Tux – Suit difference: What are they?

Tux – suit difference: 7 out of every 10 customer come to us claiming they need a suit, one that goes with a bow tie, and much as it is acceptable to accompany a suit with a bowtie, it turned out to be a tux that they actually need. So, what is the difference here? And is there really that many differences between them that we must have two separate pieces for different occasions?

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Since we’ve actually answered it in several other blog posts, but have never dedicated an article completely to answering this question, today we’re going to talk about the physical, the non-tangible differences, and the exceptions.


1/ Tux – Suit Difference: The Intangibles

It’s important to note that, more than just the apparent physical differences, a tuxedo sends a different message than a suit does. Some people tend to wear t-shirts and jeans most of the time and some rarely change out of their sweats. Thus,  it would seem at first that, for any of us who rarely ever dress up, wearing a suit would send just as strong a message as a tuxedo because it’s equally rare.  But it isn’t always the case.

Suits are common ensembles, if not an obligatory outfit for daily work, or as often referred to: a societal norm. On the contrary, the main point of a tux is more than just to dress up. It is about commemorating special occasions, so special you would wear something extraordinary, and otherwise would not elsewhere. That makes the biggest difference, and explains why tux tops the list of clothing choice in such occasions as weddings. You can go to a grocery store picking food for dinner after work in a suit, not a tux. Similarly, you can wear suits to your wedding, that is if you wish to blend in with every other attendees. There is normally no problem to that, just make sure they know you are the groom, the main celebrity of the day.

tux xuit

2/ Tux – Suit Difference: The Physical

In terms of physical differences, traditionally tuxedos have satin facing on the lapels. Additionally, it sometimes appear on buttons, pocket trim, and a satin side stripe down the leg of the trousers.  Suits don’t incorporate any satin and usually have either plastic or same-fabric-as-the-coat buttons.  Modern tuxedo options have minimized satin to a thin trim on the lapels and a thin bead down the leg. Eventually, the primary difference between the two all boils down to tuxes having satin and suits dont. Of course, to every rule there are exceptions.

Other physical differences like appropriate accessories generally only come into play when talking about traditional black tie standards, although for most modern tuxedo functions like proms and weddings, the lines between what to wear with a tuxedo vs. suit have been blurred. Tuxedos are historically only to be worn with bow ties, cummerbunds or waistcoats , since they complement the shiny satin. It’s common, though increasingly less so, to wear long ties and high stance vests with tuxedos. This is a result of the fact that it is a traditional look, only appropriate with suits.


3/ The Exceptions

Talking about exceptions, there are now some modern satin-less tuxedo options exists in a few styles made primarily to cater to a growing demand in the wedding market.  Tuxedo lines make nearly identical tuxedos, but in different colors.  While the black, steel grey, and heather grey tuxedos do incorporate satin, the tan and slate blue do not.  Because they are part of a larger line of identical tuxedos, these are still considered tuxedos and are very popular options for both proms and daytime weddings. However, most of the time guests still opt for tailoring to ensure they look their best in the big day. This is because they don’t tailor the tuxes to any specific or particular measurements.


If you have got either a tux or a suit already, check this post out for more useful tips: https://www.tailormadesuits.co.nz/shirt-tie-suit-combination-2/

Click here for our tuxedo options for suit hire. For made to measure or tailoring, the options are almost endless. Bring along your design when you come to see us.