Men’s Formal Wear Defined – Part 1


  • Cutaway-Also known as a morning coat, this style is for formal daytime weddings. This coat is short in the front, long in the back, and tapers from the front waist button to a wide back tail. Cutaway jackets are either black or gray and are worn with matching plain or striped pants.
  • Full Dress-Also known as tails or tailcoat, this style of jacket is cropped in front, with two tails in the back and a two- to six-button front. This style of jacket is usually worn at ultra-formal evening weddings.
  • Mandarin, Nahru, or Mao jacket-This jacket features a stand-up collar with no lapel and is worn with a Mandarin-collared shirt.
  • Stroller Coat-A semi-formal suit jacket similar to a tuxedo. This style is typically worn at weddings that take place before four o’clock in the afternoon. It usually comes in black or charcoal gray.
  • Tuxedo-This is the most common and classic tux jacket, worn at formal and semi-formal events. This type of jacket offers a number of choices:
      • •Single Breasted, with a one to four button front.
      • •Double Breasted, with a two to six button front
      •3 lapel choices-peaked, notched or shawl (see below for more lapel information).


  • Notched Lapel-This type of lapel features a triangular indention where it joins the collar. This is considered the least formal lapel style.
  • Peaked Lapel-This broad, V-shaped lapel points up and out just below the collar line.
  • Shawl Collar-This style features a smooth, rounded lapel with no notch.

If you choose a formal tuxedo, your trousers should match your jacket in style and color. If you’ll be in a formal daytime wedding and will wear a stroller or cutaway coat, wear gray or gray pinstriped trousers.

Read Part 2

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