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The Compass  /  5 EssentialsStyleWeddings  /  Wear a Blue Tuxedo With Ease – 5 Unorthodox Black Tie Rules

Wear a Blue Tuxedo With Ease – 5 Unorthodox Black Tie Rules

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blue tuxedo jacket

Left: Royal Blue Custom Tuxedo, Center: Royal Blue Custom Dinner Jacket and Black Custom Tuxedo Pants, and Right: Midnight Blue Custom Tuxedo.



Black tie doesn’t mean you can’t mix in some color. Master your blue and navy tuxedo style with these five essential blue tuxedo power moves.


Forget your old, outdated notion of the blue tuxedo. When we say you should be wearing one, you might think we’ve gone off the deep end. That’s because when many people hear blue tuxedo, they picture those powder blue tuxedos and frilly shirts that you see in prom photos from the 70s. Today’s blue tuxedo traces its lineage back much further to much classier days.

The midnight blue tuxedo first hit the scene in the 30s and has been experiencing a renaissance as modern men are recognizing how well men dressed back in the day. Meanwhile, the bolder, royal blue tuxedo is having a heydey, as celebrities have caught on to its eminent and unexpected swagger and begun to rock the more saturated, lighter blue tuxedo to annual award shows.

When it comes to choosing the best tuxedo for you, the traditional black peak lapel tuxedo is a perfectly acceptable choice for a formal gala or New Year’s Eve. But the rules of modern black tie have loosened up, making blue a great tuxedo option for today’s man.

Five essential rules of engagement for modern black tie.

1. Choose your blues wisely.

Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? A royal blue tuxedo is a step in the right direction. As we said above, wear one of these as a wedding tuxedo and you won’t just be boldly going where no man has gone before, you’ll be in rarefied air. How rare? You’ll be joining the red carpet ranks among Ryan Gosling and Matt Bomer as you challenge black supremacy in the world of tuxedos.

If a royal blue tuxedo is too strong of a statement for you it doesn’t mean you’re relegated to black. A midnight blue tuxedo is a fine choice for the man who wants to echo the inky blue tones of the night sky in his evening attire. Going this route will also get you into rarefied air, but this shade of blue tuxedo is more of a classic than a newcomer to the world of black tie. Case in point, Sean Connery wore a midnight blue tuxedo while playing 007 back in 1962 before Daniel Craig (who wore one while playing Bond in Skyfall) was even born.

Royal Blue Tuxedo and Navy Tuxedo by Black Lapel

Royal Blue Tuxedo and Midnight Blue Tuxedo by Black Lapel.



2. Slip on some style.

The laceups you might have worn for a cold New Year’s Eve can be swapped for some formal slippers when the weather permits.

The idea of wearing slippers and a tuxedo may sound silly but these are not some pair of fuzzy house slippers. We’re talking about the predecessor to the modern day loafer: the formal slipper. If you really want to pull off the irreverently stylish look that we encourage here at The Compass, try them in dark blue (as seen below) with a blue tuxedo (as suggested above) and without socks (as seen anywhere badasses reside).

Blue Tuxedo Shoe

Marquis Slipper by Herring.



3. Never turn down a chance to show your style

If you are a traditionalist who is going after the Downton Abbey look, a wing collar is probably in your closet. But if your look is a little more downtown and less Downton, you’ll want a turndown collar on the formal shirts you wear with a tuxedo.
That means your formal shirts should be distinguishable from your everyday white shirts. Important details like French cuffs are a must. The best tuxedo shirts include other small, but important nuances like hidden plackets so that your buttons don’t show, or stud-ready plackets that let you use studs instead of buttons to keep your shirt closed.

Tuxedo Shirts

White Broadcloth Custom Tuxedo Shirt and White Solid Twill Weave Custom Tuxedo Shirt by Black Lapel.



4. Suspend your disbelief in braces.

Even the most devoted belt wearer knows that tuxedo pants aren’t meant to be worn with a belt. A belt is a major offense in the world of black tie etiquette. For keeping your pants at the perfect height, suspenders are the way to go. Black ones are staid and a bit unimaginative. White ones are sublimely simple on a white formal shirt. For a dose of standout style, go bold with some suspenders with color and pattern. Got on one of the blue tuxedos suggested above? Drop some blue into your suspenders to tie your whole look together even when you remove your jacket.

Blue Tuxedo Braces

Formal Naples Narrow Silk Braces by Trafalgar.



5. Mix things up

Dinner jackets and pants don’t need to match. If you’re looking to tame the stuffiness of a black tie look but don’t want to go as far as a full Royal Blue tuxedo, try just the jacket with a pair of black formal pants. Consider this the un-tux. Does this outfit play by the black tie rules? Yes. Does it make you look like a guy who always plays it by the book? Hell no.

Royal Blue Custom Dinner Jacket with Black Custom Tuxedo Pants

Royal Blue Custom Dinner Jacket and Black Custom Tuxedo Pants by Black Lapel.



High Five

Now that you know the five essential elements of pulling of the black tie look with blue, it’s time to put it all into action. Got a black tie event coming up? You can get all of the products you saw in this story by clicking on the photos above. And if you’d like some help putting it all together, just ask in the comments below.

Your Next Move:

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180 thoughts on “Wear a Blue Tuxedo With Ease – 5 Unorthodox Black Tie Rules”

  1. I had recently purchased a midnight blue tuxedo for my school graduation ( in my country we dont do the whole gown and hat thing)
    and I have decided to pair it with a black trouser and a white tuxedo shirt. Since the event isnt super formal, bowties would look somewhat out of place. Therefore im considering buying a thin black neck tie around the width of my lapel to go with it. Would this go well with the tux or is a bowtie mandatory?
    Also is a lighter shade of blue okay to use as a pocket square?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A bow tie isn’t mandatory and you’re correct in thinking a think black tie is the next best, less formal option. As for the pocket square, however, you should wear a white pocket square or no pocket square at all. You don’t want to ruin your dinner jacket with a clashing pocket square. Big ups on graduating!

  2. Wedding coming up: I wanted to wear a midnight blue tux with black lapels and obvi black shoes, must. My groomsmen are going to wear gray suits, with matching with me navy bow ties. 1) does that work?

    2) its a cocktail attire/ formal optional wedding. I wanted to be the ONLY one in a tux hence the wedding attire…..that said, is it weird if my groomsmen wear their gray suits, blue bow ties, brown shoes combo (i personally think brown shoes looks better with gray/ navy combo) and I have a navy tux with black shoes? My fiance thinks all men should be wearing same color shoes, thoughts? I know you are going to say always best to agree with fiance haha! Let me know!

    …my other option is nixing the black lapel and going with a less formal navy tux with a darker brown shoe…thoguhts on option #2?

    thanks for your help!

    1. Hey Adam, did you know we have an entire wedding party planner for grooms-to-be? You’ll get a dedicated (and free) stylist to help you and your groomsmen choose their outfits and answer all of these questions. You can even score a discount if you have 4+ people in your wedding party. Go get started: https://blacklapel.com/weddings. Congrats on the big day!

      P.S. It’s your big day, go with the fancy tux.

  3. hi there, great article above, really useful.

    I am wearing a midnight blue tux to a Christmas party this Friday night…The event is not a “black tie” – however I has been implied that these “Christmas events” always have their fair share of “men in tux’s” – and the dress code is “smart”… do I go with black bow tie? or black paisley tie with a Windsor knot?

    and do I match my pocket square with the tie or go with a traditional plain white??

    what do you recommend?
    thank you in advance.

    1. Go big or go home, Mitz. By that we mean: go with a black bow tie. The holidays are a wonderful excuse to dress up more than you normally would. For the pocket square, go white. If you wore a black or midnight blue pocket square it would just blend in and become pointless. We recommend a white silk pocket square. Enjoy the party, we know you’ll kill it in this outfit.

  4. I am getting a royal blue tux for my brother’s wedding. Should I get similar shade lapels or black lapels and what colour bow tie can I match (apart from black) keeping in mind that I’ll be buying a cummerbund and suspenders.
    Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you can see in the images above, we like our tuxes with black satin lapels. It offers a nice contrast against royal blue fabric and coordinates well with a black bow tie, which we also recommend.

