At some point in your life, you’ll be invited to a a black tie event. More likely than not, it will be a wedding. Between ages 25 to 55, you will probably be invited to at least twenty weddings, and depending on how large your family and group of friends is, it could be significantly more. The average person will attend at least two per year, and while you may want to mix and match suits, ties and shirts from time to time, you’ll still need a “go to” outfit.
Nothing beats a classic black tuxedo; it’s classy, timeless, and looks really sharp. For any “black tie optional” event, a tux always works. Just ask James Bond.
Unfortunately, most guys get suckered into renting tuxedos for each event, but if you think about it long term, it’s a loser’s game. First, look at the basic numbers. The average tuxedo rental costs around $200, and for a designer tux that cost more than doubles to $400-$500. The average tuxedo purchase costs between $200 – $500, and for a custom fitted tux, it costs around $1,000.
So, if you purchase a custom tuxedo once, you can wear it as many times as you want, and your fixed cost is $1,000. You can purchase a non-custom tuxedo and have it cost $500. If you rent six tuxedos in your lifetime, it will cost you $1,200. Chances are, you will wear a tuxedo more than six times in your lifetime. Advantage: Purchase.
Next, let’s talk about the look, feel and fit. When you decide to purchase a tuxedo, it is fitted exactly to your specifications and body size. Because of this, it just looks way better on you than a cookie-cutter rental. It will also fit much better, so you will feel comfortable and confident for the entire event. Is there anything worse than having to wear an uncomfortable suit for seven plus hours?
Also, ponder this: if you’re attending a wedding or part of the wedding party, it is likely that the bride and groom will have a professional photographer at the event, snapping thousands of pictures throughout the evening. These pictures will be around (and on social media) for all of eternity. Would you rather look great in a fitted tux, or be forever enshrined in photo albums looking like a child in his father’s tux?
Lastly, consider peace of mind. If you own a tuxedo, it sits in your closet waiting to be worn. You have almost nothing to think about, other than potentially dry cleaning it. It fits you nicely, it looks great, and it’s readily available. When looking to purchase a tux, consider retailers like Enzo Custom or Alan David; these guys really take care of their customers.
For the guy that decided to rent (again), they have to go through the hassle of going to the store, getting measured, picking it out, going back for the fitting, trying it on, and then returning it after the event. Additionally, you have to worry if it will actually fit you correctly! For procrastinator guys that cut the deadline too close to the wedding date, there are situations where you will be unable to swap out an ill-fitting tux. Talk about anxiety!
To sum it up, the best thing you can do is invest in a high quality, custom-fitted tux. Most custom outfitters will agree to tailor them forever, so if you need alterations to the tuxedo (for that expanding waistline), you’re covered. Don’t be cheap and short-sighted; invest in yourself. You will be glad you did!
-Your Big Bro