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How To Wear A Tuxedo

image-NL-may-7The tuxedo is one of the most formal outfits man can wear. Here is a guide on how to wear a tuxedo.

This is the centerpiece — the item from which the whole outfit takes its name.

At its base, a tuxedo jacket is a tailless dinner jacket made of black wool, with lapels covered in black silk. Most are single-breasted with a single button. The most formal style of lapel is peaked, but a shawl collar is equally acceptable. For the slimmest silhouette and strictest formality, an unvented jacket is preferred. However, double vents are also acceptable, and may be more comfortable and allow easier pocket access. Single vents are a casual style that should be avoided. All the buttons should match, but they may be either plain black or covered in the same facing as the lapels. The ideal fit is a close one, with no pinching that would hinder movement or wrinkle the fabric, and the jacket should be long enough to cover your rear end down to the widest point of its curve.

Black tie trousers are straightforward: they should be a perfect match to the tuxedo jacket. That means the base material is the same as the jacket. The outer seams are concealed beneath a strip of ribbon, called the braid, which is made from the same material as the jacket lapel facing. The trousers need to be a high-waisted so that the waist covering (either a waistcoat or cummerbund) can cover the waist fully. They will be worn with suspenders and should not have belt loops. Beyond that, black tie trousers are simply minimal: they do not have cuffs, and the pockets are usually accessed by vertical slits at the back edge of the braid. Pleats are optional, but plain fronts will give the most elegant look.

Black tie calls for one of two equally acceptable waist coverings: a formal waistcoat or a cummerbund.

The shirt that accompanies a tuxedo should always be plain white.

Evening shirts have a decorated rectangular panel that runs all the way up the front of the shirt. This is called the bosom or the bib of the shirt. The French cuff is the standard for semi-formal evening shirts. These fasten with cufflinks. The shirt can have either of two types of collars: wing collar or turndown collar.

The tie from which black tie takes its name should, of course, be black, and the material should match the jacket lapel facings.

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