  5. Does a black waist coat look ok with midnight blue tuxedo when jacket is off, so blue trousers, black waistcoat?

    1. We don’t suggest a black waistcoat with a midnight blue tuxedo. Midnight Blue is so close to black it will look just slightly off.

      In case you’re wondering, if you’ve already got a Black Lapel Midnight Blue Custom Tuxedo and you can order a waistcoat to go with it by special request. Just drop us a line at concierge@blacklapel.com and we can make one for you.

  6. Hi,

    I want to wear some shade of blue for my wedding and since my fiance wants the bridesmaids in Black I wass thinking about a midnight blue tuxedo. If i decide to go with midnight blue and the bridesmaids are wearing black should I have the groomsmen in black tuxes as well? Will this clash with my midnight blue?

    1. Hmmm…that’s an interesting conundrum. Right off the bat, we suggest you take a look at our article on the five questions you should answer about your dressing your groomsmen since it will be relevant to your situation.

      To answer your specific question, don’t worry too much about your groomsmen and your bridesmaids matching. Remember the groomsmen and the bridesmaids are different genders, so nobody expects absolute uniformity. Think of all the weddings you’ve seen where the bridesmaids wore pastel-colored dresses. Did the groomsmen wear suits in the same color? No, but nobody said, “man, this wedding sucks, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids don’t even match!”

      Suffice it to say, it’s pretty hard for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to clash and you’re in no danger of that no matter how your go. The thing we suggest you consider is how much you want to stand out from your groomsmen. A Midnight Blue tuxedo is so dark it’s only subtlely different from black. If you wear a Midnight Blue tuxedo and the groomsmen wear Black Tuxedos you’ll look only slightly off. The two fabrics are so close, yet not a match, that it will look like an oversight. There are a few ways to avoid that problem:

      1. For uniformity you could all wear midnight blue tuxedos, or all wear black tuxedos.
      2. To stand out from the groomsmen you could wear a color that is further from black, like the Indigo Blue tuxedo or Royal Blue tuxedo while the groomsmen wear black tuxedos.
      3. Our favorite option, you could do what this groom did and wear the Royal Blue tuxedo while your groomsmen wear black tuxedo trousers and royal blue dinner jackets. This not only helps you stand out from your groomsmen but gives them a stylish look that also includes black so that they match the bridesmaids too.

      For more specific advice and help getting the look you’re after, email the Black Lapel stylist team at concierge@blacklapel.com and we can help you put the whole thing together and get you a deal on your group’s tuxes.

  7. I have a royal blue tuxedo suit,my question is that can I go with black boe tie and black oxford shoe.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Of course, Nitin. A black bow tie is the central element of a black tie outfit, so it’s pretty much mandatory. And, while we highlighted blue shoes as a cool way to put a different spin on your blue tux, black shoes are still the default formal shoes and what you’ll see on 99 out of 100 tuxedo wearers.

  8. Pingback: Wear a Blue Tuxedo With Ease – 5 Unorthodox Black Tie Rules – Francis Avenue
  9. Hello. I’m having a wedding in a couple months, and I can’t decide on whether to go with black or midnight blue. Bride is wearing white. Bridesmaids are wearing dark purple (eggplant color). Groomsmen are wearing charcoal grey suits with silver/purple ties that match the bridesmaids color. Should I go with a midnight blue tux? or keep it traditional with the black tux?

    Thanks!

    1. First, let us cure you of the notion that wearing midnight blue tuxedo is somehow not keeping it traditional. As menswear guru Alan Flusser writes in the black tie chapter of his classic men’s style book, Dressing the Man, “In the 1930s midnight blue began to replace black, because under artificial light the dark blue retained its richness.” In other words:

      – the idea of a midnight blue tux is nearly a century old, and
      – midnight blue looks great under the lights.

      For those reasons, we’re all for you rocking a midnight blue tux like this one if you’re after a traditional look. For a more modern take, the Royal Blue tuxedo or dinner jacket above are smart alternatives. But if you want a luxurious traditional look, midnight blue is a great choice.

      1. Ahh, thanks for the info.

        In terms of matching with the color palette of the bridal party, do you think the midnight blue tux will go well with the dark purple dresses and charcoal grey suits?

        1. Yup, midnight blue is so dark it’ll pretty much work with anything. The richness of the color will come out with the dresses but in a subtle way. When you’re standing next to the charcoal gray suits, it will read more like black because it’s so dark.

          It feels like a safe option to us, but we don’t want to push you out of your comfort zone, Dan. Ultimately, it’s your call. To help here are a couple of midnight blue tuxes “in the wild” for you to look at. You can see the subtlety of the blue in photos from this wedding. Similarly, you can see that even under sunlight, midnight blue reads like a rich black tux. You can see that, even surrounded by bright colors, the blue doesn’t stand out like a bolder, more saturated royal blue does.

          Hopefully, these images are helpful. Check out the entire Pinterest board for more ideas (and some great looking Black Lapel clothes).

  10. For a midnight blue shawl collar tux, how does it pair with a charcoal pair of tuxedo pants? Or do we have to wear black/midnight blue tuxedo pants?

    1. A midnight blue jacket and charcoal gray pants (whether they be part of a formal black tie look, or a sport jacket and slacks) should not be worn together. The resulting muddled color combination doesn’t do anyone any favors.

      The key word, when it comes to pairing fabrics is contrast. The trick to dressing well is matching the contrast of your clothes to your own personal contrast. That’s a topic we’ve covered here, and here, and here, and here, just to name a few articles. If you want to wear two different colored fabrics, there is a minimum amount of contrast those colors should have. The almost black, midnight blue and almost black, charcoal gray make for an almost non-existent contrast. The result looks like you thought you were pulling out a matching suit and mistakenly grabbed the wrong pants.

      For the same reason, we don’t recommend you wear black pants with an almost black midnight blue jacket (a combo that Business Insider style writer, Dennis Green, recently called “the single most unforgivable men’s suiting sin.” When it comes to midnight blue tuxedo jackets, they go best with one pair of pants: midnight blue tuxedo pants.

  11. Wow thank god i stumbled upon this site. So I’m bit late but I am looking for a navy blue or midnight blue for my wedding next Month, second week of October but I can’t seem to find a store to see and try one on.

    Also, my groomsmen are wearing a dark grey tux that they are renting. Would that be a issue of i the groom wears Midnight tux and they wear a grey tux? And what color shoes should we wear. Thanks

    1. While we’re sad that we can’t get you looking your best in a Black Lapel Midnight Blue custom tuxedo or Indigo Blue custom tuxedo (we make clothes to your exact measurements so we wouldn’t be able to deliver your tux in time for your wedding), we’re happy we were able to advise you with this article.

      As for the groomsmen wearing something different from the groom, this is not only acceptable but something we covered in detail in our article about the 5 Questions to Ask About Your Groomsmen’s Suits.

      As for the shoes, our recommendations is that either the entire wedding party wear highly-polished, formal black shoes or that your groomsman all wear black and you wear blue to go with your blue tuxedo.

      1. If they wear brown shoes and I wear a polished black dress shoes then it should be fine right? Also their suit also comes with a vest, can I skip the vest for me?

        1. It comes down to whether the groomsmen are wearing suits or tuxedos. If the groomsmen are wearing tuxedos (even if the tuxes are gray), they should be in black shoes. Brown, with its more rustic and rural associations, is not formal enough to be worn with a tuxedo. If they are wearing gray suits, however, brown shoes are fair game.

          The vest question also depends on whether we’re talking about tuxedos or suits. Black tie tradition says that tuxedos should be worn with some sort of waist covering, either a cummerbund or a waistcoat (vest). This black tie rule is often broken and, to be honest, even among the Black Lapel stylist team we have different opinions. Our advice for you: if you’re wearing a tux, play it safe and wear the vest.

  12. derek sackal says:

    I am getting married in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico this December. I really like a Ted Baker Navy shawl tuxedo but am unsure if a shawl lapel is formal enough. The 4 p.m. ceremony is on a rooftop terrace not the beach .

    1. also. I believe i know you answer to this but i will ask. My fiance has an designer ivory dress, could I where an ivory bowtie or stick to a Black bowtie?

      1. Black Lapel says:

        Stick to a black bow tie, Derek. The color of the tie is the foundation of the dress code, black tie. White tie is another level up the formality ladder and should be worn with tails. Unless your wedding is also a coronation or you’ll be receiving a Nobel Prize, we’d stay away from white.

