If you’re over the age of 25, or under the age of 25 and consider yourself to be in the top 10% of your peers when it comes to style, renting a tuxedo can be a total nightmare. It can cost upwards of $125 to rent an ill-fitting, non-breathing, sack of polyester that some clod puke jagermeister all over the week before. Can you get buy with a black suit for black-tie invited events? Of course… if you do it right. But that time will come when you need to be in a monkey suit. And you need not be afraid or owning your own.
Buying a tux is just like buying a suit. Fit is key (especially in the shoulders), tailoring is a must, and the slight details will set you apart. Here are three options that should make you look more like you own the place, and less like you’re waiting tables:
Regular Unleaded – Kenneth Cole Slim Collection Tuxedo – $200
Kenneth Cole, despite all their maddening style-guides, really does know how to make a bargain-priced slim fit suit. Their tux is nothing more than that slim-fit suit in black, with the standard smooth satin lapel, covered buttons, and pocket piping. Is it anything extravagant? No. For twice the price of a rental will you look fifty times better than any other guy in a suit he borrowed from a tux shop? Count on it.
Full disclosure: I don’t have a tux hanging in my closet. But the next time I need one, this is the tux I’m going to buy. Perfectly Proportioned high two-button, substantial but not crazy notch lapel, and a fit that’s trim and athletic. If you’re in shape but neither skinny or the incredible hulk, you’ll command some attention in this thing.
Premium – J. Crew Ludlow Tuxedo – $670.00
If you’ve got $700 to blow on a Tux, then you probably own one. Or two. But say you’re getting married, and you just inherited $250,000, and you want to look reallly nice. Then go ahead and get this peak lapel, cut perfectly J. Crew Ludlow. Is it going to look twice as good as the Hilfiger Trim fit? Nope. But some high fashion types will still buy it.
Things to Remember
And some final notes about putting on that monkey suit. Lose the tuxedo shirt. A bright white formal oxford will do just fine. Cufflinks, there’s your opportunity for flash. Wear a tank watch and you risk looking too up-tight. A round yet still slim chronograph (like this one from Citizen) loosens up your look just enough. Shirt Jewelry = Mneh. And try to find a real bow-tie. Not a pre-tied hook and loop closure. It’ll make a world of difference.