Prom season is one of the most exciting times of the year for high school students. But there’s a certain pressure to pick the right outfit for the big dance. Don’t you know when to wear a tuxedo or a suit? And whether you should wear a bowtie or a tie? Rent or buy? Don’t stress too much about it, because in this blogpost you’ll learn how to become the best-dressed guy of the school. So, sit back, relax and read the answers to all your questions below!

The difference: tuxedo vs. suit

Are you new in the prom game and have no idea what the difference between a tuxedo and a suit is? No biggie, you’re not alone in this – it’s not like you’re wearing it daily. Basically, the difference between a suit and a tuxedo is: satin. Tuxedos have satin on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim, and traditionally also a satin side stripe down the leg of the trousers. Suits don’t have any satin; the jacket, lapel and pants all consist of the same fabric. Tuxedos are worn with white shirts that have either a turndown collar or a wing collar. Suits can be worn with many different types of dress shirts, in a solid color or with a pattern.

On the left image, man wearing black tuxedo and on the right images, man wearing black suit with red dress shirt

On the left, you see a tuxedo, on the right a suit. As you can see, nowadays they don’t differ that much anymore in appearance. But the biggest difference is the moment when you wear a tuxedo. Tuxedos are considered evening wear; for formal events with a black-tie dress code, charity galas and opera nights for example. Suits are worn for all kinds of (semi) formal occasions and can be combined in several ways.

So, tuxedo vs. suit for prom?

Most proms have a black-tie dress code, which means you should wear a tuxedo. In some invitations it is even strictly mentioned that tuxedos should be worn. In that case it’s best to adhere to the dress code. If you want to play it safe with your outfit, a black tuxedo is always a good option, since it’s a classic and timeless look.

Is ‘traditional’ not really something that suits you, but you respect the dress code at the same time? Good news: nowadays there are multiple contemporary options when it comes to tuxedos – there’s so much more on the market now than just old school, black ones. For example, you can wear a tuxedo in a brighter color, like off white, midnight blue or burgundy. Perfect if you like to show some personality. You’ll still meet the dress code while feeling like yourself and standing out from the crowd.

Three images of men wearing tuxedos, one wearing a white and black tuxedo, one wearing a blue and black tuxedo and the third wearing a burgundy red and black tuxedo

Is it ok to wear a suit to prom?

Unless the invitation says you have to wear a tuxedo (or strictly says black tie is the dress code), you could consider wearing a tuxedo as an option instead of a must. You should be able to choose between a suit and a tuxedo. For less informal proms, pants and a fancy blazer should even be fine. So, it depends on the invitation and dress code whether you can wear a suit to prom or not. 

Feeling like yourself and being confident is key, so if you like a suit or a blazer more than a tuxedo, you could wear that. It’s a little more informal and moderner than a tuxedo. Since there are so many options for suits, you have to choose what colour and cut you want. We advise to go for skinny or slim – looking at the latest trends. Of course, black and dark blue suits are the most common, and therefore the safest options. But again, if you like to color a little outside the lines (like we do): wearing a suit to prom, especially with eye-catching prints and/or colors, is a great way to stand out from the crowd while maintaining a stylish look.

Bowtie or tie?

If you decide to wear a tuxedo, a bowtie is a great option to complement it; it’s that traditional look that never goes out of fashion again. Traditionally the bowtie is the one and only right accessory to accompany a tuxedo, so if you want to play it safe and traditional: go for a bowtie if you wear a tux. A big benefit of a bowtie is that it flatters your body, thanks to the big white V you create when your tuxedo or suit jacket is closed. It emphasizes the shoulders and a narrow waist for a muscular look.

Long ties are also popular for prom, since they make your outfit contemporary and a little less formal (like a suit is). So if you choose to wear a suit to prom, a tie would work well, especially a slim tie.

Buy or rent?

In doubt if you should buy or rent a suit or a tux? Renting is of course an option. You’ll be guaranteed to follow the dress code and to have a classic look – but the cost of renting one is pretty high: ranging from $150-$400, which you’ll never see back again. Besides, most renters have old, out-of-style tuxedos, so if you’re going to rent, we advise to do some research on where you go to, to make sure you’ll be able to rent a modern one.

If you’d ask us, we would advise to buy, but not break the bank for the most expensive tuxedo or suit out there. Since you’re probably still a teenager, your body is still growing, so it’s likely that your suit or tuxedo won’t fit anymore in a few years. But fortunately, there are some affordable tuxedo options that look just as good as the most luxury, expensive ones. Some are even cheaper than renting. Of course, the best thing about buying is that you can wear it again to other formal occasions like weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties etc.

Check out our prom collection

Have you made your decision between a tuxedo vs a suit for prom, and want to buy a stylish, affordable tux or suit? Make sure to take a look at our extensive collection prom suits and our tuxedos! We have it all: solid colored & bold printed suits in teenager and men’s sizes, tuxedos in several colors and more – all at a low price. 

Have fun, outshine your classmates & party like there’s no tomorrow! 

Tags: Prom