Although some people may think men's tuxedos all look the same, there are actually many subtle style differences and nuances which set them apart (not to mention substantial differences in retail cost when going from a commercial quality tuxedo to one of designer level). These pattern differences include the overall cut or silhouette, the size, shape and material finish of the lapels, the number of pieces the tuxedo has (i.e. 2-piece or 3-piece), its fabrication, finishing details such as trims, pocket flaps and number of buttons and, of course, the color.
A tuxedo's cut refers to its sizing. This can range from a slim fit (modern), to an athletic fit, to a traditional fit, with the last being the most common and the one which tends to fit the average man. A slim fit tends to be cut narrow through the leg, and may be accompanied by a lower waist. An athletic fit tuxedo will usually have a larger drop from jacket to pant (the most common being an 8 size drop vs. the usual 6 size drop). So, for example, an athletic cut tux may have a jacket that is size 42 with accompanying pants that are size 34. The same tux in a traditional cut would probably have a 42 jacket with a 36 pant. Aside from the sizing, and athletic fit tux jacket pattern will be cut broader in the shoulders and slimmer as it reaches the waist area.
The differences between tuxedo lapels are endless, as this is the most common way of differentiating its look and many designers will put their mark on the garment by playing with the shape, width, and material of the lapel. The 3 most common shapes of tuxedo lapels are: notch, shawl and peak.
A notched lapel is the most common type, where a notch is used to break up the continuous flow of the lapel (see left example above). Just below the notch, you may sometimes see a button hole. For those which do have it, you will also find a button under the opposite lapel. Although not used often, it allows for the collar to be closed. A peak lapel is similar, but one where the lower portion extends further outward than the upper collar, offering a bit more dramatic effect (see right example above). A shawl lapel is all one piece and may or may not have a trim around it (usually made of satin or grosgrain). A very narrow showl collar will often give the dinner jacket or tuxedo a 1940s/1950s retro feel. See below more examples of each collar type.
A standard tuxedo is more often made up of 2 pieces, the jacket and the pants. While it can be worn with a waistcoat or vest, more commonly it is worn with a cummerbund. A morning suit is a type of tuxedo that most often comes with 3 pieces: a jacket with extended "tails" (these will usually end at the back of the knee), a waistcoat and trousers. The trousers will often be striped, while the waistcoat often matches the jacket (# 5 below is an example of a morning suit tuxedo).
The other characteristics which can vary and in doing so also lend to the styling of a tuxedo are the material (wool, wool-blend, viscose, velevt and polyester are all fabrications often used for tuxedos), finishing details such as trims on the pockets (both slotted and flap being the most common poskcets on tuxedos), and the number of buttons used in the front (the most common using 1-3 buttons).
So for those of you who thought most tuxedos all look the same, hopefully now you have more insight into characteristics which differentiate the many types of tuxedos that are actually available.
The following stores in the H2H Mall offer tuxedos, morning suits and accessories: