Nikki’s Inbox: She’s Going to the Prom in a Tuxedo

Hi Nikki! Prom is coming up, and rather than going in a dress, I actually want to go in a tuxedo/suit. I’m not quite sure where to begin in that direction though, and what type of shoes I should wear with it.

I’m pretty skinny, and I’m 158.75 cm tall with my legs being longer than my torso. My chest is 76 cm, waist is 69 cm, and my hips are 78 cm. Last time my shoulders were measured, it was 69 cm, but I’m not entirely sure. My shoe size is 7 1/2 (US size). I have dark brown hair, which people usually see as black unless I’m in the sunlight.

When I think of tuxedos, I think of the black ones. My friends however, said I should also try looking into ones that aren’t just black, like navy blue or some color of the sort. As for me, I’m fine with just black, but other colors would work as well!

I’m still a student, so my budget would be around ($200 – $450), but assuming my parents will chip in to help me, my budget could be a bit more than that. Thanks for listening, not only to me but to all your other readers as well!

Trish, 16/USA


Trish, let me just say that I love your idea of going to your prom in a suit! And I’m happy that your friends and family support your sartorial style, too.

Beyond Black

Your friends are right, my dear. You don’t have to settle for a black tux although black is quite elegant on its own. But since you want a totally different style, why not go for gray suits? There’s a whole range of gray shades to choose from, from light dove gray to metallics. On the more colorful side of the spectrum, you can also choose burgundy or even cranberry red, cobalt blue or royal purple. Don’t forget that you can choose white or creamy tints, too. Do note that all these suits come from YesStyle’s Menswear section. Some might fit you with a few alterations.

But instead of stopping at color, how about rocking a patterned or embellished suit? A patterned suit, such as checks or plaids, stripes and — yay — florals will definitely stand out! Pinstripes are refined but thicker stripes in a mix of light and dark colors make it look more fun. For embellishments, it can be as simple as small gold checks against a dark or light fabric, or something really bold like gold-tone trim along the lapels of the jacket.

Base Layers

Since you’re already in menswear, a more feminine base layer balances your entire look. A padded camisole in velvet, sateen or lace looks great with your three-piece suit. Wear one in a contrast color, like crimson if you’re wearing a gray suit, or a silver or muted gold version if you’re wearing purple, etc.

A bralette or crop top can also work with your three-piece suit. Make sure to wear one with built-in padding so you’ll have fewer layers to worry about. Wearing a vest with your tux allows you to show off those base layers even when you remove the jacket, so pick one with a good design in front. You can also choose to wear a cropped mesh or see-through lace top over your base crop top for plenty of textural play. Please check with your school first to see if wearing these are allowed, okay?

Choose Your Shoes

There’s something really compelling about wearing pointy heels with a suit, especially if your trousers are slim-fit and slightly cropped — something I think will look great on you, Trish! An easy way is to match your shoe color with your base layer, or with the secondary color of your tux, especially if it’s patterned or embellished. You also have the choice of using contrasting textures like velvet, patent or even a hint of faux fur for your footwear. Cropped lengths are ideal for wearing ballet-style pumps with ribbons that wrap around the ankles.

If you decide to go the full menswear route, then a handsome pair of brogues will definitely fit the bill. Brogues are also sometimes called “wingtips” and they give your outfit an upscale vibe.

Lastly, a pocket square, statement earrings and a brooch are minimal accessories that will give a brilliant finish to your prom attire. You can also wear a bow tie or necktie if you choose to wear a conventional shirt or blouse. The choice is yours.

Let me know how your tux turns out! Lots of luck, my dear!

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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