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What’s the Difference Between a Tux and a Suit

If you haven’t been to a black tie wedding before or a similar event, you may not know the difference between a tuxedo and a suit. If you’re searching for men’s wedding attire, you’ll need to know what a tuxedo vs. suit is to ensure you dress appropriately.

As time has gone on, men’s formalwear has grown increasingly more casual. Long gone are the days where men were expected to wear a tie just to go run errands, just as women were once in petticoats. Thankfully, the era of uncomfortable fashion has made way for everyday casual wear.

However, there are still some occasions in which something like a tuxedo or a suit is appropriate. For men who do not frequently attend such events, picking and finding formalwear is overwhelming and confusing.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about a tux vs. a suit!

Men’s Wedding Attire

Whether you go for a tuxedo, a suit, or even a more casual look, male wedding attire has a few must-have standards. For one, men generally don’t wear pants like jeans or sweats to weddings. They should wear a nice pair of dress pants with a belt. They will also generally wear a button-down long-sleeve shirt as opposed to a t-shirt or sweater.

Some more optional things are a tie and a suit jacket, though these are often encouraged. For something like a suit and tuxedo, there is also usually a vest, though a more semi-formal look will probably skip this altogether.

As you can see, there is a lot of overlap in the aspects of all sorts of men’s formalwear.


Do I Wear a Tuxedo or a Suit at My Wedding?

To decide whether you want a tuxedo and a suit, a few things come into play. For one, the groom and groomsmen should be wearing whatever the couple likes and looks best with their wedding colors.

Further, this may set the vibe for what the rest of the guests wear, so it’s important to decide if you want things more black-tie or cocktail before choosing the groom’s apparel.

There’s also a difference in cost. Tuxedos are a bit more expensive to rent and to buy than a regular suit. This is because they’re seen as fancier. Therefore, it’s important to take your own budget and the budget of your groomsmen into account when making your choice.


Differences Between the Two

As you can see in this graphic, there are some aesthetic differences between a tuxedo and a suit. A tuxedo has a bowtie, a satin lapel, and a cummerbund. A suit, on the other hand, has a standard necktie and a vest. The lapel on a suit is the same color and fabric as the rest of the jacket.

Tuxedo pants may also have a silk stripe that suit pants lack. There is also more shoe variation for a suit, whereas tuxedo shoes are a standard black patent leather.

Most importantly, there is a lot more room for variation with a suit– the opportunity for different colors, fabrics, and even patterns is there, which is just not an option for a black-tie tuxedo.


Occasion Appropriate

The most important thing when choosing men’s wedding wear is that whatever you pick fits in well with the overall dress code you would like your wedding to have. While the groom and groomsmen will likely always be a bit more formal than other male guests, they still set a precedent for acceptable wear for everyone.

If you would like a fancy, black-tie affair, then the groom and groomsmen will need to be in tuxedos– you can’t expect guests to show up a certain way and then have the wedding party looking totally different. For semi formal or cocktail attire, putting the men in suits would be more standard.


Tuxedo Examples

This is an example of a standard tuxedo. This look is head-to-toe suave and will truly never grow old. Fitting your groom in a look like this will surely make him look better than ever.

For more variation, you can put your groom in a velvet jacket. This keeps all the same suit conventions but adds a bit more creative texture in the velvet choice.

If you’re looking to do a gender swap, a woman can rock a tuxedo just as well as a man can! This one added some feminine elements in a bejeweled collar and plenty of sparkly jewelry. This is a great way to honor the classic look while throwing convention out the window.


Suit Examples

This is a more standard example of a suit. Instead of a tuxedo’s onyx black, this one is in a more grey-navy color, with a slightly lighter tie and pocket square. It’s classy but still more laid back.

Of course, if you’d like to bring in a pop of color or some funky looks, you can always go for a crazy tie, pocket square, or even a bold suit jacket! The beauty of the suit is that it’s much more variable than a tuxedo or something more rigid.

And obviously, a woman can rock a classic three-piece as well! This one is a soft khaki color, which is definitely a bit more casual, but the pants/jacket/vest combo remains classic.


What’s Best for the Groomsmen?

If you’re still undecided, visit a men’s formalwear shop and see what looks best with your body type. You could also consider the bridal gown– how formal is the gown in relation to other wedding dresses? If you’re going to be looking exponentially formal, then a tux is probably the way to go.

On the other hand, a person who likes to dance or be more comfortable will probably prefer a suit to a tux. A suit will also be better for an outdoor wedding or something in a hot venue, as it’s more acceptable to take off your jacket and undo your tie.

Once you’ve decided what you want to do for the groom, you should dress the groomsmen in matching suits. Theirs might have similar colors but be slightly more casual, or they might be exactly the same. Again, it’s important to take the budgets and the comfort level of the party into account.


More about Wedding Attire

We hope this article helped settle the tuxedo vs. suit debate!

Here at Yeah Weddings, we’re here to help with all of your wedding planning needs. From beach wedding attire to semi-formal wedding dress codes, keep reading for everything you need to know about wedding apparel.

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Katie Sheets

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