond girl in that lame outfit; cool superspy? Maybe, if his job was working in a cubicle.

men's tuxedos
Seriously; Bond in anything other than a tux would NOT BE BOND!

But, I digress. Despite the dress-down trend, men’s tuxedos continue to be the top-notch way for a man to dress up. When my brother in law was getting married, I caught wind that he was going to wear shorts and a button-up shirt.


I insisted on wearing a suit to the wedding, and he was afraid of me out-dressing him, so he wore a suit too. And you know what? His mother, his new wife, and later he himself thanked me for driving him to dress in something more presentable.

Later, when you’re looking at your wedding pictures, you’ll be glad you picked the best: one of the tried and true men’s tuxedos.

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Fitted tuxedos; the new normal in tuxedo coats!

Fitted Tuxedos


I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of some of the more old fashioned tuxedos. And to be perfectly honest, many people these days no longer find them very desirable. As such, more and more wearers prefer the cleaner-cut fitted tuxedos.


This is mostly due to the small, minor features that tuxedos popular in earlier eras have. Now, I say tuxedos, but every single one of these thing applies to suits as well. These include:


  • Shoulder pads
  • Relaxed fit in the coat
  • Pleated tuxedo pants


Shoulder pads; not so desirable in fitted tuxedos


Once such feature is the so-called ‘shoulder pads.’ These subtle inserts are designed to artificially broaden the wearer’s shoulders, and make them look more masculine. However, in lower quality tuxedo coats, the shoulder pads are more obvious than in higher quality outfits.

fitted tuxedos
Crisp, non-frumpy shoulders; a feature of a fitted tux

Fitted tuxedos eliminates this undesirable feature by either including much smaller shoulder pads, or eliminating them entirely.


Relaxed fit coat; also referred to sometimes as baggy.

This is another one of those coat features that people don’t really find desirable anymore. Many older coats have more of a straight-down cut. This gives them more of a, for lack of a better word, ‘boxy’ sort of look. This type of appearance doesn’t really mesh too well with the typical body type nowadays.

This fit actually isn’t optimal; there should be no ‘pull’ on the coat from the button. This gentleman needs a size bigger.

Lots of people prefer the fitted tuxedos also because it eliminates this feature. A fitted tuxedo sports more of a ‘tapered middle,’ which accentuated the build of the majority of people’s body build.


Look over there; is it Shakespeare? No, it’s just a guy in pleated pants.

Pleats are small folds in the thigh area of pants. These allow for more mobility and greater comfort when doing things like sitting, squatting, or even dancing.

fitted tuxedos
A pair of double-pleated tuxedo pants.

And while this is great, is had the side effect of simply making a person’s thighs look wider than they are. It also adds more loose fabric to hang free; not a good thing.


Pants that come with fitted tuxedos not only eliminate the pleats. They also go one step further, and provide a tighter fit. This is also known as ‘skinny fit pants, and they do give the wearer’s legs a more slender appearance.


However, if you have bigger legs, consider getting pleated pants, or go halfway; look for non-pleated, non-skinny fit pants. Skinny pants and large thighs or posterior are a volatile combination; ripped pants can mean a big rental replacement bill.


So these are just a few of the features that fitted tuxedos don’t include. However, there are some cases where these features can be more helpful than out-of-date. Be honest with your tuxedo expert.

How do you prefer your tuxedos to fit? Let us know in the comments and rate the article below!

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