When displayed side by side, it might not be easy to note the difference between tuxedo and three piece suit. A closer look will begin to reveal some specific characteristics between the two suits. If you look at the waistband of a tuxedo, you will not find any belt loops. The jacket will be covered by a cloth lining, mostly satin, but a 3-piece suit will have belt loops. There is a major difference though that will shout more than the finer details. A tuxedo suit is made with a shiny fabric on the jacket lapel, which gives the tuxedo an elegant and sophisticated look. 

What is a tuxedo?


 A tuxedo is traditionally referred to as a dinner jacket. For many years, it has been used as a semi-formal evening garment. There are many designs of mens 3 piece tuxedo suit today, although, in the past, the suit was either dark-blue or black color. Its main characteristic is the heavily pronounced grosgrain or satin on its lapels. The popular materials used to make tuxedo suits are wool, rayon, or polyester. Designers may also use a variety of other material types, such as:

  • Blends: Mostly of wool, cotton, linen, or silk
  • Cashmere: A light, natural fiber, and costly material 
  • Chambray: A perfect material for summer and spring weddings
  • Cotton: Commonly used natural fiber material that often creases easily. 
  • Flannel: A warm material perfect for winter occasions
  • Velvet: A soft material mostly used for tuxedo jackets
  • Tweed: Perfect for making tuxedos for autumn events. 

The main differences between a tuxedo and a three-piece suit

3 piece suit

 You can choose to wear a tuxedo or 3-piece suit for various events such as weddings, semi-official parties, funerals, and evening parties. Regardless, there is a difference between 3 piece suit and a tuxedo. 

The easily noticeable difference between a tuxedo and a three-piece suit is in the physical appearance. A tuxedo has satin present on its lapels. Mostly, there will be satin on the buttons and pocket trims. On the trouser, you will also find a stripe of satin that runs down the leg. You will not find any of such features present on a 3-piece suite. They usually use plastic buttons, which can sometimes be covered with the same fabric that made the suit. 

Although there can be exceptions, tuxedos are mostly worn with a bowtie, while 3-piece suits are worn with official ties. The difference is that tuxedos are mostly used for dinner parties. Another key difference between tuxedos and three-piece suits is the occasions they are used for. Their use often crisscrosses, but tuxedos will rarely be used for office work. 

They best fit events such as weddings, dinners, and parties. A 3-piece suit can be used for all such events. In terms of sophistication, a tuxedo suit looks more sophisticated than a suit. If you are unable to decide whether to wear a tuxedo or a 3-piece suit, decide on how sophisticated you want to appear. A tuxedo will give you a luxurious and sufficiently confident look. 

What to choose for a wedding, a three-piece suit or a tuxedo?

 To wear a tuxedo or a 3-piece suit for a wedding is dependent on various factors. 

  • Time of the wedding: If the wedding is during the day, a 3-piece suite is better, but if it is in the evening, a tuxedo is better.
  • Invitation specifications: Your invitation card may read Black Tie Preferred or White Tie. In this case, wear a tuxedo. If it says Formal or Black Tie Optional, you may wear a suit or a tuxedo. 
  • Keep to your taste: The groomsmen could have a tuxedo or 3-piece suit as their dressing code. You may choose to dress like them for uniformity. 


The main difference between a tuxedo and a three-piece suit is the shiny satin on a tuxedo’s lapel, buttons, pockets, and a stripe of satin on the trousers. Both are used as formal wear, but tuxedos are commonly used as dinner dresses. Whether to wear a tuxedo or a 3-piece suit for a wedding is mainly a personal preference although some invitations are specific on what to wear.