Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $150 to rent; $150 to $1,000 to buy
On your wedding day, you’ll want to look your very best. For many men, this translates into wearing a tuxedo that’s simple and elegant. But before you select this formal wear, you need to decide: should you buy or should you rent?
Reminiscent of Earlier Times
Tuxedos are reminiscent of days long past, yet their fine fabrics and crisp lines are also a perfect choice for modern grooms who want to set a good impression.
The very first use of black tie for men dates back to the late 1800s, when the earliest form of a tuxedo/dinner suit was introduced at New York City’s Tuxedo Park Club. What set it apart from earlier suits was the fact that this one didn’t contain any coattails, which had been in vogue at that time. The look quickly became popular and was referred to as a “tuxedo.” The name stuck and continues to be used today in the United States. (In Britain, the same style is often referred to as a dinner jacket.)
While you may think most tuxedos basically look alike, today there are many different colors, cuts, fabrics and styles to choose from. What you select will probably depend on your size, your taste and how much you are willing to spend on this item.
Some of the options you can find include two, three and four button options, as well as double-breasted. There are different lapel styles to select from, too, such as classic, peak and shawl. Finally, tuxedos come in different colors. Black is usually the standard, but you can vary this and opt for white, gray or any other fashion shade.
Rent vs. Buy
Whether you should rent your tuxedo or buy it really comes down to your personal preferences, as well as the practical question of how often how many opportunities you will have to wear it again.
If you go to many formal social events, such as black tie weddings, charity balls and dances, or cruises with formal dinners, then it could be worthwhile to invest in your own tuxedo. It will actually save you money in the end since you won’t need to pay for rental fees each time. However, before you buy, there are a few factors to keep in mind. For instance, one style may not fit all, since the tux you select for your winter wedding may not be the best choice for a summer ball. In addition, over time the style and cut of tuxedos can change and make yours look very outdated. In addition, as the years pass, your waistline could expand and this means that your tux may not fit when you need it.
All of these things should be added into the equation before you decide that buying is the best scenario for your situation.
Whether you prefer to buy or rent your tuxedo, you might decide to shop online. A number of tuxedo shops have websites and you can see the array of styles available right from the comfort of your home. Some of the rental websites you can try include Nationaltuxedorentals.com, TuxRentalOnline.com, MyTuxedoRental.com, and WeRentTuxedos.com . If you want to buy online, there are many popular discount sites, including Buy4LessTuxedo.com and UniformalWearhouse.com.
Shopping in Person
Many grooms prefer to shop in stores, though, so they can try on tuxedos and determine exactly what they like. The advantage to going in person is that you can see the fabrics and find out how the different cuts work on your specific body type. The salesperson can also make recommendations for the logistics of your event and can help to guide you through the decision making process as smoothly as possible. If you’re not all that familiar with formalwear or not all that sure what would be most appropriate, this can be very beneficial.
If you’re renting, then the salesperson will make sure that the tux you get will be perfectly fitted to your measurements and will come with all of the accessories. This can include a shirt, tie, vest or cummerbund, cuff links and shoes. (You’ll need to provide your own socks.) Many rental stores will give you a package deal with all of the pieces you need for your event.
When you’re buying your own tux, you’ll also need to be measured and to have the tux fitted to your size (there is usually an extra charge for this tailoring when you buy). In addition, you’ll need to buy the accessories that go with it.
It’s a Match
If you have groomsmen in your wedding, regardless of whether you rent or buy, many of them may not own their own tuxes so they may to rent theirs as well. Your fiancé will probably want to have some input into the groomsmen’s clothing selection, since she’ll probably want to coordinate their vests and ties with the bridesmaid gowns, so the wedding party will all look good together.
You can use the TuxedoRentalGuide.com to access a searchable directory of local tux rental shops. This is an easy way to get started with the tux rental process. You can also look in the yellow pages or do a search online. You can find small special occasion boutiques that will rent formal men’s wear, or you can shop at larger chain stores that offer tux rentals. If your groomsmen live in different areas, a chain can be the safest bet, since it is likely to be more accessible to all of them. Some of popular chain rental stores include Mr. Tux , After Hours Formalwear and ’The Mens Wearhouse.
If you’re buying, some of these stores will be able to accommodate you. You can also shop in men’s specialty shops like Joseph A. Banks, or better department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Ave.
What It Costs
Whether you rent or decide to buy your own tux, the quality of what you select will greatly affect what you will spend. If money is quite tight or you don’t want to allocate much to your tux, you can certainly find a very inexpensive one to buy or rent. On the other end, you can also find a designer or well-made tuxedo made from high-end material. For a one-day rental, even a good quality tux should still be affordable and if you buy, it can be a welcome addition to your wardrobe.
Renting a tuxedo can start at $50 for the most basic option and can go up to about$150 for one that’s better quality. Included in the price should be the cost to custom fit the tuxedo to your specific measurements. This should also include the accessories and shoes you select.
You can expect the tux to be clean and pressed when you pick it up. It’s a good idea to try it on just to be sure that everything fits as intended before you take it home. Most tux rentals will also include the cost of cleaning the suit after you return it. Be sure to ask when the item is due back at the shop. Some stores will let you keep it for a night or two after your event, but there may be an additional fee so find out what the rental terms are up front.
Keep in mind that if you have several groomsmen who are renting tuxedos from the same store as you, yours might be given at no charge.
If you decide to buy your tuxedo, the price range will be much wider. Very simple tuxedos can start at about $150. For better fabrics and cuts, though, the price quickly rises. You can spend as much as$300 to $800 for a good quality tux. If you want a designer tux or one from a fine boutique, you might spend $1,000 or even much, much more on this specialty item. In fact, it’s not hard to find a tux that sells for even twice that amount. If you are tempted to splurge on a tux, just be sure you’ll be able to wear it enough to justify the purchase.
In addition to the cost to buy the tux, you’ll also need to pay for the alterations in most cases. (Note these are free on rentals.) This can easily add another $50 to $100 on to the price.
So rentals can range form $50 to $150, while to buy can be between $150 and $1,000 and up.
Allow Enough Time
When you shop for your tux (to rent or buy), you’ll need to allow plenty of time. Ideally, it’s a good idea to start the process several months before your wedding. This will allow plenty of time to select the accessory styles, have the tux fitted and also get the groomsmen their coordinating attire.