The Difference Between a Suit & a Tuxedo

When shopping for a formal look you'll be faced with a variety of different styles and designs and if you're left puzzled at identifying the differences between the two main players then you're in the right place. So do you go for a suit or a tuxedo and what are the differences? When making that choice, your occasion will be the key decider. In short, a tuxedo is an after dark kind of style whereas a suit would be classed as more 9-5. Additionally, a tuxedo is the same as a dinner jacket, we have just adopted the American terminology over time. So whilst you most likely know what makes a suit, here is how a tuxedo differentiates. 



One of the defining features of a tuxedo is the satin touches. You'll find these on the jacket lapels, buttons, pocket trims and sometimes as a strip down the sides of the trousers. Satin is viewed as a luxurious fabric portraying elegance and class, giving a tuxedo its identity as an evening option. 

Black is the most popular choice for a tuxedo as it represents elegance however contemporary tuxedos can come in other tasteful colours such as burgundy wine and midnight blue. In most cases, the fewer buttons a blazer has the smarter it is, which is why you'll notice most tuxedo jackets only have a one button fastening. The collar can either be notch or peak, as long as it has a satin finish it is acceptable.  


A tuxedo is arguably one of the easiest outfits to accessorize. This is because the guidelines are set out for you so all you need to do is follow them! Starting with the shirt, this should be a solid white button up with either a classic or semi-spread collar. For your neckwear it has to be the classic bow tie. This doesn't necessarily need to be black, to add a touch of personality opt for a solid burgundy wine or a bold pattern. When it comes to the pocket square, a white square fold will really look the part. Finally your shoes should be black and polished to perfection with maximum shine. 


If the event is after 5pm and the dress code on your invite says Black Tie then a tuxedo suit should be considered. It is without a doubt an evening wear option, whether it be a dinner party, ceremony or a wedding reception. In comparison, a suit can be worn anytime of the day but are most popular for daytime wear. Put it this way, if you popped to your local convenience store wearing a tuxedo you may get a few funny looks.