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Finding the Perfect Tuxedo
Becoming increasingly popular is the black tie, or even white tie wedding. However, this doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune on a tuxedo. There are plenty of different labels with a wide range of prices. Renting is always an option, but if you plan to wear it more than once, it would be a good investment to purchase your own tuxedo.
Getting the Fit Right
For the slimmer builds:
- If you fit into this category, consider yourself lucky! Almost any style will suit your body type. Thin men will look best in double-breasted jackets and it's quite popular to add a bit of extra shoulder padding, should you want a bit of a bulked up look.
- Slim men can use fitting tricks to give the illusion of some extra weight on their legs as well: wearing full trousers that rise high will do the trick nicely. But thankfully, more recent trends have embraced the loveable beanpole shape and promoted a slim fit. To keep this look ultra modern, wear them low slung, with a slim fitting shirt to keep the silhouette consistent.
Tall and solid:
- Avoid double-breasted jackets as the buttons will focus eyes on your mid- section, and make it look wider. A single- breasted jacket, on the other hand, will elongate your torso and make your overall look more streamlined. This streamlined look can be emphasised with wearing a jacket with only one button.
- You should also make sure that the jacket you are wearing is long enough for you. A good indication of this is to relax your hands at your sides. If your finger tips reach the bottom of the jacket, this is a good length. Shirt cuffs should sit about 2.5 cm beyond the jacket sleeve. This rule applies to any good suit.
- Collars and ties need to be carefully selected. If you have a wide face or a thick neck, it can look a bit like you're being choked, so stick to slimmer ties and bow ties.
- The jacket should be a little loose to allow easy movement.
- Trouser legs should be slightly wider if you are sporting large or muscular thighs for the sake of comfort and often, they simply look better this way.
- Avoid double-breasted jackets as the buttons will focus eyes on your mid- section, and make it look wider. A single- breasted jacket, on the other hand, will elongate your torso and mak your overall look more streamlined.
On the shorter and stockier side
- Short and stocky men should steer towards jacks with plenty of shoulder padding and pleated trousers- the padding will help to balance your body's proportions and the pleats will create long lines that help to make you appear more slender and tall. Your torso will appear longer and leaner if you choose a single breasted jacket with the button around the belt line.
- The shawl collar is best for short and stocky men, as it similarly has clean, almost vertical lines.
- Avoid wing-tip/ laydown collars and if you have a large face or neck.
- Heavier men might consider a vest over the traditional cummerbund
Short and slim
- Veer towards single breasted jackets (double breasted jackets will draw attention to you midsection and emphasize your size), preferably with a low single button. These clean lines will lengthen you out and make you appear a little taller.
- If you'd like to appear broader, a notch or peak lapel is a good choice (these create extra horizontal lines and therefore make you look wider). Create the same effect with a double-breasted jacket.
- The trousers should be pleated with reverse double pleats, and the trouser legs should break just above the shoes, angling slightly downward in back.
- Smaller bow ties are the best choice for your frame, as are vests with an elegant, understated pattern.
Labelling Your Lapels
There are three basic lapel options- each of which has a substantial effect on the overall look of the tux.
- The notch lapel is the most popular and innocuous: not too drastic a departure from a work suit, meaning that you'll be able to throw it on and feel comfortable, yet still looking the part.
- The peak lapel is a little more dramatic, and throws in a bit of classic glamour. Immediately recalls the image of just about any 20th century James Bond actor.
- The shawl lapel is a standout: understated and elegant, yet rare enough that it takes a man confident in his style to pull this off.
(image courtesy styleforum.net)
Shawl Lapel Peak Lapel Notch Lapel
If you thought the range of tuxedos was wide, wait until you see what shirts you have available to you. Shirts will usually come in one of the three types of collars:
- the wing collar is the most popular and allows you to see the whole bowtie
- the laydown collar reveals only the bow and knot
- and the band collar, with which no tie is worn -- instead, a cufflink-like fastener closes the shirt at the throat.
The Wing Collar The Laydown Collar The Band Collar
For a modern, streamlined look, always opt for a slim fit shirt. When your jacket inevitably comes off so you can dance the Macarena comfortably, it needs to look as well pulled together as the suit itself.
The good news here is that both your options here are great ones: either a bow- tie, for a classic, formal and dapper look, or the long-tie, which is a bit of a modern twist on a classic. Both, however, are timeless and will look sensational for decades to come.
Play around with your options, get a few opinions on what looks best, and also take into consideration what feels best. Like everything else, the secret to pulling of a tux well is confidence!