The Casual Tuxedo

July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday’s post featuring Browne Andrews got me thinking.

One major advantage of buying a shawl collar tuxedo (over a peak lapel) is that you can wear it casually. It takes some confidence and some style savvy, but if done properly it can make for a very suave look.

Here’s three examples from the Articles of Style archives.

1. Tailored and Tanked


This particular tuxedo has a subtly casual design. Band of Outsiders already makes a trim and trendy cut, but this particular jacket has patch pockets and traditional horn (not satin-covered) buttons.

Browne offsets the shawl neckline perfectly with a complimentary scoop-neck tank.

A tapered & cropped hem with no socks is natural with this summer high/low.


2. A Black Tee Goes with Everything


I’ve been wearing this black t-shirt religiously lately. It’s not just any black t-shirt, it’s a perfect linen/cotton blend from Kenneth Cole circa 2009. I have some more luxury designer tees, but this one is just perfect. I actually picked up three of them as part of my prize package for winning Esquire’s “Best Dressed Real Man in America”. A lot has changed since then, but this tee has remained.

My go-to casual look lately has been a black tee, slim black waxed jeans, some type of black low-top footwear (sneaker, loafer, slipper, etc) with some kind of lightweight trim-fit jacket (black leather, grey denim, white dinner, etc). The bespoke white dinner jacket is obviously a little more forward…this was one of my fashion week looks.


3. Sharp Tux, Slouchy Knit


Our friend Marcus Allen (as featured here and here) knows a thing or two about blending casual with formal. Here he shows us how a not-so-midnight-blue tuxedo can look great for a casual afternoon in Soho. It doesn’t hurt that this is an absolutely beautiful handmade tuxedo by Brunello Cucinelli – with navy satin lapels and trouser stripe.

I also love how Marcus offset the trim tailored fit of the tux with an oversized and slouchy linen knit. That’s some next-level styling.



Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style

Photography by Alex Crawford

  • Caroline Fontenot

    Great post. My husband has a navy tux with black lapels that he’s always trying to figure out how to break apart for more use.

  • Marlowe Green

    Wish there was a search bar on the site. I can’t seem to find your post on black tie /tuxedos. I need help

  • Gavin

    Hey, fellas! The site’s not going to update itself!

  • Desmond

    Marcus’ is hands down the best look of the three. The other two look a touch forced, I’m afraid (just my opinion, of course).

  • MaleStylePro

    You have really captured the versatility of these items. Almost no item in a man’s wardrobe has to ‘saved’ for that perfect event. If you feel like wearing it, then do so.

  • Jakob Gunnarsson

    I think Marcus Allen is probably the most stylish guy you’ve ever featured.

  • Vincent Nappi

    Dig this article.

    I love the way a shawl collared jacket with a low-necked tee looks. It hits that louche elegance button right on the nose like nothing else.

  • Kevin Reed

    I love the casual tuxedo. When I was younger I absolutely hated even the idea of the tuxedo (we were forced to wear them for orchestra concerts, and they were always way too big). But one of the earliest pieces I got when I started getting into fashion was a black shawl-collar dinner jacket, and it is one of my staples to this day. When you realize that formal pieces can be dressed down and made casual, it completely changes how you look at fashion and makes you reevaluate your own wardrobe.

    For most of the outfits on this site, I usually pick and choose elements to emulate, but all three of these are placed in the “Dress Like This” folder of my brain.

  • John B

    Your white jacket is probably my favorite dinner jacket. You forgot your dinner jacket and tank-top look though!

  • Miguel

    I have a tux like that and I’ve never thought of wearing it like this, I think I know I’m wearing on Saturday night.

  • cam

    Hey Dan, weird coincidence as I almost asked about this yesterday albeit the other way around so to speak. Roberto Martinez was wearing a shawl collar navy suit last week during his ESPN analysis for the World Cup. I thought it looked pretty good. Any thoughts on wearing a shawl collar on a regular suit? I would probably keep it to a dark charcoal or midnight navy for wearing out strictly at night (club, dinner etc).

    • AFH

      Goldfinger wears a brown shawl collar. You can’t wear a necktie with it, but if you don’t need that flex then why not I guess. Hell, Dan has that Marni H&M Jacket with *no* lapels.

  • Byron Groenewald

    Much akin to Runaway (the film) by Kanye, he dresses down the 3.1 Philip Lim tuxedo extraordinarily. Rolling the sleeves and wearing it with a t-shirt and in once scene has the tuxedo pants with a hidden placket band collar.