Every year, many parents tell us that this is the first time they are renting a prom suit or tuxedo for their school-age student. They further explain that they have no idea what they are doing when it comes to renting a suit or tuxedo.
Well, you are in luck!
The owners of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo have children as well so we understand what you are going through. We rent thousands of tuxedos and suits for prom every year and we are happy to give you some guidance with this tuxedo and suit rental guide!
As a local, family-owned business, we want to make this process simple, fun and stress-free. This blog should give you some guidelines to understand what you should expect when renting a tuxedo or suit and how to make the process easier on you and your prom-goer.
When renting a tuxedo or suit for prom, there are several potential pieces to the rental that you should be aware of. Although you may not want or need all of the rental pieces, this is generally what you can expect to receive when renting:
- Long tie or Bow Tie
- Pocket Square
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of things to choose. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has a simple process of summarizing your choices and will guide you through everything.
When deciding on renting a suit or tuxedo, you will need to choose styles and colors for each of the items above. In general, once you choose a designer or tuxedo/suit style, you have potentially already chosen the jacket, pants and vest. This is the bulk of what you are wearing. The remaining items are just accessories, shoes and a shirt. Most tuxedo and suit designers make matching pants, jackets and vests for each style that they design and manufacture. As an example, if you choose the below navy tuxedo by Ike Behar, this designer makes matching navy pants and navy vest to go with the jacket.
Some prom-goers want a vest that matches the color and style of their long tie or bow tie and pocket square. More about that decision and subject later.
Difference Between Dressing for a Senior Prom and a Junior Prom
Over the years, we have seen that most junior prom attendees wear a suit for prom, rather than a tuxedo. However that is not always the case. Some junior prom attendees wear a tuxedo. It’s entirely a personal choice whether the junior prom-goer wears a suit or tuxedo. Either one would work and there is no right or wrong answer. Our past experience shows that about 65% of junior prom attendees wear a suit and the rest wear a tuxedo. Many junior high school students and parents ask other parents and students to gauge what other students are doing. This usually forms the basis of how parents or students choose between a suit or tuxedo for junior prom.
As for senior prom, it is very rare that students wear a suit. Most wear a tuxedo for their senior prom. Our tuxedo ordering system shows that over the last 9 years, 99.6% of senior prom attendees wore a tuxedo.
Is a Tuxedo Rental More Expensive than a Suit Rental?
The common myth that a tuxedo rental is more expensive than a suit rental is false. The price of a tuxedo or suit rental is driven by the designer chosen and the fabric used to make the suit or tuxedo. A Michael Kors tuxedo is one of the more expensive tuxedos to rent. However a Michael Kors suit rental could be and is often as expensive as a tuxedo rental. You are paying for the designer’s name, high level design of the suit or tuxedo and the high quality fabric used in making the suit or tuxedo. Generally, the higher quality fabric used in making the suit or tuxedo, the more comfortable it will be to wear. You can, however, find tuxedos that are less expensive than some suit rentals because the designer is not as well known and the quality of the design and fabrics are not as high.
Our suggestion is to first figure out if you prefer a suit or tuxedo for prom and then choose a rental that fits your budget and style.
Should I Rent a Suit or Tuxedo for Prom
In our experience and opinion, suits are a great choice for a junior prom. Why? Because junior prom is not as formal and by the time you become a senior, it’s great to leave your high school days behind you by going out with a big bang in style! Wearing a suit for junior prom will allow you to match a majority of the attendees to your junior prom and will ensure that you don’t look too different. Senior prom is more formal, more celebratory, and should allow you to stand out and shine with a tuxedo.
How Much Should I Spend on a Tuxedo or Suit Rental
That’s a great question! Many parents and students call our store around prom time and ask how much it costs to rent a suit or tuxedo. Here’s where we like to give a word of caution to students and parents. We found that a lot of tuxedo and suit rental shops charge for each item that you want to rent. Pricing often given is “bare bones” pricing and doesn’t really include much, but there is more about that in the next section.
At Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, we have always done package pricing. We include everything in the rental and our pricing: Jacket, pants, vest, shirt, bow tie or long tie, pocket square, shoes, cufflinks, studs, and damage waiver – no surprises! Yes, we even include shoes! We don’t think you should be going to prom barefoot! We have seven different price points ranging from $159 plus tax all the way up to $260 plus tax. There are several price points in between those two high and low prices so you will have plenty of choice.
The way we do pricing at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is that once you choose the tuxedo or suit style, the price stays firm no matter what accessories or shoes you choose. We like pricing this way so there are no surprises after choosing all of your accessories.
Beware of the $99 Rental Advertisement
Every year, we see tuxedo and suit rentals advertised for $99. This is a teaser rate offering very low end pants and a jacket and nothing else, however they don’t tell you that in the advertisement. When I say low-end, I mean a jacket and pants that feel like a burlap sack and usually do not fit very well! No exaggeration here. Once you arrive at the store offering “$99” tuxedo rentals, you are then asked to choose a shirt, vest, tie, pocket square, shoes, cufflinks and studs. Some even then add a damage waiver fee and a cleaning fee. Oftentimes the price will approach $300 after all said and done.
Our advice to you is choose a local place that has an honest, good reputation that has fair pricing. Look at online reviews to see what others think and ask around for recommendations in your neighborhood.
Renting Items Piece-Meal
Some parents call us every year to tell us that their son owns a tuxedo jacket, pants and shirt and just needs to rent the bow tie, pocket square, colored vest and shoes. This is a great idea if you are comfortable with the tuxedo you already own. However keep in mind, sometimes the savings is not as great as you may expect. Why? Because package pricing when renting a full tuxedo with all accessories can sometimes be not much more than renting a few accessories. If you are okay with saving $30 – $80 by renting only the accessories, then by all means, we encourage you to do that. We, however, don’t want you to be fooled that you will save $150 – $200 by just renting the accessories.
Book Your Suit or Tuxedo Rental Early
Prom season can be very busy for formal wear and tuxedo shops. In addition to a lot of rentals for prom, stores are also very busy with spring weddings. There is often a lot of pressure on the tuxedo and suit inventory and popular styles and colors can become scarce during the prom rental season.
The best way to combat this is to get into the store and choose and secure your preferred suit or tuxedo as early as possible. You may not even have a date for prom yet or know the color of your prom date’s dress. This is not a problem, later you can choose your accessories once you know the colors that you want. Coming early allows you to order and secure the styles and sizes that you need.
Aside from popular colors and styles running out the fastest, the less expensive tuxedo and suit rentals, especially in the smaller sizes tend to run out more quickly. We have a very large warehouse with a lot of suits, tuxedos and accessories however no business is exempt from running low on supply during high season. Your best strategy is to visit your tuxedo shop as soon as you can, get measured and choose your style. You can later update the order with your chosen accessories.
Can a Female Wear a Suit or Tuxedo?
Of course she can! Every year, we have females who prefer wearing a suit or tuxedo for prom. We have experts who measure and size females to help them look their best. The 70+ suits and tuxedos we have for rent and sale are suitable for females as well.
Prom Accessory Tradition
One of the longest running traditions in prom attire is that the bow or long tie, vest and pocket square often match the prom date’s dress color. As an example, if the girl has a blush prom gown, the guy often chooses a blush long or bow tie, blush vest and blush pocket square. This helps tie the couple into each other and shows that they are together. It makes for great pictures too!
In about 10% of the prom couples, we see that the tuxedo or suit vest chosen is the same color and fabric of the tuxedo or suit itself and only the bow or long tie and pocket square match the prom dress color. As an example, if the guy rents a gray tuxedo, his vest will be the same gray color and fabric as the tuxedo.
How Do I Match the Accessories With the Prom Dress Color?
The best thing to do is to get a small swatch or piece of the dress to compare to our long tie, bow tie, vest and pocket square swatches. The easiest way to do this is when the prom dress is altered, ask your prom date to have the seamstress give her a piece of the fabric. Most prom dresses need to be shorted (hemmed) and the remaining fabric is disposed of by the seamstress anyway. Bring a piece of this fabric to our tuxedo store and we will be able to match it perfectly. If you do not have a swatch of it, we often ask the prom date to come into the store with the dress so that we can match it. A final and last strategy is to have a photo of the dress. Unfortunately, photos of the dress don’t always reflect the true color of the dress but it’s better than nothing!
In Store Tuxedo and Suit Rental Process
When you visit Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, the first thing that you will do is choose your tuxedo or suit style, bow tie or long tie, shirt, pocket square, shoes, cufflinks and studs. Once everything is chosen, we will have you fill out a form with your name, address and phone number. We will take your basic measurements and then have you try on a jacket, pair of pants, shirt, vest and shoes. This process will ensure the perfect fit.
Picking Up Your Tuxedo or Suit Rental
Every formal wear shop arranges for your rental pick up differently. Some have you pick up 1 – 3 days before the event. Find out what the pick up policy is wherever you are renting. We highly recommend that you pick up your rental as soon as it’s available. It’s a very good idea to try everything on at the store to make sure everything fits properly. This is especially important for young renters who are still growing. The formal wear store needs time to make any changes to your rental.
We highly recommend that you provide a phone number that allows a voicemail to be left by your tuxedo shop. Some customers choose not to have their voicemail setup or their voicemail box is sometimes full. Keep an eye out for a missed call from your tuxedo shop because it can be challenging if the shop cannot leave you a message. We write about this because this is one of our most challenging aspects of notifying customers that their rental is ready for pick up! And it goes without saying, if you received a voicemail, please listen to it!
Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo calls each person once his tuxedo or suit rental is ready. We always leave a message if the option is available. We are also capable of texting customers from our store telephone number and customers, in turn, can text us as well! If you ever have a question, text us at 215-491-8500.
In the case that we cannot leave a voicemail, we will text!
Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo calls or texts you 4 – 12 days before your prom notifying you that your rental is ready for pick up. Come as soon as you can. There is no additional charge for having the tuxedo or suit that far in advance.
Returning Your Tuxedo or Suit Rental
As with any rental, there is a defined return date. Your tuxedo shop will provide you with a rental agreement that you signed. That agreement spells out in writing when the tuxedo is due back. If you are unsure of the return policy, ask the staff at the tuxedo shop. They are most likely very well versed in the precise return policy.
Returning your tuxedo or suit rental late often results in late fees. It’s usually a per day charge and can add up quickly. We highly recommend that you return your tuxedo or suit rental in a timely manner to avoid any additional charges. The “I didn’t know the rental was due back yesterday” often does not help in reducing the late fee. Many garment bags containing your rental also have the return policy clearly printed on the front of the bag.
Lost or Non-Returned Items
In addition to needing to have your rental returned on time, all items need to be returned as well. Items that are not returned, are charged at the full retail rate of that item. The pricing and rules are usually spelled out in your rental agreement. The most common things not returned from a rental are the tie, shirt and shoes. We highly recommend that you check your car, room, and the place where you got dressed for prom to ensure that you haven’t left anything behind.
If you accidentally pick up someone else’s tuxedo jacket at prom and someone else has yours, if the original jacket isn’t returned to the original shop where you rented, you will be charged for the jacket. It doesn’t matter that you returned a jacket. There’s a high likelihood that the other jacket is not part of your tuxedo shop’s inventory and is of no use to them.
Most garments have a barcode on them so that the tuxedo store can scan them when the items go out for rental and are returned. These inventory systems are very sophisticated and can track what has left the store and what has been returned.
So, the lesson here is to make sure you return everything on time!
Tuxedo Store Hours
Many formal wear stores are closed 1 – 2 days a week. Students and parents are all busy so you will need to find a store that can accommodate your schedule. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is open 7 days a week to help accommodate your busy schedule.
Not all stores have ample or free parking. Check your chosen formal wear store’s website to see if they offer free and convenient parking. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has a private, large, free parking lot steps from our front door.
We hope you found this tuxedo and suit rental guide useful. Now you will know a lot more than most parents and students when you are ready to rent your prom suit or tuxedo. If we haven’t answered all of your questions, text us at 215-491-8500 or click on our chat button and the owners of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo will personally answer your questions.
Happy Prom Season!