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Can You Wear A Tuxedo Shirt With A Suit?

December 22, 2022
Can You Wear A Tuxedo Shirt With A Suit?

If you have a big event planned and wish to look as good as possible, then it’s only natural to conjure up new and exciting ways to stand out from the crowd.  The question is, can you wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit?  

It’s possible to wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit, however the combination is unusual and should only be done if you have no other options. Avoid wearing two pieces of clothing from separate outfits as there’s a big chance they’ll clash in some capacity such as length, fit, and material.

That’s the short answer, but there’s a lot more to it than that, so make sure you stick around as we dig a little deeper. 

Suit Vs Tuxedo: What’s The Difference?

Before we launch into the reasons why you shouldn’t wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit, let’s briefly discuss the main differences between a suit and a tuxedo. They may both look similar on the surface, but there’s plenty of differences between them. 

The main difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the presence of satin. Generally, tuxedos are fitted with satin on the lapels, pocket trim, and trouser leg. Tuxedos also send a different message to suits, being worn on only the most important of occasions. 

A tuxedo

Image From Deposit Photos

Of course, there are exceptions, but those are the most general distinctions between a tuxedo and a suit. It’s common to see suits in everyday life, but witnessing a tuxedo is far rarer. That’s because they’re only worn for a handful of different occasions. 

man in a charcoal grey suit
A suit

Image From Deposit Photos

Anyway, let’s get back into the action and explain why you shouldn’t wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit. 

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Tuxedo Shirt With A Suit

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit. From style to material, there are plenty of clashes between the two outfits rendering it inappropriate to mix and match. 

1. The Features Are Completely Different 

Tuxedo shirts feature different buttons, cuffs, and collars to the standard and commonly-worn suit shirt. 

Most tuxedo shirts are button-down, long sleeve shirts that are a lot more streamlined than the standard dress shirt. 

Here’s an example of a tuxedo shirt on Amazon: 

They’re designed to complement the uber-formal and sauveness of the tuxedo and cannot simply be interchanged with other shirt types. 

Wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit and your outfit will stick out like a sore thumb. 

People will immediately notice the distinctive hallmarks of a tuxedo shirt and will question why you chose to wear one with a laid-back 2-piece suit. 

2. The Style Is Wildly Different 

When it comes to choosing a shirt for a suit, you have a lot of options in regards to color, fit, and overall style. This is because suits are, generally speaking, more informal and relaxed than a tuxedo. 

It’s common to see people in suits in day-to -day life. However, you’re only likely to see folks wearing tuxedos a few times a year at most. 

Due to their more formal nature, tuxedo shirts are much less adaptable and versatile. 

Try to pair one with a suit and you’ll be very limited in terms of fit. Whilst tuxedo shirts aren’t exactly ‘one size fits all’, it is true that you don’t get much leeway wearing one.

It’s traditional to wear a tuxedo shirt with all the buttons done up, too. With dress shirts, it’s considered suitable to undo your top couple of buttons should you choose to do – an option you won’t have with a tuxedo shirt. 

3. Your Outfit Will Look Thrown Together

Perhaps the biggest reason why you should never wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit is aesthetics. 

No matter how well-fitting, dapper, and expensive your tuxedo shirt is, it should never be worn with a suit because, to put it bluntly, you’ll look ridiculous. 

People will immediately notice the discrepancy between your shirt and suit. 

The button pattern, collar, and collars will all seem disjointed and look as though you’ve thrown your outfit together at the last possible minute. 

Such a choice will ruin any sleekness your outfit may have. Regardless of how expensive and well-fitting the rest of your outfit is, it will be totally derailed if you wear it with a tuxedo shirt. 

Ironically, choosing to wear a smarter shirt with your suit will make your outfit look less stylish and far less smart. 

Sometimes, it’s best to stick to tried and tested tradition. Leave the tuxedo shirt and home and opt for a shirt that matches your outfit. 

Alternatives To Wearing A Tuxedo Shirt With A Suit

Now that we’ve established that you can’t wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit under any circumstances, let’s get into what you can wear instead. 

All of these choices are complementary, stylish, and will help unify your outfit and make it congruent to the style of the event you’ve chosen to wear it for.

Let’s take a look. 

1. Regular Dress Shirt

You can’t go wrong sticking to convention and wearing a traditional dress shirt with your suit. 

You won’t have to worry about your outfit being disjointed or messy, and you’ll feel confident that your outfit remains as sleek and as stylish as possible.

Image From Deposit Photos

Regular dress shirts are a lot more malleable than tuxedo shirts and can be fitted to suit your every need. 

You’ll have more options in terms of color, fit, and material and can rock a laid-back look by undoing your top buttons if you wish – something that you cannot do wearing a tuxedo. 

2. Oxford Shirt (OCBD)

One of the most enduring shirt styles out there, the Oxford shirt has survived for generations for good reason. 

No matter what your individual tastes are, you’ll find an Oxford that fits your needs. 

oxford shirt with tie
Image From Deposit Photos

Timeless, smart, and comfortable, the Oxford shirt is a great choice if you want to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ out of your shirts. 

3. Poplin Shirt

The light, breezy fabric of the poplin makes the shirt ideal for events under the summer sun. 

Made from a plain-weave cotton fabric, poplin shirts are a lot more breathable than shirts such as the Oxford. 

The shirts look great paired with a bright, vibrant summer suit and won’t overheat you as you walk around socializing. 

Unlike the super formal and, at times, constricting nature of tuxedo shirts, a nice poplin will help you feel relaxed and cool at your event. 

However, the thin nature of these shirts can cause you to feel a little cold when the weather’s cold – so be sure to wear one in suitable weather conditions. 

4. Twill Shirt

If you’re planning for an event taking place in the colder winter months, then a twill dress shirt is a great option for you. 

Twill is thicker than poplin, meaning that its insulating qualities are far greater. This will help keep you warm in cold weather and means that you won’t spend your event shivering and wishing you’d worn an extra layer. 

Of course, twill shirts aren’t suitable for hot conditions. Like all shirt choices, be sure to pair it with suitable weather conditions. 


So there you have it. It’s not, under any circumstances, appropriate to wear a tuxedo shirt with a suit. The style clash is too great, but there are plenty of other options you have to ensure you rock the best shirt possible with your suit.