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Business Suit vs Tuxedo: Suggestions on How To Dress For Every Occasion

by Miguel 03 Aug 2022

details of mens suit

The business suit versus tuxedo debate has gone on for a while and many have decided it is less than favorable. How can two outfits that are so similar be so dissimilar in usage? The tuxedo has, in recent history, arisen as the most prestigious of men’s formal wear attire and it is interesting to note that the only major difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the presence of satin on the lapel, pockets or cuffs of the tuxedo.

 However, the rules vary widely as to the kind of events that accommodate the tuxedo and the kind of events that accommodate the business suit. While these rules are easy to follow they are very important to note as well.

 Here at Apparel 99 we have an abundance of premium quality business suits and tuxedos to accompany you to any event. So, what if you are attending an interview, a dinner, a party or just going to the office? Here are a few suggestions on how you can rock our suits to these occasions:


Most event invitations in our days rarely come with a dress code and so many times, articles like this are the only way men can make the right decisions on how to dress. The tuxedo is the dressiest option a man has in his wardrobe and naturally it is reserved for the most esteemed events on his calendar.  

 It is a common fashion mistake to see certain men wear a tuxedo to events that require a plain suit, like an office meeting or a friend’s birthday party. It is also a common mistake to see people mix up the tuxedo with informal wear like polos and denim.

 It is quite easy to abuse the tuxedo if you do not have adequate knowledge of its best uses. Don’t worry, we got your back, just read on.

 The tuxedo is typically reserved for black-tie events, but since these are now a rarity, we often reserve this premium wear for the classiest events. It is perfectly normal to see people don a tuxedo to events like;

  • The opening of the opera: You could try a glove in addition to the traditional white and black.
  • A ballet or symphony: It is often safer at these events to stick to the traditional whites and blacks. The tux and tails is also a perfect fit for these types of events.
  • A ball or formal dance: For a ball or formal dance, a cummerbund may come in handy, but it should blend with the colors already on display in your attire. 
  • A formal dinner party or reception: Just to make a statement, you could decide to go with all-white in a dark colored tux; white vest, tie and jacket.
  • Dinner at a formal restaurant: A simple tuxedo and tie will do nicely.
  • Weddings: For a wedding event, you can add a white boutonniere.

These are typically the dressiest events and the events that should call for the tuxedo from your wardrobe.

If you have a calendar that is filled with such events, it is a smart choice for you to purchase a perfect fit tuxedo once and for all, rather than keep hiring ill-fitting ones over and over again. With our amazing tuxedo deals at Apparel 99, there is really no reason not to.

 mens shawl lapel tuxedo


 Few rules guide the tuxedo if you want to pull off that suave look that tuxedo lovers desire more than anything. Achieving this look is very possible and will be easily achievable if you;

  • Stick to the traditional tux colors and avoid too many colors on your vest or cummerbunds.
  • Don’t get swayed by the parade at the Oscars, a tux should go with a traditional bow tie. Don’t wear a clip bow tie, learn to tie one. YouTube videos are generous with tutorials.
  • Don’t attempt any shoes other than leather shoes.
  • Never wear a belt with a tux, depending on the event, stick to your suspenders or a cummerbund.
  • If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can add a playfully printed pocket square or socks.
  • If you must wear a watch, make it a small silver or black watch. You don’t need your watch taking the attention away from your smart fit.

These 6 simple rules are all you need to be dapper in a tux.



 As the name suggests, a business suit typically is for business and office formal occasions and places. However, over time the business suit has been adapted by fashion to fit into many kinds of environments with a little tweak here and there.

 It is more difficult to abuse the business suit because it can be worn in an infinite number of ways. However, it is not fashion correct to don a business suit to any of the events that we have listed as tux-specific events. Having said that, these are the occasions where it will be perfectly natural to appear in a business suit:

  • A job interview; (this is not great advice if the company is a business casual company, so check that out first before appearing a business suit).
  • The office.
  • Networking events where you meet people in your industry or affiliated industries or perhaps when meeting a potential client over coffee.
  • A business trip.
  • Funerals (note that a black suit to a funeral is proper, but a black tux is almost offensive).
  • Outdoor events like concerts, birthday parties or a barbecue party.

These are the formal occasions that require a business suit, however, the advantage of the business suit is that a business suit can be much more flexible than the tuxedo.


With one complete business suit, you can achieve a variety of looks, so rather than giving you rules to guide you, we will give you suggestions on how to rock this attire to the maximum:

  • For official business and networking events: You need to go with sober colors; blue, black, grey and in some cases, beige suits. You should also avoid suit separates at these events. Stick with a matching jacket and pants and a long tie with a pocket square
  • For funerals, it is generally acceptable to appear in a black business suit with a dark colored shirt and tie as well. Avoid bright colors at such sober events.
  • If you are attending a friend’s birthday party or any outdoor event, you can avoid looking uptight by ditching your tie.
  • A turtle neck polo can also readily replace your shirt if you are going to a concert or some outdoor stage event. Adding a shawl to this can help amplify the laid-back look.
  • Unlike the tuxedo, you can use separates with the business suit. Suit separates are a way of looking a little less formal when wearing men’s formal wear. Suit separates can range from wearing pants with different colors to pants with different fabrics like, denim or chinos.

 The business suit and the tuxedo are two very similar attires, with very different uses and if care is not taken one can very easily be used in the place of the other. These style guides are meant to help you avoid that mistake.

So, whether you are headed to the dance floor or for a business trip, whether you need a tuxedo or a business suit, we at Apparel 99 have got you covered and for a tremendously affordable fee too! You can check out our men’s tuxedos here and check out our variety of business suits here.

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