The first time in a tuxedo

I skipped my high school prom, and thus far in my life have managed to completely escape having to wear a tuxedo. With my wedding fast approaching, I don’t think I’ll get out of it this time. Do I rent one or buy one? What about my groomsmen? How do I pick a style?

It truly sounds like there’s no escaping a tux for your wedding, if it’s going to be a formal affair. But breathe easy; selecting a tuxedo is still far less work and less money than your fiancée is enduring to get the perfect dress!

Typically, the groom and his attendants usually rent their wedding attire from a formalwear shop about two to three months ahead of time. What the groom and attendants choose to wear is based upon the time of day of the wedding. A formalwear specialist can help decide whether the attendants would be more appropriately dressed in a traditional or a contemporary style.

Since it is the groom’s big day, he should look as dapper as can be. He’ll want to stand out from the rest of the groomsmen. Below we have listed some ways in which he can do so:
◾Wear a different colored or styled shirt than the groomsmen (a band collar versus a laydown collar, for example)
◾If the best man and the groomsmen are wearing black, the groom can wear white
◾Perhaps select a different boutonniere flower than the rest of the groomsmen
◾The groom can wear a vest instead of a cummerbund, or vice versa, to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ dresses
◾The groom could wear a different style of vest or tie from the groomsmen that would complement the bride’s gown

After you select the groom’s and bridesmaids’ attire, you should select the best man’s and the ushers’ attire. Their attire should be similar in style and color to that of the groom’s. The ushers’ attire should complement the bride, groom and attendants. The ushers can wear the same color shirt or cummerbund as the bridesmaids’ dresses.

The ushers’ complete attire can be rented at the formalwear shop (including shoes!). Each usher is responsible for paying for his own attire. The formalwear shop will fill out measurement cards for each usher listing style, color, pieces and sizes.

If you have an usher that lives out of town, you can ask your formalwear shop to send him a measurement card. He can then go to a shop local to him to get measured. The shop will complete his card and then the usher can mail the card back to you. Bring it to your formalwear shop. Nevertheless, make sure the usher comes to town a few days early for a fitting. Here are some tips on how to properly measure for a tuxedo.

As far as the rental versus purchase decision goes, most grooms opt to rent. By doing so, they can be assured that their style will match those of the groomsmen. Also, most men don’t attend enough formal events to make buying a better financial decision. On the other hand, if you often find yourself at black-tie functions (which clearly is not the case for you), than purchasing a tux may be your best bet.

One special note: renter beware when it comes to discount formal wear. Quality formal wear is more than a matter of cost. If you pay less, you’ll probable receive less. Quality has strong ties to current designer styles, versatility and elegance. You, as the groom, owe it to your bride to look great on that special day. It’s not advisable to make price the determining factor in selecting a formal wear specialist.

Wedding Attire Rules

Before the groom decides on his attire, he should consider the following rules:
◾Tradition dictates that no tuxedos can be worn before 6:00 p.m. In today’s more relaxed world, it’s considered perfectly acceptable for the groom to wear a tuxedo if the reception starts at 6:00 p.m. or later.
◾Having said that, the groom should not wear a tuxedo if the wedding is in the morning or early afternoon.
◾If the groom is having a morning or early afternoon wedding, he may choose to wear a morning coat, stroller or a daytime suit instead of a tuxedo.

Choosing the Perfect Tux

Choosing the style that that makes you look your very best isn’t easy! Here are some various body types and what tuxedo or suit will best flatter for that particular body type.

Tall & Thin:

The tall and thin groom can wear just about anything (we’re talking about tuxes and suits here!). He can wear just about any color and style. If the groom is very thin, he can try a double-breasted jacket. This will give him a little extra padding in the chest area. If you want to look broader in the shoulders, ask for more padding in the shoulders. A pleated shirt will also look great on a very thin groom.

Short & Thin:

A short and thin groom should NOT wear double-breasted jackets. He’ll end up looking lost in it! A three-button jacket with pleated trousers or tuxedo pants is a great look for that short and thin groom.

Tall & Broad:

The tall and broad groom should also stay away from the double-breasted jackets. It will just make him look stockier. He should also avoid pleated shirts. Also, if he’s sporting a bit of a belly, he’s most flattered by a vest rather than a cummerbund (the cummerbund will draw attention to his waistline and the vest will hide it).

Short & Broad:

The short and broad groom should wear a single-breasted jacket. A one-button or two-button jacket that closes near his waistline is a perfect choice. Once again, if he has a large waistline, he should wear a vest rather than a cummerbund. Padded shoulders will also draw the attention away from the waistline up to the shoulders.

Most importantly, the groom should be comfortable! His jacket should fit comfortably around his neck and shoulders and should button easily. When the groom tries on his tux or suit, he should try sitting with the jacket buttoned to make sure it still fits comfortably.

The groom’s shirt should also fit comfortably around his neck, shoulders and waist. His cuffs should be one-quarter to one-half inch below his jacket sleeve.

If he chooses to wear a vest, it should fall just over the trousers waistband. Vests usually have a slide strap to adjust it to their waistline. It should fit comfortably across the chest and the buttons should line up to the front of his jacket.

The groom’s trousers should button comfortably – no one likes waistbands that cut in or buttons that blow at the worst possible moment! Many trousers have waistbands that are adjustable. The hem of the trousers should come just over his shoe tops.

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