When it comes to embodying elegance and class, few garments hold a candle to the tuxedo. This icon of formal wear has been the centerpiece of men's fashion for generations, symbolizing sophistication and a respect for tradition during the most formal of events. Proper tuxedo etiquette is not just a sartorial responsibility; it's a sign of respect to your hosts and fellow guests. When selecting a tuxedo, high-end fashion brands like Kiton and Cesare Attolini offer luxurious options that epitomize craftsmanship and an unmatched level of sartorial prowess. These brands have dedicated themselves to producing garments that not only adhere to classic standards but also bring modern sensibilities to traditional formalwear.

Understanding Tuxedos

The tuxedo's origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, where it emerged as a less formal alternative to the tailcoat for men's evening wear. It was a garment that allowed for smart yet comfortable socializing among the elite. The significance of the tuxedo has only grown since then, transcending cultural and geographic boundaries to become a universal symbol of formality and taste. Its ability to confer an almost instant sense of decorum and propriety upon its wearer is unmatched in the world of menswear.

A true tuxedo is defined by a number of key elements. Traditionally, it includes a dinner jacket and trousers, often with a satin or grosgrain lapel, and a similarly striped out-seam on the trousers. These elements work in harmony to create a look that is both unified and distinctively formal. The addition of a cummerbund or waistcoat, a formal white shirt, and a bow tie completes the timeless tuxedo ensemble. To wear a tuxedo is to make a statement about one's adherence to the standards of formal dressing and an appreciation for the legacy of men's tailoring.

Fashion Mistake #1: Incorrect Fit

One cannot overemphasize the importance of a tailored fit when it comes to a tuxedo. The silhouette of a sharp tuxedo is established by a jacket that contours to the body, trousers that fall just right, and a perfectly cinched waist. While tuxedos from exquisite brands like Kiton or Cesare Attolini are expertly crafted, ensuring the garment is tailored to the individual wearer's dimensions is pivotal. The line between elegant and sloppy in formalwear is fine, and it is typically drawn by the fit of the attire.

Common fitting errors include jackets that are too loose or too tight, sleeves that extend too long or short, and trousers which gather at the shoe or, conversely, reveal too much sock. These mistakes disrupt the harmony of the tuxedo's design and distract from the wearer's presence. A good fit accounts for the nuances of each person's body shape and posture and requires the eye and hand of an experienced tailor. This process may involve multiple fittings but is essential to achieving a tuxedo look that is personalized and polished.

Fashion Mistake #2: Inappropriate Accessories

Accessorizing a tuxedo is a balancing act that requires careful consideration. The correct accessories elevate a tuxedo without overwhelming it. Time-honored choices include cufflinks, a pocket square, and a bow tie, which should all be chosen to work in cohesion with the rest of the ensemble. Accessories should not only complement the tuxedo but also the wearer's physique and the formality of the event.

There is a territory of too much when it comes to accessorizing a tuxedo—loud, ostentatious watches, overbearing jewelry, or non-traditional ties may detract from the understated sophistication of the tuxedo. Another common misstep is choosing the wrong color or pattern for the pocket square or bow tie, which can clash with the tuxedo or other elements of the outfit. Attention should be paid to the details of each accessory, such as the fabric of the bow tie (silk is generally preferred), and ensuring they harmonize with the rest of the tuxedo for a composed appearance.

Fashion Mistake #3: Wrong Shirt Choice

The shirt chosen to accompany a tuxedo should be as carefully considered as the suit itself. The traditional option is a crisp, white dress shirt with a pleated or pique front, a turndown collar, and French cuffs. It acts as the canvas for the tuxedo, setting the stage for the jacket and bow tie to shine. The subtleties of the shirt, including the type of collar and the front style, play a key role in the outfit's overall harmony and formality.

