What to Wear: A Tuxedo or a Suit?

You might not have occasion to dress up very often. You may occasionally go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, though. Perhaps you will have the chance to go to an opera or a play. When you go out on the town, you should think about whether you want to wear a suit or a tuxedo. The differences of tuxedo vs suit are many, and we will talk about them right now. When we’re done, you should have a good idea of which is the better choice for you.

What to Wear: A Tuxedo or a Suit?

A Tuxedo is Usually for More Formal Occasions

The first thing that’s worth mentioning about tuxedos and suits is that tuxedos are usually considered to be the more formal of the two. That means wearing a tuxedo is often not necessary unless you’re going to an exceptionally formal event.

If you’re going to a fancy restaurant, a suit should be fine. A suit will also be okay for most weddings or funerals.

As for tuxedos, you will probably want to wear one if you attend a ball, a gala, or a premiere. You might also wear one to certain weddings if that’s what the two individuals getting married want from you. They will usually specify that in the invitation if that’s going to be the case.

Are There Additional Events Where You Should Wear a Tuxedo?

There are a few other events where it would not be out of line to consider wearing a tuxedo. You might wear one if you’re going to a diplomatic event. These sorts of gatherings generally attract the most notable names and faces, and you should dress to impress.

You might wear one to an event being held by a fraternal organization. If you belong to a society like the Freemasons or Elks, they may require that you wear a tuxedo to attend one of their formal events. Something like a Quinceanera might be an appropriate time to wear a tuxedo as well.

When in Doubt, Ask

If you’re not sure about whether you should wear a tuxedo or a suit to an event, you should ask the person who invited you or who is responsible for the gathering. If you got an invitation by email, for instance, you could respond and ask about the dress code. You might also call the person who extended the invitation if that’s easier for you.

If you’re going to an event at a venue and there’s no specific point of contact, look on their website to see if they have a dress code. You may also call the box office or any other public- facing entity that answers general questions.

When in doubt, remember that a tuxedo is the most formal thing you can wear, and a suit is generally considered to be a step down from that. Some people don’t even own a tuxedo because they might go for years without wearing one. You can always rent a tux that’s your size, but owning a suit makes sense.

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