Most occasions will fit into a category that is usually indicated on the invitation:

  • Black Tie Optional. This type of event means that while it is appropriate to wear a tuxedo, there will be many men attending the event in suits and other semi-formal wear. For this type of event you can wear either a tux or a suit. Tails or other ultra-formal wear are inappropriate for this type of event.

  • Black Tie Invited. The same as Black Tie Optional.

  • Black Tie Preferred. This event is similar to the one above, but in this case the host or hostess would prefer that you get penguined up for the occasion. While the host will not be offended if you opt to wear a suit, you will be in the minority.

  • Black Tie. To this type of affair, it is acceptable to wear more formal tuxedos (yes, they exist) including evening tails. Novelty ties, vests and cummerbunds should be avoided at all costs when choosing a tuxedo for a Black Tie event.

  • White Tie. This is the mother of all formalwear occasions for men. To this affair, you should plan on wearing only the most elegant and classic styles of formal attire. You are expected to wear evening tails to an affair like this, and get ready for some kick-ass pt.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW rent a tuxedo?