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Article: A Quick Guide to Tuxedo Shirts- Everything You Need to Know


A Quick Guide to Tuxedo Shirts- Everything You Need to Know

Do you think that it's your tuxedo jacket and matching trousers that grab the whole limelight and no one notices whatever you are wearing beneath the jacket? Well, you are extremely mistaken here! 

The type of shirt you wear with your tuxedo plays a vital role in tying up your overall attire, making you appear more detail-oriented and sophisticated. And that's the very reason why tuxedo shirts came into being. Such shirts, as the name implies, are designed specifically to accentuate your look and keep you comfortable in a three-piece outfit. 

And no, these are not like your other white dress shirts! Yes, some of their characteristics resemble each other but still, they possess a huge difference between them. So, just keep reading the article and learn everything you need to know about these luxurious tux shirts! 

Tuxedo Shirts: How Are They Different From Dress Shirts?

Designed to wear specifically on black-tie events with a tuxedo, these are button-down, long-sleeved shirts that are mostly available in white. However, you can also find them in other decent hues like gray, black, ivory, and blue. Some key features of tuxedo shirts which differentiate them from dress shirts are as follows; 

  • Fabric 

Both the tuxedo and dress shirts are mostly made up of cotton but the former one ace in quality and elegance. The reason is that tuxedo shirts are usually offered in premium twill or broadcloth weave. These weave types not only keep you cool and airy beneath your warm tuxedo but also don't get wrinkled. Also, due to the higher level of craftsmanship, tuxedo shirts feel softer against the skin. 

  • French Cuffs

Tuxedo shirts mostly come with French cuffs - the type of cuffs that are held together with cufflinks and can be folded back. On the other hand, dress shirts mostly feature less formal cuffs like barrel cuffs. This kind of cuff is usually fastened with buttons. Even though one may wear cufflinks with his dress shirt as well, these are not mandatory. 

  • Bib Front

All tuxedo shirts come with a bib front which is a fabric panel to cover the buttons on the front placket. This bib front is usually made up of a different fabric material such as silk or pleated cotton. On the other hand, dress shirts don't have bib fronts but their front buttoned placket is exposed and flat. 

  • Wing Collar

Tuxedo shirts feature a special kind of collar, called a wing collar, which stands up straight and points outward. This collar type sits perfectly with the jacket lapels, enabling you to create a coherent look with your tuxedo and necktie. On the other side, dress shirts usually come with basic collar styles such as spread collar, and point collar, which point downward. 

  • Chest Pocket

Tuxedo shirts don't feature chest pockets as these are, otherwise, going to hide beneath the jacket and interfere with the bib front. Whereas, dress shirts often come with chest pockets (one or two) to store items like cards, keys, pens, etc.

Tips For Choosing A Tuxedo Shirt

Now that you have learned the basic difference between a tux and a formal dress shirt, the other step is to learn about getting your hands on the finest tuxedo shirts. Below are some clever tips you'd find helpful; 

  • Measuring for a tux shirt


It doesn't matter how premium the quality of your tuxedo shirt is, if it's ill-fitted, it won't bring the elegance and class it is meant to be. So, make sure you provide accurate measurements for your tuxedo shirts as even a wrong inch may lead to a disastrous impact on the end product. Here's how you can take absolute measurements; 

  • Sleeve length

Sleeve lengths vary from one guy to another but most ready-to-wear tuxedo shirts come in an average sleeve length of 32-33 inches. However, you should not rely on these standard sizing and take a mini to measure your sleeve length. For this purpose, get a soft, wrinkle-free cloth measuring tape and place one end on the center of the back of your throat. 

Then take the other end to the front of your shoulder and down to the front of your arm to your wrist. Remember that ½ or ¼ of your shirt cuffs should be visible under your jacket sleeves so measure the sleeve length for the tux shirt accordingly. 

