Tuxedo vs Suit – The Main Differences with Examples

tuxedo vs suit

Tuxedos and suits share a lot of common features, and they both look great on men whether they’re the groom, the best man, the father of the bride or a wedding guest. They’re both formal menswear that are appropriate for every type of wedding, from indoor ballroom events to backyard evening receptions. People often use the terms tux and suit interchangeably, but there actually is a difference between the two. We’re here to teach you what the differences are and how to choose the right tux or suit for your big day.

Physical Differences between Tuxedos and Suits

To the untrained eye, a tuxedo and suit look extremely similar. The primary physical difference is that a tuxedo has satin in it while a suit does not. Tuxedos typically have satin on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim and down the side of the pants. Suits do not have any satin at all and the buttons are usually made of plastic or the same fabric of the suit coat. Not all tuxedos are required to have satin on all of the above mentioned areas, and many modern tuxes incorporate satin on the lapels and a thin strip down the pant legs.

tuxedo vs suit

Photo Credit: My Tuxedo Catalog

Tuxedo and Suit Accessories and Color Differences

A traditional tuxedo will be accessorized with a bowtie and a cummerbund or a vest, while a traditional suit is paired with a long tie either by itself or with a matching vest. These are not rules set in stone; you are free to accessorize your tux or suit however you’d like. However, these are the most common sets you’ll find in menswear shops today. Cufflinks are also common grooms’ accessories and they work with both tuxes and suits. We love the idea of getting personalized or fun cufflinks to share with your groomsmen and best man so you can all match and add a little bit of flair to your formalwear.

wedding cufflinks

Photo Credit: Mark The Occasion Designs

Suits and tuxes both come in a variety of colors, with the most common ones being black and varying shades of grey. You can also opt for navy blue, tan, white or beige for a classic look. Depending on the time of day and season of your wedding, you may want to choose a lighter colored suit or tux. For example, wearing an all-black tuxedo to a summertime outdoor wedding may be a bit much, while a light grey tux can be just right. You may also want to match your bowties, ties, cummerbunds or vests to the wedding’s color scheme. This is a great way to incorporate the theme while also adding a splash of color to the otherwise classic suit.

tuxedo or suit for weddings

Photo Credit: Bend The Light

Should I Wear a Suit or a Tuxedo to My Wedding?

One of the most common questions men have regarding their wedding day attire is whether they should wear a suit or a tuxedo. Now that you’ve learned the minor differences between the two, you can see that both options will work well. They are both formal, look nice and will make you look very handsome on your special day. However, many men also wear suits regularly either to work or to events and functions. On your wedding day, you may want to wear something a bit more special and unique for such a momentous occasion. If this is the case, purchasing or renting a tuxedo will not only make you look very dapper and handsome, but it will make your outfit something special just for this one day. After all, if she gets a special dress for the day, then why shouldn’t you also get a special tux for the day? In the end, choose the one that you and your groomsmen will be able to match and feel comfortable in.

Vera Wang tuxedo

Photo Credit: The Beauty Bridal

The difference between a tuxedo and a suit may be physically minor, but purchasing a new one just for your wedding day is an exciting experience that will make your attire just as special as hers. Although the groom’s formalwear is a bit more classic with less variety than the bridal gown, you can still have fun with it by adding color to the accessories or even choosing a suit or tux in a fun color. Another great way to spice up the look is with a pair of fun cufflinks that you and your groomsmen can enjoy even after the big day. When it comes down to it, selecting the style and color that best suits your wedding’s theme and setting will help direct you towards the right choice. Everyone will think you look handsome regardless of whether you wear a nice suit or a nice tux.

Share this article

Quick Picks

Claim your profile

Fill the form below to claim your profile. We will email you back with next steps.

    Strength indicator
    Log In | Lost Password