The Difference Between Wedding Tuxedos And Suits

Whether you’re a guy about to tie the knot or a bride helping your groom, bridal party or dad make the right wedding outfit decision, understanding the difference between a wedding tuxedo and a suit is the first step to your quest for the perfect men’s wedding attire.

Knowing the distinctions between a suit and a tux will help you make an easier and more appropriate choice. Read on as we unpack everything you need to know about the tuxedo vs. suit debate, what’s the difference, and when it’s appropriate to wear each one!

Tuxedo vs. Suit: These Details Actually Make The Difference!

Satin Details

The main physical difference that sets tuxedos apart from suits are satin details. Traditional tuxedos have touches of satin on the buttons, lapels, and pocket trim, as well as a satin stripe on the pants.

On the other hand a suit will include a lapel, pants and jacket, all be made up of the same fabric. And it will feature fabric-covered buttons, but they would be made out of the same fabric as the jacket.

Jacket Styles

What sets a tuxedo jacket apart from a suit jacket are the buttons, pockets and the lapels. If you picture a traditional tuxedo, you may visualize the shawl collar or peak lapels. Because suits are a less formal type of men’s attire, a suit jacket is unlikely to have a shawl collar; instead, they tend to feature notched lapels.

Pocket styles also make a major difference between tuxedos and suit jackets. For example, as discussed above, tuxedo pockets have satin trim, whereas suit pockets don’t!

The Pants

As we mentioned before, the major difference between suit pants and tuxedo pants is the tuxedo’s satin fabric stripe. However there is another little feature that would help you discern tuxes from suits.

Tuxedo pants are designed with internal waist adjusters instead of belt loops. Since belts are a casual accessory, they are unsuitable for the streamlined look of tuxes. On the flips side, suit pants will always have belt loops and will lack the satin stripe

Photo: Aria Lewis Photography                                 Photo: Aria Lewis Photography


Traditional tuxedo accessories include a bow tie and cummerbund, a waistcoat (formal vest) and patent leather shoes. However, many guys opt for wearing a long tie (also known as a “four in hand” tie), instead of a bowtie to accomplish a less formal tuxedo look. Ties, pocket squares and cummerbunds can be coordinated with the bridal party color theme, if you wish.

While wedding suits are accessorized with both bowties and long ties; they usually include a belt and a lapel flower, and can be worn with or without a vest. Additional accessories like cummerbunds and waistcoats are usually not paired with suits.

So ultimately when it comes to accessories, there is room to break some traditional rules and accessorize your tux or suit as it best fits your personality. It’s your personal choice on how dressed up you want to look on your wedding day!

When To Wear A Tuxedo Vs. Suit?

For a more formal and classic look, grooms and guests usually wear tuxedos. This type of men’s wear is definitely more appropriate for evening weddings, specifically those with a black-tie or a formal dress code.

In contrast, suits are semi-formal wedding attire and they are appropriate for casual dress code. Having a destination wedding or a beach wedding, then a formal suit might be for you.In some cases a formal accessorized suit might also be a good option for a formal wedding dress code, but consider the venue and the level of formality when choosing a suit.

We hope this information was useful to help you decide between a tuxedo or a suit. And now that you know what you want to wear for your wedding day, it is time to find the right tux/suit.

Here at Aurora Bridal, we have a huge collection of rental & new modern tuxedos and suits for all of your guys! Request an appointment today and let us find the right men’s wear that suits your personal style. We are so excited to help you!