A Formal Education - Tuxedo Anatomy 101 - Tuxedo Terminology


Peak Lapel

Notch Lapel

Shawl Lapel

Single Breasted

Double Breasted


No Vent

Single Vent

Besom Pocket


Flap Pocket


Full Dress Tail Coat

Peak Lapel: A pointed or projecting lapel. Considered by many to be the only true lapel for a tuxedo.
Notch Lapel: A "V"-shaped indentation in the side of the lapel. Currently, tuxedos with notch lapels are the most popular variety of tuxedo.
Shawl Lapel: A turned-over collar of a garment that combines with lapels forming an unbroken curving line.
Single Breasted Closure: The jacket has one column of one to four closure button(s) lined up vertically. Today, the most popular tuxedos have one or two buttons.
Double Breasted Closure:
The jacket has two columns of one to three closure buttons lined up vertically.
Vent:
A slit in a garment; specifically : an opening in the lower part of a seam. Today's tuxedos are generally either single vented or non vented.
Besom Pocket: One or two thin fabric or satin strips framing the pocket opening.
Flap Pocket:
A flap of fabric covers the pocket opening.

Full Dress Tail Coat: Full Evening Dress Coat for Men. Non-buttoning long coat with satin lapels. Short waist length cut in front with a long tail in back which falls to the back of the knee.
Cutaway: (not pictured) also known as a Morning suit. Buttoning long coat with no satin on it's lapel. A coat with skirts tapering from the front waistline to form tails at the back of the knee. Generally black or grey in color and worn with hickory striped trousers, heather grey vest and ascot tie.
Stroller: (not pictured) regular suit length variation of the morning suit theme. (see cutaway).

An Introduction to Tuxedo Shirts

Lay Down Collar

Wing Collar

Wing Collar: Shirt collar stands up on neck and has angled wing like tabs.
Lay Down Collar: Also known as LDC. Fold over shirt collar. The same as a standard dress shirt. A spread collar is a variation of a lay down collar.
Band Collar: (not pictured) Collar stands straight up on neck, has no tabs and does not fold over. Often worn with collar button covers.
Pleated Front: Ribs or pleats running vertically on each side of the buttons on the front placket or panel of shirt.
Pique: Waffle textured fabric.

Formal Tie Philosophy

Bow Tie

Four In Hand Tie

Windsor Tie

Ascot Tie

Cravat & Euro Ties

Shar Pei Tie


Bow Tie: A short necktie tied in a bow knot. Today, most bow ties come pre-tied. Bow ties that you tie yourself are often referred to as "Tie to Ties".
Four in Hand Tie: Also known as a "Straight Tie", is a standard full length tie that you tie yourself.
Windsor Tie: Is a standard straight tie that is pre-tied with a Windsor knot. Windsor ties typically have neck bands that run around the outside of the shirt collar.
Ascot Tie: A broad scarf like double paneled tie that is generally worn with traditional Morning attire.
Cravat Tie: A band or scarf worn around the neck. Or, a narrow version of an ascot tie. Cravats sometimes have bands below the neck.
Shar Pie Tie: Popular in the late 90's the Shar Pei tie is a variation of a cravat tie with a wrinkled knot.

Why are they called tuxedos ?
In the 1880's a large and beautiful tract of land called Tuxedo Park, near the village and on the shore of Tuxedo Lake, became a fashionable resort community of the very wealthy. It was here, near the turn of the century, that young men, disregarding the dictates of current fashion, began to wear dress jackets without tails. This new style which they made popular was soon called the tuxedo.
What is the difference between a tuxedo and a suit?
Classic tuxedos have satin lapels and a satin stripe on the outside of each pant leg.
Why do tuxedos have stripes on the side of the trousers?
tuxedo trousers are actually derived from military uniforms. The stripes are simply a carry over characteristic from such uniforms used to hide the outside seam of the pant leg.