Suits VS Tuxedos

Suits VS Tuxedos

There is one infamous question that seems to revolve around the topic regarding events and dress code among men. What is the difference between a suit and a tuxedo? This question may pop up when you are trying to decide which one to wear to an event, perhaps this blog will help you in your ultimate decision. There are three differences between a suit and a tuxedo that are very evident, discovering these should clear the confusion that you may have when it comes to this topic. The top 3 differences are the lapel, appearance of satin, and the formalness. If we just made things more confusing than what they already were, don’t worry we have covered these attributes in full detail below.


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It’s All In The Lapel


Upon comparing the two, you will quickly notice the difference in the lapel. One of the most common lapels for a casual suit is a notch lapel, it is standard for a two- or three-piece suit and does not make the jacket appear too formal. Tuxedos have 3 distinct lapels: The Peak, Notch and Shawl. There is no rule of thumb set in place when deciding which kind of lapel you are going to sport to an event. This decision is up to you and what lies in your best interest! Listed below are some pro-tips when considering which lapel you will pick for your jacket.



Notch, Peak or Shawl?

A classic go for a tuxedo is the notch or peak lapel, simply because they appear more formal, edgy, and are flexible enough to match the style of a tuxedo that you are going after. As you can see in the image above, a notch lapel appears to face away from the opening of the tuxedo, bringing closer attention to the dressing accessory or pocket squares that you may have chosen to wear. Since the notch lapel is also found on suits, it can be worn both to formal and non-formal events.

The peak lapel is a step up from the notch, literally. The direction of this lapel appears as though it’s peaking up towards the seam of the jacket, giving you a more structured look. For this very aspect, this lapel is a bit more formal than the notch. It’s completely appropriate to consider this lapel when attending a black-tie event. Your tuxedo presentation will appear truly stylish and classic when going for this look.

When mentioning the shawl lapel, your grandmother's favorite sweater may come into mind. For a tuxedo however it is completely divergent to that, the shawl lapel is the most elegant type compared to the others. It won’t give you an old-fashioned look, but it certainly will show your appreciation for vintage styles. Its rounded edges send a compliment in volumes to the neck-wear of the tuxedo. This type of lapel is best worn at formal occasions such as evening weddings or a ball.



Formal or Semi-Formal?

One of the most single important aspects to consider when deciding between a suit or tuxedo is the dress code of the event. Typically, suits can be worn to a day at work in the office, conferences, a meeting, or can be relaxed enough to wear to the grocery store. On the other hand, tuxedos are much more formal, and it’s recommended that they are not worn before 5pm. Wearing a suit to a black-tie event could signal an inappropriate attire, considering that it’s much too casual. On the flip side, wearing a tuxedo to a conference that ends around 1pm would be considered overdressed.

The standard common color for the majority of suits are typically black. Although it is not uncommon to find suits that may vary in color, however most people stick to the grayscale when it comes to this. On the other hand, tuxedos have much more flexibility when it comes to color. Avoiding a big surprise, you should be aware that a lot of tuxedos come in various colors. A popular color choice outside the box for a tuxedo is a deep indigo blue shade. This color brings a fresh but vibrant stylish look to anyone daring to take on this fashion note.




Last but not least, the final most striking physical difference between a suit and a tuxedo is the appearance of Satin. Satin appears in several places on a Tuxedo as it is completely void on a suit. You will notice when examining the jacket of a tuxedo that the lapels are plated in satin rather than the same material used on the rest of the jacket, as seen in the photo below. This detail outlines the jacket seamlessly. Satin can also be found in other areas of a tuxedo such as the buttons and the pocket trim. These finishing touches on your jacket adds a sense of elegance to the overall look of your tuxedo. The last place you will find this detail will be on the trousers, typically a side strip going down the pants leg. A truly special feature added to your tuxedo pants that distinguishes them from your average dress pants.



If you are hosting an event, ultimately the decision is yours to determine how casual you prefer the dress code to be. Considering these contrasts that distinguishes these two attires can help you determine picking between the two.

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