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Tuxedo Dictionary


Tie, cummerbund/vest, shirts, gloves, hats, shoes, handkerchiefs, cuff links, studs, cane, spats, socks, suspenders or ascot.

Arm Bands

An elastic band worn over a shirt on upper arm under coat to shorten a shirt sleeve. Especially useful with boy's size shirts.


A tie with broad ends hanging from a knot, worn with a stick pin and wing tip shirt. Worn with a Cutaway jacket, usually for daytime weddings.

Band Collar Shirt

A tuxedo shirt with no collar. This shirt can have a pleated or plain front. Worn with a button cover or collarband.

Barrel Sleeve

Ends of jacket sleeve are overlapped with no sleeve vent.

Besom Pockets

Self fabric or satin strip on top of pocket. Double besom is two strips, one over pocket opening and one on top of pocket.

Black Tie

Black tuxedo jacket, black tuxedo pants, white shirt, black cummerbund and tie, or matching tie, cummerbund or vest, and formal shoes. (The term "black tie" on an invitation connotes formality and indicates that you must wear a tuxedo. "Black Tie Invited" means tuxedos are preferred, but dark suits are acceptable.

Button Cover

A decorative accessory worn over top button of the shirt. Usually worn on band collar shirts.


Flower worn on the left of the lapel.

Bow Tie

Clip-on is usually worn with regular collar shirts. Band tie is pre-tied, attached around the neck, and can be worn with any collar. Self tie must be tied into a bow by wearer. Western tie is usually worn with a western tuxedo. See instructions for how to tie a bow tie


Carried when top hat is worn. Must match top hat.

Collar Extender

Little plastic button with a loop that attaches to the top button of the shirt to add a little more room in the neck.

Cuff Links

Decorative accessory that keeps a shirt cuff closed instead of using a button. Always required with a French Cuff shirt.


Formal, pleated, adjustable waist sash, worn with pleats up.

Cutaway (Also called a Morning Coat)

A long jacket, rounded off at the bottom, with no satin. Worn for daytime weddings or daytime formal affairs. Usually worn with striped tuxedo pants.

Dinner Jacket

Usually a white or winter white shawl collar jacket. Can be single or double breasted. Always worn with black tuxedo pants.

Double Breasted

Jacket closes over to the side and buttons outside on the right and inside on the left. Always worn closed. A cummerbund or high button vest is usually worn with this jacket.

Flap Pocket

Usually self fabric, with a flap over pocket opening.

Formal Shoes

Patent leather or patent leather look shoe.

Four in hand Tie

A knotted tie that is similar to a business tie, but in a more formal fabric. Usually worn with a Stroller jacket, but can also be used with a Cutaway coat.

French Cuff

Double folded shirt cuff requiring cuff links.

Full Dress

The same as White Tie. Black Tails, black tuxedo pants, white pique wing tip shirt, white pique tie and vest, and formal shoes.


Nylon, one size fits all. White gloves are worn with "Full Dress" or "White Tie" attire.

Lay down Shirt

Tuxedo shirt with regular collar and pleated front. The collar is similar to a business style dress shirt.

Notch Lapel

Squared off to top collar making a "notch" effect on jacket.

Peak Lapel

Lapel points extend upward above bottom of top collar of jacket.


A waffle texture in fabric.

Pocket Square

Hankie or piece of fabric put in breast pocket to accessorize the coat. Usually white or matches the tie and vest/cummerbund.

Satin Fabric

Soft, lustrous fabric, usually on top collar, lapels, pockets, buttons, and down outside seam of tuxedo pants. Many ties, cummerbunds, and vests are also made of satin. (Satin is a weave, not a fabric type)


Often match accessories, sometimes matches the jacket. Worn over a jacket under the collar.

Self Fabric

Same fabric as jacket or pants. Usually refers to collar, pockets or waistband.

Shawl Lapel

Smooth collar and lapel that is a curved piece extending to the bottom of the lapel.

Single Breasted

The jacket usually has one to four buttons in front, and is worn unbuttoned.


A daytime jacket with no satin. Worn for daytime weddings or daytime formal affairs. Usually worn with striped tuxedo pants.


Worn instead of shirt buttons. Most shirts require three to four studs.

Suspenders (Also called Braces)

Adjustable, clip type suspenders are fastened onto front and back with a waistband clip. Button on suspenders are used with pants that have suspender buttons fastened in the waistband.

Top Collar

Collar of jacket that extends around the back of the neck from lapel to lapel.

Top Hat

Wool, felt, or all felt, flat topped, very formal hat usually accompanied with a matching cane.

Tuxedo Pants

All formal tuxedo pants have satin stripes down the outside seam. Striped pants that are worn with a Cutaway or Stroller coat do not.


Opening in back of jacket. Center vent is a coat with one vent in center of jacket. Side vent is a coat with two vents, one on each side of coat, and Non vented is a coat with no vents.


Worn in place of cummerbund. Backless vests have front panels with adjustable back closures at neck and waist. Full back vests have front and back panels, and are fitted based on the individuals coat size.

White Tie

See "Full Dress".

Wing Tip Shirt

Formal shirt with tab (wing) collar and a pleated front. Tabs are usually worn behind the tie.