4 Ways to Upgrade your Wedding Tuxedo Style

Your wedding day is quickly approaching!  While most eyes will be on the bride’s walk down the aisle, her eyes will be on you. You’ll want to ensure she remembers your wedding style… from this day forward.  And now more than ever, grooms have the flexibility to make their wedding day tuxedo or suit their own.  It’s not just about a plain, black tux anymore.  Feel free to choose a tuxedo or suit that complements you and your bride’s style.  Here are four quick ways to upgrade your wedding style:

Find the Right Fit
Your wedding day will likely feel more like a marathon than a sprint, so you’ll want to be comfortable in the fit of your tuxedo or suit.  For a more modern look, choose a slim fit style for your wedding party. The slimmer lapels and narrower body will offer a flattering silhouette for every man in your party – including those guys that wear big and tall sizes.  If slim fit styles aren’t your thing… Jim’s Formal Wear offers modern or traditional fit tuxedos and suits as well.  You can take your pick!

wedding tuxedo, slim fit, Tony Bowls

Tony Bowls Slim Fit Genesis Tuxedo

Fabrics that Feel as Good as They Look
Let’s face it guys; what’s better than a long embrace from your bride-to-be.  She’ll love the way your first hug as husband and wife feels when you’re wearing a finer fabricated tuxedo.  Choose an upgraded fabric like Super 130’s or Super 100’s versus worsted wool for your wedding tuxedo.  You’ll feel more comfortable in the lightweight fabric.  And, the feel will be amazing… for both you and the bride.

slim fit, wedding tuxedo, Tony Bowls, Super 130's wool

Tony Bowls Super 130’s Manhattan Slim Fit Tuxedo

Add Some Color
Planning a beach wedding or a garden locale for your nuptials?  Choose a tan, gray or slate blue tuxedo or suit to accentuate your wedding style.  Think about a white dinner jacket for your summer wedding.  Or, choose a charcoal gray or chocolate tux for your fall wedding.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the proverbial black tuxedo box.

slate blue, burberry, tuxedo, slim fit, Aspen, wedding tux

Stephen Geoffrey Slate Blue Aspen Slim Fit Tuxedo

white tuxedo jacket, dinner jacket, Tuxedo, James Bond

La Strada White Tuxedo jacket with coordinating black pants

chocolate wedding tuxedo

Stephen Geoffrey Chocolate Cambridge Tuxedo

Accessorize Your Style
Your bride will certainly accessorize her wedding dress with jewelry, shoes and even a veil.  Grooms should be no different.  Let the details define your style by upgrading your tuxedo with these optional accessories.

microfiber shirt, fitted, tuxedo shirt

A microfiber fitted shirt will offer you a tailored fit with a luxurious feel.

tuxedo pants, slim fit, modern

Choose a modern slim fit pant as a contemporary alternative to traditional formal trousers.

tuxedo shoe, comfort, Dunbar, formal

The Dunbar Comfort Shoe is designed exclusively for the gentleman looking for extended comfort and contemporary styling in a formal shoe.

pocket square, wedding tuxedo, color

Adding a splash of color with a pocket square is the perfect finishing touch for your tuxedo or suit.

No matter what options you choose, just be sure to make your wedding day ensemble your own.  It’s your style… choose accordingly.  Happy planning!

Destination Wedding Attire for the Groom: An Option to Purchase

If you have been considering a destination wedding and are wondering what the groom could wear to such an affair, we have some style suggestions to help you decide. Your options include a style you can buy (see below) or a number of styles you can rent.

The Stephen Geoffrey Riviera Destination Suit is a very popular look for a beach wedding. The Riviera is tailored in light, breathable linen fabric and is comfortable to wear. It comes with a coat, a pair of pants, and a shirt making it a versatile ensemble – versatile in that the groom could wear the entire suit, coat included, for the actual ceremony and then remove the coat later on in the day.

Riviera Destination Wedding Suit for a beach wedding

The Riviera Destination Wedding Suit is a complete ensemble including a coat, a pair of pants, and a shirt.

The Riviera’s pant features contemporary flat front styling and adjustable waist tabs. The Riviera’s companion shirt is very stylish – it features an open collar, a straight bottom hem, and vertical pintucks.

destination wedding shirt

Tailored in a cotton blend, the companion shirt to the Riviera Destination wedding suit features many attractive details.

Long sleeves can be worn down or rolled up and fastened with buttons at mid-sleeve. The details of the shirt include embroidered striping.

guayabera destination wedding shirt

Textured fabric and vertical pintucks highlight the front of the Riviera shirt – also known as a Guayabera shirt.

