Many customers come to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and ask us whether they should buy or rent a tuxedo. The answer to that question is not always obvious. There are several things you should consider when deciding to buy a tuxedo. In today’s tuxedo blog, we are going to outline the questions you need to ask yourself when deciding whether to buy or rent a tuxedo.
How many events a year do I need a tuxedo?
The first question you need to answer for yourself is how often do you really need a tuxedo? If you wear a tuxedo once every 5 years, we certainly don’t believe it’s necessary or prudent to invest in a tuxedo purchase. Opinions vary as to how often you wear a tuxedo each year when it would be worth investing in such formal attire. About 10% of our customers purchase a tuxedo if they attend 2 or more formal events a year, but most of our customers feel that they need to attend at least 4 events a year to justify purchasing a tuxedo. Later in this blog, we will cover other reasons for purchasing or in this case, not purchasing a tuxedo that go beyond the number of times you need a tuxedo each year.
Does my weight and sizing fluctuate?
If your weight fluctuates enough throughout the year, or years, we usually do not recommend purchasing a tuxedo. The author of this blog is embarrassed to admit that on his last vacation, he gained 10 pounds and many of his suits no longer fit him! Typically, an increase or decrease in weight of 10 pounds would cause a change in jacket size by a full size. As an example, if you are a size 42R jacket and you lose 10 pounds, you would most likely now be a size 40R. If you lost or gained 5 pounds, that would typically require a change in jacket size by what I would call a half a size. As an example, if you were a size 38R and you gained 5 pounds, you would now be a size 39R.
If your weight does fluctuate, not so dramatically, we often recommend that you have the tuxedo jacket taken in or let out to accommodate your new size. Oftentimes, this is less expensive than buying a new tuxedo jacket or even renting your proper size. A tailor or seamstress will be able to tell you if the garments are able to be altered.
Fortunately, many tuxedo pants are adjustable by 3 inches on each side of the pants with straps and clips to fasten the straps. This convenient feature is very forgiving when you lose or gain weight and we often do not have issues with customers needing new pants if their size changes.
We frequently advise customers that it may be better to rent the tuxedo rather than buy it. You will be surprised how many times we will see the same customer come back in 18 to 24 months after purchasing their tuxedo needing to rent a tux because the one they purchased no longer fits.
The one very beneficial part of renting a tuxedo is that your fit will be perfect for you each time because you will be able to choose any size jacket, pants, shirt, vest and shoes each time you rent.
I Bought a Black Tux, Now I Have to Wear a Navy Tux!
Three years ago, we had a proud father of four daughters tell us how he bought a black tuxedo in anticipation of the eventual marriages of his daughters. He wore his purchased black tuxedo to his first daughter’s wedding and it looked great, as he told us!
A year after his first daughter’s wedding, he was in our store because his second daughter insisted that he wear a navy tuxedo! This rendered his black tuxedo useless for his second daughter’s wedding. Who knows what his third and fourth daughters will want him to wear? Once again, this father’s investment in his expensive black tuxedo purchase is not really panning out. The lesson here is that you may not be able to wear the tuxedo you purchased for every event and renting is sometimes a better and more affordable option.
In general, a black tuxedo is a good choice because it’s a classic, timeless look and is not trendy. However, if the color scheme for your events could potentially change as they did for this father, then it may just be better to rent your tuxedos. This will allow you to rent any color combination that you need or prefer for each different event.
Is the tuxedo color and style I am considering purchasing timeless?
Should you choose to purchase a tuxedo, we highly recommend purchasing a more timeless tuxedo. Black tuxedos are always a good bet or possibly a dark gray tuxedo. The dark gray shades are often so dark that they look black. A navy tuxedo is not a bad choice however keep in mind that navy may not be as popular as it is today.
As we wrote about in one of our blogs, black tie optional affairs do not necessarily require you to wear a black tuxedo. The point is to wear a tuxedo and not a suit. Unless specifically requested in your wedding or formal event invitation, wearing a tuxedo that is not black is acceptable.
What is the price difference to buy or rent?
As with most products, there are many styles, colors and designers when it comes to tuxedos. Prices vary dramatically and oftentimes; the designer and fabric quality often drive the price of a tuxedo rental and purchase. As an example, a Michael Kors tuxedo rental and purchase will cost you much more than a lesser-known brand.
Typically, high-end brands like Michael Kors and Ike Behar will cost about $1,000 for the jacket pants and vest. Then you will need a shirt, tuxedo shoes, long tie or bow tie, pocket square, studs and cufflinks. Lesser-known brands may run you less than half that price however, keep in mind that the quality and fit are not nearly as good as the high-end brands. In addition, the quality of the fabric often does not last as long as the high end brands. As they say, you get what you pay for.
Buy or Rent
When you purchase a tuxedo, you typically need to purchase the jacket, pants, vest, shirt and shoes. You’ll also need to have the pants hemmed to be the proper length and often the jacket sleeves as well. Some customers want additional alterations such as bringing the jacket in at the waist to give it a more fitted look.
In the past 8 to 10 years, slim and skinny fit have been very popular. I personally prefer a fitted suit or tuxedo and do not like something that looks boxy on anyone. However, based on our meetings with European designers in the last year and a half, relaxed fit is becoming more popular again. We are seeing double-breasted suits and tuxedos coming back.
As we write this, 2023 and 2024 are predicted to bring back more relaxed fits and looks. Personally, I am still going to wear slim fit tuxedos because I like the look better. However, if things start trending to a more relaxed fit by the majority of people, I would certainly consider a smart looking double-breasted tuxedo.
Quick Q&A of Buy or Rent Tuxedo Decision:
Q: How many times do I need a tuxedo every year?
A: If you wear a tux less than two times every year, we suggest renting.
If you wear a tuxedo 2 – 4+ times a year, buying is probably a good idea.
Q: Does my size and weight change often?
A: If your sizing and weight changes frequently, then we suggest renting.
If your sizing does not fluctuate dramatically, then you can still buy a tuxedo and have it altered when/if there is a size change.
Q: Is there a risk that designs I am considering will go out of style?
A: If you are thinking of a trendy color for a tuxedo purchase, it’s probably better to rent.
If you want a black tuxedo for use many times over, then it’s a safer bet to buy.
We hope this helped you with the decision to buy or rent your suit or tuxedo. Chat with us if you want to talk through in more detail!