Home > Tux Help > Tux Terminology > Important Fitting and Finishing Tips
You can count on your Mister Penguin store to ensure that your tuxedo fits properly before you leave their store. However, here are the answers to some fitting questions we commonly receive:
Button Your Jacket!
During a fitting, make sure you button your jacket. If it produces an hour glass shape, the coat may be too tight. If it looks 'boxy,' it may be too big. No matter whether you are slim, stocky or muscular, a properly fitted jacket will taper slightly at the waist.
Pay Attention To Your Shoulders...
The shoulder padding of your tuxedo jacket should not extend beyond the tip of your shoulders and hang down your arm. If so, your jacket is too big! Conversely, if a significant crease or roll appears below the jacket collar in back, your jacket may be too small.
How Many Buttons Should be Buttoned?
You should never button all of the buttons on your tuxedo coat! As a general rule, you should leave the bottom button undone. This rule applies if you are wearing a two, three, four or five button coat. If you're wearing a one button style, however, you should button the one button!
The Pant Leg Should Break Where?
The perfect length pant leg breaks slightly on top of the shoe and angles a bit downward.
To properly judge the fit of your trousers, you should wear your formal shoes when trying on your pants.
Your Trousers' Waistband...
Our formal trousers come with an adjustable waist band of three inches. Fear not, your pants won't be too tight! With the adjustable waist band, you'll have some flexibility and a comfortable fit.
On a properly fitted pair of formal trousers, the waistband should be even with the gentleman's navel.
How Much Shirt Sleeve Should We See Under the Coat?
Shirt sleeves should extend one quarter to one half inch beyond the jacket's sleeves.
A Properly Fitted Collar...
A formal shirt collar should wrap smoothly around the neck. If you can slip more than one finger between the collar and your neck, your shirt is too big. If no fingers fit, your shirt is too small.
Do The Wing Tips Go On Top or Behind?
The tips or flaps on a wing collar shirt should sit BEHIND your bow tie; not on top of it.
How Do Cufflinks & Studs Get Inserted Into The Shirt?
We have a web page showing you how to handle Cufflinks and Studs.
View Page.
Rules for the Bottom Button of a Fullback Vest....
If your vest is a six button fullback vest, it is OK to unbutton the bottom button. This also keeps the vest from bunching when you sit down.
If the vest has five or less buttons, all buttons should remain buttoned.
Cover Up Your Waistband with your Cummerbund or Vest...
Both cummerbunds and vests should cover the top waistband of your formal trousers when worn properly.
Fullback Vests Just Look Better...
If you think you may remove your tuxedo jacket during the reception, opt for a fullback vest. It's a much cleaner, well-dressed look when your coat is off.
When To Wear Suspenders...
You may wear suspenders with a cummerbund. However, you should not wear suspenders with a vest unless you desperately need them to help keep your pants up!
The Pleats Face Up On Your Cummerbund...
Cummerbunds are worn with the pleats facing up. It's said they are worn that way to hold your opera tickets and catch any crumbs that fall in your lap!
Boutonniere? Pocket Square? Wear One, Not Both...
Wear a boutonniere or wear a pocket square. Do not wear both at the same time!
How Do I Fold A Pocket Square?
We have a web page showing you five methods to fold a pocket square. View Page.
Flowers Go On The Left Lapel...
A boutonniere should be worn on the left lapel and tilted slightly outward.
What Color Shoes Do I Need?
Allow your pants color to dictate your shoe color. Black formal shoes and socks should be worn when your pants are black. White shoes and socks worn with white pants. Likewise for ivory and brown...
If you are choosing to wear one of our colored tuxedo coats and choose to coordinate the coat with matching pants - example - choose black formal shoes. If you coordinate the coat with black formal trousers, choose black shoes, too.
Formal Shoes Are The Best Choice... Always!
Any old pair of black leather shoes are not apprpriate with a tuxedo. Black patent formal shoes are the best way to go! Be sure to wear the correct color socks, too. Black socks with a black tuxedo, white socks with a white tuxedo, ivory socks with an ivory tuxedo and brown socks with a brown tuxedo. We have all the colors of socks you may need, so please ask your Jim's Retailer to order!
Tuxedo Coats
Formal Trousers
Formal Shirts
Formal Shoes
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