The Stephen Geoffrey Riviera Destination Suit is available for purchase only from your nearest Jim’s Formal Wear Retailer.

Looking to rent your groom’s destination wedding ensemble instead? We have rental options available, too! Click here to see them.

14 Rules for Wearing a Tuxedo

Let’s face it. Most men may only wear a tuxedo a handful of times in their lives. So it really is no wonder that we get questions about how to wear a tuxedo on almost a daily basis.  Black tie attire is fairly simple to achieve. However, there are some rules that should not be broken and some that are free to be broken, in good taste of course.

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of formal wear etiquette. However, it should be sufficient to get any gentleman off to a good start. Here are some helpful tips to properly don a tuxedo at your next formal event.

1. When wearing a single-breasted tuxedo, thou shall always wear a cummerbund or vest. The primary concern is to conceal the bit of white shirt fabric that will show between your bottom coat button and your waistband.

Slim Fit Tuxedo, Tony Bowls, notch lapel, Manhattan

A black fullback vest accompanies the Manhattan Slim Fit Tuxedo and is a classy accessory choice.

2. Thou shall never button all the buttons on your tuxedo coat. The only exception to the rule is when wearing a one button tuxedo. On two, three or four button tuxedo styles, the bottom button should always remain unbuttoned.

3. Thou shall not wear a belt with your formal tuxedo trousers. In fact, tuxedo pants should not have belt loops… ever.

4. Pleated front shirts are not necessary. Although they are more formal and traditional, oftentimes a man looks best in a microfiber, plain front shirt with a laydown collar.

formal shirt, microfiber

The modern look of the clean, non-pleated front and tapered sides of the Microfiber Formal Shirt creates a flattering silhouette.

5. When wearing a bow tie with a wing collar shirt, the wings should fall behind the bow tie.

formal shirt, bow tie, wing tip

The wing tips on a formal shirt lay behind your bow tie.

6. Thou shall wear formal shoes with your tuxedo ensemble – preferably a patent leather shoe style.

formal shoe, tuxedo shoe, patent leather

The Black Dunbar Formal Shoe: comfortable, stylish and an absolute must to wear with any tuxedo.

7. When wearing a cummerbund with your tuxedo, the pleats should face upwards.

8. Thou shall wear a pocket square. They are a must to complete any formal ensemble.  Choose a white satin pocket square with a black bow tie for a classic look, or choose a colorful tie and pocket square to liven up your look.

pocket square, tuxedo

Add a splash of color to your tuxedo with a coordinating pocket square.

9. Don’t be afraid to add color to your ensemble with the use of formal accessories. Unless you’re attending a White Tie function where pique’ accessories are required, colored accessories are fair game. It’s not necessary to match, but you shall try to at least coordinate with your date’s attire.

tuxedo color, fullback vest, formal wear color

Color coordination with your date makes the two of you look terrific for a night out on the town.

10. Thou shall wear suspenders with a tuxedo. However, in the event that your pants stay up without suspenders, they are not necessary.

11. Thou shall not wear pants with cuffs. Traditionally, formal trousers should have a satin stripe down the side of the pant, and they should feature a straight leg hem.

12. Thou shall wear white and ivory dinner jackets only during the warmer months (Memorial Day to Labor Day) unless you are visiting or live in a warm weather climate.

dinner jacket, black trousers, James Bond look

The classic formal wear ensemble for events between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

13. Know your dress code definitions: White Tie Invited, Black Tie Invited, Black Tie Preferred. If you think the organizers of an event meant something else, do not be embarrassed to inquire, since it would be far more embarrassing to show up in the wrong attire.

14. Smile; you’re going to look great in your tuxedo!

New Coats and Accessories Added to Jim’s Formal Wear Line

We are excited to show you the Tuxedos and Accessories recently added to our Formalwear line for Spring of 2014…

The Stephen Geoffrey Slate Blue Aspen Slim Fit Tuxedo
First up is the new Slate Blue Aspen, a tuxedo certain to turn heads because of its slim fit cut and beautiful color. The new Slate Blue Aspen is a tuxedo coat and matching pants tailored similarly to our very popular Stephen Geoffrey Gray Aspen Tuxedo  - which means it, like all of our slim fit styles, is a tux many men can wear and look great in. Plus, the slate blue fabric is exquisite in person and makes the tuxedo beautiful and rich in appearance. Our photography is great for this style, but it is a stunner when viewed first hand, trust me!

slate blue, tuxedo, slim fit, Aspen

Flattering in appearance and cut, the Slate Blue Aspen is tailored in a beautiful fabric.