    2. Black Lapel says:

      We’re going to ignore the fact that you name dropped our competitor when you could get a stunning, shawl lapel, midnight blue tuxedo from us and it’ll fit you perfectly so you’ll really impress your bride and guests. No knock on those other guys, but we know a thing or two about how to make a great wedding tux.

      As for the concern about the shawl lapel, don’t sweat it. A shawl lapel is plenty formal and it’s preferable when wearing a non-black dinner jacket because the black satin lapel creates a smooth line. Peak lapels can create a jarring change from black satin on the lapel to the colored fabric of the collar. The result is it can look like the lapels were attached as an afterthought (as you can see in this photo from the Oscars a few years ago). When the jacket fabric is blue the contrast isn’t so bad, but a shawl lapel would still be more appropriate.

      While we said don’t sweat the shawl lapel, you may find yourself sweating in a tux in Mexico on a rooftop even in December. If you tend to run hot, we’d suggest you also consider a fabric with some cooling properties, like this mohair blend tuxedo in Indigo Blue (they come in black too). This lighter blue tuxedo is great for warm weather affairs.

  13. I decided to go with a midnight blue tuxedo for my upcoming wedding (Summer18). I agree with all of the tips provided! I do have one question. Before I ask my question I want to give you a visual description:
    Midnight Blue Jacket w/Black Satin Shawl Collar; Black BowTie; White Tuxedo Shirt (not pleated); and Midnight Blue Pants…
    My question is should I have a black satin braid on the pants? I was trying to keep it modern so I decided to not go with the braid, but I’m considering getting it added because the pants just don’t “pop” like the jacket. I think the pants without the braid makes the tuxedo look like a nice jacket with a pair of slacks. Please let me know what you think would look nice for my wedding tuxedo!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Your instincts are correct, Xavier. There are a few things that set apart formal trousers from dress slacks:

      1. Formal pants have black satin trim down the outseam to match the satin on the dinner jacket’s lapels.
      2. Formal pants never have cuffs to keep the leg opening crisp and clean.
      3. Formal pants never have belt loops because a belt with a tuxedo is a no-no. Instead, hold these pants up with formal suspenders.

      The most noticeable of these details that make formal pants formal is the first one. Without the black trim, as you suspected, they’ll just look like a pair of dark blue pants that come with a suit (which is a step down in formality from black tie).

      Since you’ve got some time before the wedding, and midnight blue pants are an extremely versatile addition to your wardrobe, we recommend keeping them as a pair of dress slacks and getting yourself a pair of true formal pants. That way you’re not trying to do surgery on a pair of existing pants, but getting a pair of pants that are made properly as formal pants.

      If your dinner jacket came from us at Black Lapel, you can order formal pants in the matching Midnight Blue by special request. Just email us at concierge@blacklapel.com and we’ll get the order in for you.

  14. Hello! I’m going to use a blue tuxedo jacket with black trousers and a waist coat for my graduation. Once I’ll use the latter, I’m supposed to use belt, right? Would it be so terrible if I use suspenders?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We have a great read you should checkout, it’s all about suspenders and our support for those who dawn the look.

  15. Hi, my 14 year old is going to a black tie event. His suit jacket is more royal blue than navy, but it has the black evening style lapel. His trousers are the same blue but have no side stripe. Is this suit ok? Should I buy him black evening trousers with the stripe instead to go with the blue jacket? Should I give up with this all together and buy him a new tux? If so, im seeing navy (which sounds ok reading above midnight blue comments) and even grey. Are either of these colours acceptable? It’s a national event in the arts sector, so I think there will be an element of creativity, but it is still a formal event.
    Many thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      First off, we’re going to need you to come up on stage to receive your “Mom of the Year” award. I’m having flashbacks to my mom dressing me up in oversized clothing and forcing me to get a bowl cut, so it’s great to see some parental style guidance. As for your question, you’re doing great. As you saw in the article, there is a pictured model wearing royal blue trousers below a royal blue jacket, and we think that looks great! Don’t let the phrase “black tie” scare you too much, yes he should be in a fitted tux, but he can also add some creativity to it. You can purchase black tuxedo pants or, if you insist on buying a new one, we’d go with our Midnight Blue Custom Tuxedo 😉

  16. Valerian Coelho says:

    Hi ,

    I am planning to get a midnight blue tux with a matching cummerband, i presume shirt should be white and a midnight blue bow tie? Black shoes as well? Let me know if ive gone wrong somewhere , look forward to your advise

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Bravo! Take a bow good sir, you’re quite right with your presumptions..

  17. For a “black tie requested” wedding, I have a midnight blue tux with dark blue, almost black lapels. Sbohld I have requested black lapels? Should I wear a black tie with the navy lapels, or a navy tie? Also planning on dark nlue slippers.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As the name of our company suggests, we prefer black lapels here at Black Lapel. Be that as it may, work with what you’ve got.

      As for the tie, we don’t recommend any other color of bow tie for black tie events. Traditionally, the color of the tie is significant. Black tie is not just the name of the dress code, it is the benchmark of the whole outfit’s formality. Black tie is less formal than the extremely formal white tie, which is rare and usually reserved for monumental events like coronations and Nobel Prize ceremonies. Black tie means a dinner jacket and formal trousers (aka a tux), so while we may bend the rules a bit, we believe, if you’re going to wear a tuxedo, you need to be in a black bow tie to finish the look.

      Speaking of bending the rules, as we said in the second section above, the dark blue slipper is a sharp move that we wholeheartedly endorse.

  18. I am wearing an ivory dinner jacket and already own black velvet slippers. Can I wear midnight blue pants with black velvet shoes? Does the bow tie need to match the pants or the shoes?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A black tie is essential to your black tie ensemble, otherwise you’re not in black tie, are you?

      Why is this important? Black tie etiquette may have loosened up over the years, but the color of the tie still carries meaning. A black tie denotes the level of formality, setting a tuxedo apart from business or cocktail attire (a suit and neck tie) or a more formal dress code like white tie, which should be reserved for things like coronations and Nobel Prize ceremonies and includes a coat with tails. With so much riding on the color of your bow tie, we don’t recommend breaking with this particular tradition.

      Also the combination of ivory dinner jacket and midnight blue pants is a bit incongruous. We’d swap the pants out for black formal trousers for a more cohesive look. Then the black shoes would be the logial choice.

  19. I’m thinking about wearing a royal blue tuxedo with a satin blue shawl lapel for my wedding. There will also be a satin stripe on the pocket and down the side of each pant leg. What colour shoes and bow tie should I wear? The groomsmen are wearing royal blue suits. I’m thinking I should wear the same colour shoes as them and brown may be the best colour for their shoes and belt. If brown is the best colour, what shade should I wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Take your cues from how we styled the Royal Blue tuxedo in these photos. You’ll note that we kept the tie black. With black tie, a lot of the rules have been relaxed, but wearing black tie still demands that you wear an actual black tie.

      As for the shoes, black is traditional, but as we said in Rule #2 above, blue is the more distinctive option. Whatever you do, DO NOT wear brown shoes with your tuxedo. That would lessen the formality drastically and be a major faux pas.

      And the belt? A belt should not be worn with a tuxedo. That too is a faux pas.

  20. Hey Black Lapel

    So for my prom, I am wearing a Royal Navy tux with black pants. I can’t decide on a tie or show color. I was thinking navy shoes along with a navy tie but I don’t know. Any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It’s called black-tie for a reason, David. We say stick with black for the bow tie. We also recommend black shoes if you’re going to wear black pants. If the pants were blue, we’d be all for blue shoes, but with black pants, the shoes should be black too. Easy, right?

      1. Sounds good. Thanks!

  21. hello

    im wearing a royal blue tuxedo jacket with black pants to a wedding.

    only problem is that i have a beard and it covers the bow tie.
    show i wear a neck tie, or still stick with a bow tie even though its covered?

    thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Stick with the bow tie, Gary. Though your beard will cover the bow tie, a bow tie is implied by the the black-tie getup. Wearing a necktie would draw people’s eyes down (and possibly create the illusion of a beard braid), thus defeating the purpose all your tailored clothing should have, to frame your face and cast it in the best light.

