It is a universally-acknowledged truth that there is nothing more attractive in this world than a man in a well-fitted suit. Unless, of course, we’re talking about a man in a well-fitted tux. Tragically, unless you’re the kind of person who frequents red carpets, the only time you’re really going to experience a man in a good tuxedo is at a wedding. And the only time you’re going to be able to influence the decisions about that tux is at your own wedding.
Wedding planning is horrifying enough without the additional stress of having to make sure your fiancé doesn’t show up in some sad, dusty rental from David’s Bridal. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. With help from the experts at Indochino, we’ve broken down a Tuxedo 101 for all the men in your wedding party. Just send them this article, and then go right back to trying to decide which mini-whimsical dessert you’ll be serving at your reception. We’ll take it from here.
First and foremost, my guys, a suit and a tux are not the same. Not. The. Same. Different occasions. Different cuts. Very different outcomes of your bride’s mood if you show up to your black-tie wedding in a charcoal suit.
To get specific here, typically there’s a satin lapel on the jacket of a tux, and there are buttons and piping on the pants. Tuxes have an inherent air of formality that suits typically lack, either because they’re made of higher-quality and more luxurious materials, or because you wear them less often. While tailoring is important on all fronts, tailored tuxes are especially important because otherwise, you’re going to look like a 16-year-old at prom in a bad rental. Remember how fun that night was? Exactly.
While we’re on the topic, stop renting tuxes. Let’s move past the general hygiene of it all and get down to the point that matters: you’re an adult. It’s time to buckle down and commit to owning one nice thing. Women have to own approximately 100 nice things to function in society on a daily basis. You can handle one. Plus, owning a tux allows you the freedom of all-out customization, and the assurance that it’s actually going to fit right.
That’s right! Customization! Who said this had to be boring? Tuxedos can be customized to your heart’s desire. Lapels? There are five different kinds. Literally, who knew? You can choose between Notch, Notch Slim, Peak, Wide Peak, and Shawl—but an insider tip, Peak and Shawl seem to be the most popular. Lapel fabric can also be changed out if you’re feeling especially adventurous, keeping the season in mind, of course.
When it comes to buttons, you’re probably safe with two. Double-breasted is a look that few can pull off, so if you’re going to move in that direction, do so with the utmost confidence. Are you Michael B. Jordan? Go wild. Are you not Michael B. Jordan? Maybe tread carefully.
A tuxedo is typically limited to one vent, the slit up the back of the jacket that allows for mobility, but if you have an ass that won’t quit, or have been known to bust a move on the dance floor, you may want to explore two.
Now let’s talk monogramming—it’s not just for sorority girls. Many grooms will get a cute message/date/quote/whatever customized on the inside of their tuxedo jacket to commemorate the big day. There a lot of pros here: it’s cute as hell, makes for a good photo, your bride will lose it over the minimal effort you’ve exerted here, and you can still wear the suit for future occasions because the monogram is hidden. Or just come out of left field and get the lyrics to “Old Town Road” monogrammed across the back of your coat. Idk. I’m not your wedding planner. (Don’t do that.)
It’s important to think all these options through before heading in for your first fitting. Going in blind will be overwhelming and likely waste everyone’s time, so be sure to at least have an idea of what you might want. But don’t stress—this should be a fun and memorable process!
Recognize early on that this will not be a quick journey, and plan accordingly. The actual showroom process will be at least an hour. The suit ships in two weeks, but you’ll want to get it at least six weeks out to allow for alterations. Yes, there will be alterations. I’m sure you’re reading this and going, “Well I’ll only wear it once, so what’s the point?”, so let me just take a minute to explain to you that you’re wrong.
You will not wear it once. I can promise you this. Because, one day, you will turn 28, and without even asking permission, every single one of your friends will get engaged. Every single one of your girlfriend’s friends will get engaged. It will be as if they all sat down together and plotted ways to absolutely bankrupt you over the course of one season. Against all odds, you will be the only not-engaged person in your city. You will spend inhumane amounts of money on gifts, engagement parties, flights, bachelor parties, and the excessive amount of alcohol all those things require. When that day comes, you will be very happy that the one thing you don’t have to spend money on is a tuxedo.
Trust me on this one.
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