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What Styles do Tuxedos Come In?

It can be confusing enough to walk into a formalwear store to rent or purchase a tuxedo for your wedding day without attempting to understand all the styles that await you.

The classic tuxedo. Named for the dinner jackets that gained popularity among high society residents of Tuxedo Park, New York, this classic look has been the standard for formal occasions for well over a century. Depending on the current fashion and the build of your own body, you can choose from a variety of lapels and button arrangements to bring out the best look.

For example, a low button, single breasted tuxedo jacket with a long, shawl lapel – the kind of lapel that forms a smooth, rounded line with no notch – looks formal and fantastic on just about any kind of groom. This kind of style creates vertical lines that can give the impression of extra height. With only one or two buttons near the bottom of the jacket, this look gives you lots of room to show off a fancy vest.

Taller grooms can get away with a double-breasted tuxedo jacket with a peaked lapel – a lapel that points up and out from just below the collar the shape of a “V.” Because this collar and the horizontal arrangement of two sets of buttons draw the eyes from left to right, very thin men can use this look to give themselves the appearance of having a little more heft.

Contemporary designers have updated the look of the traditional tuxedo by placing a smaller, peaked lapel on a single-breasted, four-button jacket. The high neckline can showcase a straight silk tie instead of the traditional bow tie, offering a stunning, urban look.

Other, slightly less formal ceremonies can accommodate a more simple tuxedo jacket with a notched lapel. The fabric creates a slim line similar to the shawl lapel, and the indentation does not stick out as much as the peaked lapel.

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