He’s getting married–suit or tux?

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Ask A Woman: WWBSD? (What would Barney Stinson Do?)

You're hovering a bit there bucko.

If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it. Beth is our source for the answers. From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday.  She also might provide an answer without waiting to be asked.  That happens from time to time too. Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: askawoman@dappered.com .

 

Hey Beth,

I got engaged recently and while we still have plenty of time before the wedding, I am already trying to make a critical attire choice: tuxedo or very nice suit? My fiancé has left the decision completely up to me and I am having a hard time deciding. I am highly considering purchasing either the tuxedo or a nice suit, so that I can get it tailored to fit me perfectly and I don’t have to worry about not looking sharp in a rental. I feel like after the fact I would get a lot more use out of a suit than a tuxedo, but there is something special about wearing a good looking tux on a wedding day. Do you have any insight or advice to help sway me one way or the other? What do women think when they see a guy in a great tuxedo? Does it even happen that often with all the bad rentals out there? I’d like to look my best on my wedding day.

Thanks,

Charles

 

Hiya Charles,

Given what you’ve told me:

  • You want to purchase your attire so that it fits as well as possible
  • You know you’ll get more use out of a suit than a tux
  • You wonder if women (i.e., your bride) will think you look snappier in a tux

I’d recommend going with a suit. Here’s why. It is hard to get a well-fitting rental tux–the pants and sleeves are often too long, the fabric around the torso is frequently baggy, the jacket hangs off the shoulders instead of molding to them. Cruise around Facebook for an hour and look at your friends’ and acquaintances’ wedding pictures. I bet you’ll be able to tell who rented their attire, and who bought. For a lot of people that’s a non-issue because the majority of people out there aren’t meticulous dressers. As I’ve often said, just look around you next time you’re out and about–there’s a lot of ill-fitting, unflattering outfits out there. And good for them. They’re probably using their brain to cure childhood leukemia or develop new strains of wheat that can feed more starving people per acre planted, while we agonize over how to correctly mix patterns. Anyway, since you know you want to look sharp, buying is going to be your best bet…

…and unless you’re a Rockefeller, I can’t imagine that you’ll have many, if any, occasions to wear a tux after you get married. If you do, it will probably be an isolated event that occurs in five, ten, fifteen years, and much as we might like to think we’ll stay the same size as we were on our wedding day…being happily married tends to lead to a little…love pudge. I’m raising my hand on this one.  My husband and I were talking about this couple we know who are super tall and super thin, and he described them as string beans. Then I looked at myself, looked at my husband and said, “Yeah, we’re more like lima beans these days, eh?” (Incidentally, I thought this was funnier than he did.) So go for a suit. You can wear it for future fancy events–anniversary and birthday dinners out, weddings, baptisms, work events–and you’ll be getting your money’s worth.

theblacktuxrentals

If you do decide to rent, try the recently mentioned by GQ theblacktux.com … Super 150s wool, Slim cuts, and all done over the internet (shipping is free too). $95 – $120 for rental.

As for women? Ask the typical woman–even a stylish, fashion-forward woman–what the difference between a suit and tux is and you’ll either get a blank stare, or an answer like, “You wear a tux at a wedding” or “You wear a bow tie with a tux.” Neither of which is strictly correct, of course. The main difference is that tuxes have satin detail and suits don’t. A tux has a thin stripe of satin material running up the sides of each leg, and satin lapels on the jacket. There are other differences, like the number of buttons on the jacket, cummerbunds, or whether or not it has a vent, but even these standards are looser these days.

The last consideration here is what your wedding party is wearing. If you’re having groomsmen and it’s important to you that they match, then I’d say, rent tuxes. It’s going to be hard to match everyone if they’re wearing the suits they already have in their closets (and they’re probably not going to want to buy a whole new suit just to stand up in your wedding). But more and more, wedding parties are given a color scheme by the bride and groom, and then given the freedom to wear whatever they want, a trend I love, and that I think makes the wedding and pictures more interesting and personal. I leave you with this final word from Barney Stinson, expert in this sort of thing:

Happy planning, Charles, and congratulations on your engagement!

-Beth

Got a question for Beth? Send it to: askawoman@dappered.com