The Best Tuxedo for Your Body Type

Whether you're tall and thin or short and husky — or anywhere in between — there's a perfect tuxedo out there for you. Here, our guide to finding your best look.

tuxedo fit guide

Your wedding day is much more than a special occasion. It’s one of the most significant days in your life. It’s an amazing celebration of a commitment that will change your life forever.

Most women agree that men look better when wearing a tuxedo. For many men, their wedding day is the first time they've ever worn a tuxedo. There are subtle differences in lapel styles and fit that can make a tremendous difference on your appearance. There is no bad news — there’s a tuxedo that can flatter every guy who selects to wear one.

The great news is that a variety of styles are available in stores throughout the country. About 80% of men select to wear a tuxedo on their wedding day — and roughly 75% of them will rent rather than purchase. Renting a tuxedo is a practical solution to looking your best without breaking the bank. Contrary to a common misconception, not all rental tuxedos are boxy, uncomfortable, or outdated. Just as your bride had choices in selecting her gown, you have choices in selecting the tuxedo that flatters your body type and reflects your personal style.

michael kors obsession tuxedo
On him: Michael Kors Obsession

Assessing Your Body Type

You don’t have to stand in front of a mirror to know if you’re tall and thin or short and stocky. If you’re self-conscious about your height or your weight, these are your first considerations. Some styles can help you to address your insecurities. Think first about your best features and build on them. Then think about the things that you’d like to minimize.

Tall and Thin

You can wear just about any style that appeals to you. The classic is a two button jacket with a notched or peaked collar, but a three or four button style will also look great. If you’re self-conscious about being thin, give serious thought to a double-breasted jacket. Considering your body type, you can select a style with shoulder padding to give you a look of broader shoulders. If you’re muscular, avoid the padding. Rental tuxedos generally are available with either pleated or flat front trousers. Either will look good on you, but flat front trousers are a more contemporary-looking option. Pants with narrow legs will elongate your body proportions. When measuring for the trousers, it’s preferable to have a “break” in the front of the shoe. Virtually all rental tuxedos have waist snaps that allow you to tighten or loosen the fit. Tighten the waist buckle to prevent the pants from riding down during the course of the evening.

Some of the new tuxedo styles are created specifically to cater to the current trend that includes a tighter, shorter fit. In some cases, you can achieve this same look by simply ordering a jacket one size smaller and in a “regular” rather than “long” size. Any accessory style that you select will look good. If you’d like to appear shorter, you may select to wear a cummerbund and a bow tie. The horizontal lines create a visual illusion that will shorten your appearance. A vest with a narrow tie won’t necessarily make you look taller, but it’s more slenderizing.

Tall and Muscular or Husky

A one button jacket will allow your waist to look thinner. Select a style with thinner lapels to further elongate your body type. A shawl collar is ideal. Rather than opt for contemporary styling (short and snug), go for a more boxy style with vented pleats in the back. Avoid wearing anything that appears tight — rather than look stylish, the jacket will look poorly fitted.

While both pleated and flat front trousers are available to you, you might select narrow leg trousers for a leaner appearance. However, depending upon your size, pleated trousers may be more comfortable. Proper sizing is very important. If your trouser pleats spread, the trousers probably are a bit too tight. The pleats should fall relatively flat; this will offer a thinner appearance.

Opt for a vest rather than a cummerbund if you’re husky to elongate your image. Stay away from wing tip collar shirts and bow ties; instead, select a long narrow tie instead for a slimming effect. 

Short and Slender

It’s best if you select a style that will elongate your natural bodylines. Avoid any fit that looks short and tight. Stay away from double-breasted jackets, shawl collars, and four button jackets. The additional fabric won’t be as flattering as more slender styles. Look for a style with a low button stance. Your objective is to elongate your bodyline. In some instances, it may be possible to have a little shoulder padded added to your rental jacket.

You may select either a flat front or pleated trousers. However, you should avoid narrow pants legs. Request that the trouser length is angled longer in the back than in the front to eliminate a break in the front as much as possible.

For your accessories, elongate your look with a vest and a narrow tie.

Short and Muscular or Husky

A one or two button shawl collar jacket with narrow lapels and a low button stance will create a thinning effect. The jacket should lie flat with no gaping to allow the shawl collar to elongate your torso. Stay clear of any style that appears tight or shorter than your average sports coat. Also avoid double-breasted jacket; the additional fabric will add bulk to no particular advantage.

While you may select either a flat front or pleated trouser, you should avoid extremes. Trousers with slim legs are a better choice than pleated trousers with wide legs. The objective here is to eliminate as much fabric as possible that might ad bulk.

Generally, a vest with a long, narrow tie is your best accessory options. Stay away from wing collar shirts if you have an option.

In addition to basic decisions about the jacket lapels and overall type, there are big differences in accessories (vests, cummerbunds, shirts, ties, cuff links, shirt studs, and pocket squares). The color options are almost uncountable. A rental professional can help you make your choices.