  22. Hi BlackLapel,

    Thanks for a great and concise article. I’m gonna attend my close friend wedding in May. I’m going to wear a midnight tuxedo with shawl lapel, and a double vent. I really dislike the black patent shoes and I don’t have one. Do you think a pair of black oxblood whole cut shoes goes well with the tux since it’s less formal than a traditional tux.

    Best.

    1. Are the shoes in question black or oxblood? If they are black, as long as they are shined up well, you’re good to go.

      We don’t recommend wearing oxblood shoes with a midnight blue tux. The addition of a somewhat random color will look kind of…well…random. You’ll notice that all of the recommendations above keep the colors within the blue family. That creates the cohesive outfit that is black tie. When you start adding in other colors, that’s when things tend to go off the rails.

      When in doub about black tie accessories approach the decision like you’re Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57 and you won’t be disappointed.

  23. billy marsh says:

    hi, I have a black tie wedding in September in Madrid. a perfect opportunity to style some of your warm tux options. im known to be always well dressed, casual or smart. and sometimes known to take things a little bold. I have been thinking about my tux, and which options to wear. im thinking a black tux trousers with blue jacket (unsure on shade of blue yet, also debating velvet).
    my main question is, I see that a waist coat looks a lot more smart and proper than with out! as this is in Madrid and will un-dubitably be pretty warm. do you think I will still look smart and well dressed without the waist coat and any specific tips on warm weather tux wearing.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Great question, Billy! Some of the most stylish variations on tuxedos come from warm weather black tie affairs. The whole idea of doing a non-matching dinner jacket grew out of the interest in keeping cool. Dinner jackets made with lighter colors and mohair and silk fibers were first seen at Palm Beach weddings of the rich and famous back in the day and led to all sorts of experimentation. Here’s are our dos and don’ts for you:

      1. Don’t wear a velvet jacket. Velvet dinner jackets are great for winter events, but you’ll overheat in warm weather.
      2. Do consider fabrics made with cooler fibers like the ones from the Savoy line of tuxedos that blend wool with breathable and cool mohair and silk. (While those are not available now, they’ll be back in stock with plenty of time for you to order and get it before September.)
      3. Don’t get stuck on dark colors just because it’s a formal event.
      4. Do consider a lighter colored fabric that won’t retaing heat as much as black or midnight blue. The Royal Blue dinner jacket and full tux above will help. And we’ll let you in on a little secret about Black Lapel: most of our suit fabrics can be used to make a dinner jacket or tuxedo. We’ve made a tux out of the Cool Gray fabric, for instance, that came out really nicely.
      5. Do cover your waist no matter the temperature. Since dinner jackets have only one button in front, an uncovered waist can reveal a little sailboat shaped white fabric from your shirt that can ruin the clean lines of your look.
      6. Don’t get stuck on the waistcoat as the only way to cover your waist. A waistcoat looks great, but can add another layer and make you hot when the weather is warm. Instead, wear a cummberbund that covers your waist in classic style without adding fabric to your back chest and shoulder area.

      Follow these guidelines and you’ll look cool and stay cool in your black tie getup.

  24. Hello Black Lapel! My wedding is in June this year, and my groomsmen and I will be rocking navy tuxedos, come hell or high water. It’s an outdoor ceremony, with the reception indoors in an old-school New England resort ballroom. My question is this: are dark brown dress shoes acceptable with navy tuxedos? I am of the opinion that they are; other, e.g., my mom, have said, “Brown shoes will make you all look like used car salesmen!” My retort was that we would then be the best-dressed used car salesmen. Your thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Well Tom, you’re getting married now and that means you’re officially a grown up. Yet even grown men still ought to listen to their mothers sometimes. This is one of those times. Black shoes, Tom, are your best option. The blue slippers we highlighted above are a sharp alternative but brown is never an alternative.

      Why? The lapels, the tie and the satin on the side of the pants are all black. Suddenly introducing a stray color like brown to the mix would look out of place. Plus, technically a black tie affair is urbane if not urbane and brown shoes are considered too rustic for such an affair. As the old line goes “No brown in town.”

      Trust us, Tom, you don’t want to look back at your wedding photos and cringe at the big old fashion faux-pas you made. Stick with black or navy shoes.

  25. I am wearing a navy blue peak lapel tuxedo to a wedding, what color bow tie, and shoes? It’s a 3pm wedding…

    1. Black tie is called black tie for a reason, Johnny. Your bow tie should be black when you’re wearing a tux. As you can see in section #2 above, you’ve got a little more flexibility with the shoes. Blue formal slippers in velvet are a rakishly stylish look. If you’re a lace-up guy then you can always go with a pair of black patent leather shoes. And of course, a pair of plain toe black shoes that you’ve applied a high shine to will also do the trick.

  26. Hi black lapel, I am attending a black tie event for a work function there will be a lot of older men at this function, I was wondering if a royal blue tux would single me out too much from everyone else? The function will be indoors and in Los Angeles, CA in January. I don’t want to look out of place but I really like the look more than a black tux. Thanks.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well Alex, only you can decide what you’re comfortable with, but we can tell you this: men have been wearing non-black dinner jackets and full tuxedos for almost as long as people have been wearing dinner jackets and tuxedos. You’ll find examples of midnight blue tuxedos from the 1930s and dinner jackets in ivory, tan and a range of other colors going back even further. So, if these “older” men are old enough to know their black tie history, you wearing blue won’t be much of a surprise to anyone.

      Regardless of what others think, you should wear what you like best on you. If you want to wear blue, don’t wuss out because of what you think someone might think of what you might wear. Man up, Alex. Pep talk complete.

  27. Michael Cruz says:

    Ok. So for my girlfriends party (New Years Eve) I found this awesome royal blue tuxedo jacket. Only difference is that it is velvet instead of the traditional material but still has the black lapels. Since it does have more of a casual look than a standard royal blue tuxedo jacket; I was thinking of going with that and still wearing a white dress shirt with black slacks but a royal blue ascot (istead of a bowtie) and black brouge wingtiped derbys (instead of oxfords). What do you think of the outfit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thumbs up from us, Michael. That’s the way to do unorthodox black tie!

  28. Like most of the other gentlemen here, I have an upcoming wedding that I am hoping to get a list minute detail answered. I am wearing a midnight blue tuxedo with the stud button french cuff shirt and suspenders. I was originally planning on no cummerbund or vest, however after reading this it appears as though I should do the cummerbund. With that in mind, are there more slim cummerbund options? All the cummerbunds I have seen are fairly large, which I feel would look odd on me since I am slender guy. Thoughts or suggestions?

    1. How slim you are shouldn’t matter, Brendan. A cummerbund should be adjustable in the back to fit your waist.

      If you’re afraid that a cummerbund is too large vertically and making it look like your pants are too high, don’t be. The point of a cummerbund is to cover your stomach below the button of your jacket. You’re looking to avoid the little white sailboat that shows up when your white shirt peeks out below your buttoned jacket and above your pants waist.

      As the guys over at the style site, Put This On pointed out recently this is a problem for a lot of guys when wearing suits. Wearing a cummerbund with a suit, would be strange. Wearing one with a tuxedo just makes you fully dressed.

      1. Makes total sense, thank you for the explanation. One thing I could have been more clear on though, was that I was referencing the width of the portion that goes across the front. Are there different sizes for that?

        1. Ah, then yes, some cummerbunds do come in sizes, usually Small/Medium & Large/Extra Large. Try Brooks Brothers or J.Crew for sized ones. Then they are adjustable on top of that, so you can dial them in to fit you. A Small/Medium ought to do the trick.

  29. Brian Walton says:

    Hi,

    Is it ok to have a royal tux jacket with dark blue lapels to go with black tuxedo pants?

    1. As our name suggests, we believe dinner jackets should have black lapels. The black tie color palette may include more than just black and white items but not all at the same time. The more colors you include in your black tie outfit, the less power the whole ensemble has.

      Our advice about the combination you described: something’s gotta go. Either go with a Royal Blue dinner jacket with black lapels and black pants or keep the dinner jacket and go with dark blue pants. If you look at photos of the most stylish men you’ll see that the one thing that binds them all together is they all show restraint. You should too, Brian. When it comes to menswear and colors, less really is more.

  30. Addison Price says:

    Hello! I am wearing a black tux to an event coming up but want to buy a pair of velvet slippers. They have some pretty extravagant colored slippers available and I cant decide which color I would like or if I should go with black? Specifically, do navy slippers work with a black tux?

