Formal wear is festive by nature so you have tremendous freedom and flexibility to design a look that's all your own. You can wear an elegant vest or a cummerbund, a long tie or a bow tie, or even mix and match a dinner jacket with contrasting trousers. Feel free to play with color, pattern and texture. Guys used to think they didn’t have options but now you DO!
When it comes to bow ties and cummerbunds, stick with monochromatic colors like black, white and grey. Don't try to match the wedding colors. A red, pink or purple bow tie can make a beautiful tuxedo look like a high school prom outfit.
Suit: A jacket and pant combination made from the same matching fabric. Often includes a matching vest (making it a "three-piece" suit). Best paired with a long tie and pocket square. A suit is appropriate for semi-formal affairs. If the event is black-tie optional, stick with a dark grey, dark blue or black suit.
Separates: A sport coat or blazer worn with pants in a different fabric. More casual than a suit. The jacket is generally in a fabric with more texture or pattern than a suit would have. A tie is optional. Can be paired with a contrasting vest for a more elevated look. Separates are often the preferred option for casual celebrations and destination weddings.
Black Tie: Standard tuxedo wear - this means a black or midnight blue tuxedo with silk facing on the jacket lapels and down the side of the trousers. Best worn with a white shirt (French cuffs mandatory!) and a bow tie. The look is completed with a matching vest or silk cummerbund.
Festive Black Tie: This more relaxed version of formal dress allows for a range of dinner jacket options. Silk and velvet fabrics are great choices, and you can pick from a range of colors like royal blue, burgundy and emerald green. Scottish tartans are also a stylish way to go.
Black Tie Encouraged: The polite way of saying "step up your game and get a tux, but if you don't you are still invited."
Morning Dress: This is the classic British outfit worn for formal daytime affairs such as weddings and the Royal Ascot (England's answer to the Kentucky Derby). The look consists of a morning coat, which has a continuous sweeping line from the lapels down to the long tail in the back. The jacket is traditionally solid black and lacks the silk trim found on a tuxedo. It is typically worn with a grey waistcoat (vest) and black and grey striped trousers.
White Tie: The most formal evening wear. It consists of a black tail coat with matching trousers, white pique tuxedo shirt, and a white bow tie. It can be a very elegant look for a groom and the wedding party.