The Ike Behar Tuxedo Primer.

The Ike Behar Tuxedo Primer.

The Ike Behar Tuxedo Primer: When tuxedos are required and how to wear them well.

When there's a big formal event, nothing beats the timeless appeal of a luxurious tuxedo. To look your best, you'll need to know some important information, such as when and how to wear it. Ike Behar has many terrific options that will have you looking suave and debonair.

Where to wear a tuxedo

Here are a few common events where tuxedos are necessary:

  • If you're a part of the groom's party, a tuxedo is a must. If you're merely attending the wedding, usually a nice suit jacket is good enough. Read the invitation. If it's at a fancy, upscale location, a tuxedo might be preferred. If there is any ambiguity, contact someone involved in the wedding to make sure you'll be dressed appropriately.
  • Balls or galas. Formal dances, galas and black tie fundraisers are all events where you should wear a tuxedo. Showing up to a gala without one will make you stick out like a sore thumb. You don't want those snickering whispers to be about you.
  • Formal dinners. Not every upscale restaurant necessitates wearing a tuxedo, but it's a faux pas to attend a fancy dinner and be dressed worse than the waiter.
  • Grand openings. Openings to elegant events such as ballets and operas will require wearing a tuxedo.


In general, it's better to be overdressed for an occasion than underdressed. If an invitation says, "black tie optional" or "black tie preferred," you should treat it as a formal event. Pieces such as the cummerbund and vest can be removed if you appear overdressed, while it's much more difficult to dress up your look on the fly.

Choosing the right tuxedo

Most importantly, Ike Behar recommends getting your tuxedo tailored so it fits you perfectly. You can't pull off the suave look with a tuxedo that's too baggy or ill-fitting

When choosing a tuxedo, also consider:
  • Single- or double-breasted.Single-breasted tuxedos provide the classic look and we recommend them. If you want a double-breasted option, however, keep in mind that they look much better on slimmer men. If you're a larger man, a double-breasted tux is unflattering.
  • Pleated or unpleated. Your white dress shirt can either be pleated or unpleated. Typically, they are pleated and offer a more formal appearance. If your event is black tie optional, you could go with an unpleated shirt for a slightly more casual look.
  • Black or blue.Color choice comes down to black or dark blue. Don't be the guy who shows up to the symphony opening in a sherbet orange tux. Black is the classic choice and will never get you into trouble. If you want to stand out while still being respectful to the event, navy blue is a great option.
  • To add a touch of flair to your appearance, accessories are key. Add a colorful pocket square or lapel pin to infuse some personality. A watch can lend a refined touch, but ensure it is simple with a white face and black band. Flashier sport watches are not appropriate for formal events.

Ike Behar's commitment to craftsmanship and quality materials means you'll always look your best at formal events. View our current formal collection and choose what fits best for the big occasion.

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