Trying to match a tux and accessories to your date’s prom dress is a great way to look stylish as a couple, but how do you go about it? We’ve got the answers to your burning prom questions below!

How to match a tux to a prom dress - group of students at prom

Black tie dress code? Go for a tuxedo

Before you rush out to buy a classic black tuxedo, check your school’s dress code for the prom! Prom dress codes tend to be either black tie or black tie optional. And even if it is a black tie event, it won’t be a strict one. It’s tricky to have strict dress code rules for high schoolers, so the traditional style rules will probably be a little lax.

Black tie usually means semi-formal, and calls for a tuxedo and black tie outfit. A black tie outfit includes:

  • A black tuxedo-style jacket with a shawl collar or peaked lapels
  • Matching black trousers with a stripe of satin down each leg
  • A plain white shirt with French-style cuffs
  • A plain black bow tie in satin or grosgrain
  • Tuxedo shoes in black patent leather
  • Suspenders, cufflinks, a pocket square, cummerbund (optional) or waistcoat (optional)

Phew! It sounds like a lot, but if you plan on renting your tuxedo over buying it, a stylist can help you pick out everything you need to complete your outfit.

Black tie optional? Rock a suit

Now, what if your prom is black tie optional? You can still wear a tuxedo, but you can also get away with wearing a black or navy suit. And if you find a great suit that’s tailored to you well, it’s a good idea to buy it rather than renting it. You can then wear it for future job interviews, weddings, and other semi-formal events.

A black tie optional outfit usually includes:

  • A suit in dark charcoal, deep navy, or black
  • A plain white shirt
  • Black leather dress shoes
  • A dark bow tie or necktie

Once you have all the components of your outfit in mind, let’s look at other factors you’ll consider when picking the style and colors.

Ask your date about the dress

To match or not to match? Some style experts say that matching your date’s outfit is excessive; others say that it looks fun when done right. You can go either way; choose what feels right to you! Whatever you decide, remember to ask your date some questions first, before you rent or buy your outfit. 

Does she want your outfit to complement hers? Does she prefer that you wear a tuxedo or a suit? How formal is her dress; what material is it made out of? What colors is she wearing? Getting the scoop on her outfit can help you decide what your outfit should look like. 

For example, if she’s going for a trendy, two-piece prom dress in a bright pattern, you can complement it by wearing a suit and matching one color from the dress with your tie or pocket square. Or, if she’s wearing a classic, simple gown, you may complement her best by wearing a classic tuxedo. In either case, you can also compliment her outfit by wearing matching corsages and boutonniere flowers. You’ll both look like you put a little thought into coordinating your outfits together.

Show off your style

Sure, there are style rules that you should keep in mind when rocking a tuxedo or suit. But don’t be afraid to play around with your style, or with trends you’ve been wanting to try! Get some inspiration from celebrities on the red carpet or check out what your favorite musicians and actors are wearing to formal events. Try a new fabric like velvet, or different patterns like floral or polka dot. Have a little fun with your look since you only get to experience prom when you’re young.

Don’t forget the little details

Finally, let’s end with some reminders on the little details that can make or break your prom look. If you plan on getting a haircut for prom, get it about a week out from prom, no earlier. That gives your hair a chance to grow out a little and look more natural. Try using some product to keep your hair and any facial hair well-groomed and sleek. 

Shower, brush your teeth, and make sure you smell good! Don’t go overboard with cologne. A light splash of cologne should be enough. Check that you have everything you need for your outfit the morning of prom and that everything looks good: your fabrics are wrinkle-free, and your shoes are highly polished. Now go out and have fun!

Build your prom look with Jim’s Formal Wear

Find your prom tuxedo or suit with Jim’s Formal Wear! We have a broad range of styles that will suit black tie and black tie optional dress codes for any prom. Stick to a traditional black tux, or put your own unique style spin on a dark grey or deep navy suit. Jim’s Formal Wear can help you achieve the perfect prom look!