    1. If there’s one thing we find ourselves warning guys about often it’s weak color contrasts like navy and black or charcoal gray and black. The look ends up muddled. Navy slippers are so close to black there’s really no point in wearing them with a black tuxedo.

      We recommend that the slippers be black. The accessories, after all, should follow the tuxedo’s lead. If the tux is black, the accessories should be so that they look loud by comparison. If the tux were blue, like the ones above, different story, but by wearing a black tux you’re saying “I’m a traditionalist.” Don’t contradict that with extravagant slipper colors.

  31. Hi,

    Wanted to get your guys advice regarding my midnight blue tuxedo. I gotta wedding coming up and I want to wear a neck tie not a bow tie with my tux is that a no-no? Also I love the brown tan shoes wtih the navy suit is that not the case with blue tux and black lapels?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      To answer question one, we wouldn’t recommend a necktie with a tuxedo. It’s not that it looks that bad, it’s that it looks out of place. You’ve got to keep the look consistent. It’s kind of like putting big off-road tires on a Ferrari. Will the car still run? Sure, but it throws the look off.

      As for the shoe color, our answer is similar. Keep it simple. The strength of black tie comes from its simplicity. With a midnight blue tuxedo there’s only one color in the look (technically black and white are not colors). Introducing another, somewhat random, color into the outfit with your shoes will make them stick out. Black shoes echo something else in the outfit and are a smart choice. If that’s too tame for you, go with blue, like the ones shown above. They add interest, but still echo some other part of the outfit and keep things cohesive.

      Now, the casual reader might think you’re itching to break the rules of black tie, Steve and we suggested you shouldn’t. It’s true, we don’t think you should break the black tie rules, but you can certainly bend them. We even put together a guide on how to do it. Check out our story on going Beyond Black Tie for ideas and inspiration.

  32. Hi, Black Lapel! So wedding is coming up next month. Got a textured midnight blue tux jacket with black lapel and black trousers from Carolina Herrera. Thoughta for tie and pocket square? Going black on shoes, but also what about shirt? Studs or no studs… Minds you the jacket texture stands out alot on its own. Thanks!

    1. Do you hear that, Cameron? That’s the sound of us booing your decision to buy a tuxedo from somebody else when you could have had a Black Lapel tux. But that’s alright, we’re still cool, Cameron.

      Black tie accessories are pretty straightforward. It wouldn’t be called black tie if you weren’t intended to wear, you guessed it, a black tie. Specifically, you should go with a black bow tie And a white silk pocket square is appropriate for a formal outfit.

      When it comes to the shirt, your choice is your preference. You can get any Black Lapel tuxedo shirt made with holes for studs instead of buttons. We will offer this bit of guidance, though: If you do go with studs, you should plan to wear either a proper waist covering. Waist covering, either a waistcoat or a cummerbund, is an essential part of a formal outfit because it keeps you from flashing and unsightly white triangle of shirt fabric at the bottom of your jacket. We mention this in relation to studs because you’ll notice on shirts with stud holes, the studs aren’t worn all the way down the front of the shirt. They stop at the waist. So if you’re not wearing a proper waist cover, studs only call attention to this faux pas by abruptly stopping at your waist.

      We hope this helps, Cameron, but feel free to email one of our stylists at concierge@blacklapel.com for more individual recommendations.

  33. Hi – owner of a midnight blue tuxedo and I love it. Going to a “pink tie” ball for a charity, and wondering if I can wear a pink bow tie with a midnight tuxedo, or even a pink pocket square, or if I’m better off wearing a navy suit instead. The event is probably 75% men in tuxes, 25% in suits, but I don’t feel like renting a black tuxedo just for this event. Appreciate any insight! Thanks!

    1. Sure, Mike. Why not? This is a charity function and you’re supporting the effort. When the NFL players wear pink during October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we don’t criticize their uniforms, we’re not going to criticize you for wearing a pink bow tie to a pink tie charity event. No reason to go out and rent a black tux. Nor is there any reason for you to feel self conscious about wearing your midnight blue tux when others are wearing black. When it comes to style, we agree with Franklin Delano Roosevelt: The only thing to fear is fear itself.

  34. Hello there Black Lapel – love your work! As an upcoming groom for a black tie wedding, I am torn between wearing a tailor made midnight blue, shawl collared tux OR a black, peak lapelled tux. The reason for the dilemma is that my groomsmen will all be wearing the latter, and I am conscious it might look a bit odd if I am not dressed uniformly for pictures etc.
    Black shoes and a black bow tie will be worn by all of us. And I am considering waist coat / suspender options. Any advice would be much appreciated. Cheers.

    1. You’ve got a great dilemma, Jonathan. What will make you look your best on the big day. Since the answer is pretty specific, and depends a lot of factors only you can tell us about, we’ll reach out to learn more and get you answers personally tailored to you. Look out for an email from a Black Lapel stylist shortly.

  35. Just got my midnight blue tuxedo for my wedding. What accessories finishedgo for? Bridesmaids will be in blue dresses and silver dresses. Do I go for silver now tie and waistcoat or cummerbund? Or just a black now tie and blue waistcoat? Groomsmen will be in black tux/ suit with silver bow tie. Advice?

    1. Congratulations, Darren. Exciting stuff. And we know it’s a special occassion and you’re looking to turn the style meter up to 11. Black tie still requires a bit of restraint when it comes to the accessories.

      We recommend that the bow ties for everyone be black. Not only do black ties work with the outfit (the lapels and trim of the tux are black too) but black tie, isn’t just called black tie for nothing, the color of the ties actually carries meaning. Black tie sets the level of formality. One level up would be white tie (like you see at the Nobel Prize ceremony and at coronations and other extremely formal affairs.

      The same goes for the cummerbund. Novelty cummerbunds can look dated and the last thing you want is to look back at your photos from your wedding at your 20 year anniversary and shake your head muttering “what was I thinking?” The timeless elegance of a black bow tie and cummerbund have worked for decades. We say don’t stray too far.

      Now, you may be wondering how we could publish a story called “Blue is the New Black Tie” and then suggest toning down the look. But the thing is, blue tuxedos are almost as old and traditional as black tie itself. So even though we showed some pretty modern takes on the tux, we can still answer perhaps the most important question in classic menswear in the affirmative: Would Cary Grant wear it? If old CG would rock it, you’re probably on stable ground. If not, be careful, you may be skating on thin ice.

  36. I’m getting married in May. It will be in the mountains of Colorado and we’re making it a formal affair. The bridesmaids will be wearing very light ice blue dresses. I was originally thinking gray suits for my groomsmen and I but I really like the formal, classical look of black tuxes. Would black tuxes look ok with their very light blue dresses? Also, I was thinking of maybe wearing a blue jacket with black pants to stand out from my groomsmen. Would this work?

    1. Good question, Terrence. And since the answer ought to be as tailored to you as one of our custom tuxedos, we’ve made this a one-on-one conversation. A Black Lapel stylist will contact you directly to learn more about your situation and provide you with answers.

  37. Winter wedding this coming January. Considering midnight blue tux with black bowtie, french cuff fly front shirt and brown shoes. I love the look of the 3 piece but my fiancé loves suspenders. Suggestions for midnight blue vest vs suspenders? I originally dislike the black but maybe I’d consider white or matching suspenders. Thoughts?

    1. It’s truly a personal preference, but its never a bad idea to listen to your fiance, especially about wedding details. If your’re against black suspenders you can rock white ones like you mentioned. They’ll stand out less. Perhaps you could come to a compromise with your fiance too. Maybe wear the suspenders of her choice during the ceremony and for pictures, but then change into a vest for the reception when your jacket is likely to come off to dance, eat, etc. One last suggestion for your outfit: we recommend black dress shoes instead of brown. It’s a better black tie look and they will match the bow tie and your lapels (if they’re black). Best of luck!

