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
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
Summary: Bring the garment in the tux shop if you can.
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
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.
the shoe style you like and the cufflink color (gold or silver) that matches
your dates jewelry.
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.
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).
Things To Remember
I hope this article provides you with an overly good overview on renting tuxedos and formal wear.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
check all your pockets before you bring your tuxedo rental back to the shop
for money, trash or personal belongings.