How to Buy a Tuxedo

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Our Guide to Formal Wear for the Groom

Sure, you can rent your tuxedo, but if you think you’ll have the occasion to wear a tuxedo more than once in your life, then your best bet is to buy your own.

What’s the benefit of buying? In a word, fit. A tuxedo should fit you like a suit of armour. You just won’t get that from a rented tuxedo. Plus, think of the money and hassle you’ll save from not having to trot down to your local rental shop each time.

So, what should you look for when buying your own tuxedo?

Before heading off to the shops, you must decide on your style. Do you go for the winged collar look, more traditional but usually reserved for formal social events, or the turned down collar look?

Your choice will largely depend on the type of functions you are likely to attend, but there are other, less obvious, decisions where style is concerned.

Tuxedos can come in various lengths. For more formal occasions go for the longer style while for less formal functions a shorter, more business suit length is appropriate.

To wear a cummerbund or not, that is the question! It comes down to a matter of personal choice. The purpose of the cummerbund is to hide the trouser waistband and lower portion of your shirt.
If this is not important to you, then skip the cummerbund. Remember also that if you are on the short, stocky side, then a cummerbund will emphasise this.

You should also consider your choice of fabric for your tuxedo. Tuxedos can be made from wool, satin, silk, polyester or velvet. Wool is durable, warm and less prone to wrinkles, but it is heavy. Satin tuxedos are more likely to suffer staining. As for silk, it is soft, luxurious and very comfortable. Polyester is the most economical material for your tuxedo and is well-known for its wrinkle resistance and smoothness. Velvet is luxurious, but is prone to wrinkles, especially if folded. You’ll have to have your velvet tuxedo dry-cleaned as it cannot be ironed.

Where colour is concerned, go for darker colours which are easier to clean and look great with a white shirt.
Finally, getting your tuxedo to fit correctly is vital if you are to look your best. Try on your selected tuxedo to make sure you have the right size, and then rely on the professional who will measure you. Important measurements are the chest measurement, taken high up on the chest under your armpits, and the over arm measurement taken across your shoulders. Together, these will fine tune your tuxedo for maximum effect.
Buy your tuxedo wisely and you’ll be the star of all occasions!

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