grooms-tuxedo.jpgThe time has come that you now need a tuxedo, the first question you should ask yourself is: should I rent or buy?
As a rule of thumb, purchasing a classic tuxedo is a smart investment if you foresee yourself wearing it on four or more occasions in the next few of years. On the other hand, if you're a trend-conscious guy (but can't afford to buy a new tuxedo for every affair), or simply don't plan on wearing a tux more than four times over the next couple of years, then you're better off renting. Below are tips you should know about tuxedos.
1- Know the occasion-in this case it's your wedding
The first step is finding out what type of reception will you be having. Is it a black-tie or white-tie affair? Is it at night or during the day? Should you opt for a classic, more conservative tuxedo or go all out and choose something more stylish?
2- Know your time line-do you remember the date?
Better safe than sorry; always reserve your tuxedo as early as possible. In most cases, reserving it a few weeks in advance will do, but in the case of prom season or a more traditional wedding, you should reserve a tux one to three months in advance. Prom season is hectic and the popular styles and sizes will likely be flying off the shelves. Traditional weddings, on the other hand, require a lot planning: whether you're the groom, best man, or an usher, measurements for all those in the wedding party (even those who are out of town) will need to be taken, so plan ahead, especially during wedding season.
3- Know your budget-what do you want to spend
In terms of budget, you should expect to pay anywhere between $50 for a conventional tuxedo to $200 for top-notch designer formalwear. Keep in mind that rental prices vary depending on how long you expect to rent the tux for. Generally Tuxedos are picked up on Friday and returned on Monday for Saturday weddings.
4- Tuxedo basics
By definition, a tuxedo is a complete outfit that includes a jacket, trousers (usually with a silk stripe down the side), a bow tie, and, often, a cummerbund.
Here's an overview of each:
A regular tuxedo jacket features satin lapels and a boutonniere hole. You can also choose a cutaway jacket, which is usually worn with a morning suit or a standard tuxedo. It's short in front (usually above the belt line) and split in the back (featuring two long pieces of fabric, hence the term "tails"). Remember that a tuxedo jacket comes in various styles; some are classic while other models are more stylish based upon current trends.
Check out the different tuxedo jacket styles and the next steps in renting a tux. You can choose between a single-, double- or triple-breasted jacket with peak or notch lapels, and with a regular or shawl collar. The single-breasted jacket with notch lapels is the most popular and classic style.
Formal trousers feature a black satin stripe or braid along the outside seams. Because they don't feature belt loops, your pants should be tailored perfectly or worn with black or white button-in suspenders. Also remember that formal pants should never be cuffed.
You can wear three basic types of shirts with a tuxedo: wing collar, turndown collar and mandarin collar. A wing collar is found in the traditional shirt and is typically coupled with a bow tie and cummerbund.
Formal shoes are made from shiny patent leather; they should also be simple (plain or capped toe) and freshly polished. Choose between opera slippers (the most formal option), loafers or oxfords.
Vest, cummerbund, bow tie, and accessories
A traditional tuxedo is worn with a bow tie and a vest or cummerbund. A cummerbund is a pleated sash worn around the waist. Its pleats should always be facing up and should match the bow tie. Depending on the occasion, you can accessorize your tuxedo with a hat and a four-piece stud set.
In terms of colors, a traditional tuxedo comes in black or white, but you can also find a variety of gray, silver and ivory tuxedos, and some that are even available in trendy colors. Best to stick with black or white.
5- Browse the Net
At this point, you should have a good idea of the type of tuxedo you're looking for. I suggest that you start your search online, browse various tuxedo galleries and take note of those you like.
6- See an expert
Now, check out the formalwear stores in your area. Bring along your pictures/information, as they'll be useful while describing what you're looking for. And remember that the formalwear retailer is there to help you. He might have exactly what you're looking for, or he might suggest something completely different. It's up to you to judge and pick out the tuxedo you prefer.
7- Shop around & compare prices
Once you've narrowed down your selection and found exactly what you want, take note of your measurements and make sure the store has your size. If they do, then get a price quote, along with the return policy details (when does the tuxedo have to be returned?; what are the conditions in case of damage?). Once you have all the information, go out and comparison shop.
8- Confirm availability & place a deposit
Once you find the best deal, place a deposit to guarantee that your ensemble will be reserved for the occasion. It's as simple as that.