Dinner Jacket vs. Tuxedo Jacket: Everything You Need To Know
Men’s formalwear has a tendency to get lumped in as one big bag of clothing when in reality, there are several different moving parts and garments within the realm of men’s formalwear that make this dapper category what it is. In many cases, dinner jackets have become synonymous with formal wear, when it is actually much more complex than that. While a dinner jacket is a part of formalwear for men, it does not encompass all of the kinds of formal jackets that are available to men.
For example, there is a difference between a dinner jacket and a tuxedo jacket. Though the two jackets are very similar, there are some key differences between the two of them that are necessary to know in order to look your best while killing the game at a formal event. In order to help you get all of your formalwear ducks in a row, here is our guide to everything you need to know about the key differences between a dinner jacket and a tuxedo jacket.
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A dinner jacket is often described as a formal jacket that is designed specifically for special events. In general, dinner jackets can be worn to virtually any formal occasion. However, wearing a dinner jacket to any casual occasion is a bit taboo and is not often encouraged. From black-tie dinners to weddings, graduations, or ballroom events, dinner jackets have plenty of appropriate time slots.
Dinner jackets also come in an abundance of different fabric options, ranging from wool to linen. It is important to take the material of your dinner jacket into account, especially when it comes to weather. For example, if you are attending a formal event in the winter, a wool jacket might be better suited in order to keep you warm. However, if you are attending an outdoor summer wedding, you will 100% want to avoid material such as wool and opt for something much lighter such as linen.
Differences Between Tuxedo Jackets and Dinner Jackets
Similar to dinner jackets, tuxedo jackets are definitely reserved for formal events. In other words, showing up to a laidback BBQ or beach party in a tuxedo jacket would be a bit weird. Though they are very similar, and some may even consider a tuxedo jacket to be a type of dinner jacket, there are some distinctions between the two formal pieces. For one, most dinner jackets do not have a tail, while most tuxedo jackets do have a tail.
The tail on a tuxedo jacket is an elongated piece of material that falls from the back of a tuxedo jacket. Though it does not serve any specific function or purpose, it is a stylish and fashion-forward statement that sets tuxedo jackets apart from typical dinner jackets. Another key difference between a tuxedo jacket and a dinner jacket has to do with the lapels.
For the most part, dinner jackets have traditional lapels that have a succinct material that matches the rest of the coat, while the lapels on tuxedo jackets are known for having satin-facing lapels that are lined with a velvet-like fabric. Overall, the main differences between tuxedo jackets and dinner jackets lie purely in the look and aesthetic of each design.
Tips for Wearing a Dinner or Tuxedo Jacket
Regardless of whether you choose to go with a tuxedo jacket or a dinner jacket for your formal event, there are a few tips to know before putting them on. First of all, always make sure that your formal jackets are free of wrinkles. There is nothing worse than having wrinkles ruin your formal attire, and a messy appearance is the last thing you want at a fancy event.
Second, when it comes to cleaning your dinner or tuxedo jackets, dry cleaning is probably going to be your best bet. Another key tip seems self-explanatory but it is of the utmost importance. You must always make sure that your formal jackets are paired with appropriate dress shirts. Being that most men leave their dinner jackets open, your dress shirt is a key point of reference in your ensemble, you can’t have it appear as an outlier if you want to look your best.
In other words, cohesion is your friend. Lastly, in addition to having the proper dress shirt, choosing the right trousers is equally important. Overall, the best route is to choose a pair of pants that is the same color and fabric as the jacket so that the full outfit looks aligned and styled with intention.
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