  38. We are getting married at a resort in Hawaii in February. We were originally thinking a gray suit would be perfect, but my fiance is now leaning towards wanting to wear a midnight blue tux. The wedding is outside at 4pm and my bridesmaids are all wearing light gray/silver dresses. Is wearing at tux at 4pm in Hawaii appropriate and, if so, what’s best for the groomsmen to wear to pull everything together well? Thanks for your help!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s quite the ceremony, congrats to you both. The tux is certainly appropriate for your groom, but it is going to dress everything up a bit. If you’re okay with that then by all means, let him proceed. This means the groomsmen should be a little more formal too and coordinate with the groom without stealing his thunder. If your fiance was wearing a black tux, we would recommend medium to dark gray suits for the groomsmen. Since your fiance wants the Midnight Blue Tux, we don’t think gray is the best option anymore. To match with the groom, we’d recommend the groomsmen wear matching black or midnight blue suits. Both of these suits will match with the bridesmaids and pull everyone and everything together.

  39. Hi.
    Im supposed to be toastmaster in a wedding this weekend. I have a very dark blue Shawl Lapel Velvet Blazer, with black formal pants, black bowtie, and a shirt like to the left in the pic. I have a little struggle with shoes. I have a black, very formal pair and i got a pair of burgundy formal loafers. Should i drop the loafers, and Go black?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yeah, that’s the move. Burgundy formal loafers sound dope, but better to stick with black for this ensemble. Cheers!

  40. I am getting married in a few weeks and have choosen to wear a Dark Navy Blue Velvet Tuxedo Jacket with Black Lapels as on the link http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Corsivo+Adamo+Velvet+evening+blazer/238872831,default,pd.html&_$ja=tsid:44970%7Ccid:184653235%7Cagid:9191982715%7Ctid:aud-77714418879:pla-113992088755%7Ccrid:53047194115%7Cnw:g%7Crnd:12714951138197814805%7Cdvc:c%7Cadp:1o1%7Cmt:
    with a white shirt black bowtie and Cummerband with black trousers and black shoes. I let my Groomsmen pick their suites and they went for the suit on the next link, what colour bowtie do you recommend? Also please note that the bridesmaids are wearing blush dresses and thought of making the guys wear a very light pint shirt will that be a bad idea?

    http://www.burton.co.uk/en/bruk/product/suits-281561/mens-suits-view-all-1880789/2-piece-skinny-fit-navy-dobby-tuxedo-5243698?bi=0&ps=20&bundle=true

    Look forward to your reply thanks,

    Regards,
    Kuda

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Congrats on the upcoming wedding, Kuda. We dig your tux look. In terms of your groomsmen, matching them to your bridesmaids was a good thought. However we’re not sure a pink shirt is the best route and everyone could look too matchy-matchy. What about pink/blush colored bow ties instead? Pair those with simple, white tuxedo shirts and you’ll have groomsmen that subtly coordinate with the bridesmaids, but still look fresh to death.

  41. I’m planning to wear a royal blue tux with a black cummerband and a black bow tie. Do you think this would go along or should I avoid wearing a cummerband?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This sounds like a pretty swank get up to us. You also have the option of wearing a waistcoat if you so choose. Just make sure in both cases that the silk matches up perfectly with your lapel and bow tie. Take a peek at our Black Tie 101 to learn all the dos and don’ts of black tie dressing.

      1. The royal blue tux that I’m going to wear has silk black lapel. Would wearing a black cummerband with the royal blue trouser look a mismatch

        1. Black Lapel says:

          No, the black silk cummerbund will match your black silk lapels and black bow tie. So it should pull your whole look together!

  42. Elijah L. says:

    What shoes would you think would go great with the Royal Blue tux? I have a pair of blue loafers and a pair of black loafers. Would derbies look good also?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Either black or blue loafers will work nicely with a royal blue tux. Like we mentioned above though, if you go the blue route try and stick to a shade that is darker than the rest of the suit. Derby shoes are going to make the look considerably more sporty, so keep the event in mind before making that choice.

  43. Hi. I am thinking of wearing a royal blue broad shawl collar tuxedo, black pants, black bowtie and black leather shoes. However, i am confused whether I should wear black shirt or white.
    Please suggest me some other combinations with blue tux too.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Don’t be confused, Pulak, there is only one right answer: wear a white shirt. A black shirt would be a major faux pas. Why, the elegance of a tuxedo comes from its strong contrasts. Part of its formality comes from its white shirt (considered the most formal). Black shirts should be reserved for casual affairs. Adding one to a tuxedo kills the contrast and the formality of the look.

  44. Love the advice and tips for mixing it up a bit. I’m getting married in September and am thinking of rocking the royal blue dinner jacket with black tuxedo pants. Here’s my question: I actually own a very nice black Hugo Boss tuxedo, slim fit. Would the black tuxedo pants from that tux work with your royal blue dinner jacket? By that, I mean does the black from those pants have to be an exact match for the black on the shawl lapel? Also, is your dinner jacket a trim fit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ll answer your last question first, all of the photos you see above are Black Lapel Slim Fits. Now, you should know that nothing by Black Lapel has a “size”. Everything is custom made to the measurements of the owner. So our Slim Fit is slim relative to the wearer. It follows his contours more closely than our Tailored or Standard fits. Still, it’s not the same as a “slim fit” suit in some store that is the designer’s definition of a slim fit for their models, not your definition of slim.

      As for the jacket, you could get just the Royal Blue Custom Dinner Jacket and wear it with your black tuxedo pants. We don’t recommend getting just the jacket, though. Since we don’t make standard sizes, we make everything custom to you, we get everything to fit flawlessly. We take into account things like a quarter inch difference between how high your left and right shoulders are when we make your clothes. The problem is, once you get a truly flawless fit, you won’t want settle for off-the-rack “close enough” fits. So you probably don’t want to wear off-the-rack “close enough” pants with your custom fitted dinner jacket for your wedding. It is your wedding after all. Also, as you suggested, not all tuxedo trims are alike. It’s a subtle thing, but mismatching trim on the lapels and the pants is not going to look good either.

      So we say take a half-step for this once in a lifetime event. Go all the way with custom made clothes head-to-toe. Whether that’s the Royal Blue Dinner Jacket and Black Pants or any other black tie ensemble.

  45. Who makes the suit that’s on the far left?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We do, Will. We’re Black Lapel, the custom clothing company as well as publisher of The Compass. Check out our black tie selection.

  46. Thank you once again.

  47. Hi, I’m getting married in July and will be wearing a navy blue tux with black lapel and bowtie. What other options for shoes would you suggest other than the slipper?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Congrats on the upcoming wedding, Mike. You can’t go wrong with a pair of black cap-toe oxfords to match your navy blue tux. We recommend this classic pair from Loake.

  48. Thank you very much for your advise. Another thing if i decide against using cufflinks and studs on the shirt. Would the hidden button shirt be okay.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Of course, Mary. This is another very classic tuxedo shirt style.

  49. Great article and great advice. Am doing the Royal Blue Tuxedo for my wedding. Full Royal blue suit with trousers (and waistcoat?) jacket with black lapels and braces.

    Question 1: Thin, medium or thick black lapels? Which are the ones you have in the pictures above?

    Question 2: For shoes, I have in mind a pair of black and white GATSBY shoes. Will these be ok do you think? I’m my opinion they’ll go with the white shirt (with black buttons) and black bow tie.

    Let me know if you think I’ll look like an idiot…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      First off, congratulations, Lee! A royal blue tux is a great look for a wedding.

      To answer the first question, those are shawl lapels on the tuxedos above. Our shawl lapels only come in one width (skinny or wide shawl lapels look weird). While we do make peak lapel blue tuxedos we recommend shawl lapels for the smooth uninterrupted line of black that wraps around your neck when you wear a shawl lapel.

      As for the second question, we’re thinking you mean spectator shoes when you say black and white Gatsby shoes? That’s not an option we recommend. Spectator shoes are for daytime and more casual affairs (like spectator sports). A proper pair of formal evening shoes like the ones above are the way to go if you want to add a relaxed but still appropriately dressy vibe to your look.

      Now go out there and knock ’em dead at that wedding!

      1. Thank you kindly! Shawl lapels it is. I’m really not a fan of the formal evening shoes you recommend above. Not for a wedding. They’re too much like slippers and will be ruined after one dance… I’m going to have to go for spectator shoes or brogues.

        Do the blue tuxedos above ever come with blue waistcoats or is that not a done thing with tuxedos? Also what do you recommend if a black bow-tie isn’t an option?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          No worries, Lee. We still say don’t go for spectator shoes, but brogues are a much better option. Black brogues are a good investment that can be worn time and time again.

