Tuxedo Time

By Christine Huard

March 7, 2008 4 min read


With so many styles, there's something to suit you

By Christine Huard

Copley News Service

Whatever your daily style - urban cool, rock-star fabulous, geek chic - there's just one thing guys need to remember for prom night: Clothes make the man.

Formalwear is essential for the year's biggest party. Choosing the style that suits you best is as easy as a visit to the tuxedo shop to check out the latest designs. Just be sure to coordinate your style with your date's beforehand.

Here are three fashion themes in classic and modern style to think about when you go to pick out your prom tuxedo:


Classic: A stunning white dinner jacket, black cummerbund and black bow tie. A sophisticated look that evokes late nights at a supper club and decades of tradition. A safe complement to just about any gown your date can wear.

Modern: White chalk-strip tuxedo with black detailing on the lapel, black buttons, black tie. A bold, fashion-forward statement with distinct style to set you apart from the crowd. Pair with two-tone spectator shoes. Your date may want to choose a gown in solid black or white, or an ultramodern combination of the two and make you both the couple to watch.


Classic: A two-button tuxedo with notch lapel offers sleek tailoring and a timeless look. A vest and tie in a neutral color like ivory or platinum are the final touches needed for this traditional ensemble.

Modern: Update the look with a three-button diamond lapel tuxedo that features satin trim details. The contemporary cut is particularly flattering for young men and offers just the right amount of gentlemanly flair without being too old. A vest and time add texture and a pop of bright, modern color for a memorable evening.


Classic: Pick a Bond, any Bond. From the suave original, Sean Connery, to the lean heartthrob, Daniel Craig, there's nothing James Bond looks better in than a classic tuxedo - black tailored jacket with shawl collar, impeccable white tuxedo shirt and black bow tie. You'll be the image of the world's hottest secret agent.

Modern: Bond not your style? What you need is street chic. A zoot suit will give you unique style and classic charm. The jacket's long profile sets the tone, but it's the accessories that make this tuxedo more than a penguin suit. Top it off with a fedora with a hat band in a contrasting color, and don't forget the waist chain. Two-tone shoes and a silk pocket square finish it off.


Here's a rundown on the different terms that describe various tuxedo features and formal occasions, courtesy of After Six:

- Lapels. Lapels are styled three ways: notch, shawl and peak. A notch lapel features a triangular indentation where the lapel meets the collar. Peak is a broad V-shaped lapel that points up and out just below the collar. Shawl is a rounded lapel that goes all the way around the collar.

- Jackets. A dinner jacket is a white or ivory jacket paired with black trousers. A tuxedo is a single- or double-breasted jacket with matching trousers.

- Cummerbund. A cummerbund is a pleated sash worn around the waist to cover the waistband.

- Black tie. Not a tie at all, but the dress code for many formal events. It means men should wear a tuxedo and women should wear a cocktail dress or evening gown. White tie indicates the most formal attire is required - what you'd wear to a state dinner or society ball.

? Copley News Service

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