Formal Tuxedos – A Red Church Guide

Origin of a Tuxedo


Tuxedos likely got their name from Tuxedo Park. The story has it that one evening Griswold Lorillard, son of the founder of Tuxedo Park, came up with the idea to wear a short black jacket without tails. The new fashion was a hit. When male guests would come and stay with families in Tuxedo Park, they were intrigued by the jackets the men wore and would return to places such as New York City and ask their tailors to make them a jacket “like the ones worn in Tuxedo.” Ironically, the tuxedo was originally considered an informal dinner jacket (because of its short tails), and yet now it is the most formal attire for men to wear.


Tuxedo Styles


Potentially, you may believe suits and tuxedos are quite similar. A tuxedo is not just a black and white suit. Although, traditionally paired up with a bow tie – they are not the only neckwear option available. So what makes a tuxedo… a tuxedo? Well, the quickest and most simplest answer is the satin on the lapel and the stripe on the trousers. You won’t find satin lapel stripes on the pants of a suit, but you do on a tuxedo. Suits usually come with normal style buttons whereas tuxedos have silk style buttons.


So, should you wear a tuxedo to your event? Maybe ask the question, “is a tuxedo suitable for my wedding”. In 2021 and 2022 more and more people are opting for the formal elegant look considering the year we had. Grooms now once again are trying to differentiate themselves from the guests at a wedding and how better to do it than with an elegant tuxedo. The tuxedo is designed to elevate your appearance above the day-to-day suit. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you’re probably celebrating something special. Only you can decide whether a tuxedo is the garment you need.


Different Types of Tuxedos 


Shawl Collars


Shawls aren’t just for little old ladies. Shawl (collars, that is) are characterized by a modern, rounded shape, and are primarily seen on tuxedos and dinner jackets. While shawl lapels are pretty much only found on black tie-appropriate garments.


Here are samples of shawl collars available at Red Church:


Men's black tuxedo. Van Gils brand.Mens navy tuxedo. Van Gils brand.


Left image: Black Van Gils Shawl Tuxedo

Right image: Navy Van Gils Shawl Tuxedo


Notch Lapels


These are the standard in men’s suiting today. Notch lapels are found on everything from sport coats to business suits – which also means they’re considered more casual than other lapel types. They have a “notch” where the jacket collar meets the lapel. Despite being a casual lapel type, notch lapels are versatile – you’ll find them on both suit and tuxedo jackets. Just avoid wearing them at the most formal black-tie events.


Here are notch lapel samples available at Red Church, in three colour ways:


Remus Uomo. Black Rocco. Three Piece TuxedoRemus Uomo. Burgundy. Slim Fit. Three Piece Tuxedo


Left image: Remus Uomo Black Rocco Mix and Match Three Piece Tuxedo

Right image: Remus Uomo Burgundy Slim Fit Three Piece Tuxedo

Also available in navy.


Velvet Tuxedos


Red Church have noticed that velvet tuxedos are making a massive comeback, particularly at winter weddings. In chilly weather, Red Church recommends opting for a velvet dinner jacket for a low-key move, to set your look apart.


Plush velvet adds rich texture to your look, which keeps you feeling and looking warm in the autumn and winter. However, it would look (and feel) out of place in warmer months. Velvet has a heavier handle and feel to it.


Red Church have velvet tuxedos available in three colour ways:


Remus Uomo. Dark Blue Velvet. Tuxedo Jacket and WaistcoatRemus Uomo. Burgundy. Velvet Tuxedo Jacket and Matching WaistcoatRemus Uomo. Black. Velvet Tuxedo Jacket and Waistcoat


Left image: Remus Uomo Dark Blue Velvet Tuxedo Jacket and Waistcoat

Middle image: Remus Uomo Burgundy Velvet Tuxedo Jacket and Matching Waistcoat

Right image: Remus Uomo Black Velvet Tuxedo Jacket and Waistcoat


Tuxedo Shirt Styles


Not only is this the most common type of collar today, but it is also the most versatile. They work with suits and tuxedos alike, which can be paired up with a bow or necktie. Spread collars also come in a variety of points and angles. From the forward point collar with its narrow spread, to the cutaway collar’s wide spread (the “spread” refers to the distance between the collar points). Choose carefully – this is your chance to be the Goldilocks of collar spreads.


Van Gils Tuxedo Shirt

Pictured above is a Van Gils Tuxedo Shirt.


Tuxedo Shoes


When it comes to pairing shoes with your tuxedo, less is usually more. The tuxedo is designed to draw the eye up to your face, but nobody’s going to make eye contact if you’re sporting some over-the-top high-tops. But even if you’re keeping it simple, you’ve got some decisions to make.


Patent Leather:

Patent leather shoe

When it comes to wearing a tuxedo, patent leather is an easy, go-to choice. The patent shine works in harmony with the shine of a tuxedo’s lapels and pant stripes, making it an ideal match. Simple equals elegant.



Simple Plain Leather Shoe:

Lloyd Osmond Plain Black


Wedding or Suiting Questions


If you have any questions about suiting or a wedding, do not hesitate to contact us. With staff members possessing extensive industry experience, you can rest assured that the answers you receive are genuine and accurate.


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Why Choose Red Church for your Wedding?

  • Purpose-built ‘Groom Room’ in store
  • One-to-one private wedding consultations
  • Relaxed atmosphere in store with ‘groom first’ policy
  • Director with 20 years of experience fitting wedding parties
  • Collection featuring Ireland’s top wedding suit brands
  • Very competitive and unique groomsmen packages
  • Free alteration service available for all suits
  • Timeless wedding looks with contemporary twists