The Groom's Tuxedo - To Rent or Purchase?

Image by tedmurphy on FlickrAfter the anxiety and excitement of proposing to your now-fiancé, you may feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Ah...that’s done.  But it’s only just begun. Now you have a whole wedding to plan.  Even if your bride-to-be is doing the most of wedding planning essentials, there is one area in which your input is vital: the tuxedo.  Should you buy yours or rent it for the big day?

The answer is, of course, it depends.  If that’s not the helpful answer you’ve been looking for, read on.  While everyone’s eyes will be on the bride, her eyes will be on you.  Choosing a tuxedo and making sure it fits properly is of the utmost importance. And fit is why buying a tuxedo may be a great choice for you.  A tuxedo that you purchase can be tailored for your body.  This allows it to drape and fit just right, accentuating the positive and deemphasizing the negative.  A great custom tux looks incredible.  If you hate the idea of wearing one, just think of yourself as 007.

Another benefit of purchasing a tuxedo as opposed to renting is that you can wear it again.  Unlike your bride’s gown, there are other occasions that call for tuxedos.  If you attend black-tie events three or four times a year, buying can be a great investment.  The cut will be just right, and the quality usually surpasses that of the rental tuxedos.  Retail shops typically have more contemporary styles and more variety from which to choose.

The drawback to buying a tuxedo, of course, is the cost.  Prices typically start at $500, and you could pay thousands of dollars for a very well made suit.  Renting, on the other hand, can cost as little as $50.  When considering the price, make sure to include all of the items you’ll need, including the shirt, vest, shoes, and accessories.  Still, it is usually much less expensive to rent.

One of the major complaints about renting is that the quality of the tuxedos is not equal to that of those you purchase. This is not always the case.  You can find great rentals, but it is always a good idea to go into the shop and see the suits in person.  Do they look cheap?  Or more importantly, would your bride think they look cheap?  Do they have the styles you need?  For instance, if you’d like a sophisticated suit with vest, and the shop is trying to rent you a cummerbund, you may want to visit a different vendor.  Do they have a good variety of tuxedos? Do they have suits for your groomsmen as well? Checking for nice tuxes for your groomsmen might be an even greater sentiment than a groomsmen gift!

Image by Lori Photography on Flickr

Another complaint with rentals has been that you could not have them tailored to fit your body.  A bad fit on even a great suit can be devastating to your look.  The good news is that you can find rental shops that fit you for your tuxedo and make alterations and adjustments.  If you’ve lost or gained a few pounds, for instance, the shop should be able to adjust the suit to fit.  No, it will not be a custom fit from a tailor, but it will be the next best thing.

For many grooms, rental is the right choice.  Not only is it more economical, it is quicker and more convenient for busy schedules.  You will find tools online to help you choose the right tux, such as tuxedo finders, or fit guides.  Know what you want when you walk into a rental shop, and the process will be much easier.

What about dresses? Read on...