The Slate Blue Aspen looks very good when paired with pastel colored fullback vests. However, if you want to go for a more conservative 3-piece tuxedo look at your wedding, a matching fullback vest is available to match the Slate Blue Aspen:

3 piece tuxedo, slate blue

For a true 3-piece look, you can wear the Slate Blue Aspen with a companion fullback vest.

The Camo Tux
And now for something completely different… The second new tuxedo we have added to our formalwear line is the Camo Tux. Camouflage is hot right now and so are camo-themed and rustic weddings. Having a tuxedo style to offer to the bride and groom who are planning this type of affair was a goal of ours for Spring of 2014.

When we conceived this style and worked with a manufacturer to produce it, we wanted the camo pattern to be somewhat subtle. We think we nailed it and created a tux with a classy use of the Mossy Oak camo pattern on the notch lapels and pocket trim.

camo tux,camouflage,rustic wedding,

Our new Camo Tux introduces a camouflage pattern on the lapels and pocket trim making for subtle and stylish accents.

Herringbone and Expressions Vests – Because Color Matters!
Your wedding is a special day and we know you want everything to be perfect. Presenting a wonderful, well thought out theme for your guests is important and therefore your color matters. You can always count on your Jim’s Formal Wear Retailer to have the right colors to complement your affair through your gentlemen’s tuxedos.

Diligent research into the trendiest wedding colors for the season was performed by our marketing and merchandising teams. We do this annually and incorporated the findings into our color selections for two Fullback Vest and Tie Collections for Spring 2014…

The Expressions Fullback Vest and Tie Collection comes in 27 solid colors and you can complement any Expressions vest you choose with a Solid Windsor Tie, a Striped Windsor Tie or a Bow Tie.

fullback vest,tuxedo,wedding colors

The Expressions Fullback Vest Program is available in 27 solid colors with windsor and bow ties to match.

You’ll also like the fact that the Expressions fullback vests are tailored with a matching back which makes the gentlemen in your wedding reflect your color even when they have the tuxedo jackets removed.

fullback vest,tuxedo,color

Colored backs on the Expressions Fullback Vests reflect your theme when the gentlemen have their tuxedo coats removed.

The Herringbone Fullback Vest and Tie Collection has also proven to be very popular with our nationwide network of retailers and their wedding customers. Therefore, the addition of a number of new colors seemed very appropriate for Spring of 2014.

fullback vest,tuxedo,wedding color

The Herringbone Fullback Vest and Tie collection is available in 42 colors – one of our bigger color palettes.

We have added 20 new colors to the Herringbone Fullback Vest collection which brings the total number of color choices up to 42. Forty-two colors… you’ll find your color in this collection!

The Finishing Touch for your Gray Tuxedo: The Gray Allegro Formal Shoe
Lastly, gray tuxedos continue to be very popular for weddings and we offer a number of gray tuxedo styles including the Gray Aspen Tuxedo and the Gray Portofino Tuxedo.

However, we have received some requests for a gray formal shoe to complement those styles – in lieu of a gentleman having to wear a black shoe. Therefore, we’re happy to offer the Gray Allegro formal shoe. Both gray and black tuxedo shoes are appropriate with a gray tuxedo, it’s your decision.

gray tuxedo shoe,formal

Complement your Gray Tuxedo ensemble with the Gray Allegro Formal Shoe.

Our new tuxedo styles and accessories may be viewed in more detail online simply by browsing our website. Likewise, you can see our entire product line within the Tuxedo and Accessory Collection catalogs – which you will find in the store of every Authorized Jim’s Formal Wear Tuxedo Retailer nationwide.

Incorporating a Camo Tux into Your Dream Wedding

You did it! The majority of your dream wedding’s details are set. The venue, florist and caterer are booked. Your perfect dress is on order. You’ve even managed to whittle your guest list into a manageable amount. There’s just one big thing to consider…Tux Rental!

It’s the perfect time to get your groom’s opinion, so he feels like he’s a part of the decision making process, right? That’s right… up until the point that he drops the proverbial bomb:  “I want to wear a camo wedding tux.” (Insert gasp here.)  It’s OK; don’t worry. We can incorporate his camo dream into your wedding with class.

