The Best Tuxedo Is the One You’ll Want to Wear on a Regular Old Weekday
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On the hunt for the absolute best tuxedo money can buy? You’re in luck: We’re coming to you live from Wedding Week, GQ Recommends’ exhaustive guide to navigating the nuptials circuit in style. Whether you’re looking for a non-corny groomsmen gift, the right venue to get hitched, or just trying to figure out how much to spend on that swanky new suit, we’ve got all the thoughts, takes, and, yes, recommendations you need to make planning your wedding—or attending someone else’s—a breeze.
If you’re looking for the absolute best tuxedo money can buy, you probably know exactly where you’re going to wear it. Which, frankly, feels a little sad. Isn’t owning the tux of your dreams reason enough to break it out? So consider this an earnest PSA regarding the formalwear gathering dust in your closet: your tuxedo deserves to see so much more action than at weddings and that one fundraiser you’re invited to every year. Your cousin’s quinceañera? Wear a tux! Your colleague’s jazz group recital? Wear a tux! Just a regular ol’ Tuesday ? Ditch the bow tie for a silky button-up, swap the suit pants for jeans, and wear the hell out of that tux jacket.
Don’t own a tuxedo yet—or just want one that jives with menswear’s glorious wild-style era? We sort of figured. Which is why went deep on all kinds of tuxes, for every budget, taste, and style. Which one is the actual best tuxedo? Well, that kind of depends on our preferences—Are you a shawl collar guy or a peak lapel fella? Do you want something simple and classic or are you down to buck dress code convention entirely?—and how much you’re willing to spend. But whether you’ve been eyeing those black tie shindigs on your calendar with dread or just want to bring a little Cannes energy to your next hang, every GQ-approved tux worth your time is right here.
The Best Tuxedos Shopping Guide
The Best Made-to-Measure Tuxedo You Can Actually Afford
Kashiyama is big in Japan, but until recently, its democratically-priced made-to-measure suits were hard to come by in the US. That’s all about to change, though: with the opening of four showrooms stateside—including outposts in New York and DC—its sub-$1,000 tuxedos are primed to sweep the wedding circuit. You’ll have to make the trek to one of the brand’s showrooms for a couple of fittings, but what you lose in subway money you gain in peace of mind—in six to eight weeks, a tux made to your wonky measurements will touch down by the front door. (By definition, made-to-measure means you’re working from an extant template, so don’t expect much in the way of custom trimmings.) If you’re worried about a gaggle of groomsmen showing up in ill-fitting rentals, just throw some dates in the group chat and shepherd the whole gang their way.
The Best Midnight Navy Tuxedo
You know your tux doesn’t have to be black, right? If that’s news to you, you’re in for a whole world of delightful surprises. Mostly, though, you should acquaint yourself with the midnight navy tuxedo, the traditional tux’s laid-back young brother. Todd Snyder’s version takes top honors in our book for its construction—natural shoulders, slim-but-not-suffocating fit—and quality (the brand sources its inky wool blend from Tollgeno 1900, the storied Italian fabric mill with over a century of expertise to its name). Keep the dress shirt white and crisp, the bow tie dark and floppy, and the shoes leather and shiny, et voilà: no one will mistake you for a poor waiter hustling to refill your uncle’s “bottomless spritz”.
The Best “Actually, It’s a Dinner Jacket” Tuxedo
There’s plenty of menswear to get excited about at your local mall right now, but the underdog story warming our hearts these days is all about Banana Republic, the resurgent American outfitter hawking some of the coolest affordable threads you can buy within a mile’s proximity of Claire’s. Take, for example, BR’s coke-white Lanza jacket, a razor-sharp peak lapel number crafted from wool sourced from Italy’s Marzotto mill. If you’ve got a summer wedding on the docket and only $500 bucks to spare, this is the get-up you should reach for.
The Best Old-Hollywood Tuxedo
When Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez tied the knot in Vegas last year, the Dunkin’ spokesman and sneaky watch buff repurposed a suit he already owned for the festivities. But when the happy couple celebrated their union with a larger ceremony a month later, Affleck called in a favor from Ralph Lauren, who equipped the doting groom with a cream-colored dinner jacket befitting the enormity of the occasion. Affleck, of course, is no fool: Like scores of other leading men before him, he realized Ralph Lauren’s take on classic Hollywood glamour makes him the guy it pays to have in your rolodex when you’re in dire want of a tux. Thankfully, you don’t actually need a direct line to Lifshitz (or a very capable PR contact) to finesse an equally A-list option—for a little under four racks, you, too, can look like the type of fella who won back his erstwhile flame off the strength of his Italian-made tailoring.
The Best New-Hollywood Tuxedo
If Ralph Lauren’s classic shawl collar tux takes its cues from Bogart and Grant, Tom Ford’s swaggering peak lapel option is all young-gun energy, the type of tuxedo Tinseltown’s rising stars pull up to premieres wearing after inking their first Netflix deal. That’s not to say Ford’s endlessly flattering tailoring skimps on the details—the jacket’s strong shoulders taper down to a fitted waist, accentuating the natural ‘V’ of the torso—it just means that there’s scant other designers imbuing the tired old penguin suit with the same degree of unabashed sex appeal. As long as Ford keeps making ‘em like that, movie stars (and deep-pocketed average Joes trying to look like one) will know exactly who to get in touch with.
