Joe Cutcliffe

A Complete Guide to Buying a Tuxedo | Man of Many

1. Get the fit right – a made to measure suit should be cut in a way that compliments your figure. Whatever your figure may be, every man should look great in a tux.

Three Tux Tips from Belancé’s Ruben Espejel

Of all the obvious reasons to get a suit fitted properly, the most important is particularly relevant to a tux. While a nicely fitted suits looks good in any context, an event where every bloke is dressed exactly the same leaves little room to really set yourself apart from the crowd. Ensuring your tuxedo fits you like a glove is one of very few ways you can make sure you get noticed. People are seldom aware of why a suit looks impressive, but any dag can pinpoint when one looks rubbish, and usually it’s a dodgy fit. This is the first argument against ever hiring a suit and for getting one made to measure.

Made to Measure

If you’ve ever thought that a party of groomsmen wearing black suits on a sunny day in the park looked off-kilter, you’d be correct. Black tie is evening wear, though it can be worn to, say, an afternoon event if the festivities wind up in the evening. If an invite incorrectly indicates a black tie dress code for a daytime event, however, it’s still polite to attend in a tuxedo. Just be quietly grateful that you have a better idea of what constitutes proper formal wear etiquette than most and enjoy the soiree.

It’s All in the Timing

Surprise, surprise, a tuxedo jacket is the cornerstone of the entire outfit. Named after Tuxedo Park, an absurdly opulent village in New York an hour north of NYC, it is actually famous for opening the door to a more casual style of evening wear, removing the tails and lengthening the quarters for a more relaxed dinner outfit. Tuxedo Park was hugely influential as a beacon of style and fashion before the Great Depression, and hence the tuxedo was born: an elegant evening jacket for a modern era.

The Jacket

The Trousers


The key to great trousers for your new tuxedo is simplicity. The material should match the jacket unless you have opted for something more outlandish in that department, in which case they should be plain black. The outer seams are covered by a strip of the same material as the jacket facing – this is called the braid. They shouldn’t have cuffs or pleats, though a gently tapered fit is preferable in modern suiting. The waist should sit slightly higher that a regular business suit, and opt for side-adjusters over belt loops. Buttons inside the waist to allow for braces are optional – never wear clip-on braces.

The Trousers

The waist covering is an instrumental part of the tuxedo, and is one of the few elements that traditionally allowed for customisation. A waistcoat has many acceptable formats and advantages, and can be finished in either the same material as the lapels or the jacket. A tuxedo waistcoat should be cut low and wide, allowing to display the bib of the shirt.

Waistcoat, or Cummerbund?

The specific shirt that goes with a tuxedo is unique, and essential to the look. Always in plain white, there are a few other features that make this style distinct from, say, a business shirt.

It’s Not Just a White Shirt

There are myriad styles, shapes and sizes of bow tie that you can choose to complete the outfit. The most important thing is that it is a) always a bow tie – never a neck tie and b) it is exactly the same colour and material as the lapels of your jacket. In case the name of the dress code wasn’t obvious enough – it must be black. Never use a pre-tied bow tie. If you know how to tie your shoelaces then you know how to tie a bow tie, practise is all it takes to get the perfect bow every time.

The Correct Black Tie for Black Tie

Traditionally speaking, patent leather formal pumps (or court shoes) were the preferred option for any formal dress, however this has evolved. While a pair of pumps is still an appropriate choice (especially with the grosgrain silk bow or strap adorning the front), the commonality of Oxfords makes them an easy choice. Choose either patent leather or smooth calfskin, and make sure they’re polished. A plain-cap is fine, but avoid brogues – these were traditionally a walking shoe and not at all suited to semi-formal wear.

Shoes & Socks

There isn’t much room for individualisation when it comes to a tuxedo, and all accessorising should be done with restraint. The following items are all options for consideration, but are not compulsory.

How to Accessorise Your Tux

Check out Belance Tailoring’s latest fashion film Audere Sapere in video below.


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