Should I Wear a Tux or a Suit to a Wedding?

When it comes to attending a wedding, one of the most important considerations for men is whether you will wear a tux or a suit. If you are unsure how formal the wedding setting will be, this can make deciding on your outfit even more difficult. So, in order to help you decide what is the most appropriate option for the next wedding you attend, today we’re going to answer the question: should I wear a tux or a suit to a wedding?

As a rule-of-thumb, a tux is the best option for a formal or black-tie wedding, while a suit is the better choice for a daytime or casual wedding. In any case, you should check the wedding invitation for any dress code requests, or, when in doubt, consult a member of the wedding party.

Ultimately, weddings come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s up to you to determine what you think is most appropriate. But if you still need a little help deciding what to wear so you’ll feel comfortable and look great for the wedding photos, keep reading!

What is the difference between a tux and a suit?

Before you can even start to decide what would be the best option for the next wedding you are attending, it’s essential to understand the difference between a tux and a suit. The main difference is that tuxedos have details made from Satin, such as the lapels, buttons, and the side-stripe on your pants. Suits don’t have any of these details, and even modern tuxedos have started to limit these satin elements. A suit will be constructed from the same material throughout, and the buttons are usually made of a typical button material such as plastic or bone.

When renting or purchasing a tuxedo set, it will usually come with a cummerbund, bowtie, suspenders, and a waistcoat. You may want to wear all of these for a formal occasion, but many men opt to omit a couple of these accessories nowadays. A suit can be worn for a variety of occasions, and you can dress them up or down depending on your needs. For a more casual occasion, you don’t even have to wear a tie with your suit.

As far as the shirt style to wear underneath your suit or tux, tuxedos are almost always worn with a white shirt, whereas suit wearers can enjoy a selection of colors and patterns. To finish off your tuxedo, you’ll want to wear a pair of black patent shoes. However, you’ll have much more flexibility and comfort with a suit, where you could also enjoy wearing loafers or oxfords.

How to decide whether a suit or a tux is more appropriate for a wedding

Both as a wedding guest or a groom, there are a few considerations you’ll want to take into account before deciding which outfit to opt for. The first consideration that will help you make this decision is the time of day of the wedding you are attending. Tuxedos are generally reserved for evening events, so you may feel somewhat overdressed if you are attending a daytime wedding. However, if the wedding is an all-day affair, a tuxedo could still be considered if you will be wearing it in the evening time when the event finishes.

After receiving your wedding invitation, it’s important to note if any theme or dress code is mentioned at this point. A black-tie wedding certainly requires a tuxedo, but an event that is listed as casual only requires a suit. Many summer weddings are far more casual, and if the women who are attending are opting for summery dresses, you might look quite out of place in a tux! When invitations are a little more ambiguous, and state that black tie is optional, or the dress code is formal, either opt for a tuxedo or a darker and more formal suit.

What’s The Price Difference?

With all of the elements involved in a tuxedo’s creation, naturally, they are going to be more costly than suits. A good quality suit will generally set you back anywhere between $300 and $800, whereas you can expect a tuxedo to cost a minimum of $700, reaching up to $1,000. When attending a wedding, you may want to consider renting a suit or tuxedo, as it will offer you a high-quality outfit without setting you back so much money. This is especially worth considering if you don’t think you’ll ever wear it again, which happens to so many wedding outfits!

The benefit of wearing a suit to a wedding is that you are far more likely to get extra wear out of it again in the future. You’ll be able to save it for work functions and other events and enjoy using it for years to come. Remember, whichever outfit you opt to wear, you’ll want to put some extra money aside for accessories and potential alterations. There’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting suit or tux in wedding photos that you’ll have to look at for years to come!

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Tuxedo

While you may feel like a tuxedo restricts you from showing off your personality and style at a wedding, that doesn’t have to be the case. Nowadays, tuxedos come in more options than just the classic black outfit with a white shirt. Especially for grooms and groomsmen who choose to wear a tuxedo, you’ll find they often opt for different colors and shirts to match their personality.

If you feel like you have to wear a tuxedo to your next wedding, remember you can always opt for some unique accessories to express your personal style. Unless the wedding is an incredibly formal affair, consider adding a splash of color to your outfit with a brightly colored pocket square or bow tie. If you are known by your friends and family for having a unique personal style, don’t feel like you have to hide this just because you are following the wedding’s dress code. If you do have the option to wear a suit, you will find they offer more variety of colors and designs and are a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a bright or patterned outfit to stand out from the crowd.

Matching your Partner at a Wedding

As we mentioned earlier, one of the other considerations when choosing between a tux and a suit is what your partner is wearing. Every wedding involves hundreds of photos being taken, so you’ll want to look great together whatever you choose to wear. While you don’t need to wear matching outfits necessarily, you’ll want to be stylishly coordinated for the wedding photos. If your date is wearing a formal, floor-length gown, then a tux will match this much better than a suit. On the other hand, a short, flowery dress will be best paired with a more casual suit.

When it comes to matching, you don’t want to match exactly but instead should aim for subtle coordination. A pair of socks, a tie, or a pocket square that matches your date’s dress is the best option. Planning an outfit together can be a really fun bonding experience with your partner, as long as it’s not taken too seriously! Weddings can get very expensive, especially if you are planning to attend a few in one year, so don’t stress too much about your accessories or spend a fortune matching. You don’t want to start overthinking your wedding outfit too much, or you’ll feel uncomfortable and stressed about it all day long. The best accessory for any wedding is a smile, so once you’ve picked whether you are going to wear a suit or a tux, just embrace it and enjoy the day!

The Bottom Line – Suit vs. Tuxedo

Ultimately, it’s all about the dress code of the wedding you are attending when deciding whether you need to wear a tux or a suit. Take care to read the wedding invitation thoroughly and to note any dress code listed on the invite card. You may also want to discuss what you are wearing with any friends who are attending the big event, so you are all on the same page, and no one ends up sticking out for the wrong reasons!

The time of day of the wedding and your partner’s outfit choice are key considerations for your outfit as well. Whichever option you go for, remember you can accessorize it to show off your personality. If you do need to go for a tux, there’s always rental options available, which can cut down on the costs of attending a wedding.

If you are looking for further style advice or help answering some of these tough dilemmas, make sure you subscribe to our email list. Our goal is to research and answer tricky questions just like this, so you can avoid style mistakes and look your best in any situation!  

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