What to Wear with Your Tuxedo

Choosing a tuxedo involves more than just the jacket and trousers. The right accessories elevate your look and showcase your attention to detail. This guide breaks down the essential and optional elements to create a polished tuxedo ensemble, ensuring you’ll be the best dressed at any black-tie event.


  • Tuxedo Shirt: Ditch the office shirt! This differs with features like:
    • No buttons: Requires studs (concealed buttons are acceptable too).
    • Wider, shorter collar: Accommodates a bow tie.
    • Double cuffs: Made for cufflinks.
    • Longer length: Stays tucked in throughout the evening.
    • Crisp white color: Never ivory or blue.
  • Bow Tie: Hand-tie is a must! Opt for black silk or velvet, with burgundy a bolder choice. Clip-ons are a no-go.
  • Cummerbund or Waistcoat: Choose one to cover the shirt between trousers and jacket:
    • Cummerbund: Wide pleated satin belt, traditionally black.
    • Waistcoat: Same fabric as the tuxedo, ideally black. Single or double-breasted, with or without lapels.
  • Shoes: Black patent leather shoes are ideal. Black oxfords work too, but avoid sneakers or trendy styles.
  • Studs and Cufflinks: Match these to your watch for a cohesive look. Opt for silver, gold, mother-of-pearl, or subtle jewels. Plastic is a faux pas.
  • Pocket Square: A white pocket square adds elegance. Keep the fold simple for formal events.

Optional Touches:

  • Suspenders: Keep your trousers in place with black or white suspenders. Avoid patterns.
  • Lapel Pin: A subtle way to express your personality.


  • Match your metal accessories: Studs, cufflinks, and watch should coordinate.
  • Ditch the belt: Tuxedos don’t need them.
  • Skip the colorful pocket square: Stick to white for formal occasions.
  • Hand-tie your bow tie: Clip-ons scream lack of effort.

By following these guidelines and exploring optional accessories, you’ll be ready to impress at any black-tie event. And if you’re looking for a bespoke tuxedo or ready-to-wear options, consider reaching out to Artefact London.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on the essentials first: Get the right shirt, bow tie, cummerbund/waistcoat, shoes, studs, cufflinks, and pocket square.
  • Match your metals: Create a cohesive look by coordinating your watch, studs, and cufflinks.
  • Accessorize wisely: Suspenders and lapel pins add personality, but keep them subtle and appropriate.
  • Ditch the fashion faux pas: No belts, clip-on bow ties, or colorful pocket squares for formal events.
  • Hand-tie your bow tie: It shows attention to detail and elevates your outfit.

Remember, looking sharp is about more than just the clothes. Confidence and proper etiquette complete the package. So, own your look, follow these tips, and enjoy your black-tie event!

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