Tuxedo vs. Wedding Suit: What’s the Difference?

Tuxedo vs. Wedding Suit: What’s the Difference?

The world of fashion has lots of jargon, and we can typically go our whole lives without needing to know most of it. Then we decide to get married, and we suddenly face confusing talk of lapels and waistcoats.

One of the biggest fashion vocab mix-ups you’ll face as a groom is the question of tuxedos vs. wedding suits. What’s the difference? We’ll help walk you through this question so that you look sharp on your big day.


The word tuxedo conjures up images of a debonair spy with a vesper martini perched on their fingertips. It’s the gold standard of formalwear. Tuxedos have a few key attributes associated with them. Here are some things that distinguish them:

  • They have satin details like lapels and stripes.
  • People wear them with a type of vest called a waistcoat.
  • People wear them with a pleated sash across the stomach called a cummerbund.
  • People wear them with a white shirt with a turndown or wing collar.
  • They have buttons covered with satin or silk.
  • People typically pair them with a bowtie.

People often associate tuxedos with an evening affair or “black tie” event, though tuxedos aren’t exclusively black.

Wedding Suits

As far as essential factors, there aren’t too many differences between tuxedos and wedding suits. Both involve a jacket, a shirt, and dress shoes. It’s the details that differentiate suits. A few factors that are typical of suits include the following:

  • They have the same fabric throughout.
  • People don’t usually pair them with extra accessories like waistcoats or cummerbunds.
  • They work with any dress shirt type.
  • Their buttons typically have a metallic finish.
  • People often wear them with long ties.

While still dressy, suits are less formal than their tuxedo counterparts and often offer a wider variety of looks.

Which Should I Wear to My Wedding?

Although traditionalists may throw up their hands at such an assertion, there isn’t a “right” answer as to whether you should wear a tuxedo or a suit to your wedding. Both are suitably formal. Tuxedos offer a classic, elegant look that nothing else can match, which is why they’ve stood the test of time. But if you want more laidback wedding attire, especially for an outdoor wedding, suits may be the best choice.

If you don’t know the difference between a cuff link and a cummerbund, Emanuele Tuxedo is here to help. Our Chicago wedding tuxedo rental services will help you find the perfect tux or suit.

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