The Best Tuxedo With Serious Fashion Cred
It’s hard to overstate the impact Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking suit had on the fashion consciousness when it hit the runway in the mid-’60s. In the decades since, the French designer’s legendary riff on the classic tuxedo has been remixed plenty, but Anthony Vaccarello’s version—strong shoulders, brash peak lapels, flared trousers—feels particularly true to the source material. (That maison that Yves built sells a single-breasted option, too, and you can buy the matching pants in a more traditional straight fit, but where’s the fun in that?) It’ll look great with the usual trappings of black tie dress, but right now, we’re itching to wear it exactly as its original designer intended: shirtless, with a nothing but a simple gold chain.
Plus 11 More Tuxedos We Love
Let’s play a game: Navigate to Mr Porter’s formalwear section, set the price parameters from ‘lowest’ to ‘highest’, and circle back here when you’ve finished sifting through the results. Feeling a little light of pocket yet? We don’t blame you. But while you were panic-scrolling through a mortgage’s worth of designers tuxes, you might’ve missed one low-key option from Mr P, the online retailer’s impressive in-house line. The construction is top-notch, the proportions are spot-on, and the whole kit clocks in at well below a thousands bucks, so you can put the cash you saved towards the finishing touches—like, say, a really sick cummerbund.
When Suitsupply brought its vision of affordable tailoring stateside over a decade ago, it kickstarted a revolution, helping introduce sneaker-obsessed fellas to terms like “pick-stitching” and “functional buttonholes” in the process. The Danish suiting whizzes have a penchant for flashy bells and whistles, but the Lazio represents what they do best: a classic peak-lapel tux (made from super 110s wool sourced from Vitale Barberis Canonico) for way cheaper than it would be anywhere else.
For years, the Armoury was the only place you could track down hard-to-find gems from elite makers rarely available in the States. More recently, though, the menswear emporium has expanded its purview to include an in-house label centered around the kind of suiting that remains its hallmark, including a handful of tuxedos just as swanky as you’d expect. Fully canvassed, fully lined, and made in Italy out of a lightweight wool sourced from the UK, this ultra-classic shawl lapel joint is the type of tux your grandpa probably wore to his own wedding—and the tux he’ll wear when you finally tie the knot, too.
Long before “quiet luxury” was a thing, the Roman suiting experts at Brioni were cranking out discrete, ultra-high quality tailoring designed for titans of industry and would-be market-conquerers alike. Brioni boasts close to a century’s worth of suitmaking pedigree, and its tux is as classic as they come, finished with silk-trimmed peak lapels so beefy you could land a private jet on ‘em. It’s not going to turn any heads—unless a buddy asks how much you paid for it—but that’s exactly the point: Brioni doesn’t say much, it just lets the heat talk.
Forget Naples or some tony address on Savile Row: Some of the best suits on the planet come straight from Atlanta, home to modern-day haberdasher Sid Mashburn. The details on Mashburn’s all-American tailoring are consistently excellent, down to the natural shoulders, full canvas construction, and 3-roll-2 lapel—plus plenty of the kind of sartorial fixings that make tailoring heads drool. Mashburn bills his Virgil tux as an old-school sack suit “but sexier”. We concur.
When you want to imbue your black tie events with a jolt of ‘70s cool, your first stop should be Husbands, the decade-old Parisian label that makes suiting inspired by the effortless swagger of stylish Francos like Serge Gainsbourg. The jacket is double-breasted, the trousers are higher-waisted, and the whole kit doubles as a killer black suit when you don’t have a single formal occasion on the calendar.
Sometimes a tux should make you feel like James Bond, and sometimes it should make you feel like Harry Styles, who turned to Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s ex-creative honcho, to design the majority of his wardrobe on tour. The buzzy cosign is cool, sure, but short of springing for a custom tuxedo, you’d be hard-pressed to find an alternative with this much personality. (When the full suit seems like overkill, treat the jacket like a blazer and wear it with slim black jeans.)
Sometimes, of course, you just need a no-frills wedding suit that won’t fall to pieces while you embarrass yourself on the dance floor. If you’re shopping on a budget and ease of movement is a high priority, Reiss’ water- and crease-resistant tux is one of the choicest on the market. At first glance, it skews pretty classic, but check beneath the hood and its tech-y underpinnings—including a touch of stretch for added flexibility—distinguish it from its more precious counterparts.
If you’ve got a couple more grand to play around with, Zegna’s razor-sharp tux—crafted from a blend of ultra-luxe Trofeo wool softened with silk—is the kind of stealth wealth tailoring you’re apt to see on Succession. The cut is classic but not dusty, the construction befits Zegna’s reputation as one the premiere fabric suppliers in the biz, and the entire shebang is so versatile it’ll get you through every black tie wedding on your docket for the next few decades—and then some.
Who says your black tie rig has to be a tux? (Heck, who says your tux has to be a tux?) If you’re headed somewhere hot, screw the dress code: yank a page out of the Pharrell playbook and bare some thigh. Thom Browne’s signature cropped, two-button suits make formalwear feel downright freaky—get a load of those shrunken notch lapels—but the grosgrain trim is still swanky enough to sync up with a bow tie and one of the designer’s crisp Oxford shirts.
GQ Recommends More bang for your buck. By Kate Sloan May 30, 2023 All products featured on GQ are…