How To Wear A Prom Tux
How To Wear A Prom Tux
It's prom. You have to wear a tux. No, not a suit. A tux. Oh, this is your first, isn't it? Don't worry. We'll show you how to do it.
Step 1: The Classics Are Always In Style
You can't go wrong with a classic black tux. Not blue, not silver, black. Don't believe it? Watch any prom movie from the 70's. What makes it classic? We'll show you.
Step 2: The Pants
Tuxedo pants should never be pleated - flat front is the way to go. They may have a subtle braid or satin stripe down the sides of the legs, but they should never have cuffs. Unlike regular pants, tux pants have very little break over the shoe, but you do put them on like any other pants, one leg at a time, and they are sized the same way, by waist and inseam. Tuxedo pants are never worn with a belt, but can be worn with suspenders, which are sometimes called braces. As a general rule, the simpler the pants, the better.
Step 3: The Shirt
A tuxedo shirt is a formal shirt with either a wing collar or a lay-down collar. The wing collar is also sometimes called a wing-tip collar. If you have a big neck or round face, don't wear a wing collar. It'll make you look fat. The front of the shirt may be pleated or flat, but avoid ruffles unless you want to look like you're leading the band. Tuxedo shirts are sized like men's dress shirts, by neck size and sleeve length. If you've never worn a dress shirt, the people at the tux shop can help you find the right size. Just make sure the collar doesn't gap, and that it's not so tight that your neck spills over it. The end of the sleeve should sit at the top of your thumb. A proper tux shirt has French cuffs, which are secured with cufflinks. More on that later....
Step 4: The Jacket
The tux is all about the jacket, and the most classic cut is single-breasted with one or two buttons. Double-breasted really only works if you're super-skinny, and even then, it's not a great idea. Peaked lapels are traditional - they're easy to recognize by the lapel's upward point. The shawl collar - the most flattering look for heavier men - has been making a comeback as well. Shawl collared jackets have curved lapels, with no peaks, notches, or angles. The most classic look, though, is the notched lapel, which is subtle and polished. You'll know one when you see it by its simplicity - the lapel looks like it has a little notch cut into it. All the looks typically feature some satin detailing on the lapel. Keep it elegant by avoiding extremes, like cuts that are overly slim or flared. And stay away from novelty cuts, like the collarless jacket, the nehru jacket, or anything involving too many buttons. They never look a good as you think they will.
Step 5: The Hard Accessories
This is where things get fun. Classic tux accessories start with studs and cufflinks. Studs are like little stand-alone buttons that hold your shirt closed, and cufflinks are man-bling that hold your french cuffs closed. Simple is best - onyx is traditional and sophisticated - but you can get a little expressive in this area with color or design. Just remember, about a quarter inch of cuff should be visible outside of your sleeve, and the decorative part of the cufflink should be worn facing out, or away from your body. When it comes to shoes, you don't see much of the patent tuxedo pump or velvet slipper anymore. A simple tie shoe with no toe cap in either patent or well-polished leather will work. Oh, and tuxes call for thin black socks that come up the calf - no one wants to see your exposed leg.
Step 6: The Soft Accessories
The bow tie is the gold standard of tux-wear, but the narrow tie is gaining in popularity, especially for slim men, even though it's not really traditional or proper. Either way, bet on black. You'll look like a million bucks, especially if you learn to tie your bow tie yourself. If you can't, you can always get a pre-tied bowtie, but don't give up too easily; an easy way to learn to tie your own is to practice aroun