While the only requirements for a classic tuxedo or suit might seem to simply be a jacket and pants, that type of conventional thinking is no longer accurate. In order to make what you wear truly reflect your personality and style, a tuxedo and suit can not be considered complete until the proper time and attention has been paid to accessories.
Many people oftentimes refer to tuxedos and suits as one and the same; however, when it comes to the small details, a whole world of nuance is revealed. With this in mind, one of the best places to begin when deciding if a tuxedo or suit style formal wear is right for your personal style and particular occasion is to focus on the accessories.
Ties and Bow ties
Why not begin with what is typically considered an essential accessory for any tuxedo or suit, the classic neckwear, ties and bow ties. Even though most people tend to think that the main difference between tuxedos and suits is their style of neckwear, that is not always the case. What should always guide your style choices, especially in terms of accessories, is the level of formality required for your particular event.
With this in mind, while bow ties are not always required for a tuxedo, they are typically considered standard for many black tie events. Despite this, ties and even more colorful and extravagant bow ties can at times be appropriate for certain occasions. For example, tuxedo designs for weddings oftentimes feature vibrant colors that match the overall color scheme of the wedding. Moreover, while a necktie is oftentimes the standard suit accessory, a suit usually provides the freedom to wear bow ties as well. As previously mentioned, the degree of formality will typically guide whether or not you should choose a tie or bow tie; however, the types of fabric, style, design, and color allow space for creative freedom.
Bow tie and Necktie Styles:
- Butterfly (also known as the “islet” shaped bow tie, this is typically the most standard bow tie design that you will find and is thus perfectly suited for those looking for a classic formal look)
- Big Butterfly (simply a larger version of the classic Butterfly bow tie)
- Batwing (designed to be slightly slimmer than the traditional Butterfly, which gives it a more casual rectangular look)
- Diamond Tip (pointed ends instead of flat, this new unique design has been becoming more popular as a stylish alternative to the traditional bow tie)
- Rounded Club (rounded edges instead of flat, by far the least common bow tie design you will find)
- Necktie Widths (the traditional necktie style tends to not change except for the width of the tie itself, this should change depending on your own personal style, body type, suit type, and degree of formality)
Type of Fabric:
- Silk (tends to be most common fabric you will find for standard ties)
- Satin (considered more formal and thus is more suited for tuxedos and bow ties)
- Polyester (cheapest fabric and considered the least formal, commonly used for less formal types of ties and bow ties such as those with more elaborate designs and colors)
- Wool (despite being an older fabric for ties and bow ties, wool is making a resurgence as a more casual and unique look)
Pocket squares tend to be one of the most overlooked additions to the complete suit. Despite this, they serve as a great way to truly add personality to your outfit and show you put effort and care into your style. While we always think it is a great idea to add a pocket square, choosing the appropriate design and wearing it properly can take some time to learn. It is not as simple as just matching the color with your tie or bow tie, instead you should aim for more complementary colors and designs. With this in mind, when you find the right combination of tie and pocket square, we promise that your overall outfit will pop and stand out in a new way, just try to refrain from using it to blow your nose.
Tie Clips and Cufflinks
Obviously, tie clips don’t apply to bow ties; however, tie clips not only serve as a great focus point to draw eyes to your outfit, they are also a simple addition that provides stability to your entire suit by keeping your tie perfectly aligned at all times. Don’t worry if you’re not used to shiny accessories yet, tie clips and cufflinks are the perfect place to start since they simply enhance any suit or tuxedo without being too extravagant or noticeable. If you intend on experimenting with cufflinks, the main thing to remember is that you need a dress shirt designed for cufflinks instead of buttons to close the shirt around your wrists. Due to this, cufflinks are a great addition for both suits and tuxedos, while tie clips are obviously only meant for times appropriate for a standard necktie. If you plan to wear both, our only advice is to match the type and color of metal.
For most people, anything outside of your standard dark colored socks can be intimidating, but socks are a great way to add a little hidden gem to your traditional tuxedo or suit. As far as patterns and colors, socks provide one of the best opportunities to truly show off your unique fashion. While everything should still match or complement each other, you can usually have the most freedom when choosing socks. As previously mentioned, the main thing that should guide your outfit is always your personal style and the level of formality for your event. With this in mind, make sure that any socks you choose are not too informal for your occasion. (Of course socks wouldn’t be complete without shoes, check out our post about shoes too!)
The Complete Tuxedo and Suit
Regardless of the occasion, the traditional jacket and pants simply won’t do any longer. Using different tuxedo and suit accessories like the ones discussed here will completely transform any boring basic outfit into one that has class. While the accessories that we discussed do not encompass the wide variety of ways to enhance your look, for anyone that is just beginning to learn, it is the perfect place to begin. Come to Tuxedo Wearhouse today and find all the accessories for your perfect tuxedo or suit!