Although there is some overlap between black tie and formal affairs, there is a distinguishing dress etiquette. A tuxedo can be worn to a black tie or formal occasion whereas a black suit is only appropriate for formal functions. Similarly, a formal shirt can be worn with either a tuxedo or a black suit but a tuxedo shirt should only be worn with a tuxedo.
Antonio Valente tuxedo shirt with bibbing and Swarovski crystal studs
When deciding on a shirt, either a tuxedo shirt or a formal shirt, it must be styled with French cuffs (fastened with suitable cufflinks) and without a pocket. Custom dictates that a tuxedo shirt must have bibbing with studs, but it can also have plain fronts with studs. A formal shirt, on the other hand, will only have plain fronts detailed with buttons, fancy buttons or a fly placket. Traditionally, tuxedo and formal shirts have been white, however, black shirts have become fashionable and should only be worn with a black tie. Additionally, a formal shirt can also be ivory but must be worn with an ivory tie.
Antonio Valente tuxedo and tuxedo shirt
To complete the outfit either a bow tie, which is very conventional, or a long tie would match nicely with either a tuxedo or black suit. Also, a pair of high gloss shoes, either slip-on or lace-up, will pair well with a tuxedo or black suit. On the other hand, black patent leather shoes should only be worn with a tuxedo.