Tuxedo vs Suit: Navigating the Details for Your Next Formal Occasion 

Formal dress codes represent increasingly murky territory. Whereas once it was clear that formal meant tuxedo (no ifs and buts about it), today there’s an increasingly fluid definition of the term, running the gamut from cocktail attire to black tie. 

Here, we give you the Oscar Hunt no-nonsense guide on how to pick tuxedo vs suit alongside how to pull off both with absolute aplomb.

Occasions for Tuxedo Suits 

The first dead giveaway when it comes to deciding on a formal suit vs. a tuxedo is the dress code on an invitation. Generally, formal occasions like charity dinners, galas and some weddings will make this clear through a descriptor such as ‘black tie’, ‘dinner suit’ or ‘tuxedo’. 

In the event that there isn’t a dress code included, the next best thing is to contact the host directly and ask. While some people feel embarrassed by this, we’re firm believers that it’s better to know and feel great in your suit than to not and feel uncomfortable for a full evening. 

In some instances, you may encounter a mixed formal dress code, where you can essentially choose whether you wear a lounge suit and tie or a tuxedo. Generally we find that most people err to the more casual end of the spectrum when given the choice but it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference. We also fully subscribe to the old adage that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed so if you’re leaning towards a tux, lean all the way. 

The final thing to consider when it comes to deciding when to wear a tuxedo is whether or not you have the correct tuxedo accessories. There’s nothing worse than seeing a beautiful dinner suit mismatched with either incorrect footwear (think boots or standard business shoes) or a regular cotton shirt (it should always be a dinner suit with either studs or a concealed placard.)

Occasions for Formal Suits 

In the event you are attending an event that calls for men’s formalwear (but not a tuxedo), you're likely to encounter dress codes that use words like ‘lounge suit’ or even ‘cocktail’. In these instances there’s a far broader range of suiting options that you could potentially pick from. Our guidance is to consider ways that you can elevate the ensemble beyond standard business attire. This might be as simple as injecting some colour through a necktie or adding some panache with a pocket square. 

Alternatively, one of the major benefits of made-to-measure tailoring is that you can also add a personal touch to the suit itself. Finishing touches like a wider lapel, cuffed trousers or a tab-waist can also be an easy way of elevating your suit for evening wear. 

To learn more about Oscar Hunt’s full range of formal suiting - from tuxedo to lounge suit - we invite you to swing by a showroom or give us a bell today.