What’s the best shirt to wear with a tuxedo?

If they say it’s the suit that maketh the man, the shirt he’s wearing with it plays a very close supporting role. This is never truer than with a tuxedo. 

Arguably one of the most classic ensembles a gentleman can wear, the dinner suit represents a bastion of class and grace, capturing both timeless style and the promise of a very good time. 

Here, we explain everything you need to know about how to find the perfect dinner shirt as well as the finishing touches that bring it all together. 

Types of dinner shirts

Dinner shirts are generally defined by three key things; the placket, the collar and the bib 

On a dinner shirt, the placket (where the shirt is usually buttoned) will either be concealed (if it’s a button front) or it will have holes for shirt studs to be threaded through. This makes for a cleaner, more sleek overall look. 

Traditionally, the collar will be a wing-tip which is a stiff, upstanding collar with flared corners. Designed to show off the bowtie, this style was the only option until a turn down collar came into style in the 1930s. 

While it comes down to personal preference, the turn down collar can often provide a more contemporary take on the dinner shirt and also provides greater ease of movement around the neck. 

In addition to these two defining points, the other common trait is detail on the bib of the shirt itself. Usually on a dinner shirt, the bib or breast will see the fabric doubled over with detail such as plisse pleats or pique fabric. This is an easy way to inject a personal sense of style into a tuxedo ensemble.

Black Velvet Smith Woollens Single Breasted Suit - Oscar Hunt

Finishing touches

As important as the dinner shirt itself, accessories like shirt studs, cufflinks and a bow tie can add infinite levels of polish to your look. 

When it comes to the shirt studs, we favour either a black onyx style or mother of pearl. These will often be sold as matching cufflink stud sets and are classics. 

For the more sartorially bold, there is also opportunity to inject additional dazzle here by looking at options inlaid with precious stones or metals like diamonds or silver. 

In addition to the studs, it would be remiss of us not to touch on the true finishing touch - a bow tie. While we prefer a self-tie satin bow tie which is easily distinguishable by its imperfect knot, we recognise that this is not in everyone’s wheelhouse. 

One word of advice - if you are wearing a pre-tied bow tie, ensure your shirt has a turned down collar. A wing tip collar will not conceal the closure in the same way a turned down shirt collar does and this can prove to cheapen the overall effect. 

Reconsidering your current selection?

If this has prompted a reevaluation of your existing dinner shirts, make an appointment for a consultation today. Our team of experts have years of combined knowledge on the dos and don’ts of formal attire and can help create the perfect option for you.