Sometimes the line between a dress shirt and a casual shirt can be blurred and crossing from one to another is acceptable. One of the occasions where it isn’t is when you are looking for a shirt to pair with a tuxedo. These are the ultra-formal occasions where only the best will do. So what is a tuxedo shirt and why would you need an extra long one?
Meet the tuxedo shirt
There are actually several styles that are suitable to wear as tuxedo shirts. Three of the main ones are pleated front, pique bib front and plain tuxedo front. Some of these can have other style elements such as removable buttons and cufflinks.
The pleated front shirt’s name does a lot of explaining for it. This is a shirt with pleats in the material at the front of the shirt. It is an integral part of the shirt rather than something added like a frill so matches the shirt perfectly. Ten pleats per side is a relatively common number along with a fused placket in the middle. Pleats can typically be around 7/16th wide and the whole pleated section stretch for around 10 inches across the chest. The pique bib front shirt has an additional piece of material sewn onto the front of the shirt. Typically this is made from a high quality pique fabric and will stretch for around 10 inches across the shirt. It will usually run from the shoulders right down to about the fifth button. These shirts don’t have plackets so create a clean and simple style. The plain tuxedo shirt is much the same as a French front shirt. The only real difference is that the top four button are removable so you can add studs to the shirt matching in with your cufflinks. It is considered the most modern of the styles and has a clean and elegant look to it.
Those four removable buttons are one of the top differences in a tuxedo shirt to a normal shirt. Often the shirt will have a removable strip of material that holds these buttons so that they don’t sit against the skin. It also means the shirts have button holes on each side to accommodate these. Often the inner one is horizontal and the outer one a normal vertical design. Collar designs depend on what type of neck wear you are opting for. A classic English spread collar is ideal for bow ties. This is cut away enough to accommodate the bow tie but not too much that the points sit below it.
Extra long tuxedo shirts
Quite simply, the extra long tuxedo shirt is a shirt that has a longer body length than normal. This is to accommodate those men who have a taller height or longer body length. This extra length is crucial to ensure that the shirt stays in the trousers. Otherwise, if you stretch, bend or generally move too quickly, the shirt can come loose. This creates unsightly bulges and spoils the smooth look of the outfit. So if you normally buy tall sized shirts, then your tuxedo shirt will also need to be extra long.