What is the difference between a tux and smoking

Smoking and Tux

A tux (Abrv. of tuxedo) is a cocktail suit most often for men, but sometimes for women. A smoking has a very similar definition, sometimes they are considered as same, but why some fashion specialists call a suit smoking rather than a tux and vice versa. Certainly, there is a reason for that.

So, What is the difference between a tux and smoking ?

Difference between a tux and smoking

A Smoking

A Smoking (Photo from

Smoking and Tux

It is a matching set, consisting mainly of a jacket in black wool and mohair, more rarely white, a short size. It can be straight or crossed satin cuff or silk flaw, black pants with silk braid, sometimes accompanied by a vest. The lapel of the neck may be round or with sharp notches; the jacket has only one button. Two-button versions exist (especially in America), where they are supposed to be more dressed up. traditionally, one can not have slots in the jacket, nor flaps to the pockets.

Classic cuts

The Smoking’s classic cuts are:

Deauville Smoking :  straight, one button, with shawl collar or high pitch;

Capri Smoking : crossed, one or two pairs of buttons, with notches with acute notches or more rarely with shawl collar.

The Smoking  can be worn with a white collarless shirt (with or without a crop) but the correct use is the collar down. The bow tie is often black (while it is white with a tail-of-magpie). We can add to the right jacket a “Smoking belt”, a wide satin waistband with folds covering the waist. Unlike the suit, the smoking must be buttoned (like any jacket).

It is designated on the invitation cards for a cocktail party by the words “full formal” or “black tie” (as opposed to white tie used for clothing) or “evening dress”.

“Smoking” jacket, the history

The major evolution of this jacket will come in the 1850s after the Crimean War bringing the world’s great powers to confront each other. Positioned in Turkey for three years (from 1853 to 1856), soldiers, especially the English, began to smoke more abundantly, thus democratizing this act on their return to the country thanks to an increased import of Turkish tobacco. It was then legion to don after dinner, this kind of short robe made of velvet, cashmere, wool or flannel lined with bright colors with a small headgear and oriental-inspired slippers. At that time, most of the time, the men changed to put their particular jacket and go to the smoking room together, light a cigar, a pipe or other and talk politics while enjoying a glass of wine. The jacket’s wearing then allowed to protect their clothing from ashes and odors, they removed it after, to join their wives. And that’s why this outfit was called “smoking jacket”.

Smoking History

Smoking (Photo from


Conclusion: no difference between Tux and Smoking

According to, there is no difference between the term tux and Smoking. Smoking  is the equivalent American term for English Smoking. While the Smoking created around 1860 was originally worn in English smokers to prevent their  clothes from the smelling of tobacco, the Tuxedo appears twenty years later and comes from the name of the place Tuxedo Park Village in New York where it was worn for the first time instead of the usual suit. In both cases, the tuxedo or smoking is considered THE most elegant outfit in the men’s wardrobe.

Source : Commeuncamion, Wikipedia