The very thought of wearing a tuxedo may stress you out. Well, that immediately tells me a couple of things. One, you don’t own your own tuxedo. Two, you may be suffering from social anxiety disorder. I can’t help you with the anxiety — seriously, relax, it’s just a fancy suit — but I can help you decide whether or not you should own your own tuxedo. And tell you how to buy it.
But before I do that, let me make something clear: If you’re sent an expensive-looking engraved invitation to some sort of shindig that calls for black-tie or formal dress, wear a tuxedo. If you simply wear a suit, you’ll feel out of place and annoy your hosts.
Now, should you rent or buy? Let’s assume that a tuxedo rental will cost you about $200. And let’s also assume that you’d be able to wear your own tuxedo for 10 years (or until you get too fat to shoehorn yourself into it). So according to my girl math, even if you spend $1,000 on your tux (you can spend less or you can spend more, as you’ll see below) and wear it only once every two years, it’s still the way to go. Yes, $1,000 is a lot for something you wear so seldom. But if it ends up being cheaper over the long run and means you never have to think about renting a tux? It’s worth it.
There are several parts to a tuxedo, and each presents you with several options — many of them bad. But you can’t go wrong by keeping it simple and going for a classic look:
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