Suit or tuxedo, tuxedo or suit? Knowing the difference can be a difficult mindfield to unfold, but one that you may come across one day. Understanding the difference between the two, and knowing which one is the most appropriate for what occasion, is a key thing to know.

With our handy guide, we’ve explained the top 3 things that sets a tuxedo apart from a suit, so next time you’re going to get a tailored suit, you know exactly which one to ask for.

Tuxedos are more formal

This might seem obvious, but tuxedos are more formal than suits, and are therefore worn in more formal situations. Tuxedos are typically worn at black tie events, whereas suits can be worn for more casual situations, such as an informal wedding or going to work. In terms of style, tuxedos are different in the following ways:

  • Tuxedos are typically worn in either black or navy blue. Suits on the other hand can be worn in different colours and patterns
  • When wearing a pocket square with a tuxedo, you stick to plain white; with a suit, you can choose different colours and styles
  • Tuxedo trousers feature a braid down the side of the leg that matches the lapel. This isn’t a strict requirement with a suit
  • For accessories, tuxedos should only be paired with a bowtie and cumberband or waistcoat. A suit can be worn with ties, bowties, or left plain.

Tuxedos are more expensive

Generally, a tuxedo is going to be more expensive than a suit. A suit is cheaper, and you’re more likely to get multiple wears from it, as it can be worn for such a wide range of occasions.

Usually, you can compromise on quality for suits when the fit is perfect, but this isn’t something you can really do with a tuxedo. A tuxedo needs to fit perfectly and be high quality. Due to the cost, if you’re not going to  be wearing the tuxedo often (perhaps you just need it for a one-off special occasion) then renting can be a good idea. As long as you can get one that has a good fit, then this is a great option. If you’re going to be wearing it more often, then you should consider investing in purchasing one.

Tuxedos are less flexible

When it comes to what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re wearing a tuxedo, you’re pretty restricted. In contrast, suits are more flexible, and there are more options when it comes to colours, patterns, fit, style and accessories. You can dress up or down a suit, depending on the formality of the event or occasion, which makes it more valuable in terms of how often you can wear it. In contrast, tuxedos have a fixed style that should be adhered to when wearing them, hence why they are reserved for more formal occasions.