The wedding couple has many decisions to make concerning formal wear. Several are based on outside factors such as time of day of the ceremony, the season and the formality of the wedding. Here is a quick breakdown of terms and types of formal wear for your wedding.
❶ & ❷ Tuxedo (a.k.a. tux): The most common and classic tux jacket. Worn at formal and semiformal events. Choices to make: single-breasted (with a one- to four-button front) or double-breasted (with a two-to six-button front). There are three types of lapels: peaked, notched, or shawl.
❸ Full dress (a.k.a. tails or tailcoat): Jacket is cropped in front, with two tails in the back and a two-to six-button front. Usually worn at ultraformal evening weddings.
❹ Cutaway (a.k.a. morning coat): Appropriate for formal daytime weddings with a cutaway coat-short in the front, long in the back, and tapering from the front waist button to a wide back tail. Cutaway jackets are either black or gray and are worn with matching striped trousers.
❶ Notched lapel: Least formal lapel style. Features a triangular indention where the lapel joins the collar.
❷ Shawl collar: Smooth, rounded lapel with no notch.
❸ & ❹ Peaked lapel: Broad, V-shaped lapel points up and out just below the collar line.
For a formal tuxedo, trousers should match jacket in style and color. With a cutaway coat, wear gray or gray pinstriped trousers.
❺ Wing collar: Style most often worn with tuxedo jackets, stand-up collar has downward points.
❻ Mandarin/Banded: Style crosses in front and is fastened with a shiny button.
❼ Spread collar: Resembles a standard button-front shirt but with a wide division between points in front.
❺ Bow tie: The thing to wear with a classic tux. Bow ties come in several colors besides basic black — white is reserved for super-formal events, and colored bow ties are suitable for any occasion.
❼ Necktie: You can also wear a classic tie with your tux, to create a more casual — yet still elegant — wedding look. Pick a silk tie in silver or blue, which will be dressy enough to stand up to a tux.
❽ Ascot tie: This wide, formal tie is usually patterned, folded over, and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack. Usually reserved for ultra-formal daytime weddings and worn with a cutaway coat and striped gray trousers.