  • Neck Size


In off-the-rack tuxedo shirts, three standard sizes are offered; small, medium, and large. Each size coincides with a different neck size. For example, in small-sized tux shirts, the neck size is usually 14-14½ whereas in medium and large sizes, the neck sizes are 15-15½ and 16-16½, respectively. 

However, it's wise to measure your neck size beforehand by wrapping the cloth tape around your neck and inserting two fingers between your neck and the tape. Note the measurements down and choose the tuxedo shirts in the exact or closest measurements. 

  • Chest Size


Your tuxedo shirt should hug your body elegantly while looking neat and comfortably draped around. In other words, it shouldn't be too tight to prevent you from moving freely nor it should be too loose to look billowy from the sides when tucked inside the pants. 

To put it simply, a tuxedo shirt should fit as tight and close to your body as possible without the possibility of getting ripped while moving. To get such a measurement, wrap the measuring tape around your chest while keeping your arm relaxed. Then, measure for the waistline and add 1-½ inches into the end sizing to ensure comfortable movement. 

  • Shirt length


To measure shirt length, place the measuring tape at the base of the collar and take its other end straight down the center of the pelvic bone. Remember that the tuxedo shirt should be long enough to be easily and securely tucked inside your pants. To determine whether your shirt is too long or not, stand in front of a mirror and see where the shirt's hem falls. 

If the untucked shirt reaches halfway between your zipper end and the bottom of the belt loops, it means it's the correct length - neither too short nor too long. Generally, your untucked tuxedo shirt should be 1" above your butthigh. 

  • Choosing the right fabric 


The choice of your tuxedo shirt fabric also plays a critical role in your overall style and comfort. You need to get your tux shirt in a material that is breathable and crisp. Never go with synthetic fabrics as these are not breathable and make you feel hot and sweaty under a two-piece suit.

For hot and humid weather, we suggest you opt for a 100% cotton shirt since it's naturally soft to the touch, lightweight, and airy. Likewise, choose weave wisely. Go with the twill-weaved cotton if you want a heavier weight, wrinkle-proof fabric with characteristic sheen whereas sticking to poplin or broadcloth if you want a lightweight and thinner fabric. 

  • Choosing the right color


It's true that the white tuxedo shirts are the most popular out there as it's a risk-free color that ensures a bright and crisp feel while making you feel at home, but that doesn't mean you can't go with any other color. As long as it's not a super formal event, you may consider setting yourself apart from others by choosing different colored tuxedo shirts like black. 

Black tuxedo shirts are less formal than their white counterparts and perfect to create a modern and chic look for semi-formal events. On the other hand, for creative corporate events, consider getting decent light colors like pale blue or pale pink since both these shades look stunning when paired with a pitch-black tuxedo. 

Tips To Wear Your Tux Shirt Correctly

  1. Make sure to wear the same studs on your French cuffs that you have used on your front placket.
  2. If your tuxedo shirt features studs and a front bib, never goes well the necktie. Instead, get yourself a black silk bowtie to create a coherent and harmonious look with your black tuxedo. 
  3. Make sure the shirt you bought is opaque and not transparent at all. 
  4. Tuck the shirt inside the pants and there should be no creases visible on the front side. 


  • Should a tuxedo be 2 or 3 pieces?
  • It mainly depends upon the nature of the event you are going to wear your tuxedo to. For example, two-piece tuxedos are more versatile and consist of jackets and pants. These can be worn on both formal and informal occasions. Whereas, a three-piece tuxedo consists of a jacket, pants, and vest and thus, is more specified for black tie events. 

  • What is the best shirt style for a tuxedo?
  • The most classic shirt style for a tuxedo is one which contains a pleated bib. Besides, pique bib shirts also look quite traditional and formal. 

  • Is a tuxedo shirt different from a normal shirt?
  • Unlike normal office shirts, tuxedo shirts don't have top five buttons on the front as both sides contain buttonholes which are secured by studs. 

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