Tuxedo Glossary


HERRINGBONE: Classic zigzag effect resembling the backbone of a herring.

IRIDESCENT: Contrasting warp and filling yarns giving a two-color effect.

JACQUARD: An intricate, variegated, self-pattern weave with clear finish.

PAISLEY: A fabric woven or printed with colorful curved (amoeba-like) abstract figures.

TARTAN: A plaid textile design of stripes of varying width and color against a solid ground, patterned to designate a clan.

TWILL: A textile weave in which filling yarns pass over one and under two or more warp yarns producing a diagonal rib.

WORSTED: A smooth, compact yarn form long wool fibers, used for smooth, firm, compact fabrics.


BESOM: (be’-zum) Narrow welted edging on coat body above pocket lip.

CUTAWAY: (aka morning coat) Classic daytime formal attire that used to be worn only for events prior to noon. Now acceptable up until mid-afternoon, but never for evenings.The front of the coat “cuts away from the button down. Worn with a dove grey or black vest, striped or pin-dot ascot, wing collar shirt, and either striped or nailhead pants. Black formal shoes or dress calfskin shoes are a must.

DROP: The number of inches smaller the trouser waist of a suit is than the coat. A size 40 regular suit, for example, usually has a 6 inch trouser drop… a 34 inch waist.

GORGE: The seam on a coat where collar meets lapel.

HACKING POCKET: A slanted flap pocket on a coat. Rarely found in formal wear.

LOW RISE: The difference between inseam and outseam of trousers. Several inches shorter than normal rise depending on the designer. Favored by the young and slim.

NORMAL RISE: The difference between the inseam and outseam of trousers. (Normal rise for size 32 regular, for example, is 10 7/8″ (10 1/8″ for 32 short and 11 1/8″ for 32 long. Rise increases 1/8″ for each increase in waist size.)

NOTCHED (NOTCH) LAPEL: Type of lapel on which the top line slants down in line with the collar seam.

PEAKED (PEAK) LAPEL: Type of lapel on which the top line slants up from the horizontal.

UNDERBASTING: The temporary sewing together of two pieces of fabric to assure perfect pattern matches. Threads are removed at final pressing.

UNDERPRESSING: Pressing on the reverse side of the fabric to mold it so it will retain its shape.

VENT: Slit at center or sides on the bottom of the back of a jacket or coat.

VEST – CONTINENTAL: (aka waistcoat) Backless (“one size fits all”) vest includes adjustable strapping at the back of the neck for length and across the lower back to adjust the waist.

VEST – FULL BACK: (aka waistcoat) Similar to a continental vest but with a full satin back like on a traditional three-piece suit and adjustable strap across the lower back to cinch-in any excess fabric.

WELT: A raised double edge, strip, insert, or seam for ornament or reinforcement.


ASCOT: A cravat (tied scarves) with wide square ends; secured with an ornamental pin.

BOUTONNIERE: (boo’-t?-nîr’) A flower or small bunch of flowers worn in a button hole.

BOW TIE: Standard formal attire (black is the preferred choice). Wide array of fabrics, colors and patterns. Also available pre-tied with a neck band to wear on a wing-collar or dress-collar shirt.

BRACES: Suspenders. Button-on or clip-on.

CANE: A straight black cane with white tips on both ends. Traditionally carried when wearing “white tie and tails”. Usually accompanied by white gloves and a top hat.

CUFF LINKS: Traditional formal attire. Coordinated with shirt studs worn on the front placket of the shirt in lieu of buttons.

CUMMERBUND: (kum’-er-bund’) A broad sash, pleated lengthwise and worn as an article of formal dress, as with a dinner jacket. Worn so the open side of the pleats are up (as if to hold opera tickets).

FEDORA: (fí-dôr’-uh) A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.

FOUR-IN-HAND: The simplest of neckwear knots to tie. A four-in-hand is a small knot for wear with a narrow-spread collar.

HANDKERCHIEF/POCKET SQUARE: A silk or satin fabric square folded in a variety of manners and placed in the outer breast pocket of a tuxedo. Does not have to match the vest but should complement the colors in the tie and or vest.

PUMP: Type of low-cut, slip-on shoe for formal evening wear. Does not have laces or straps.

SHAWL COLLAR: An unnotched lapel with no gorge.

WINDSOR: The largest of the three neckwear knot styles. Worn with wide spread collar shirts. (Half-windsor is worn with medium spread collar).

Formal Wear Rental Return Policy

A tuxedo rental during the week is due the next business day by noon or there will be a $25 per day late fee. Tuxedos rented on the weekend need to be returned Monday by noon or there will be a $25 per day late fee.

Our Same Day Service In-Stock Tuxedo Rentals

We have a huge selection of tuxedos, vests, shirts, shoes, and accessories from makers like After Six, Perry Ellis, Jean Yves, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Chaps, Lord West, Fumigali, Formal 1, Raffinati, Andrew Fezza, and Bill Blass. Call us today 843.722.1665 for your FREE personalized consultation!

Classic Notch Two Button (Famous Name) Tuxedo:

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Tuxedo Rental Return Policy

Free pick-up in the downtown Charleston peninsula area