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Tuxedo Rental

Tuxedo rental is when you rent a men's formal wear ensemble instead of buying it. Since I've personally rented tens of thousands of tuxedos to my customers, I am more than qualified to give you the real deal about renting tuxedos for your wedding, prom or black tie event.

First Step To Renting Tuxedos

You might be wondering why something so obvious as "the first step" is being written about. That is because walking in the door of a formal wear shop isn't the first thing you should do to rent a tuxedo. The first step is actually considering what your date is wearing if indeed a date is attending the event with you. Basically you need to know what color dress or garment your date is wearing so that your rental vest, tie and even the tuxedo shirt can be selected to match or compliment your dates ensemble. It's also a good idea to know what type of jewelry your date is wearing so when the big question about your preference for gold or silver studs and cufflinks is presented to you you, you'll have an answer.

Summary: Get the color of your date's clothing and ask if your date will wear gold or silver jewelry. If possible, bring your date's garment. Preferably in a garment bag or a drycleaner bag. You need to protect the garment from getting stained in route to the tuxedo shop.

Go To The Tuxedo Rental Shop

When you arrive at the formal wear shop you'll probably be greeted by someone that's either falling asleep or running around like they had 3 cups of coffee. This is because the formal wear business runs hot and cold. Depending on when you walk in the tux shop, it could be slow season or the beloved "try on day". If it's busy, be patient, the staff will be happy to help you however their current customer may not have read this article and may have waited until 5 minutes before their event to try on their tuxedo rental for the first time; which I do not recommend doing. If it's not busy, give them a moment to wake up, they could have been having a staring contest with the full size mannequin in the corner for the past three hours. Otherwise, if you have your dates garment, bring it in with you.

Summary: Bring the garment in the tux shop if you can.

Selecting Your Ensemble

The first step in selecting a tuxedo is to decide which one you like. An overview of every tuxedo style is beyond the scope of this article however you can read these guides on tuxedos. Here are the questions to consider.

  • Do you want to rent a black tuxedo?
  • What about a white tuxedo rental?
  • Do you want an ivory dinner jacket?
  • Do you want a grey/gray tuxedo?
  • Can I get a tuxedo with no satin on the lapel?
  • What type of lapel do you like (notch, peak, shawl, none)?
  • How many buttons do you want on the jacket?

When you decide which style you like, attempt to try one. Do note that every size in every style of tuxedo is not usually available in a tuxedo rental shop when you walk in the door. Each shop would need to stock 70 sizes of each tuxedo which means that if the store has 20 tuxes to choose from, they would need to stock 1400 tuxedo jackets . It's usually not feasible to do so. If you are the groom in your own wedding, the shop can usually order you a "try-on-tux" if you guarantee your order with a monetary deposit. This is basically a full tuxedo that almost fits. It "almost fits" because it may not be tailored to an exact fit which is because it takes a good deal of work to get a perfect fit right away. This try-on is to get a general idea of what it will look like on you. Most of the time the customer can get a general feel without a complete try-on.

The next part is selecting your accessories. This is your vest or cummerbund, your tie, tuxedo shoes and studs and cufflinks set. The vest or cummerbund color should match or compliment your dates ensemble. This means that you can either go for a complimenting color match like a dark blue vest for her light blue dress or you can go try for the closest match possible. Remember that the colors will never match perfectly either way. That would require the dress maker to hang out with the vest maker and share materials.

Finally, select the shoe style you like and the cufflink color (gold or silver) that matches your dates jewelry.

Getting Measured For A Tuxedo

The staff at the tuxedo shop will measure your neck, arms, over arm, under arm, waist, hip and out-seam (outside of leg) and ask your shoe size. Your fitting will then be complete. If you are buying a tuxedo from a web store, use this guide to measure yourself for a tuxedo and whenever possible, have someone measure you.

Trying On Your Tuxedo Rental

When you revisit the rental shop to try on your ensemble, remember that this is likely a "final fitting". It may be perfect it may not be. Either way, remember that you are trying the garment on so the staff can alter it or maybe order a replacement item for the following day. Which brings us back to making sure that you try the tuxedo on 2 days before your event. It depends on where you go but most shops will have your tux ready for you the day before your event. Request your final fitting to be two days before. Make sure you actually try it on (except the studs and cufflinks).

Some Important Things To Remember
  • If something doesn't fit when you first try on your tuxedo, don't panic. The reason you're trying it on is to get it to fit, not because it already fits.
  • If something needs altering, it could be done immediately or by the next day depending on what the alteration is and how busy the tuxedo rental shop is.
  • The tuxedo shop staff are there to help you. Let them help you!
  • Check the hems on your tuxedo pants. They should be 90% stitched around and many times are folded over and then stitched. This is normal! With that said, don't pull on the hems, they are most likely temporary stitches. Don't worry, they are extremely strong.
  • The number one thing that is forgotten in a tuxedo rental shop is studs and cufflinks. Don't forget them on the counter or in dressing room.
  • Plan one picking up an altered garment or a replacement garment the following day if needed.
  • If you do need to pick up altered or replacement garments, ask what time they will be available. Most often garments are available by 4PM the next day.
  • Remember to return your tuxedo rental on time. You will be charged a fee for late return if you do not. The fees range from $20 and up. This is a bargain if you think about how much a car rental company would charge you for an extra day which is full price. The reason for the late charge is because you would be renting it longer than expected.
  • Do not under any circumstances get the tuxedo wet with pool water or salt water. You'll have to pay to replace the garment if you do.
  • Take the "damage waiver". Most tuxedo rental shops offer an accidental damage waver for about $4. This may cover the cost of stains and accidental snags. It may not cover water damage.
  • Finally, check all your pockets before you bring your tuxedo rental back to the shop for money, trash or personal belongings.
I hope this article provides you with an overly good overview on renting tuxedos and formal wear.


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