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John Waye

With New Year’s Eve parties approaching, we took a minute to locate some inspiration for perhaps the most quintessentially masculine garment known to man: a Tuxedo. For a garment whose smashing success or massive failure hinges almost entirely on a razor-sharp fit, customized precisely to your body, sack-like rentals are not a realistic option—even if you only need your tux once a year, a modest investment is worth looking like a million bucks once in a while.


1. Peak Lapel. The classic choice. Broader lapels are swinging back into favor, lending modern suits a throwback, menswear-machismo vibe. Combined with the elegantly aggressive peak lapel, this style of tux creates a universally flattering V-shaped torso.


Hickey Freeman Classic-Fit, Peak-Lapel Tuxedo.
Eligible for Free Next-Business-Day Shipping. Shop Now

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2. Shawl Collar. Whereas a peak lapel is boldly assertive, a shawl-collar tux is silky smooth. Put one on, and you’re equally apt to channel a 1962 Sean Connery in the original Bond flick, Dr. No, or a hip vintage revivalist like Albert Hammond Jr., depending on your haircut and facial expression.


BOSS Black Trim-Fit Shawl-Collar Tuxedo.
Eligible for Free Next-Business-Day Shipping. Shop Now

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3. Midnight Blue. Daniel Craig’s Bond is rougher around the edges than his predecessors—and his choices in evening wear are just as unapologetic. Opting for inky blue instead of the classic black is a subtle tweak on the color spectrum, but speaks volumes. Amp it up further with a creative shirt, or keep it classically subversive as Craig does above.


BOSS Black Trim-Fit Navy Tuxedo. Shop Now

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Whichever style you choose, get thee to a skilled Nordstrom Tailor for a fully personalized fit. Here’s a graphic of Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal, a red-carpet pro, with a comprehensive play-by-play on how a classic tux ought to fit, courtesy of the NY Times. Click to enlarge:


 

Shop: Our Party Essentials Guide | All Tuxedos & Formalwear
 
 

[Images: James Cagney, Paul Newman and John Wayne via The Impossible Cool; Sean Connery via Gentleman's Gazette and The Suits of James Bond; Daniel Craig via Fashionising; Jake Gyllenhaal by Steve Granitz/WireImage, © NY Times. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]