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Mar, 6 2024

How to Choose the Right Tuxedo for Your Body Type

Three men in beige suits

Fit is one of the most important aspects of choosing a tuxedo.

Even beyond color and style, achieving the right fit ensures your tux matches your body’s contours and creates the sleek and elegant look for which the tuxedo is known. And that’s why you need to know how to choose the right tuxedo for your body type.

Failure to do so leaves you with an ill-fitting garment that looks sloppy compared to other guests at a black-tie event. So, read on to discover what style of tuxedo suits different body types.

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Understanding Your Body Type

Before you start sifting through the different types of wedding tuxedos, you need to understand the specific type of body you have. Short, slim, and tall don’t always cut it – your body may have more unique aspects for which you must account when choosing your tuxedo.

Know Your Body

You’ll need a tape measure – one that measures in inches – and the knowledge of how to properly measure your chest, waist, and sleeve before you choose a tuxedo for a big occasion. Let’s break down the steps for each one.


Your chest measurement is likely the most important of the three because getting it wrong either gives you a constricting jacket or one that puffs out at inappropriate angles:

  1. Either remove your clothing or ensure you’re wearing a thin fabric that won’t interfere with the measurement.
  2. Place your measuring tape underneath your arms and measure the broadest part of your chest.
  3. Keep your arms relaxed because tension can cause muscles to bulge, adding to your measurement.

When you have a number, add 2 inches to it. For instance, somebody with a 36-inch chest will need a size 38 jacket.


There’s a trick to measuring your waist for a tuxedo. Unlike most pants, which you wear close to your hips, tuxedo pants are dress slacks designed to be worn over your “natural waist.” That’s located between your hips and the bottom of your rib cage, with most tailors using your naval as the clearest indicator of your natural waist.

So, wrap a measuring tape around your waist – ensuring it overlaps your naval – and you have your waist size.


You could have a tuxedo that perfectly fits your chest and waist, and it’ll still look shoddy if the sleeves hang low or they’re riding up your arms. So, you need to measure your sleeves using these steps:

  1. Place your measuring tape at the base of your neck, with the end over your spine.
  2. Extend the tape measure horizontally to the of your shoulder – which is where the jacket’s seam will be – and run it down your arm until it’s 1.5 inches past your wrist bone.

Now, you have your sleeve length. But there’s a caveat. That length is what you’ll use when choosing between the different types of tuxedo shirts, as they’re supposed to sit a touch lower than your wrist bone. The jacket sleeve must be a touch shorter to allow between 0.5 and 1 inch of your shirt’s cuff to show.

Figure Out What Type of Body You Have

With your measurements completed, you should have a better idea of whether you have a short, tall, slim, or bulky body type. But there are a handful of other body types you need to know – and may potentially have – to properly understand how to choose the right tuxedo for your body type:

  • Inverted triangle – If you have an inverted triangle body then congratulations – your body type is among the most desired for men. Anyone with this body has a broad chest and matching shoulders, with their body tapering down into a thin waist, thus creating an upside-down triangle.
  • Oval – Perhaps the most common of the male body types, the oval comes from having a torso that’s wider than both your shoulders and your hips. So, you start with a chest, expand out a little as you get to the waist, and then come back in as you reach the hips.
  • Trapezoid – The trapezoid falls somewhere in between the oval and inverted triangle body shapes. Your shoulders will be slightly wider than your waist and hips, though not so wide that they create the inverted triangle look. You’re essentially almost rectangular, though the shoulders slightly distort that rectangle.

Tuxedo Styles for Different Body Types

A man in a black suit fixing his button

With your body type established, you’re ready to move on to the most important business – choosing between the many tuxedo styles available.

Let’s break down how to choose the right tuxedo for your body type based on the most common body shapes.

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For the Short Man

“The shorter man should search for a tuxedo that elongates their body, creating the illusion that they’re taller than they really are,” says Generation Tux’s resident expert. A single-breasted jacket is the best choice for this body type, ideally with two buttons, as the buttons create a vertical line to make the jacket appear longer than it would if you had a single button.

Narrow lapels can also help – again, they offer verticality – as can a jacket that has a lower button stance. The latter essentially leaves more jacket above the buttons, again creating the tall illusion.

For the Tall Man

Finding the right tuxedo style for tall men is all about balance. You want to accentuate your height, to an extent, but you don’t want a jacket that makes you appear lanky or gangly.

A double-breasted jacket works well, ideally one with structured shoulders so your chest and shoulders don’t get lost within your body’s length. You’ll almost create the illusion of the inverted triangle body type here by adding a touch of bulk to your upper frame that matches well with your extended verticality.

