Special/Signature Issues » Bridal Style

Tuxedo Junction: Buying Vs. Renting

If you don't have a reason or a desire to own a penguin suit, then renting is the way to go. To ensure the best selection, visit your favorite formalwear store three to four months before your wedding. If you're not sure where to go, ask some of your married friends for referrals or visit a few area stores for some comparative shopping.

A good formalwear store will carry a variety of tuxedos, from classics to current styles, as well as must- have accessories such as bow ties, cummerbunds, suspenders, cufflinks and shoes. Its staff should work diligently with you to find the perfect tuxedo that not only looks great, but is comfortable too. The store should provide you with an advance fitting (which includes measuring your inseam, waist and jacket size) and let you pick up your tuxedo a few days before your wedding to ensure that everything fits you to a T.

To guarantee that you and your groomsmen are sporting a uniform look, it's best to rent everyone's attire from the same formalwear store. When doing so, be sure to ask about specials or package deals they offer (i.e. the groom's tuxedo is free if all the groomsmen rent from the store).

Whether renting or buying your wedding day tux, it's important to take your body type into consideration. If you're the tall, thin type, then almost anything goes as long as your trouser and jacket lengths are in proportion. If you want to bulk up, ask your formalwear staff for styles that broaden your shoulders. If you're short and thin, seek the services of a tailor to make sure you're not swimming in your tux.

For those of you who are tall, big and muscular, choose the streamlined looked of a classic tux. Avoid styles that add volume, such as double-breasted jackets and pleats, or those that seem constricting, like bulging cummerbunds or tight bow ties. The same goes for those of you who are short and broad. Simplicity is key here, as is wearing black, which has a slimming effect.

When making your final selection about what to wear to your wedding, keep in mind that while you want a look that is true to who you are, you don't want one that upstages or upsets your bride. While tradition has it that you don't see your bride in her wedding gown until she walks down the aisle, common sense dictates that you should keep her informed of your choices well in advance of the big day. In addition to helping coordinate the look of the entire bridal party, such advance notice might be instrumental in avoiding your first disagreement as husband and wife!

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