Formal Wear Style Advice

What To Wear With A White Tuxedo Jacket

how to wear white tuxedo with black bowtie

A staple of James Bond’s wardrobe, the white tuxedo is a headline garment for James when attending a formal event. But it shouldn’t be down to just British secret agents to wear this piece. For men like you and I, a white tuxedo jacket can become a standout piece in our wardrobes. In either a double breasted or single breasted version, the white tux jacket easily elevates a man’s style. I don’t expect you to wear it on a weekly or monthly basis, but hold it in your arsenal for the big stage and it won’t let you down.

If you have decided to purchase or all ready own one, you might be considering what to wear with it. The all white ensemble is not for the lighthearted and I would recommend most men to stay well clear. But clever use of layers or accessories can add a dash of elegance that will have the ladies swooning. Take a look at a few of the options below.

Red Carnation

bond wearing red carnation with white tuxedo

This sprinkling of colour adds a new dimension to the monochrome outfit. Just enough colour to grab the eye without overpowering the rest of the outfit. It becomes a nod to days gone by. Men in the past would regularly wear real flowers in the lapel of their suit jackets. A habit that has somewhat fell by the wayside, it is in need of a resurgence alongside a return to men loving the suit again. Which I believe is slowly happening.

Black Waistcoat

A black waistcoat is a great alternative to a more formal cummerbund. It adds depth to the outfit, but allows it to be worn more as a dinner jacket as oppose to a black tie ensemble like the cummerbund would. Our choice would be a u-neck or horseshoe waistcoat which will tuck everything in and give a slimmer silhouette to the gentleman. It will also do wonders at showing of the pleats of your shirt. Details matter when it comes to dressing your best.

Black Bow Tie

how to wear white tuxedo with black bowtie

I am yet to see a good example of a gentleman wearing a white tuxedo without the obligatory black bow tie. Need I add, it should always be a self tying bow tie. Nothing clipped or pinned. Tying a bow tie is a skill every man should learn and it is for these precise moments when it comes into its own.

Slim Fit Black Trousers

Having mastered the top half, the outfit would be severely let down by some unfitted, baggy black trousers. This is not the time to try and mask your black suit trousers as formal-ready. Buy specific black tuxedo trousers and pay special attention to the fit. If you have picked a pair with braiding or a silk strip, then your lapel should match this. If you want a pleat in your trousers that is absolutely acceptable but more men these days are opting for flat fronted. Getting these small elements right will benefit the overall outfit no-end.

Silk Scarf

Draping a finely made gentleman’s silk scarf over your shoulders won’t be for every man. But it can certainly turn heads should you wish to try it. Opt for plain colours when wearing a white tuxedo jacket and wear it round the shoulders, tucked underneath the lapels down the chest. Most men might choose a plain white or cream, but black can offer a stark contrast and set you apart from others in the room. Obviously subtlety is key, so if you are choosing to wear other accessories (like the carnation) then the scarf might be one to many.


Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.

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