Choosing The Right Tuxedo Shirt
There are so many different types of tuxedo shirts that it can be tricky to find the right one. Each shirt has specific details, such as the collar or buttons, that influence how it looks. So, the one you pick should pair well with the rest of your ensemble, while matching your own style preferences.
Before you head off to a wedding, here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best tuxedo shirt.
Wing Collar Tuxedo Shirt
The most formal type of tuxedo shirt is the wing collar shirt. This option has the following distinguishing characteristics:
- Distinctive points that go behind the bow tie rather than sticking straight up
- The bib front, which consists of a different, more textured fabric than the rest of the shirt
- Studs that fit over or through the shirt’s buttonholes
- French cuff that you fasten with cuff links
The wing collar shirt is typically reserved for black tie events, but it can also work for white tie events. If you choose this style, it’s best to pair it with a three-piece peak lapel tuxedo. Never wear it with a dinner jacket or shawl collar, or in semi-formal settings.
Self-Textured With Stud Front Tuxedo Shirt
A self-textured tuxedo shirt is essentially one that consists of only one fabric. These types of shirts are less formal than wing collar shirts, but more formal than non-textured shirts. They’re also one of the most versatile tuxedo shirts and can work with any of the following:
- Three-piece tuxedo
- Two-piece tuxedo
- With or without a waist covering
- Peak or shawl lapel
- Dinner jacket
Whether you’re attending a wedding or another formal event, it’s hard to go wrong with this style of shirt. However, there is one very important detail to consider, and that is the fabric.
The type of fabric can have a huge impact on how formal the shirt looks. Plain-woven cotton, for example, is a popular choice for tuxedo shirts since it pairs well with most tuxedo jackets. Silk is another good option, especially if you’re going for a more luxurious look and feel.
There are other things that can impact how formal or elegant the shirt looks. For instance, if the shirt has a turndown collar and lacks a bib front, then it’s considered less formal.
Plissé Front With Turndown Collar Tuxedo Shirt
Another popular type of tuxedo shirt is the plissé front. This is a very unique style that has a European feel and alternating lines down the front that give it a nice textured appearance.
In terms of formality, the plissé front looks best when worn with a three-piece tuxedo or a cummerbund. If you don’t want to wear a waist covering or plan to wear a dinner jacket, opt for a different style shirt.
Pleated With Turndown Collar Tuxedo Shirt
The pleated front of this shirt makes it less formal than other options, but it’s also very distinctive. These shirts are immediately recognizable for their pleats, but they also have a stud front or buttons, turndown collar, and French cuffs.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind is the width of the pleats. They should match the wearer’s frame. Generally, slim men should choose narrow pleats, while men with a broader frame should go with wider pleats.
Because the pleated front shirt has a bit of a “cool factor” to it, it goes well with a dinner jacket, especially one with an interesting color, pattern, or some texture. It also looks great with a velvet jacket or double-breasted tuxedo.
Plain Or Fly Front Tuxedo Shirt
The plain front or fly front tuxedo shirt is highly versatile and has a contemporary look. It’s also somewhat minimalistic since the buttons are covered – no need for studs with this one. These shirts often boast a turndown collar and French cuffs.
A plain or fly front tuxedo shirt can give your entire ensemble a more modern, relaxed look. It works extremely well with a dinner jacket or as an all-purpose tuxedo shirt.
Tuxedo Shirt Tips
Now that you know the main styles of tuxedo shirt, here are a few final tips to help you look amazing on the big day:
- For an elegant, classic style, choose a tuxedo shirt with a wing tip collar and bow tie.
- Always wear cufflinks with French cuffs.
- If you want to go more casual, opt for a black tuxedo shirt instead of the classic white one (but only if the dress code allows for it).
- Make sure you have the right fit. A tuxedo shirt should fit well without bunching up or restricting movement. You should be able to slip two fingers between the collar and your neck while wearing it.
- Prepare two shirts, such as a self-textured shirt and a fly front shirt, for your wedding day. That way, you’ll have options as you go through everything you have planned – wedding photos, the ceremony, cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, etc. And you’ll stay fresh and ready to transition into slightly more casual attire as the night wears on.
Now that you know the main types of tuxedo shirts that exist, go out and find your preferred style. That might be the ultra-formal wing collar tuxedo shirt or the more versatile self-textured tuxedo shirt. Whatever your preference, having the right shirt will ensure you look your best, regardless of the occasion.