Perfecting the Details and Finishing Touches
Once you’ve figured out the right tuxedo, shirt, bow tie, and shoes for your wedding, it’s time to focus on the details and finishing touches. After all, it’s the little things that will highlight your personality and tie your entire outfit together.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the seven main details that will transform your outfit from “decent” to “amazing.”
7 Details and Finishing Touches
Before getting into the list, keep in mind that some of these final touches are suggestions while others are highly recommended. At the end of the day, what a lot of it comes down to is your personal preference and, to a point, the wedding dress code.
When it comes to the waist covering, you have two main options:
- Cummerbund – a broad pleated sash that goes around the waist
- Tuxedo vest – often available in black or another dark color, a vest goes over the tuxedo shirt and adds a layer to complete the ensemble
Along with adding a level of formality to your attire, both the cummerbund and the vest serve a very specific purpose. That is, they eliminate the white “V” that would otherwise show just below the button of a single-breasted jacket.
This is important because that little white patch can completely throw off the balance of your tuxedo. It can also draw people’s attention to the patch rather than upwards to your face.
Whether you choose a cummerbund or a vest is entirely up to you and your personal style preferences. However, if you choose a cummerbund, here are two things to keep in mind:
- The fabric of the cummerbund should always match the fabric of your lapel
- The pleats should always face up
As for the vest, it’s best to go with a low-cut option that has a U-shaped cutout rather than a V. Although it might seem subtle, this distinction can make your entire outfit look much more elegant and refined.
Studs are primarily a decorative piece that fits through your dress shirt’s buttonhole. When worn, they can make your attire look more formal, which is why they’re so popular at black tie weddings. If you’re wearing a fly-front shirt, you won’t need studs. However, you will need them with any other tuxedo shirt.
Typically, studs are either gold or silver. Some have a plain design, but many of the modern ones have a stone inset of some kind.
If you want to create an elegant contrast down the placket of your shirt, go with a darker stone. Or, if you’re preparing for a highly formal black tie or white tie event, choose mother of pearl instead.
Cufflinks are an essential finishing touch to any tuxedo, especially when you’re wearing a French cuff shirt. Although they’re mostly decorative, cufflinks also serve to fasten your shirt cuffs.
Usually, if you buy a stud set for your shirt, it will come with matching cufflinks. But if it doesn’t, you’ll need to get them separately.
The great thing about cufflinks is that they add a personal touch to your tuxedo. They also come in various materials, including precious stones, metal, and even glass. In most cases, you’re going to want to choose metal or stone, though. Whatever else, make sure the material of your cufflinks matches that of your studs.
Whether you’re the groom or a guest, a pocket square is essential to completing any tuxedo. It should be plain white to create a simple, sharp, and elegant contrast with the jacket.
Pocket squares come in many different fabrics, but the three best ones are poplin, linen, and silk.
- Poplin has a very smooth appearance and works particularly well if you like the presidential fold.
- Linen has a pleasant texture and a classic, elegant appearance and also works with the presidential fold.
- Silk has an elegant, sophisticated look and is best for anyone who prefers the puff fold.
When it comes to the fold, most weddings call for the presidential fold. This style is both classic and formal, making it ideal for black tie events. However, the puff fold also works for formal occasions, particularly if you want to make a statement.
There are dozens of pocket square folds to choose from, so play around with them until you find what works.
A boutonniere is a flower you wear over the buttonhole of a formal jacket. It’s not required with a tuxedo, but it can be a nice touch for a special event like a wedding.
The most traditional flower to wear to a black tie event is a carnation. However, a red or white rose is also acceptable.
Unless the invitation says otherwise, you can generally wear any type of flower as a boutonniere. Just make sure it’s not so big that it covers the edges of your lapel or seems gaudy.
Proper tuxedo pants will have side adjusters, but it doesn’t hurt to wear suspenders, too. With suspenders, you won’t have to worry about your pants sliding down or shifting uncomfortably – especially helpful on the dance floor.
Your suspenders should be either white or black. Just like with your cufflinks, the color of the metal adjusters on the suspenders should match your studs.
As an aside, if your tuxedo pants have belt loops, they’re not actually tuxedo pants.
The most traditional socks to wear with formalwear are black silk over the calf socks. These socks have an almost translucent appearance, giving them a very elegant look. If you’re having trouble finding silk socks, most thin black socks will do the trick.
Ultimately, everyone wants to look their best, no matter the occasion. If you’re wearing a tuxedo for a formal event like a wedding, the finishing touches have a huge impact on your overall look. Keep this in mind the next time you’re getting ready for such an event. Even a small change – like the material of your cufflinks – can make all the difference.