Tux vs. Suit?

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Feb 10, 2006
What is the difference between a tux vs. a suit? I always thought of a tux as your traditional black w/the bowtie and cumberbund but now when I go to various websites, I see what I would consider a suit listed as a tux. And the tux in So Happy''s thread I would''ve considered a suit had I seen it elsewhere. Something w/the long tie and vest and in various other colors is what I think of as a suit but it seems things are changed or I''m just out of the loop (which is entirely possible!).
Is it recent that people are straying away from the traditional look? Just curious. I actually thought we''d go w/the longer tie look but my FI prefers the traditional so we''ll go w/that.

What is everyone else doing?


Aug 12, 2005
It's all in the details, Dixie! Tuxedos are always one button, there are two different types of lapels to choose from (shawl or peak, never notched--that would fall into a "suit" category), tuxedo pants never have belt loops...and there are many other details we would never even think of on an everyday basis! But there are many differences not necessarily noticeable to the non-discriminating eye that determine the difference. Do a quick search on google for "difference between tuxedo and suit", you will find a ton of answers. IMO, a tuxedo in the purest sense is a black ensemble featuring a starched white shirt and tie or bowtie with cumberbund or vest, whereas a suit may feature different colors, and may consist of more than two pieces such as a jacket, pant, and vest, plus tie in many different colors and fabrics besides wool.

ETA: the most formal of any occasion is "white tie" which consists of a white dinner jacket and black trousers...just in case you are wondering!

I do think the trend is turning towards less formal "tuxes" meaning lighter colors such as champagne, however grey morning jackets with tails are another type of very formal tuxedo for services before 6 p.m. and are very classic, usually worn with tails.


Nov 12, 2006
I asked this same question to the Mr.Tux salesperson 2 days ago. He mumbled something about tuxes having satin in the lapel and the pants having a satin stripe down the leg. I guess that''s a good gauge. Who knows. I actually saw many tuxes that had more than 1 button and in fact FI looked better in ones with 3. The one-button ones fastened right at his belly which sort of cut him off at the waist visually (much like wedding gowns that have a distint bodice that ends right at the waist). The three-button numbers streamlined him more.

I also loved the tuxes with stripes in them. I think i''m just not the super-formal type of gal to begin with but I hear that striping makes for less formality somehow.

It is alot to learn! I think the reason I''d like to consider a suit instead of a tux is I''ve seen some wonderful pics of wedding parties where the guys are actually just wearing crisp white collared shirts underneath a suit jacket (no tie or vest) and thier (gasp!) top one or two buttons on the shirt are open :) I think it looks so carefree and relaxed and very garden wedding to me

But again, we''ll see how it turns out. Your question is a good one!!!

Pandora II

Aug 3, 2006

Morning Dress - black or grey tailcoat with waistcoat and striped trousers. Worn with a white shirt and eiither an ascot or a tie.

Tuxedo or Dinner Jacket - Normally black evening jacket often with satin lapels. Worn with a white shirt and a bowtie. Optional cummerbund.

White Tie - Evening dress consisting of black tail coat with satin lapels, black trousers, white shirt and white pique bowtie. Should be worn with patent leather shoes. Midnight blue is an acceptable alternative.

Lounge suit - 2 or 3 button jacket worn with matching trousers and shirt and tie of appropriate colour.

These are the traditional colour options - you can I believe even get pink morning dress these days...

Hardy Amies wrote a fascinating book on the rules of menswear in England.
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