Tuxedos have long been associated as the suit choice for only the fanciest of events for men. Primarily solid black, basic tuxedos improve on the classic business suit by adding a flashier coating, such as satin, to the jacket’s lapels, and are often worn with a cummerbund or vest, tuxedo shirt, and bow tie. Though most suits lack the satin lapels, converting a suit to look like a tuxedo can still be done by including these additional items in the wardrobe choice.
Choose a slim-fitting black suit to start your tuxedo conversion. Put on the pants but leave the jacket on the hanger.
Put on the tuxedo shirt. Classic tuxedo shirts have small pleats along the chest of the shirt, though more modern styles lack these. The shirt is primarily white with contrasting black buttons, and may have a variety of cuff styles, including French and barrel cuffs.
Put on the cummerbund or vest. These are usually not worn together, but incorporating either will add a tuxedo appearance to a suit. The cummerbund or vest can either be black, as to match the tuxedo, or in a contrasting color.
Tie the bow tie around your neck. The bow tie should match the color of the cummerbund or vest, giving the style a formal appearance.
Put on the black suit jacket and button it, leaving the bottom button unbuttoned. The tuxedo look is now complete.
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Noah Christman is a planner and urban designer living and working in Northern California. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Science in city and regional planning from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, he has been working in the fields of architecture, planning and community design, public policy and marketing/branding.