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It’s an unspoken rule: every man needs a sleek, well fitted tuxedo in his wardrobe, ready for the invitation to that formal black tie event. Those welcome invitations do tend to come towards the Autumn and Winter, when corporate award evenings, charity balls and Christmas parties stack up your diary. Black tie has long been regarded as one of the strictest of dress code, with many rules and regulations steeped in class as much as tradition. When you are presented with an invitation for a formal even that specifies a black-tie dress code, you need to know your outfit is ready, and it starts with the tuxedo itself. Traditional tuxedos are black with either notch or shawl lapels, and matching trousers, with a satin trim, continuing down the outside of each leg.
You’ll also need a crispy white tuxedo shirt, with either a plain front, pleated or stud buttoned, dependant on your tastes. There are also a variety of collars available, although most men choose a wing collar, opting for the traditional route with their tuxedos. The outfit is never complete without the bow tie, which is typically matched to the material and colour of the tuxedo lapels. If you’re making the effort to dress black tie, we’d suggest a self-tie bow tie, but if that looks too difficult, then why not cut corners, and opt for a pre-tied bow tie, which is just as sleek.
When wearing a tuxedo, the reason for the lapels, satin stripped trousers, and hidden buttons on the sleeve and shirt front, is a formality in the way all fixtures of the outfit are hidden. This is why the cummerbund is such an important part of the outfit, as it disguises your midsection, where your shirt can billow out from your trousers.
As fashion, has progressed throughout the history of the tuxedo, especially within the last decade, as too has a more relaxed rule set to black tie. Although still a formal event, you may wish to push the boat out a little and choose an equally as formal yet stylish alternative tuxedo, with a midnight blue, or our range of tweed tuxedos. Finding the right fit for you needn't be a chore, as we have an easy to follow size guide here.