The Black Tie Guide

Our guide to picking the perfect tuxedo shirt for your black tie event. From front to fabric to collar style, we break down the details to help you look your best in black tie.

Custom Tuxedo Shirts and Black Tie

The Plain Front Tuxedo Shirt

The French placket and removable button strip makes this the cleanest and most versatile option. Swap the buttons for studs with a tux, or leave them in for a sharp look under a suit in a pinch.

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Plain Front Tuxedo Shirt Detail

As the plain front is on the less formal end of the tuxedo shirt spectrum, it can be worn easily with or without French cuffs, and the plain front’s clean look gives it a modern appeal that is a great choice with contemporary slim-lapelled jackets. If you prefer wearing a straight tie to a bow tie at formal events, this is your best bet.

The Pleated Front Tuxedo Shirt

A traditional tuxedo shirt style that looks fantastic with a shawl collar or notch lapel tux — think Sean Connery as Bond. Slightly less formal than a pique front.

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Pleated Front Tuxedo Dress Shirt Detail

Distinctive yet conservative, the pleated front can work in just about any formalwear setting, though you’ll want to leave your straight tie at home. The 1/2" pleats are an ideal width—classic, not busy or ruffly.

The Pique Bib Front Tuxedo Shirt

The most formal choice for a tuxedo shirt. Pique front shirts are timeless for how clean the bib lays underneath a jacket, and our bib, made from a luxurious Thomas Mason Marcella pique fabric, is absolutely perfect.

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Pique Bib Front Tuxedo Shirt Detail

You'll want to go with French cuffs and a nice set of studs with a pique bib. The pique bib front looks best with a peak or shawl lapel jacket, and we suggest it for any event labeled white tie.

Fabric Choices

Certain fabrics work better than others in formal contexts. Generally, we suggest solid white twills and broadcloths for tuxedo shirts.

Twills are more opaque and have more shine than broadcloths, lending them a more formal appeal. Twills also drape better under tuxedo jackets. Broadcloths feel smoother and more modern, but are generally more sheer than twills. For a textured look, Royal Oxfords and Jacquards are also fair game.

Tuxedo Shirt Fabric Tuxedo Shirt Fabric Oxford Tuxedo Shirt Fabric Twill

Collar Styles

We prefer a spread (but not cutaway) collar on our tuxedo shirts. The President and English Spread are perfect.

Unless you're going to an ultra-fancy white tie event, which calls for a traditional wingtip.

  • Wingtip Tuxedo Collar
    Wingtip
    Collar
  • President Spread Tuxedo Collar
    President
    Spread
  • Cutaway
    Collars
  • English Spread Tuxedo Collar
    English
    Spread

Cuff Styles

Formal events require French cuffs. Square and rounded French cuffs are both appropriate. They are equally formal so choose whichever style suits you best.

Save the barrel cuffs for your weekly business or casual looks.

  • French Tuxedo Shirt Cuff
    Rounded
    French
  • French Square Cuff
    French
     
  • One Button Barrel Cuff
    One Button
    Barrel
  • Two Button Barrel Cuff
    Two Button
    Barrel

Advanced Moves

While timeless and traditional are perfect for most occasions, you can have a bit of fun with formalwear, too. Solid dark fabrics are a great way to mix up the black tie calculus — try a dark navy shirt with a midnight blue or black tuxedo for a tonal downtown look.

Come holiday season, our preferred irreverent black tie move is to break out the tartan tuxedo shirt. Keep everything else in your outfit classic and let the shirt do the talking here.

With our custom shirt builder, you can have any one of our fabrics made with a plain or pleated tuxedo front.

The Finishing Touches

Tuxedo Shirt Studs Tuxedo Bowtie
Sterling Silver Tuxedo Cufflinks Tuxedo Pocket Square

Bow Tie The key here is consistency with your tuxedo lapels. Opt for a black satin bow tie if your tuxedo lapels are satin, or black grosgrain if your lapels are grosgrain.

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Pocket Square No need to reinvent the wheel: white pocket square. Done. We love the texture and crispness of a cotton and linen blend, but pure linen or pure cotton also do just fine.

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Studs A critical detail that goes a long way. Black onyx or mother of pearl studs are the standard. We find black onyx to be the most timeless and versatile.

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