How a Tuxedo Should Fit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 72,038
    Formalwear expert Ted Poulos discusses how a tuxedo should fit.

    Ted Poulus: I am Ted Poulus with Sarno & Son Tuxedo and today we are going to show you how to choose a right tuxedo for your wedding or special event. Dominic, my model is going to demonstrate the proper fit of a tuxedo. Dominic is wearing the traditional black pleated trousers and the wing collared shirt.

    The shirt collar should fit snug but not too tight around the neck where you have about an inch play with your finger. This way the collar is going to hug nicely, the shoulder line is correct. The front placket of the shirt is going to lay straight. The bow tie should fit comfortably around the neck and should be the right tension where it's not pulling the collar too taut. This is the correct tension for a bow tie; if it was any tighter you would see the collar would buckle up on the side. How does that feel?

    Dominic: Feels good.

    Ted Poulus: Okay. The trousers have an adjustable waist as do all tuxedo rental trousers. There is a clasp on each side of the trouser where you could open the waist. The adjustment should be made equal on both sides. This way the front pleat of the trouser is going to hang real straight. You don't want to pull them too tight, but you also want to height the trousers up where the waistline of the trouser is right near the bellybutton. This way the front pleat is going to hang right on top of the shoe. As you see in the bottom of the trousers this would be an incorrect length for a proper trouser. The trousers should have a little bit of a break in the front, so when you are walking you are not showing a lot of your socks.

    In the back of the trousers you can see at the shoe line the trouser should come right between the bottom of the shoe and the heel and this is the correct length for the trousers. The tuxedo vest is an important accoutrement for the ensemble and it should be adjusted properly. In this particular vest before we adjust it, you could see that there is a lot of play in the mid section. Most formal vests have an adjustment either in the back or on the inside. This particular vest has an inside adjustment called a tunnel adjuster. By pulling the strap you can button the vest on the inside button of the adjuster and it cinches the vest properly through the mid section. The vest should just be tight enough where it has a nice drape or the lines are perfectly straight in the front. All buttons of the vest should be buttoned.

    Now we are going to add the tuxedo jacket. The first coat, coat that I am going to add is one that's an ill-fitting jacket. I want to show you how a tuxedo should not fit. In this particular jacket, you can see that the sleeves are too long, that the coat is too big in the mid section and if we turn around the back the shoulder line is too excessive. Turn back around. A proper fitting jacket which I will show you how it should hang on the sleeves and also on the body.

    When putting the tuxedo jacket on you want to lift it up in the back of the collar so it hugs the top collar of the shirt nicely, adjust it in the front so we have a nice drape in the jacket and when we button the top button on a two button jacket you should have one or two inches of play in the mid section. If it was too tight, the jacket would buckle on the sides of the jacket. And this is a proper length of a jacket. Turn around on the back Dominic; you could see that the back of the coat just covers the customer seat. If it was too short in the body, this is how it would appear, and if it was too long it you drag you down in height. And in the front the sleeves are hitting at the wrist bone which shows about a half inch or an inch of French cuff and this is a perfect fit for a tuxedo jacket. And this is how a tuxedo jacket and trouser should properly fit.

    Now we are going to show you ultra formal day time attire.