The Camouflage Tuxedo by Jim’s Formal Wear combines just the right amount of outdoorsman with a truly classic tuxedo look. The camouflage lapel coupled with the black tux will show off your man’s style without your guests questioning which tree he just climbed down.

camo tux, camouflage, Mossy Oak

A classy rendition of the Camo Tux and available for rental from your nearest Jim’s Formal Wear Retailer.

Select a more traditional black vest and bow tie for the ceremony, and let him and his groomsmen go all out with a Mossy Oak camo tux vest or camouflage tie at the reception.  We even offer white camo tie and vest styles for the groom.

And speaking of those camo vests, the Camouflage Fullback Vest is tailored of the same fabric found on the lapel of our Camo Tux. It makes a great addition to your camouflage ensemble. We wrote a blog article about its popularity here.

pink camo tux, camouflage, Mossy Oak

Incorporate pink camo into your camouflage theme by adding a pink accessory like this Windsor tie.

Maybe I’ve got this all wrong and pink camo is your forte. If so, we have you covered.  Choose from hundreds of accessory colors to coordinate with your wedding colors.

Camo Tux, Camo Vest

Add a Camouflage Fullback Vest to your Camo Tux ensemble. The pattern of the vest and lapels match to create a coordinated look for your camo-themed wedding.

Whether you and your fiancée choose a camo tux and accessories or something more traditional, Jim’s Formal Wear will be here to help you through the process. Best of luck on your upcoming nuptials!

History of the Tuxedo – Part 2

Images courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

Images courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

In Part 1 of our 2 part series, we discussed the unusual origins of the word “tuxedo” which has become a familiar term relating to men’s formalwear. In Part 2 of the series, we will discuss the men at the heart of this origin story and how the tuxedo became part of formal fashion.

The Emergence of the Tuxedo Club

When we left off with the history of the tuxedo, we learned about Tuxedo Park and a country club established in New York for wealthy aristocrats by one of their own, Pierre Lorillard IV. From Tuxedo Park emerged a number of homes surrounding the country club, cementing the club as an important landmark for this community. Eventually, the society of Tuxedo Park developed an elite group of wealthy men that formed what was eventually known as the Tuxedo Club.

This club revolved around a social calendar that included formal events, like balls, and sporting events that allowed the men to enjoy leisure time in the community. The club even established a golf course, tennis courts and allowed for members to enjoy boating on the grounds.

Image courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

Image courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

The Rise of Fashion Rebellion

Before the tuxedo became a larger player in aristocratic circles in Gilded Age America, men who attended the country club would typically wear a formal white coat and tie. However, the way in which the tuxedo emerged is hard to discern because there are multiple tales about who exactly wore the first one to a formal event at the Tuxedo Club.

Some of the lore surrounding the tuxedo attributes Lorillard’s son Griswold to bringing the fashionable, new outfit to the first Autumn Ball of 1886, which later became an annual event. According to this story, Pierre Lorillard, his father, commissioned a modified “tail-less” black jacket to wear to the ball inspired by a dinner jacket designed by Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., who was England’s Prince of Wales’ tailor at the time. In this version of the story, Pierre decided last minute not to wear this radical new fashion, but Griswold and his friends modeled their outfits on his and made a splash at the ball.

Another version of the tuxedo story, which comes straight from the Tuxedo Club itself, attributes the tuxedo to Tuxedo Club member James Brown Potter. The summer prior to the first Autumn Ball, Potter and his wife Cora, while visiting England, received an invite from the Prince of Wales to join him at Sandringham, his country estate, for the weekend. Mr. Potter was unsure of what to wear for the dinner, and after asking the Prince, was instructed to visit his tailor in London to get fitted for a short jacket, rather than a tailcoat, for dinner, as the Prince had personally adopted this style and had grown to like it. After Potter returned to the United States and showed other Tuxedo Club members this new fashion trend, they embraced it and had their own tailors copy his style.

Visit Jim’s Formal Wear’s blog next time for Part 3 of the history of the tuxedo, where we discuss how the formalwear spread beyond the Tuxedo Club.

History of the Tuxedo – Part 1

The tuxedo is the most recognized formalwear for men in modern fashion, but its origins are not as commonly known to people as the style of the outfit. In this three part series, we will discuss where the tuxedo came from, its evolution over time and the tuxedo we are familiar with today.

Left to Right: a 1931 Tuxedo advertisement, a classic tuxedo

Left to Right: a 1931 Tuxedo advertisement, a classic tuxedo

Origins of the Word

The word “tuxedo” has deeply American roots and originally did not have to do with formalwear. The word P’tauk-seet-tough, which shares its phonetics with the word we use today, was an Algonquin word given to land in New York by the Algonquin Indian tribe.