          To address your other question: yes, blue waistcoats are a thing! We even offer them as a tuxedo customization option at Black Lapel. In terms of your black bow tie dilemma, we don’t really have a better recommendation. A black bow tie is a classic black tie staple and is the only tuxedo styling we recommend.

  50. hi
    what colour and type if tie should my son wear with a blue tuxedo with black peak lapel. The shirt will be white. Should he use the pleated front shirt. Also what colour cufflinks and studs should be used. Its his prom.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If he’s wearing a tuxedo then he’s dressing according to the black tie dress code. Unlike other dress codes (i.e. business formal, or cocktail attire), black tie is quite rigid. While there is some wiggle room with the color of the tuxedo, the tie in black tie should be black and it should be a bow tie. Start straying away from this and he’ll be stepping into a sartorial no man’s land. He’ll look like he couldn’t make up his mind about the dress code and indecisiveness is the antithesis of style. So, our recommendation is to put him in a perenially stylish black bow tie. As for cufflinks and studs, again black is the way to go.

      We don’t want you to get the impression that we’re trying to make your son dress like a bore. Quite the opposite, a controlled color palatte can bring energy and excitement to a look. Think of the best dressed men you’ve ever seen. They’re not festooned with colors. They often wear only one. This is one of the many ways men and women differentiate their styles. Women’s style leans toward decorating with multiple colors in their clothes, their makeup and their jewelry, while men’s style is not decorative, but more about shaping the masculine form with clothes that make our shoulders appear broad, our waists trim and our legs elongated. Simplifying the look with fewer colors, only helps create that masculine look.

  51. Do you think it would be better to wear a Navy blue bow tie or a black bow tie with a blue tux (very much like the one pictured on the left above)? The suit has black lapels and a black stripe going down the sides of the pants

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Black tie is called black tie for a reason, Manny. Go with black like we did in all of the pictures above. We don’t recommend straying from black because the color of the bow tie actually conveys meaning. For instance, according to the dictates of formalwear a black bow tie signifies formality (think weddings) but a white tie is a step higher in formality (think Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies). These rules of etiquette go back generations. We say, avoid a misstep and stick to the traditional bow tie rules and wear a black one.

  52. Midnight blue jacket with black collar. black pants. what color slip-ons?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since the pants are black, we’d suggest sticking with black shoes, David.

      By the way, we would be remiss if we didn’t warn you that a midnight blue dinner jacket probably won’t have enough contrast with the black pants to come off like the untux in part five above. If it’s very dark, you run the risk of it looking like a mistake (i.e. you mean to wear a black tux but picked up the midnight blue jacket by mistake). Perhaps you’re okay with that. We just thought we’d warn you of the sartorial risks.

  53. Where are those velvet slip ons from? I really like them, but wherever I’ve looked, they seem extremely expensive. Any recommendations on where I can get a quality pair for not too great of a price?

    Also, this is probably not a great place to ask this, since you do custom tailoring, but I have a tux which I would like to get tailored. What are your inputs regarding finding a trustworthy tailor in your city?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi Atharva, if you click on the image of those velvet slip ons, it’ll take you to the shoe company Herring. Here’s the link again. They’re great quality and don’t come with a big price tag. We don’t recommend you cheap out on dress shoes, you could regret it in more ways than one.

      If you were a local NYC customer of ours, we would recommend you to one of our tailors here. Otherwise, we recommend out-of-state customers head to Yelp and read reviews thoroughly to find a trustworthy tailor. You can also read up on how to communicate to your tailor exactly how you want your tux to look post-alteration.

  54. For my wedding I’m thinking about wearing a navy blue tux with black lapel. What are some suitable options for my seven groomsmen? We’re leaning toward letting them purchase their own suits (All the same of course). Dark blue? Light/Dark Grey? Black? The ladies are wearing some ‘rose-like’ colors.

    1. I meant navy blue, not royal blue.

    2. Black Lapel says:

      Got it. Although dark blue might look a little better with the “rose-like” bridesmaid dresses, you don’t want to blend in with your groomsmen on your big day. We think a very dark gray will still make your groomsmen look very dapper and well-coordinated. Plus, if they’re buying the suits themselves, they can get a lot of other use out of a suit in this color!

  55. Kristin Burstedt says:

    For our wedding, my fiancé is wearing a midnight blue tux with black lapels and so are his groomsmen. We are trying to figure out the bow tie color. We were thinking of going with something different for the groom to stand out. My fiancé has reddish brown hair and brown eyes. And then just for more info, the bridesmaids are wearing plum dresses and everyone is wearing peach boutonnière/corsages.
    Any ideas for bow tie options for both the groom and groomsmen? Maybe black for the groomsmen and burgundy/plum for the groom. Are there any other fun options? Thanks!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It’s a wedding, and you want to have fun with it, but we wouldn’t recommend straying from black when it comes to the bow tie. Why? Black tie is called black tie for a reason. According to tradition, the color of the tie actually carries meaning. For instance, white tie is extremely formal (you only see it at inaugurations, Nobel Prize ceremonies and other equally dressy affairs). So we say stick with black bow ties and differentiate your future husband from his groomsmen in other ways (like him wearing a waistcoat while they wear cummerbunds or him wearing a wing collar shirt while they wear turn down collars). After all, he’ll be differentiate plenty because he’ll have you as his date!

  56. Wearing a blue tuxedo for my wedding. Thinking between a white / cream bow tie or a black one? Any ideas

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It’s called black tie for a reason, Anand. There are some breakable rules regarding black tie but the color of the tie is not one of them. Why? Because the color of the tie actually has meaning. White tie signifies stepping up in formality. While a black tie event is formal, a white tie event even more formal (like getting a Nobel Prize, or hanging out with the Queen). If your wedding invitation includes the words “black tie” (whether they’re followed by “optional” or not) then we suggest you wear a black bow tie.

  57. Navy blue tux with black lapel.
    will these shoes work? http://www.6pm.com/product/8296599/color/9

    and with or without socks?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Those will work, Nel. As for the socks, traditionalists would say you should wear your finest blue socks, maybe something with some silk in them to keep things crispy. The modern take on the topic is a little more lenient with some stylish guys opting to go sockless in black tie.

      As with every fashion debate, it all comes down to who’s wearing it. If your calves haven’t seen the sun since Camp Hiawatha, a pasty, hairy ankle can ruin your black tie presentation. If your pants are cut with little to no break (as we think they should be when they’re formal trousers), those pearly whites are going to be showing even more. On the flip side, if your ankles are so bronzed people ask you if you were the model for the FTD logo, then feel free to air them. If you do take the latter route, just be smart about going sockless so that you avoid stinking up your shoes.

  58. If my date is wearing a royal blue dress is it OK to wear a navy blue tux or should I wear black?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re not sure where the notion that men have to match their dates came from but we think it should go back from whence it came.

      Wear what looks best on you. She’s not going to look any better or worse because of the color of your tux. You are investing in a piece of classic menswear that should serve you for years to come. Should your chief concern be how well it matches with your date’s dress? We don’t think so. Instead, make sure it fits you flawlessly and that you wear it confidently. Then, when she sees you in a great looking tuxedo the last thing on her mind will be making sure you two match.

  59. On my reception function evening,
    my skin is not to much fair, which colour of tuxedo is suitable for my skin for bold looking and better photograps, blue or black ??? Whick type of shoe is suitable either shoe of valvet slipper ???

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Midnight blue is the safest bet, Manthan. It’s dark but it’s blue and looks great under indoor lighting.

      As for shoes, we gave you the options, now you’ve got to decide that for yourself. Don’t worry, there is no wrong answer. Go with what you like the best.

  60. Hey there! I have brown skin and I am considering wearing a midnight blue tuxedo with black lapels and midnight blue pants for my prom this year. Would you recommend that for a brown skin tone?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Surely, Rahul. The Midnight Blue Tuxedo is a very dark shade of blue and will complement your skin tone almost the same way a classic black tuxedo would (we recommend black for men with darker skin tones). Get to customizing!

  61. Black or white shirt with a dark blue suede jacket?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If you’re talking about a black tie look and a dark blue dinner jacket, white is definitely the proper choice. The fact that the jacket is suede, though, makes us wonder if you’re referring to a casual look and somehow ended up on this article about tuxedos. If that’s the case, a black shirt can work, but results may vary. Without much knowledge of where, how, what this outfit is for we’re hesistant to recommend anything but the always appropriate white shirt.

