Tuxedo jackets have a satin lapel; tuxedo pants have a satin stripe down the outside legs. Tuxedo shirts often have a pleated front, as well as being compatible with studs and cuff links. Patent leather shoes are worn with tuxedos. Suits have a self lapel (same fabric as the body of the coat), no satin stripe down the pants, with a plain-front dress shirt and ordinary leather shoes are worn.

Traditionally, a tuxedo has a curved “shawl” lapel or a pointed “peak” lapel. Today, the majority of tuxedos have “notch” lapels like those of a common suit. Tuxedos also traditionally have only one button, compared to two or three on suits; this distinction is also less common today.