Wearing a tuxedo suit, or “le smoking”, is stunning but probably a little dressy for casual holiday events. One way to get around this is to ease the formality, structure and severity of the tuxedo jacket by combining it with casual elements, like jeans and fluid tops. 

Tuxedo jackets are available in a variety of lengths, colours and fabrics. From Winter white, black and ink blue, to gold, silver, velveteen, sateen, jacquards and patterns. I’ve found that a slightly shorter tuxedo jacket is most versatile because it works just as well with jeans and trousers as it does over skirts and dresses. So unless you are tall, opt for a shorter rather than a longer tuxedo jacket.

Here are the components:

Tuxedo Jacket: I’ve chosen a black tuxedo jacket because it’s the most available colour, but there are many other options too. A satin trim is not essential, as long as the cut resembles a tuxedo jacket. Clean lines, narrow lapels, low stance, tailored fit, and welted pockets.

Relaxed Top: I vote fluid pullover, tee, or blouse in soft fabrications because those details do wonders to relax the stiffness of the jacket. Wearing something stiff and structured under something equally stiff and structured amps up the dressiness factor. Of course, by all means choose a structured top if that’s your cup of tea. These are guidelines and not rules. Keep the top untucked for an extra relaxed effect.

Relaxed bottoms: You’re after casual bottoms, so think jeans, mis-matched tuxedo pants, slouchy trousers, silky track pants, leather track pants, harem pants, leather jeggings, combat pants or a flouncy leather skirt. As soon as you add a pair of tailored bootcut trousers or pencil skirt, you amp up the dressy factor. That’s not wrong, just something to bear in mind since we’re trying to relax the tuxedo jacket.  

Party Footwear: Wear dressy party shoes to complement the dressy jacket and contrast with the casual bottoms. I vote refined, pretty and dressy pointy toed footwear because it’s particularly on trend this season. Leave off the chunky and distressed boots.  

Accessories: It’s a party so a clutch is a must. Structured or unstructured is fine, in either a casual or dressy vibe. I’ve chosen a very dressy and blingy clutch because it’s a fun juxtaposition against casual bottoms. Add jewellery, hosiery, eyewear, and watch as desired. 

Relaxed Tuxedo Jacket

Top the entire lot off with a big warm coat, and wear sensible shoes to and from the venue if the weather is bad. Take off the coat and swap out the shoes once you’re back indoors. Most importantly, have a ball!