Selecting a shirt that is too casual or of an improper style can undermine the sophistication of the tuxedo. Brightly colored or patterned shirts, button cuffs, and non-traditional collars are common pitfalls that can veer the look towards casual rather than elevated. Aim for a shirt that is well-fitted, with no excess fabric billowing at the waist, and ensure it complements the overall fit and cut of the tuxedo for a seamless look.

Fashion Mistake #4: Footwear Fumbles

The shoes worn with a tuxedo must be as refined as the suit itself. Classic options typically include black patent leather oxfords or opera pumps, which are sleek and minimalist, allowing the tuxedo to take center stage. The gleam of polished leather under the hem of the tuxedo trousers can elevate the entire outfit, offering a sophisticated final touch.

Footwear choices that diminish the tuxedo's impact are an easily avoidable blunder. This includes wearing shoes that are scuffed or inadequately polished, overly embellished designs, or colors that clash with the black or midnight blue typically associated with tuxedos. Furthermore, while loafers may be considered for a less formal look, they are generally not recommended for traditional black-tie events where utmost formality is expected. Footwear errs on the side of tradition in formal wear; thus, it is advisable to choose wisely and conservatively.

Fashion Mistake #5: Ignoring the Dress Code

The tuxedo is a formal garment that adheres to specific dress codes, ranging from the classic black-tie to the more relaxed black-tie optional. Understanding these dress codes is critical. A black-tie event mandates a traditional tuxedo with all its trimmings, while a black-tie optional event provides some leeway for personal interpretation without completely dismissing formality. Ignoring these codes can result in a fashion faux pas that demonstrates a disregard for event etiquette.

Adapting to different formal events may require varying interpretations of the tuxedo. For example, a gala might call for a more traditional tuxedo, while a modern awards ceremony could allow for a bit more inventiveness within the bounds of formality. It's vital to stay informed about the expectations of your hosts and to dress accordingly. This does not detract from the fact that, regardless of the event, the common thread of formality and propriety remains paramount.

Fashion Mistake #6: Over or Under Dressing

Walking the tightrope between refined style and overstated opulence is critical when donning a tuxedo. Brands like Kiton and Cesare Attolini imbue their creations with a sense of luxury that does not require added embellishment. The key is to allow the quality and cut of the tuxedo to speak volumes, rather than an excess of accessories or additional layers. Simplicity in a tuxedo ensemble is often synonymous with timelessness and taste.

Examples of overdoing it include adding too many accessories, wearing overly shiny or large lapel pins, or choosing a tuxedo with an overly extravagant pattern or fabric. On the other end, underdressing might mean skimping on the essential elements like a proper bow tie or skipping the cummerbund or waistcoat. Strike a balance that highlights personal style without tipping the scales towards ostentation or casual disinterest.

Fashion Mistake #7: Neglecting Grooming and Posture

The role of grooming in finishing a tuxedo look cannot be underestimated. It is an essential aspect of the overall presentation. Well-styled hair, a clean shave or neatly kept facial hair, and subtle fragrance contribute to the polished image that a tuxedo is intended to project. Negligence in grooming can distract and downgrade the otherwise impeccable style that a tuxedo offers.

Equally, posture plays a significant role in how a tuxedo is perceived. Slouching or sloppy body language can significantly detract from the elegance of the attire. Standing tall with shoulders back and head held high enhances the formality of the attire and exudes confidence. A tuxedo is not merely a garment but a statement that requires the bearer's demeanor to uphold the elegance it represents.


A tuxedo is not just a piece of clothing but a testament to personal style and the observance of formal tradition. Avoiding the pitfalls of improper fit, inappropriate accessorizing, wrong shirt selection, footwear flubs, neglecting dress codes, and the extremes of over or underdressing, as well as maintaining impeccable grooming and posture, will ensure that your tuxedo-wearing experience is as flawless as the exquisite workmanship of brands like Kiton and Cesare Attolini. By heeding these guidelines, one can navigate any formal occasion with the elegance and grace befitting the storied garment that is the tuxedo.