Above are tuxedo (dinner) suits and separates available online from retailers in the European Union. Delivery available throughout the EU (check specific websites for delivery outside the EU).
Left to Right: Moss Bros. Covent Gardens peak lapel tuxedo jacket, matching trousers available (€144 MOSS BROS.), BHS black notched lapel tuxedo jacket and matching trousers (£59 BHS), BHS black wool blend tuxedo suit – jacket plus trousers (£129 BHS), Moss Esq. off white regular fit tuxedo (dinner) jacket with shawl collar (€217 MOSS BROS.), Ventuno 21 navy check slim fit tuxedo suit (€144 MOSS BROS.), Ben Sherman Tailoring Prince of Wales dinner jacket, matching trousers available (£215 JOHN LEWIS), Moss Bros. black tailored fit dinner/tuxedo jacket (€144 MOSS BROS.)
Below are affordable tuxedos available online from U.S. retailers. Delivery available throughout the United States. Most deliver to Canada and Europe as well.
Left to right: JF J. Ferrar navy slim fit tuxedo separates (Reg. $80-180, check sale price JC PENNEY), Stafford black classic tuxedo (Reg. $100-140, check sale price, JC PENNEY), Chaps black classic fit tuxedo separates (Reg. $100-200, check sale price, KOHLS), Marc Anthony black slim-fit wool tuxedo (Reg. $140-260, check sale price, KOHLS), Kenneth Cole New York black slim-fit tuxedo suit (Reg. $695, check sale price,), DKNY black extra-slim fit tuxedo suit (Reg. $695, check sale price, ), BOSS Black The Stars 75 black wool trim fit tuxedo ($895 NORDSTROM)
Think men’s tuxedos all look the same? You’re not alone. Only in recent years have designers tried to put their own spin on what is considered the mandatory black tie look for for special events such as charity balls, awards shows and weddings. But seeing as 90% of all tuxedos are black, the subtle touches may be missed by an untrained eye. We might even take a step back to first point out that the terminology used to refer to certain black-tie looks are not uniform around the world.
Let’s take a minute to review some of the various looks which are common in men’s formalwear, and the assorted terms which are used to describe them…
The Morning Suit is a formal look common in Britain and some of the Commonwealth countries (such as Australia). It is comprised of three key articles: 1) waistcoat/vest (which can be solid or patterned), 2) topcoat with tails, and 3) trousers/pants (which are either solid or striped). The type of neckwear typically worn with a Morning Suit is a dress ascot, also known as a dress cravat, and has the look of a bulky necktie. The Morning Suit is worn for formal occasions which take place before 6pm. Below (left) is an example of a Morning Suit available from Moss Brothers. The Evening Suit is the night time version of the Morning Suit. Instead of mixed colors and patterns, the top coat and trousers are both black. Appropriate neckwear is most often the bow tie, which is worn with a winged-collar shirt. Below (right) is an example of an Evening Suitalso available from Moss Bros.
Confusion, or misinterpretation, can result when the terms tuxedo and smoking jacket are used depending where you are georgaphically. In the United States (and Canada), the term tuxedo refers to a formal suit which is most commonly worm with a bow tie. A smoking jacket, on the other hand, usually means a less formal interpretation of a tuxedo jacket. Often a smoking jacket is made of high-interest material such as velvet, brocade, tapestry or velour and is closed with a fabric belt, similar to the way a bathrobe closes.
BUT…in other countries, such as France, Italy and the Netherlands, the style of suit or jacket Americans call a tuxedo is called a smoking jacket. Confused? We thought so. Even more confusing is that men’s formal wear, namely the tuxedo, is often refered to by the word costume (in French) or kostum (in Dutch), even though Americans would never associate formalwear with being a costume. Just take our word for it, if you are an American in Europe, and someone says “smoking jacket“, always best to assume what they mean is a tuxedo. Have a look at the two examples below. The jacket on the left, from Regency New York, is what Americans would describe as a “smoking jacket”. The one on the right would be called a “tuxedo jacket” by Americans. In countries such as Italy, France and the Netherlands, they refer to the jacket on the right as a “smoking jacket” (the jacket example on the right is by the Italian brand Cinque).
The following is a list of features related to a full tuxedo suit, and where to look to find variations. Focusing on those key elements, will help you better select a tuxedo which is appropriate for your body shape and one which best fits your preferred look (traditional, contemporary).
- FABRICATION: polyester, poly-viscose, wool-poly blend, 100% wool
- COLOR: black, grey, navy, white
- LAPEL: notched, shawl and peak
- JACKET CLOSURE: one or two buttons most common
- SLEEVE CUFF: two, three or four buttons
- OUTER JACKET POCKETS: chest pocket, side pockets (one, two, flap, non-flap)
- VENTS: single (center), double (side)
- FIT: regular, athletic, slim, tall
- TROUSERS: striped, non-striped, flat front, pleated, fully lined, partially lined, unlined
TUXEDO & FORMAL SHOES
Contemporary formal shoes for men can diverge a bit from the looks of special occasion footwear most often associated with tuxedos and dinner suits. Regardless whether your preference is for a sleeker silhouette or one which is understated and classic, black is almost always the colour of choice. Black patent, black leather, black suede are all materials common with men’s formal footwear.
Find derby, formal, dress, special occasion and tuxedo shoes at these retailers: