Every man needs to have a quality tuxedo in his closet, or at least know the best place to rent one. Over the years, there will be countless events for which he’ll need it, and a tuxedo never goes out of style. It’s timeless and unbelievably suave. Of course, the issue with buying a tux is the price. It’s a big hit to the wallet, after all, so it’s common to rent until you’re fairly flush. But people also tend to forget that a tux is one of the best investments he can make. Not only will he get a lot of use out of it for years and years, but tuxes also have a way of making pretty much every man feel like James Bond.
Before we get into the shopping, a common question: When is a tuxedo appropriate or even required?
If the invitation says black tie or formal, or black tie optional, then that’s a tux FOR SURE occasion. That optional part, well, those in the know know it really isn’t. Wear the tux. And, also, a black suit is not a tuxedo.
If there’s not a specific dress indication on the invite? Here are some general rules of thumb:
- Not to weddings before 6 pm
- Yes to weddings after 6 pm ~ although these days this really depends on the couple & how traditional they want their wedding to be.
- Yes to Opening Nights of the Opera, Symphony, etc.
- Yes if it says Gala or Ball in the invite
Most men may say they’d rather be under-dressed than over-dressed, but actually, nothing feels more awkward than being the guy in the grey suit in a room full of debonair tuxes. When in doubt, we recommend he err on the formal side.
Rent A Tux
For your rentals, we suggest heading to Onward Reserve. Their rental tuxedos are so well-made and cared for, you’d never think they were rentals. Located in Park Road Shopping Center, this men’s clothing store offers three kinds of fits: traditional, modern, or trim. They also carry classic peak full dress tuxes, white classic shawls, and suits for any other cocktail or gala events you have slated for this fall. Your little one can even look snazzy because their sizes start as small as a children’s 2.
Things to Know
You’ll need to schedule an appointment to be fitted, and a two weeks notice is preferred. Your order will be delivered on the Tuesday prior to your event. If you opt for the monogrammed cummerbund, allow for 6-8 weeks for it to be made–these run for $220.
The Luxe Tux
Tuxedos are an investment, and most men buy their first when they are between 25 and 30 years old. Once a man is attending 2-3 black tie weddings or events every year, investing in his own tux ends up being the better financial choice. Plan to spend at least $700 for a tux made to last, and most designer options start at over $1,000. You should expect a classically styled tux to remain just that, classically in style, for decades. Updates can come in the form of new shirts, studs, or cummerbund set. Basic black is the way to go. More trendy options, like navy or velvet, or a white dinner jacket, morning suit and tails, are best left to those who can afford two or more formal suits.
If you’re willing to splurge and buy a tux, we have some great options for you. Paul Simon is currently featuring their Eton tux line, with styles starting at $795. Look for very classic options plus a few that gently push the style boundaries at this upscale men’s shop in the Village at South Park (aka the one with Cowfish) where personal service is a hallmark.
Neiman Marcus at South Park is well known for their designer selection, and are the perfect choice for a luxe tux that will have you feeling like a million bucks. The brands Neiman Marcus carries in-store are Hugo Boss, Armani Collezioni, and Zegna. They also have access even more high-end designers, too, like Burberry, Ralph Lauren Black Label, Tom Ford, and Brioni.
Make It Personal with Accessories
Not only do tux / formal accessories make a perfect gift for your guy, any time, they are the best way for every man to assert a little of his own style and personality in the sea of basic black. Traditional cummerbund sets are black silk satin and prices range from about $200 up. Guys can step out with red or houndstooth, silk dot and tartan plaids. And things can really blossom from there, like these groomsy, nostalgic and fraternal options at etsy shop CCADesigns here (lilly or liberty print anyone?). The options are endless for studs, cufflinks and suspenders as well, both at any local men’s store as well as online. Again, always a great gift for the guy who has everything.
CUMMERBUND NOTE: the pleats face UPWARD according the gentlemanly fashion do-bee’s. You can remember this because they are considered crumb catchers. And there is no “B”. It is not cumber-bund, although that pronunciation is making it’s way in to the vernacular, much like nuke-ul-ar and real-it-tor. Still, there’s no “b” no matter how you want say it.
So, whether you’re headed to a deb party or have a black-tie event or wedding to attend, he’ll be able to either rent or buy the tux of your dreams in CLT. All it takes is a little shopping savvy and knowing the right places. Soon enough, you’ll both be dressed to kill.