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Tuxedo versus Suit – The Groom’s Attire

The classic tuxedo has been the standard for formal affairs for decades. The bow tie, cummerbund, cuff links, and studs adorn a man with classic elegance and charm. Unfortunately, tuxedos can oftentimes be uncomfortable, expensive, and a bad investment if they are rented. Furthermore, rented tuxedoes, despite being altered, never fit quite right. They are basically “one size fits many” that the fitter adjusts to your approximate size. As such, rented tuxedoes tend to droop and sag toward the end of a long day, only adding to the discomfort. So, which should you choose?

There is no question that the right tuxedo, at the right affair, can make a great impression. For a formal reception, in a formal venue, a tuxedo is the right call. However, the groom might want to consider comparing rental prices versus purchase and alteration prices. He may be surprised to learn that purchasing a tuxedo isn’t much costlier, and will always result in a better fit, a more comfortable piece if clothing, and the ability to wear it again in the future. Don’t be fooled by the expensive brand names you see on rental tuxedoes. Yes, it may say Calvin Klein, but it was manufactured to be a rental tux, i.e., the material is durable instead of comfortable, there are clips and elastic where there wouldn’t normally be (to make adjustments easier), and rentals can oftentimes take on a shiny look when they have been dry cleaned too many times. A purchased tuxedo of a lesser-known brand is still a new garment, and will be a lighter, more comfortable one as it doesn’t have all the extra bulk necessary to make it durable and adjustable. And when the event is over, you still own it. If the occasion absolutely requires a tuxedo, think about buying one instead of renting. You will be surprised at the cost.

But what about the less formal venue? For outdoor and location weddings more and more grooms are choosing a carefully selected and tailored suit for themselves and their groomsmen. Cost and usefulness are factors. A great suit can be worn for several years while not falling out of style, and can be updated by shirt, tie, and accessory changes. Further, the endless range of color, cut, and material options allow for better individual expression, and more flexibility when trying to coordinate your outfits with the bride and setting. A black tux for a daytime beach wedding seems out of place. While a neutral tone, herringbone fabric suit with a soft pastel shirt or tie that compliments the bride’s spray will really pop in person and in photos. And for the afterparty, you can ditch the tie, change the shirt, and have a great, open-collar look and comfort. By selecting a suit, the bride and groom can incorporate their overall look and style with the design of the reception. With the right suit, a groom can accessorize to complement both the bride, and the color scheme of the event beyond the matching-bowtie-senior-prom look. And again, the comfort factor cannot be overlooked. A well-tailored suit of a good material will breathe, flow, and wear better than a rental tuxedo and, again, you get to keep it and use it again.

So much of modern wedding planning takes place outside the box and with an eye toward being unique. Breaking away from the traditional rented tuxedo look for the groom is a great way to add an individual, comfortable, and more economical option to your well-planned reception. Give it a try!

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