  62. I hv navy blue tuxedo with black collars nd white shirt which color tie shld i wear???

    1. We’re fans of keeping black tie as classy as possible, so we say a black tie or black bow tie!

  63. I hv navy blue tuxedo with blcak collars nd white shirt which color tue shld i wear???

    1. We wouldn’t throw any crazy ties into this mix. You’re safe to wear a same-colored navy or black tie. You could also opt for a bow tie..

  64. Anubhav Tyagi says:

    I have to wear a 3 piece blue tuxedo ,should I wear a tie or a bow ?

    1. That’s an easy one, Anubhav. Black tie means a bow tie. That goes double when you’re wearing a waistcoat.

  65. Charles godswill says:

    Is it okay to wear a black tuxedo full suit with a patent leather shoes that has red bow on it?

    1. It sounds like you’re talking about a black opera pump, a classic formal shoe. The red bow is an odd quirk. Frankly, we’re not digging it. Red is too strong of a color to wear with a black shoe in your black tie outfit. You’ll be drawing all attention towards your feet. For more black tie dos and don’ts check out our Black Tie 101 story.

  66. If i´m the groom, getting married this summer at the beach, can i go for a midnight blue, Royal blue or pull off the untux, will that be ok?? or should grooms stick to the same ol’ same ol’, what would you guys recommend??

    1. A lot of people will tell you that it’s “her day” but we say those people are wrong. It’s your day. That’s you plural, as in you and your bride-to-be. You two are sharing the marriage, so you two should share the wedding. With that in mind, we suggest you wear what you like. If you’re an untux guy, wear an untux. That’s not to say that you can’t wear a midnight blue tux. Of course you can. But why wear what you think other people want you to wear to your own wedding? Show them all your sublime style with great looking untux.

  67. Hi I have black tux with a blue collar..can u plz suggest with what colred shirt should I with

    1. Black Lapel says:

      White! Always wear a white shirt with any black tie look! The type of white shirt can vary, but the color shouldn’t.

  68. Should i wear tan brown shoes under a royal blue tuxedo
    Or black shoes

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Brown shoes with black tie are a big no-no, Ronald. If you’re not into black, try some blue slip-ons like we showed above, but definitely do not wear brown shoes with a tux.

  69. Considering this look for NYE this year, but wondering – would a Midnight Blue tux jacket (Black lapels) work with black pants, or are they too close in color, and I’d end up looking like the guy that tried to match, but didn’t quite pull it off?

    1. Your fears are well founded, Tim. a Midnight Blue dinner jacket and black pants are too close together. Plus, if the pants aren’t formal tuxedo pants, with the satin stripe down the side, it’ll look even more forced.

      If you’re going to go non-matching pants and you’re not wearing black formal trousers, then maybe it’s time to get creative, like we did for the creative look in our story on New Year’s Eve tuxedo looks and go with something like a pair of gray glen plaid pants that contrast with your jacket. It’s a bit aggressive for some, but hey, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re partying, there should be no holds barred.

  70. Thoughts on the following for a black-tie optional NYE event? I have a midnight blue shawl collar tux jacket I’m considering pairing with burgundy/deep red bow-tie, navy & red subtle burgundy suspenders, & oxblood single monks…potentially amazing or a disaster in the making?

    1. Looks like you read our Beyond Black Tie story and decided to challenge the status quo, Mike. Good on ya!

      In that story we wrote about bending some black tie rules. One rule we don’t bend, though, is that black tie means you should be wearing a black tie. Why? because the lapels of your dinner jacket will be black and there’s something to that alliance of lapel and bow tie that just feels right.

      The whole outfit is an aggressive move, but you said it was a “black tie optional” event so there’s more wiggle room to be creative. We say go for it. Haters are gonna hate, but you gotta do you.

      1. Thanks for the feedback! In my original post, I forgot to mention my lapels were the same blue as the jacket itself. Regardless, I like how the ensemble turned out.

        1. Gotcha. So it’s not a Black Lapel tuxedo (as our name suggests, all of our tuxedos come with black lapels). That would change our outlook on the bow tie.

          Sounds like you made the whole thing work. Glad we could be off assistance.

  71. Abhishek Jain says:

    Royal blue tuxedo with black pant and pink bowtie?

    1. When it comes to black tie, we typically encourage just that—a black tie. Or in this case, a black bowtie. However if this happens to be your wedding tuxedo and pink is a theme color in your wedding, than you could probably pull it off. If not, stay classy and go for black.

  72. Would you please tell me what site those suspenders came from? I’d like to order them! Thanks!

  73. Thank you for this article, but i am still confused, which one suits me more, Royal blue tux with black pant and white shirt or Midnight blue tux.

    what would you suggest?

    1. I’m no visionary, so I can’t say whether a Royal Blue Tux or a Midnight Blue Tux will look better on you. But if you’re unsure which to choose, you can base it off which shade of blue you would rather wear. Royal Blue stands out more in a crowd of black tuxedos and midnight blue suggests a subtle certainty of style a step above the classic black tuxedo. Look in the mirror and ask yourself which one you envision yourself wearing.

  74. Thank you for this great article. However, I need an extra clarification. My skin color is brown. Will it work if I opt for a royal blue tuxedo jacket with black lapel, royal blue trouser, wine red bow & cummerbund and black shoes? The colors of lapel, shoes, cummerbund and bow are creating some confusion. I will be very grateful if you can suggest me with any other option(s), if required.

    1. Sounds like a good black tie outfit except for one thing: the tie in black tie should be black. Period. End of story. A red bow tie and cummerbund would add yet another color to the mix in an already colorful outfit and lessen the impact of the blue tux. Let the tux be the star of the show and keep the accessories black for a classy, yet modern look.

  75. Robin Sharma says:

    Hi, great article. Should I wear black shoes and white shirt with Royal blue tuxedo with a bit bluish lapels?

    1. Hmmm…blue lapels sort of take the oomph out of a tux in our book (of course, we’re biased) so we’re having trouble picturing it, but we’d say stick with black shoes to give your black tie some black. As for the shirt, yes, classic white is the name of the game.

  76. I HAVE BLUE TUXEDO WITH BLACK COLLOR ON IT SO CAN I WEAR BROWN SHOES WITH IT.

    1. Nah, I wouldn’t suggest that. Black shoes will look way more sharp.

      P.S. I think your caps lock key is on.

  77. Aaron Field says:

    I love the blue jackets- never originally been a fan till I saw Ryan Gosling in one…immediately made me think twice!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ah, you are one of many to join The Compass’s Ryan Gosling fan club. He’s a good looking and stylish dude.

      In terms of blue jackets, we didn’t write a whole article about them for nothing. Now’s the time to start rocking one.

  78. Benjamin M. Moore says:

    You cant care less what impression your dress makes. To me Black is more impressive than blue in case of corporate world, however I might be wrong. Any way, I like the sense of dressing you have presented here. There are several tiny little facts that should be maintained during clothing as you said “stylish men’s tuxedos reflect the season from head to toe”

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Is black more impressive or more formal? We think the latter. In the office, we usually steer clear of the black suits in favor of more forgiving blues and grays, but the black suit look can be pulled off.

      When it comes to black tie, ultimately it’s up to you, but we think blue deserves consideration.

  79. Something that needs to be added: The purpose of midnight blue isn’t to subtly stand out or echo the night sky, but to look darker than black under artificial light. This is why it’s almost always a superior option to black fabric.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That certainly is a reason to wear midnight blue and one that’s been cited many places. We’ll stand by our reasons for wearing midnight blue, but sure, midnight blue has a depth and richness under the lights that is hard to beat.

      1. Midnight Blue photographs better than black tuxedos… There are many a wedding picture with a black tux where it photograph’s slightly green when artificial light is used (worse with more reflective fabrics…)… For this reason, many smart men are opting for midnight blue for their wedding tuxes, rather than black…

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Like any good parent, we don’t play favorites with our tuxedo children, but you have captured another key selling point for midnight blue: it photographs quite well.

  80. Kenneth N says:

    Velvet slippers without socks? I thought traditionally velvet slippers are great but socks are supposed to be worn.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You are correct. That’s why we said it was “irreverently stylish.” Irreverence, by nature, goes against tradition. We’re tipping the sacred cows here, Kenneth.

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