Buying or renting a tuxedo is a simple question. First you must ask yourself how many times will you wear the tuxedo in the course of one year. If the answer is less then three times then you should rent. If your answer is more then three times then you should buy. Also if you are the kind of person that likes to follow the trend then renting is the solution for you.
Once you have determined that you are renting or buying a tuxedo the next step is choosing the store to do business with. Whether buying or renting, the store you choose should be a formal wear specialist. What that means is the store should have physical inventory of tuxedos in different styles, vests, shirts, and accessories for you to try on. It’s almost impossible to determine what looks good on you from a picture in a catalogue or from a mannequin dressed in a tuxedo. Remember the tux pictured in a catalogue on a supermodel won’t necessarily be the right look for you. Its important to try on the jacket pants and accessories. A store specializing in formal wear will have the necessary inventory for you to try on so you may determine what look is flattering for your body type. Remember, price alone does not guarantee satisfaction. Look for reputation, years in business and how you feel you are treated when you first walk in the store. You are the customer and the store needs your business. Not the other way around.
Choosing the right style for you is very simple. Tuxedos never go out of style. What was in style 10 years ago is probably still in style today. Double breasted versus single breasted, cummerbund and bow tie versus vest and necktie or button collar, regular collar shirt versus wingtip collar shirt, are all in style today. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
Timing is also an important issue when buying or renting a tuxedo. If you are renting one tuxedo for yourself or renting several for your wedding party, it is important to give yourself and the store you rent from enough lead time for the alterations. The normal period of time is 1-2 months prior to the event date. If you are buying a tuxedo give yourself at least a month prior to the date needed to allow for selecting and any needed alterations.
You can also use the internet to check out the various styles that are available. But don’t make a final decision on style until you physically visit a store to be sure they have the one you were looking at. Again remember, not all styles look the same on all people and body types.
When the invitation says “Black tie optional”, wear a tuxedo. It’s fun to dress up. And wearing a tuxedo is like wearing a costume. It’s fun. Don’t wear the suit you wear to work, rent or buy a tuxedo. You will feel like a million dollars if you do.