Suits vs Tuxedos

When we speak of suits and tuxedos, many aren’t able to distinguish between the two. Essentially, a tuxedo is the suit’s older and more sophisticated cousin. Although the formal tuxedo has changed over the years, even the most modern tux has characteristics that set it apart from a suit.

Whether you’re getting married or have been invited to a black-tie event, it’s necessary to understand and spot the differences between a tux and a suit. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Let us guide you in choosing the appropriate ensemble for your affairs.


Unlike a suit, the main physical difference to a tux is its satin details: Satin lapels, satin buttons and satin stripes down the sides of the pants. Although modern tuxedos often limit the use of satin to a thin trim on either the lapels or pants, these little details make it a tuxedo. On a suit, however, the jacket, lapel and pants all consist of the same material (no satin detailing).

Wearing a tuxedo with a bow tie usually means a man is also wearing a white, wing-collared shirt. You’d never wear a wing-collared shirt with a suit, or at least, black-tie aficionados would never allow such a blasphemy occur. Even if you choose to wear a bowtie with a suit, you’d have to wear it with a regular spread collar shirt. What’s more, suits can be worn with a variety of dress shirts, in either solid colours or patterns, whereas tuxedos are always worn with white shirts.

Traditionally, black patent shoes are usually paired with tuxedos. For suits, however, shoe options are pretty much endless – oxfords, loafers, slip-ons, and even slippers. We’re kidding. No slippers. Ever. 
Still, some rules are (sometimes) meant to be broken, and modern-day men are branching out more than ever with footwear. Even if you opt for a formal tuxedo, stay true to yourself and do you. (Who’s going arrest you? The fashion police?)


Although tuxedoes are normally worn with bowties, long ties and high-stance vests are now acceptable to wear with tuxedoes. A classic tuxedo’s accessories include a bowtie, cummerbund, waistcoat and suspenders. Suits are much more versatile; they can be dressed up or down, worn with or without a vest. You could also choose to wear a bowtie, but all of this is really dependent upon your individual style and what you’re comfortable with.

So, if you’re still wondering if you should wear a suit or a tuxedo to your event, be mindful of what time of day you’ll be attending this event. Tuxedos are usually reserved for evening wear and formal occasions like black-tie weddings, charity galas and opera nights. Suits, on the other hand, can be worn at casual events like business meetings and dates.

As for grooms, if your wedding starts during the day, but ends in the evening, either a suit or tuxedo is fine. At the end of it all, remember that it’s your wedding and you can wear whatever you want – as long as what you wear isn’t paired with slippers. NO slippers.

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