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There’s something to be said about the timeless tuxedo. Smart; elegant; stylish; formal –  these are some words to associate with the dress code that is reserved for some of life’s most opulent affairs.

But the importance of the tuxedo in every man’s wardrobe isn’t hyperbole; we think that there will come a time in an individual’s life when the tuxedo will be an appropriate option. Black tie weddings are the most common occasions where you’ll find a man to wear the tuxedo, as are balls and ceremonies of formal regard.

Here to break down the importance of a tuxedo, we revisit one of sour favourite menswear garments and highlight its importance in every man’s life.

A brief history

credit Sunday Times

The story goes that one of the first iterations of the tuxedo goes back to the Edwardian era. It’s suggested that Prince Edward VII had a dislike for traditional tails – a dinner suit with a short front jacket and full tails at the rear. In an attempt to solve its impractical nature, it is said that he swapped his tailcoat for a blue silk smoking jacket with matching trousers designed by world renowned Savile Row tailors, Henry Poole & Co. This was the birth of the tuxedo (or the dinner jacket as it was known back then).

It was this bold statement made by Edward VII that inspired a flock of Britain and America’s most affluent individuals to replicate the look of the new-wave tuxedo (the word tuxedo was coined by the Americans thanks to members of the Tuxedo Club in New York City).

Tuxedo styles

Whether you’re looking to invest in a custom-made tuxedo for a special occasion (i.e your wedding day) or perhaps need a quick tuxe for a black tie event, there are a number of styles to consider which will all play a part in the overall appearance of your tuxedo getup.


Most tuxedos you will find off-the-rack will come constructed with either a fused or half-canvas design, with the latter much preferred for quality and longevity purposes.

At The Bespoke Corner, all of our custom-made suits feature a full canvas construction. With a full-canvas suit, you will achieve the perfect fit as the canvas will not only mould to its wearer’s body over time, but it allows for the suit fabric to drape perfectly. It also aids in the need for longevity in one’s suit.


When shopping for a tuxedo, there are a number of different style attributes to consider which really do alter the appearance of any given jacket (and pant, in some cases). For starters, you will want to decide on either a single or double breasted design; equally smart and equally stylish, but both make a difference in the overall appearance of the tuxedo jacket. Then there is the type of lapel to consider; shawl lapel with a satin finish, peak lapel with a standard finish, notch lapel.

It is common to find most modern-day tuxedos fitted with a silk shawl lapel, which will pair with a matching trouser that features a satin-silk finish running along its side. It is possible to opt for a break at the hem, but do err on the side of caution as ankle’s shouldn’t be seen with a traditional tuxedo.


The colour of your tuxedo is another aspect to consider. Black and midnight blue are the most traditional and commonly chosen, however, depending on the occasion, there is an opportunity to experiment (with caution) with other colours, such as a tartan-style with black trimmings or a traditional white tuxedo for white tie occasions.

When to wear

The question that many a man will ask: when to wear a tuxedo? Well, there’s no doubt that a black tie invitation will present itself in some manner or form in one’s life, especially at an age when weddings become common.

The easiest way to gauge is via a given invite, and here are some of the most common:

Black Tie – Destination Wedding

Whether you’re flying to Tuscany for a best friend’s wedding, or perhaps attending an all-important work soiree, black tie calls for a tuxedo. Following our tips above, you won’t go wrong should you keep things traditional. 

Black Tie (Optional) – Charity Ball

Shying away from the traditionality of a black tie occasion, the black tie ‘optional’ dress code puts the decision in the hands of the wearer: to tux or not to tux. A somewhat ambiguous dress code,  we’d recommend guys opting for either a conservative tuxedo or perhaps a dark-tone lounge with a shirt and tie combination, finishing with a pair of Oxfords. Safe, easy but a guaranteed stylish look.

Creative Black Tie – A Milestone Anniversary Party

The creative black tie dress code paves the way for the traditional to harmonise with the modern. With that, perhaps it’s the time to pair the classic silhouette of a dinner suit mixed with patterns and/or colour in accessories.

For example, a forest green velvet tuxedo might be an obvious go to for a sophisticated outdoor wedding. Or maybe, there’s a pair of velvet loafers you have been dying to pair with a tuxedo of traditional ties.

The choice is yours, but the moral of this dress code is to have fun with it!


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