Should I Rent or Buy a Tuxedo?

Should I Rent or Buy a Tuxedo?

This is a question we hear a lot.  It should come as no surprise that we – an online catalog of men’s rental formal wear – think that renting is a good idea.  But to be fair and balanced, there are times when buying a tuxedo is a better option.  It really depends on your circumstance.

Rental Myths

First thing’s first.  There are a couple of pervasive myths surrounding the world of rental tuxedos that we’d like to get straight.  When deciding whether to rent or buy your tuxedo, it’s important to know the truth about what you can expect.

Myth #1: Rental tuxedos are always too boxy and never fit right.

This was a common criticism of the rental tuxedo industry for years.  But in recent years the industry has really stepped up its game.  The problem was that all tuxedos (with little variation) were made in the same classic cut.  While this cut fit a wide variety of people well, it was boxier than many people preferred.  Especially when the trend for more fitted clothing took root.

These days tuxedos are made in 1 of 3 standardized cuts:

  • Classic: The fullest cut and once the only cut.
  • Modern: Updated from the classic.  It’s a trimmer option that fits most people really well, without being too boxy or restricting.  Higher arm-holes also improve the range of motion.
  • Slim: The newest and most trim of the three cuts.  Slim tuxedos have less fabric all around.  That means trimmer coat sleeves, slightly trimmer pant legs, and they are designed to hug the ribs a little tighter.  These are the best options for thin men, or men who prefer a more tailored look.  Slim cuts may not be available in plus sizes.  While there aren’t many slim fit tuxedos currently available, there are more styles every year.

Guide to Classic, Modern, and Slim Fit Tuxedos!

Once you’ve determined your correct sizes and you’ve picked out a tuxedo in the fit you prefer, you’re now able to rent a tuxedo that fits just the way you want it to.

Myth #2: Rental tuxedos are always cheap and worn out.

Actually rental tuxedos are very high quality, well-constructed garments that are made specifically to withstand a lot of use and dry-cleaning without wearing out.  A rental tuxedo is much more durable and long-lasting than your average retail garment and is fashioned from an array of high quality materials that won’t wear out either.

Rental tuxedos are available in well-known name brands and labels like Michael Kors, Ike Behar, Calvin Klein, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Allure Men, just to name a few.

Black rental tuxedos are almost always made from 100% wool with thread counts ranging from around 80 (tropical worsted wool) all the way up to luxuriously soft Super 140’s wool.

With strong construction and quality materials, your rental tuxedo shouldn’t show any previous signs of wear, should maintain its shape, and should fit you well.

Pros and Cons

Next we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest pros and cons about renting that you should consider before you decide whether you’re going to rent or buy your tuxedo.

Infographic: Should I Rent a Tuxedo - Pros and Cons

 Of course there are other considerations as well.  If you are the kind of guy who likes to try different formal looks (i.e. shawl collars, peak lapels, dinner jackets, midnight blue, grey), but your clothing budget doesn’t rival Gatsby’s, renting makes sense.

Your time frame is another important consideration.  When ordering a ‘Made-to-Measure’ tuxedo, it can take a few weeks up to a month or more.  If your event is sooner than that, most rental places have inventory on hand that you can walk out with the same day.  Even those that don’t can get you something within a week without expensive shipping charges or change out fees.

Overall, renting a tuxedo makes a lot more sense for most people.  If you’re going to prom, rent a tuxedo.  You’re still growing and you’ll probably want to match your date in something you won’t necessarily wear again.  If you’re in a coordinated wedding party, rent a tuxedo.  You’ll need to match the other groomsmen and possibly the bridesmaid’s colors.  The rental process is fairly quick and painless and the helpful folks at your local formal vendor can make it easy as cake.  Assuming cake is really easy.  I don’t bake much.  If you’re a guy that has quit growing and attends a fair amount of black tie formal functions, investing in a new tuxedo made for you may set you back a pretty penny at first, but should pay off over time.  For everyone else, renting is where the smart money is.

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