August 15, 2011

Formal Summer Weddings: What Every Man Should Know

Summer has a nasty habit of being hot and humid — two things that do not tend to mix well with formal attire. Yet nevertheless, we gentlemen often find ourselves nicely tuxedoed while the oppressive sun mocks us from its lofty spot in outer space, far, far away from our death glares. The nerve of it.

Anyway, there are still ways for a man to look sharp while remaining comfortable during this warmest of the seasons and its multitude of outdoor affairs and events. Don’t believe us? Simply curious? Then read on, brave summer warrior! We’ve prepared a list of ways to tame the heat into a state of reasonable bearability.

1. Try an off white dinner jacket.

The good news here is that fashion is in your favor this season and off white dinner jackets are always a very popular choice among the best dressed men. So not only will wearing one grant your inclusion into the stylish club, it will also help against the sun’s persistent rays: light colors absorb far less light — and thus far less heat — than dark ones.

2. Go for wool tuxedos…

If you find yourself braving the weather in a full tuxedo, then make good and darned sure that it’s made of 100% wool. Natural fibers are much more breathable than those seasonally troublesome polyesters, which of course means that you will feel much more comfortable.

3. … and go for cotton shirts.

You’ll want to go with cotton for the same reasons that you’ll want to wear wool: breathability and comfort. Though cotton does have the unfortunate side effect of being a little bit on the wrinkle prone side, it’s a small price to pay to feel cooler overall.

4. Consider vest alternatives.

We love vests, you probably love vests, and the world of men’s fashion has been in full embrace of vests for a while now. Vests, however, can make things a little warmer for you than you might like: a consequence of their coverage. In the event that the heat places its own limitations on style, we suggest that men forgo their vests and don a classic bow tie and cummerbund set instead. They can still look every bit as good as a vest and will help you keep cooler in your tux.

You’ll still want to keep cool beverages handy and might want to consider begging some higher force for a breeze, but otherwise you should be comfortable enough to enjoy whatever it is that has brought you, fully dressed, out into the heat of summer.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Rent a Tuxedo

While we readily admit that there are some occasions where a man should feel justified in making the decision to rent over that to purchase — buying an entertainment venue just seems excessive — we are also loathe to think that there are some finely dressed gentlemen out there who are … give us a moment … donning rented tuxedos.

Oh, don’t look at us like it’s not so bad. We humbly disagree and firmly believe that all tuxedos should be purchased, and we do this with a variety of reasons at hand, none of which have anything to do with the fact that we only sell tuxedos, thank you very much.

Look, we’ll even outline our reasoning here.

1. Cost

Typically speaking, a rented tuxedo will cost a man anywhere from $50-$200, usually depending on the quality of the suit. While it might sound like an amazing deal, and though it may beg the question of why you’d ever consider alternatives, we offer a different perspective: do you really want to spend that much money on something you will not own? Tuxedos can last a man for five, ten years. They can be lent out, passed down, stored by the nostalgic. Moreover, while your first tux rental experience would likely cost you less money than your first tux purchasing experience, those savings only last for so long. Are you sure you’ll only need a tuxedo once? Once you’ve got a few rentals in — BAM! You’re well on the path to paying more overall.

2. Risk vs. Reward

Sometimes, bad things happen to good pieces of clothing. They tear. They stain. In some cases, they even catch fire — we hear that cake-lighting can be very dangerous. When these things happen, tux-renters face one of two possibilities: the damage is covered by tuxedo rental insurance, or the damage is not covered and the renter has to pay the full retail cost of replacing the tux. Ouch.

3. Quality

There’s nothing like a fine tuxedo for making a strong impression on any crowd, but chances are good that you’re not going to find a fine tuxedo for rent. Furthermore, these rental tuxedos have been worn out and worn down, perhaps not extremely, but often noticeably.

4. The “You Don’t Know Where it’s Been” Factor

Or perhaps more accurately, you can form a pretty danged good idea of where a rented tuxedo has been — it’s been to prom, it’s been worn by grooms on their wedding nights, it’s been … well, wherever you would wear your tux and beyond, to places outside your imagination.

5. Fit

Wise men know that they will rarely find a suit that fits them perfectly and that part of the tuxedo-purchasing process inevitably includes getting that tuxedo altered. Rental tuxes will never afford you such a luxury, and it’s only through a fortuitous spree of luck that you’ll find a suit that fits the way you’d like. Believe us; we’ve had enough of our own suits altered to know just how hard it is to find a suit worn well right off the rack.

There you have it — five brilliant reasons why tuxedo rental is something of a no-no, and not one of them mentions our own exceptional tuxedos and excellent prices (buy yours today!).

August 11, 2011

How To Find The Perfect Fitting Tuxedo

Some men put grievously little thought into their tuxedos. When occasions call for them to dress their very best, these men are content to dig through the depths of their closets and wardrobes to find That One Tuxedo that they own, or they jet off to the nearest tuxedo rental place and secure themselves some used clothing that fits like it belongs to someone else — quite probably because it very much does.

