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Tuxedo Glossary

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The Tux: A Glossary of Terms and Styles

When it comes to formal wear for your groom and his groomsmen, it all depends on the Bridal Gown, it sets the standard of formality.

Your first decision is which coat to choose. There are three basic tuxedo styles. The most popular has a notched lapel and is single-breasted. A popular variation is the shawl cut collar, which is rounded and isn’t notched. A third, the peaked jacket, has a broad lapel that comes to the collar line and points up and out. Variations can include double-breasted designs, jacket vents, pocket and button numbers and styling, multi-layered lapels, and formal tails.

Vests have overtaken cummerbunds in popularity because they don’t ride up one’s waist. A growing trend is the full-backed vest, which lets your groom remove his jacket at the reception while still looking well dressed


Full dress, a.k.a. tails or tailcoat. The tailcoat actually has tails, with a two- to six-button front. Generally worn at ultra-formal evening weddings.

Tuxedo, a.k.a. tux

A tuxedo jacket can be single-breasted (with a one to five button front) or double-breasted (with a two- to six-button front) and is worn at formal or semiformal evening events. The basic tux comes in a variety of flavors. Pick single- or double-breasted with one of three lapels: peaked, notched, or shawl. Wear it with black, satin-striped trousers.

Mandarin, a.k.a. Nehru jacket, Mao jacket

This jacket features a stand-up collar with no lapel and is worn with a Mandarin-collared shirt with a button cover instead of a tie.

Cutaway, a.k.a. morning coat

For formal daytime weddings, the groom wears the cutaway coat — short in the front, long in the back, and tapering from the front waist button to a wide back tail. Cutaway jackets are either black or gray and are worn with matching striped trousers.

Stroller coat

This semiformal jacket is a semi-formal suit jacket cut like a tuxedo. Usually charcoal gray or black and typically worn in the daytime.

Peaked lapel

This broad, V-shaped lapel points up and out just below the collar line .

Notched lapel

This lapel features a triangular indention where the lapel joins the collar. This is the least formal lapel style.

Shawl collar

This is a smooth, rounded lapel with no notch. It is often seen on a dinner jacket.


If you choose a formal tuxedo, your trousers should match your jacket in style and color. If you’ll be in a formal daytime wedding and will wear a stroller coat or cutaway coat, wear gray or gray pinstriped trousers.


Wing collar
The most formal choice and the collar style most often worn with tuxedo jackets, this stand-up collar has downward points

Mandarin collar, a.k.a. band collar

This collar stands up around the neck, above the tux’s buttons. This is currently the most contemporary-styled tuxedo shirt and is accessorized with a button cover in lieu of a tie,

Laydown collar

This resembles a standard button-front shirt but folds over and around the neck with a wide division between points in front. The wider collar makes it a good choice with a Euro tie or a standard necktie in a Windsor style knot.

As for sleeve cuffs, you have a few options: standard dress-shirt cuffs held together with cuff links; French cuffs, which are folded over and closed with cuff links; and cuffs that close with a button. The choice is yours, but, in general, formal shirts call for cuff links.

Bow tie

Probably the thing to wear with a classic tux. Bow ties come in several colors besides basic black — white is reserved for super-formal events, and colored bow ties are suitable for any occasion. You can match the wedding colors, but basic black is far classier. The black bow tie is standard, other options are offered at an additional cost.

Ascot tie

This wide, formal tie is usually patterned, folded over, and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack. Usually reserved for ultra-formal daytime weddings and worn with a cutaway coat and striped gray trousers.

Bolo tie

If you’re having a Western-theme wedding.

Euro tie

This is a hybrid between an ascot tie and a regular, run-of-the-mill necktie. It’s a long, square-bottomed tie knotted at the neck and worn with a wing collar or spread collar shirt. The Euro offers a more formal look that’s not as all-out as an ascot.


They’re also called four-in-hands and are perfect for more casual — yet still elegant — wedding looks.


These are pleated sashes worn around the waist. Usually basic black, but you can choose from colored cummerbunds to match the bridesmaid dresses or the wedding colors. Cummerbunds come standard with the tux rental.

Vests, a.k.a. waistcoats

For an ultra-formal evening wedding, clad yourself in a white tie and waistcoat. Or choose a colored waistcoat instead of a cummerbund. There are many colors and designs to choose from that will easily coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses or wedding colors. Vest are optional and are offered at an additional fee.

Cuff links

If simple elegance is your style, stick with black cuff links outlined in silver. They come standard with the tuxedo rental. Gold are available for a small additional fee.


Formal shirt fasteners that are considered and sold as jewelry


Formalwear is accompanied by a formal shoe. The shoe will usually be shiny black patent leather. The shoe may also be white or ivory to match the color of the tuxedo. The shoes also come in a more fashion forward styles at an additional rental fee.

Once the available accessories are selected they create and set your groom’s overall style. Accessories include ties, vests, cummerbunds, shoes and jewelry.

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