As modern tuxedos have changed a lot, it has become harder and harder to differentiate between a tux and a suit. However, there are still some stand out characteristics that can help you differentiate between the two.
One of the biggest differences between the two is that a tuxedo has satin details such as satin buttons, satin lapels and a stripe of satin down the pant leg, whereas suits do not.
More modern tuxedos limit the use of satin to a skinny stripe down the pant legs, and a thin trim on the lapels, however, they are still considered tuxedos.
Suits tend to use the same material for the jacket, pants and lapels. Usually the buttons are made from plastic, bone or are fabric covered.
Traditionally, tuxedos are worn with cummerbunds (waist band) and bowties. You can also wear a waistcoat and suspenders. However, nowadays many tend to wear less formal accessories, and regular ties are acceptable.
Suits are a lot more versatile than tuxedos. You can keep a suit pretty casual by not wearing any accessories with it, but it can also be dressed up with vests and pocket squares. Suits also look great with both ties and bowties.
You should always wear a white shirt with a tuxedo, and it should have either a wing collar or turndown collar if you are wearing a bowtie. Some people opt to wear a black shirt with a black tux and accessories for a monochromatic look.
With suits you can wear a variety of different dress shirts. You can wear virtually any color, and can even opt for patterned shirts.
With tuxedos it’s always best to wear black patent shoes. This looks smart and matches the formality of wearing a tux.
When wearing a suit, however, you can wear dress shoes, oxfords, slip-ons and loafers depending on how dressy you want to look.
Events And Themes
Traditionally tuxedos are what you should wear to evening/formal events. Often people will wear tuxedos to black-tie events like weddings, charity galas, balls and for a night at the opera.
Suits can be worn at any time of day, and are often worn to work. You can also wear them for more casual events such as dates.
Is it Expensive to Buy a Tuxedo?
On average tuxedos cost between $700-$1000, which is just for the jacket and pants. You will also have to pay for a shirt, shoes, tie/bowtie, cummerband and vest (optional).
In comparison, you can buy a good-quality suit for around $300-$800. Once again this only includes the price of the jacket and pants – you will have to purchase the accessories separately.
If you’re worried about the price, a suit is a more versatile option, and you’re likely to get a lot more wear out of it.
If you have to wear a tuxedo for an event but you’re not sure if you can afford it, there is always the option to rent. On average, it costs around $150-$250 to rent a tux, and the price usually includes all the accessories too.
Should You Wear a Suit or Tux for Your Wedding?
As the groom, choosing to wear a suit or tux on your big day is entirely up to you. However, there are a few factors you should take into consideration.
Time Of Day
Tuxedos are generally considered evening wear, so if you’re getting married during the morning or afternoon, a suit might be more appropriate.
If your ceremony begins in the afternoon and goes on into the evening/night, both a tux
and suit will be a great choice.
If your wedding theme is black-tie, you have to go with a tux, as all your guests will be dressed up. Similarly, if your wedding has a more casual theme, a suit would be a better option.
It’s also worth considering what your bride will be wearing. If she has a full gown, a tux would be more appropriate, but if she is wearing a more casual dress a suit will be fine.
It’s perfectly fine for a groom to wear either a tux or a suit for their wedding day. However, if you want to look extra special on your big day, why not opt for a tux? Just wear what you will be most comfortable in, but make sure it fits well and matches with the style of your wedding.
Your Partner’s Preference
If you don’t have your own preference, ask for your partner’s opinion. Chances are they will have in mind exactly what you want to wear. You’ll most likely be given instructions on what color your accessories need to be (often the color scheme of the wedding).
When there are two grooms, it always looks great when both are wearing matching styles. For example, both grooms are wearing a tux, or they’re both wearing a suit.
Grooms can then individualise colors to make themselves look more unique – it’s quite common for one groom to wear a white jacket, and the other to wear a black.
Also don’t be afraid to be bold with your color choice. If you have groomsmen, there’s a high chance that they will also be matching with you to keep the continuity.
For example, if you’re wearing a tux, they will also be wearing one. Why not try a different suit color like an emerald green or a burgundy to stand out.
You can also have different colored accessories. For example, your wedding color may be purple so your tie is a different shade compared to the rest of your groomsmen.
Should I Wear a Suit or a Tux as a Wedding Guest?
When it comes to deciding what you should wear to a wedding, it’s worth taking a look at the invitation. If it states that the event is “White Tie”, “Black Tie” or “Black Tie Preferred” you should definitely wear a tuxedo.
However, if the invitation says “Black Tie Optional” or “Formal” either a tux or dark colored suit will do.
If the wedding doesn’t state a specific dress theme, or you know that it will be a more relaxed event, opt for a suit. If it’s a day time or beach wedding, you could try a tan/cream colored suit, as wearing a dark color like black may be too much.