How to Tell the Difference Between a Suit and a Tuxedo

Before the groom picks an outfit, he should learn about the choices.

groom wedding, difference between tuxedo and suit

With all the new, modern options available for bridal wear, it was only a matter of time until grooms had more looks to choose from as well. With the amount of color and fit styles out there, a man can truly express his own style on his wedding day. However, no matter what he decides to wear, first he has to answer one question: Tuxedo or suit? Often the answer is based on personal preference and the formality of the big day, but it’s an especially tough choice if you don’t know the difference between the two types of formalwear. Read on for our guide on how to know what you’re buying or renting for the wedding. 

- Tuxedos have satin elements. The lapels and buttons are both satin, as well as a stripe on the outer side of each pant leg. Some tuxedos will only have a small satin trim on the lapel, but it’s still a tuxedo!
- Suits are all made from the same material, and the buttons will either match or be plastic.
- Most men opt out of cummerbunds or waistcoats nowadays, but you’ll only find them with a tuxedo. Suits can be worn with or without a vest.
- Bow ties are the traditional accessory for tuxedos, while suit-wearing grooms may choose a bow tie or necktie.
- Tuxedo pants do not have belt loops, so suspenders are a must. Suits are paired with belts, though some people may prefer the aesthetics of suspenders for a vintage look.
- Any style of dress shirt may be worn with a suit, while a tuxedo should be worn with a white shirt that has either a wing collar or a turn-down collar.
- For certain professions, a suit can practically be considered everyday wear, whereas a tuxedo will always be exclusive to formal events and special occasions.

Get tips for renting a tuxedo or suit, and get inspired by these eight stylish boutonnieres

Opening photo by Tec Petaja; Floral Design by Amaryllis Inc.; Planning & Design by SoCo Events

Authored by: Emily Lasnier