December 4, 2012

Men’s Formal Wear Debate: Buy vs. Rent a Tuxedo

Buying a tuxedo can ensure a perfect fit, which is the most important aspect of wearing any outfit.

One of the most enduring disputes in men’s formal wear isn’t based on the merits of peak lapels versus notch lapels, or the proper way to wear formal accessories, but on the argument posed by the unbridgeable divide between renting a tuxedo and owning one outright.

Though there’s no right or wrong perspective to take, there are several considerations to make before deciding whether to purchase or rent your next tuxedo. Here we’ve put together a few of the most important ones in an attempt to showcase the benefits and drawbacks of both options.

To Buy…

There are three things that work in favor of purchasing a tuxedo: quality, selection, and the ability to wear it on more than one occasion. Other important considerations include knowing where your tuxedo was last night (hoping your rental tuxedo shirt didn’t touch any smelly armpits) and being able to tailor your tux to fit your frame – a benefit that rental tuxedos regrettably lack.

The aforementioned big three are definitely the strongest pros to tuxedo ownership though. With rentals, you’re limited to existing stock, but the retail route avails you of a myriad of options, especially if you’ve got your mind set on something unique, something of a very specific style, or a designer tuxedo from a high end label like Ralph Lauren’s Formal Wear.

Even if you’re just looking for something standard, you’ll still have a lot of choice between materials, colors, and other design elements, making the bought tuxedo far more personal – and more you – than any rental.

… Or Not To Buy.

Money had to factor in somewhere, and oftentimes the choice to rent is a simple matter of economics. The rental tuxedo will generally cost less than the same one (keyword: same) would sell for at retail, which can be particularly enticing if you’re certain that you’ll only need it for one occasion. That’s not a solid rule though, and these days it’s also very easy to make your purchase from an online tuxedo store, including accessories such as bow ties, cummerbunds and tuxedo vests, for about as much as the rental fees you’ll encounter in most major cities. This is increasingly becoming one of the more popular reasons for not renting a tuxedo.

Another thing to consider is your own personal approach to style. If you want to keep on pace with men’s formal wear trends or never wear the same look twice, then rental tuxedos will allow you that freedom without constricting your wallet nearly as much as a well-stocked formal wear closet would. Otherwise, you’ll likely find that a classic 2-Button Tuxedo with Notch Lapel will prove to be a very wise investment, both for its versatility and the timelessness of its style.

If you’re feeling good about the idea of buying your tuxedo instead of renting one, then we’ve absolutely got you covered. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions that you might have.

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