Understanding the Key Difference Between a Tuxedo and a Suit

Mens tuxedo and suit

If there’ll ever be initiation rites into male fashion-dom, differentiating between a suit and a tux should be the key part of it.

Knowing the difference between a tux and a suit is important for every stylish gentleman. It may seem like a minor affair, but trust me, it’s not; especially when you’re attending an event with clearly defined dress code.

Here’s the thing.

It’s not hard differentiating between both, it’s all about paying attention to details. But if you do not know what to expect in a tux or suit, how can you know the difference?

This article is written to help you know the difference between a tux and a suit.

Not just that.

It will also be your guide in choosing which one to wear for a wedding as well as other occasions.

Let’s jump right in.


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What’s the Difference Between a Tuxedo and a Suit?

Remember we earlier told you that differentiating between a tux and a suit is easy. Tuxedos and suits are an ensemble made up of jacket, tie, shirt, inner garment and pants. We’ll use these details to highlight the difference between a tux and a suit.


The presence of satin is the key difference between a suit and tuxedo. Tuxedos are made with either shawl or peaked lapel and have satin facing on them, as well as on the buttons and pocket trim. Suits don’t have any satin on them. They are made of uniform material.

Inner Garment

The inner clothes primarily worn with suits and tuxedos are cummerbund and waist coat. Tuxedos are more flexible in this regard and can be worn with either cummerbunds or waistcoats, although they look better when matched with waistcoats.

Suits are mostly worn with cummerbunds, because matching them with waistcoats will look unattractive because of the long tie’s presence.


Suits are better matched with long ties, while tuxedos are traditionally worn with bow ties. This annunciates the satin on the tuxedo’s lapel and leaves enough room for the waistcoat.


We’re not trying to stifle your creativity, but white wing-tip shirts are the safest shirts to wear with tuxedos. For suits, your choice of shirt design and colour is more flexible.


While shoes are not an integral part of suits or tuxedos, you still have to match them appropriately.

What could better match the gloss of the satin on tuxes if not leather patent shoes? But if you want to tune down on the gloss, you can go for shoes with mixed leather surface- matte + glossy.

For suits, go for leather matte Oxfords such as the ones you’ll find here.

Black is always a safe choice to make for shoes.

Tuxedo Pants vs Suit Pants

Tuxedo and suits are not just about the jackets, they’re about the pants too.

Tuxedo pants are similar to their jackets in their ‘other material + satin’ combination. Their pants are usually characterized by a satin side stripe down the outseam. Furthermore, most tuxedo pants are designed with satin waistband. If you’ll go for this type, be sure to buy your exact size as there are no belt loops.

For suits, their pants are designed just as plainly as their jackets are- uniform material. Unlike tuxedo pants, most of them have belt loops.

Tuxedo vs Suit Price

As with most fashion items, the price of a tux or suit will depend on where you buy and the designer. It will definitely cost more, when you patronize luxurious and popular designers.

From research and experience, tuxedos cost more than suits.

We did a little market research and found out that most suits cost between $300 to $700 while tuxedos cost between $800 to $1000. Since tuxedos are more expensive, they are usually rented out for less. If you won’t be wearing the tux regularly this would be a better alternative.

But you should keep in mind that tuxedos are worth their price. The ambience of wealth and class it creates cannot be duplicated in another outfit. Before you ditch that plan of buying a tux because of its price, imagine yourself dressed in one at a charity gala, holding a glass of liquor and talking in loud whispers to other gentlemen dressed in tuxedos too with soft instrumentals playing at the background.

When to Wear a Tuxedo

Easy one.

In the evening.

Tuxedos are better used at evening events. There’s this ambience tuxedos create, and the serenity of dusk amplifies it.

Tuxedos make for a great outfit to wear to the operas, weddings, charity galas, ball parties and black-tie events.

Where to Wear a Suit

Suits are more flexible than tuxedos, so they fit into more circles than tuxedos do. It would be okay to wear a suit at any time of the day and for any formal occasion such as work, job interviews, business presentations, etc.

Suits are also worn to semi-formal events and places such as weddings, networking events and fancy upscale restaurants.

Tuxedo or Suits for Wedding

I’ll like to tell you to settle this by playing eeny meeny miny moe, but that could ruin your chances of making the right dress statement at a wedding.

First, you should know that both ensembles are good choices and either one you choose won’t be the ‘wrong’ choice, but we just need to know which the better choice would be.

Back to the question, tuxedo or suits for weddings?

The answer will depend on certain factors. Is there a dress code? What time of the day will the wedding be?

If there’s a dress code and it’s given as a black-tie event, kindly wear a tuxedo. If there’s no dress code, a neatly tailored suit will do just fine. We earlier said that tuxedos are used for evening events. So, if the wedding will be in the evening, wear a tuxedo, otherwise a make do with your normal suit.

So, which is it going to be for you? A tux or a suit?


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