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Tux Terminology for the Groom-to-Be
Though the bulk of wedding day attire attention typically focuses on
what the bride is wearing, grooms also have important choices to make
when it comes to what to wear on their wedding day. And just like
brides have many different styles from which to choose with respect to
their gowns, so, too, do grooms when it comes to their tuxedos.
While a groom's wardrobe decision typically does not involve as much
forethought or time as a bride's, he should keep in mind several
factors before choosing a tuxedo. These include the degree of formality
and the time of the event in addition to the style of the tuxedo
itself. For instance, if the event is going to be ultraformal, then a
traditional tuxedo complete with a tuxedo vest and tie is the most
appropriate choice. Grooms going this route can also choose to add a
top hat, cane and even tuxedo gloves as accessories. However, at less
formal weddings, this would clearly not be the best option. To help you
make the right decision, here is a list of some tuxedo terminology that
should help you make a more educated choice.
- Single-breasted. Any man who has ever put on a suit, be it a tux or a
business suit, likely knows that single-breasted means a suit with a
single row of buttons down the middle. This has become the more popular
choice of late and is appropriate for men of all body types.
Single-breasted suits come in many styles, however. You can order a
single-breasted tuxedo with either one button or two, with the choice
typically depending on the groom's height (taller grooms usually prefer
two buttons, while shorter grooms like one button). Grooms can also
order three- or four-button single-breasted tuxedos. These are
generally only good for men who are particularly tall or thin, as
larger men should avoid the three- or four-button tuxedo.
- Double-breasted. As one might infer, the double-breasted tuxedo is
one with two rows of buttons as opposed to one. Typically, these work
best with heftier grooms, as double-breasted suits tend to hide girth
and appear more comfortable.
- Cutaway Tuxedo. These go well with men of all statures. Cutaway
refers to the front edges of the coat sloping diagonally from the waist
and forming tails in the back. These are the most appropriate option
for daytime weddings.
- Tails. Tails are mainly reserved for ultraformal and traditional
weddings. Featuring a severe break between front and back, tails should
be avoided by shorter or stockier grooms.
- High or Low Vest. High vests are typically good for taller men with
longer torsos, as they extend up the torso higher than a regular vest
and go well with a high-button coat. Low vests are more appropriate for
most men and can be worn by men of all body types.
- Peaked Lapel. An extension of the coat collar, the peaked lapel is
often a good choice for a shorter groom, as it typically makes the body
appear longer and leaner.
- Shawl Collar. Unlike a traditional collar, shawl collars do not come
to a point, making this a difficult choice to make depending on body
type. In general, a wider groom will want to stick with a wider shawl
collar as a thin collar will make him look larger. Similarly, a more
svel e groom should stick with a thinner collar, as a wider one will
have a cartoonish effect.
- Mandarin or Banded Collar. Again, this depends on the body type. This
is the collar type that appears to not be a collar at all, as it just
wraps around the neck without any protruding points and is never worn
with a necktie. For grooms with short or thick necks, this style should
definitely be avoided, as it will appear as though you are bursting out
of the top of your shirt. A more slender groom, though, can wear a