For the Slim Man

Similar to tall men, slim men will want a tuxedo jacket that adds a touch of bulk and dimensionality to their figure. As such, a double-breasted jacket with structured shoulders works just as well here as it does for guys who are trying to dispel the lanky look.

Other options include choosing a jacket that has padded shoulders – again creating some bulk – or one that has a broader lapel. Where the narrow lapel used by shorter men makes them appear taller, the broader one used by thin guys can make their chests appear wider than they really are.

For the Bulky Man

If you’ve ever seen the episode of “The Simpsons” when Homer is promoted to become an executive at the nuclear plant, you may remember his short-lived assistant Karl. There’s a scene in that episode where Homer is being measured for a suit, with Karl demanding that Homer let his bulk out before commanding that the tailor measuring him “conceal it.”

That’s essentially the goal of the bulky man when choosing tuxedos – create a slimming effect.

Single-breasted suits are best for this, especially if the suit has a low button stand that draws the eye downward rather than forcing focus onto the stomach. You’ll also want to avoid pleating in your trousers. While this multi-folding technique is a great way to create comfort, it also makes the trousers appear bulkier than they really are.

For the Inverted Triangle Body Type

Inverted body triangles are a little tough because the broadness in the man’s chest and shoulders can lead to the lower half of their jacket failing to fit snugly against their body. The obvious solution is to look for a jacket that narrows slightly at the waist, with a single-breasted jacket typically being the best option.

However, a word of warning – you’re likely going to need the help of a tailor to ensure the jacket narrows properly to accentuate your waist. Without one, you risk either going too tight at the chest or too loose at the waist and hips.

For the Oval Body Type

Those with the oval body type usually want to achieve the same slimming effect that those with bulky body types need. So, the same type of suit works as well for oval as it does for bulk – single-breasted with a low button stance that makes your waist appear narrower than it really is.

Avoid double-breasted suits. They accentuate the waist, which is already the largest part of your body, resulting in you looking bulkier.

For the Trapezoid Body Type

As the most balanced body type, the trapezoid is also the easiest in terms of choosing a tuxedo jacket. Almost any style will suit your body because of its relative uniformity from shoulder to hip, meaning your main concern lies less in concealing features you don’t want to showcase and more in accentuating those you do.

For instance, you may have a strong chest, even if it’s still in line with your waist, making a jacket with structured shoulders good for emphasizing your upper bulk. Alternatively, a jacket that gets narrower as it reaches the waist may suit you better if you have a flat stomach.

Experiment to find what works best for you.

Tailoring and Fit

A person cutting suit fabric

Though you now have a better idea of how to choose the right tuxedo for your body type, you still have to understand something important about your jacket – it’s rare that you’ll find one off the rack that fits perfectly.

A tailor almost always needs to be involved to ensure you achieve the right fit.

The Importance of a Good Tailor

A good tailor does two things that help you find the perfect fit:

  • Take accurate measurements of your body, which is hard to do on your own.
  • Tweak and adjust your suit jacket so that it fits your body better.

Tailors aren’t miracle workers. They can only work within the confines of the fabric built into your tuxedo, meaning they can’t magically make an extremely over or undersized jacket fit your body. But if you have a tuxedo that’s nearly there, but not quite right, they can make the little adjustments that take your tux from so-so to a perfect fit.

Don’t Forget Your Accessories

A present, cufflinks, a watch, and a bottle

You have the tuxedo made to measure and it fits your body type. All that’s left is to accessorize because the right accessories can accentuate the look you’re hoping to achieve.

For instance, shorter men should opt for slim bow ties. By eliminating as much bulk as possible from the tie, you make your neck and torso appear longer, creating the illusion of tallness. Similarly, a wider bow tie adds bulk – ideal for both slim and tall men trying to avoid the gangly look.

Rent or Buy?

The last question to answer, assuming you’re happy with your tuxedo colors and style, is whether you rent or buy your tuxedo. The answer typically comes down to usage. If you anticipate attending a lot of events where a tux is required – and you believe your body type won’t change drastically over time – buying a tux may be more economical in the long run than renting for every event.

On the flip side, buying costs more upfront than renting. If you only need it for one event, you’ll save money when you rent a tuxedo.

Find the Perfect Fit

A couple looking at a suit on a laptop

There you have it – how to choose the right tuxedo for your body type. Remember that the key usually lies in hiding the aspects of your body that are less flattering so you can accentuate (or build upon) the aspects you’d like to highlight.

After choosing the right tuxedo, your next step is acquiring it. That’s where Generation Tux comes in, especially for those who want a tux to rent. Offering you the ability to rent a tuxedo from the comfort of your own coach, Generation Tux has over 20 styles in store – plenty of variety for different body types – and offers at-home try-ons so you can adjust your suit to get the perfect fit.

With countless combinations we help you build the perfect look

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