Tuxedo vs. Suit: What’s the Difference?

For guys, the distinction between a tuxedo and a suit might be perplexing. Tuxedos are traditionally reserved for formal occasions. In contrast, a suit can be worn to more casual or formal events. Knowing the difference between the two can help you dress appropriately for your event.

A few characteristics distinguish tuxedos and suits from one another. You will be able to determine the difference between a tuxedo and a suit with the help of this tutorial. Continue reading if you want to learn more!

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Formal Wear


Devil in the Details

Jacket Lapels

Formal Wear

The most significant difference between a tuxedo and a suit is that tuxedos are typically worn for more formal occasions. We suppose you could wear one to the bar with your friends; Even if the other men are wearing nice suits, you would still look out of place.

Simply put, tuxedos are for special occasions. You can wear them to a black-tie gala, a wedding, or a charity event. But suits can be worn for everyday events, like going to work, going on a date, or having drinks with friends.


There are many different colors of suits to choose from. You may be familiar with the color black, navy, and charcoal outfits. However, there are a few additional hues as well. Bright blue, red, yellow, and almost any color are possible. Tuxedos are the opposite. You can only find tuxedos in black, midnight blue, or white. If you want a different color for your tuxedo, you might need to get it made by a tailor. But if you’re like most people, it’s best to stick with black or midnight blue when getting a tuxedo.

Devil in the Details

A tuxedo and suit may look very similar to the untrained eye. On the other hand, if you look more closely, you’ll notice that they are incomparable. Suits usually have more details than tuxedos.

Jacket Lapels

The most common material for a tuxedo lapel is satin. You will usually see this on a store-bought or custom tuxedo. The same material is used for a suit jacket, but other options exist. The lapel style is also different between a tuxedo and suit. A notched lapel is standard on a suit but too informal for a tuxedo. A peak lapel or shawl collar are more formal options for a tuxedo.


The pockets on a tuxedo and suit are usually about the same. The only difference is that the pocket on a tuxedo is generally trimmed with black satin. In contrast, the pocket on a suit is made from the same material as the suit. You will not see any unique pockets on a tuxedo. Yes, there are custom tuxedos, but most follow a standard pattern.


Buttons are different on suits and tuxedos. On a regular suit, you’ll find plastic buttons. You’ll find metal, bone, or horn buttons if the suit is more expensive. Buttons on a tuxedo are usually covered in black satin. They match the standard trim and lapels on a tuxedo and make your outfit look more formal.


Tuxedo pants and suit pants look very similar from the outside. However, there are a few key differences. Most men, even those who like a slim fit, choose a more classic cut for tuxedo pants. The difference is the fit isn’t as important as it is for suit pants. Suit pants usually have belt loops, while tuxedo pants have suspender buttons so that you can wear braces with your tuxedo pants for a more formal look.


You are likely familiar with the appearance of a dress shirt unless you reside in a cave. There is a clear distinction between a tuxedo shirt and a dress shirt so that most men can see a tuxedo shirt. A standard dress shirt with a tie typically has a point or spread collar. For the most part, these shirts also have button cuffs, though French cuff shirts are still popular among many men.

Tuxedo shirts have pleats that go down the front of the shirt. Most people choose to wear a spread or wing collar. The shirt can be buttoned or have studs. Barrel cuffs are popular today, but French cuffs are the only option for a tuxedo shirt. You should purchase some good cufflinks if you want to appear your very best.


Most Hollywood A-Listers do not wear ties with their tuxedos to award shows and galas, but you should. Unless you are a very famous person, you should always wear a black bow tie with your tuxedo. There are colored bow ties available, but they are not usually appropriate for formal events.

When you wear a suit, you can choose to dress it up or down. You can do this by wearing a tie or not. If you like to appear more relaxed, you may wear a vibrant hue, a strong design, or a fun pattern.


You can wear almost anything when picking out shoes to wear with a suit. If employed on Wall Street, you may like to wear brogues or Oxfords. But if your style is slightly different, you could try wearing Beatle boots.

When you wear a tuxedo, you must wear black patent leather shoes. Lace-up varieties are the most popular type of shoe to wear with a tuxedo at a formal event.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tuxedo vs. Suit

Which Is Better Tuxedo or a Suit?

A tuxedo is a type of clothing that one can wear at evening events. Wearing a suit would be more appropriate if you are having a brunch or daytime wedding. If your wedding starts during the day but ends in the evening, you can choose to wear a suit or a tuxedo.

Do Grooms Wear Suits or Tuxedos?

Only weddings that take place in the evening require tuxedos. A tuxedo is not appropriate attire for a morning or afternoon wedding like the one you are having. A suit is the most appropriate thing to wear throughout the daytime hours.

Is It OK to Wear a Tuxedo to a Wedding?

If the dress code for the wedding is Formal, numerous black-tie outfit regulations still apply. The largest difference is that you don’t need to wear a tuxedo, but you can. Consider wearing a black or dark-colored suit instead of a black or midnight tuxedo.

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