The word that evolved into “tuxedo” has been attributed both to an Indian chief with the name P’tauk-seet-tough and to the meaning “home of the bear.” In some circles, the word  tucsedo came from the Lenape language of the Delaware Indians. The word we know today as “tuxedo” in its current spelling may have been translated by the Dutch when they were granted the land we know today as southern New York State in the 1700′s. Regardless of its true origins – Lenape, Algonquin or Dutch – it is a certainty that the word “tuxedo” truly evolved from multiple cultures as history brought people from Europe into America.

The Rise of Tuxedo Park and the Tuxedo Club

Fast forward to the 1800′s, and Tuxedo, New York, a town in the same land the Indians had claimed before, grew in population. The Gilded Age was approaching, and American tobacco manufacturer Pierre Lorillard IV developed the idea behind the Tuxedo Club in 1886.

Tuxedo Park Founder Pierre Lorillard IV

Tuxedo Park Founder Pierre Lorillard IV

This planned community was a country club that southwest of Tuxedo Park, a village associated with the larger town of Tuxedo. Lorillard had inherited 13,000 acres around Tuxedo Lake, and with help from other wealthy New Yorkers, he developed the prestigious club that became the birthplace of the formal outfit we know as the tuxedo.

Top: the Tuxedo Club in 1920, Bottom: the Autumn Ball at the Tuxedo Club, 1959

Top: the Tuxedo Club in 1920, Bottom: the Autumn Ball at the Tuxedo Club, 1959

Coming soon… Part 2 and Part 3 on the origins of the tuxedo from Jim’s Formal Wear!

Fashion Tips for the Recent College Graduate

The college years can be some of the most memorable times in a person’s life. It’s a time for learning new things, meeting people different from yourself, and going through lots of exciting experiences. There are a lot of experiences that you might have in college that you won’t have in the real world… Going to bed at 3:00 am and sleeping until noon on a regular basis might be an example of one. Wearing a t-shirt imprinted with a tuxedo graphic to a formal party might be another!

Once you are out of college, it’s time to start dressing like a respectable adult. Very few people are born with a good sense of style, however, there are some general ground rules that will help get you on the road to looking good.

Be Conservative - This is especially true for social events like weddings or holiday parties. Unlike college, where the center of attention is usually fought for by means of flashy shirts and unruly behavior, weddings and other social activities for folks in their mid to late 20’s are centered around other people. And, those people may not appreciate being upstaged. So avoid the flashy stuff and grab something conservative to wear. In the end (despite what your old college sense of style may be telling you) you will look nicer, you will have shown respect to the people who are rightfully at the center of attention, and you will look like a grown up.

What should you wear to a swanky wedding should an invite arrive in the mail? Well, at the very least a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt, and a tie is a given. A sport coat shows you care about your appearance, so consider it, too. But, if the invitation requests you go formal -or- you would like to and know it’s OK, a Classic White Dinner Jacket with black pants and a black satin bow tie will insure you look good and are in style.

dinner jacket,tuxedo,shawl lapel,black bow tie

You can’t go wrong with this timeless look – a Classic White Shawl Dinner Jacket with black trousers and a black satin bow tie. Plus, it’s a very affordable tuxedo rental and you can make it happen by visiting your nearest Jim’s Formal Wear Retailer’s Store

Attend Your Accessories – Your clothes are important, but some might say your accessories are just as important. For starters, keep your shoes clean. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but you’d be surprised to know how many women look at your shoes as a sign of overall fashion sense. If you wear your dress shoes regularly, make general rules for yourself to shine your shoes once every other week or never put your shoes away unless they have trees inside.

The same can be said about your clothes. Don’t go out in wrinkly shirts and pants that have been worn multiple times between washes. Iron your clothes and hang them up properly. They belong in a closet and not draped over your exercise bike!

There are some accessories that allow men to show a little individuality, such as a watch. Try to avoid anything with too much ‘bling,’ but you don’t want to be wearing your childhood Batman watch either.

Also, don’t dismiss little things like a belt or cuff links. Little details go a long way in making an impression on someone.Whether you like it or not, you’re at an age where your looks make an impression on the people you meet, from potential employers to potential dates. Dress to impress! Make yourself look like a good product to buy. Hopefully this is not the first time you have heard it, but you will never get a second chance at a first impression.

Best wishes, and good luck in the real world!