It’s understandable though. Finding the perfect fitting tuxedo is an exercise in patience and experimentation, and it can be a hassle. Still, it’s a necessary step for any man who wants to look his absolute best.

So how does one go about finding that perfectly-suited suit?

1. Consult The Experts

Well, your first stop is at a professional tailor’s for measurement. After a moderate process of much posing and measuring, you should emerge with precise measurements and generally ideal shirt, pant, and jacket sizes. With these numbers in hand, you may proceed to the second step.

2. Experiment With Cuts and Styles

It’s not remotely true that the perfect suit fit begins and ends with the size of its shoulders and the length of its pants; rather, the cut of the tuxedo itself can make all of the difference between a good looking suit and one that is worn with utmost perfection. Whether comparing the sharp differences between double and single breasted tuxes or the more subtle ones between collar styles, you’ll find that some looks are better suited to your body type than others. So don’t go with the latest style or the pieces that look best on the rack: fashion is about looking your best, so focus on that.

3. Find A Suit You Like

This is the easy step. Once you understand both your size and your cut, you can start to shop around a little more. Finding a tuxedo that suits not only your style but your budget won’t always be an easy undertaking, but it will be a rewarding one.

4. Consider Alterations

Tailors are masters of their craft; they can and will take the tuxedo you purchased and transform it into something that suits every inch of your frame. Their advice might seem a little unnecessary, true, but remember this: in fashion, everything is in the details.

There. That should do it. Four steps that will ensure that you fine gentleman are united with the finest tuxes.

August 9, 2011

A New Tuxedo Situation

There are certain topics that we thought we’d never have to broach on this blog. Like shirtless reality TV stars who not only decide that their new calling in life is tuxedo design, but are offered six figure deals so that they can bring said tuxedos to an unexpecting public.

Things have a tendency to change though, and the situation is now this:

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, star (questionably speaking) of The Jersey Shore and frequent publicity adventurer, has agreed to collaborate with Flow Formal Wear on their 2012 line, with Sorrentino being granted design and modeling duties aplenty. At present, he and Flow are crossing their fingers and hoping that they will spearhead a formalwear revival among the younger generations.

Sorrentino is rather familiar with the worlds of spokesmanship, modeling, and even fashion design, and his rise to fame as an unlikely star of an unlikely success makes him something of a wildcard. Certainly, many eyes have focused on this intriguing new venture, and the resultant media attention alone is enough to stimulate interest in the men’s formal wear industry.

We’re well aware that the reaction has been on the negative side of skeptical, and some people are almost aghast over Flow’s unorthodox move. How dare they place the success of their line on the often bare shoulders of a man who’s known more for crass than class? Etcetera.

The thing is men’s formalwear isn’t about perpetuating the tuxedo attitude through all hours of the day; no, it’s about cleaning up damned well. And how better to demonstrate the effects of a quality suit on a man whose style rests somewhere on the other side of the menswear spectrum than through a man like Sorrentino, whose own casual manner of dress is immediately recognizable by the general public?

So join us, gentlemen, in waiting with baited breath for Flow’s 2012 line. We’re both excited to see what designs The Situation has in store for us, and anxious to learn what affect this line will have on the present and future of men’s formalwear.

Of course, you can also look forward to seeing it all for sale here.

July 25, 2011

The True Costs of a Wedding- Hidden Surprises

You’ve worked many long and hard hours and prudently saved your money, and now you sit on the cusp of your wedding, basking in all the confidence afforded of, well, being able to afford that aforementioned wedding.

First, we’d like to offer you our warmest congratulations.

Secondly, we formally request that you stop basking, good sir. Stop basking right now.

While it can never be said that people underestimate wedding expenses, it is nevertheless true that few couples-to-be are truly aware of the mountain of fees that are lurking behind the corner of every receipt, waiting to make their ambush against a formerly well-constructed budget.

Fear not, though; we only propose a temporary cessation of your wedding-funds confidence while we outline for you some of the hidden costs that people neglect to consider until they show up on their bills.

1. Taxes

No, nobody really wants to think about having to pay taxes on top of purchases and service fees, but this is one situation where ignorance is so far from bliss that it’s developed a fondness for the financial sucker punch. One cannot avoid sales taxes; rather, one must know to anticipate them.

2. Tips and Gratuities

For every service you procure, you must also be prepared to pay a gratuity, at least if you want to avoid the stigma of inappropriate stinginess. Good tippers offer 15 to 20% of total fees.

3. Postage

The simple fact of the mail system is that for every invitation sent, postage must be paid, while one of the simple facts of wedding planning is that these postage fees are often left unconsidered until the last moment. Wise spenders don’t simply include them in their budgets though; they also take into account the cost of sending announcements and thank you notes, and they realize that the more elaborate the invitation is, the more it will cost to deliver.

4. Alterations

Formal wear can be a difficult beast; rarely will a groom find that the ideal outfit just so happens to come in the perfect fit. As such, everything he wears — from his suit to tuxedo vests and tuxedo shirts — could easily require tailoring before it can be worn with true groom style.

5. Additional Service Charges

Many people neglect to budget for standard expenses like coat check, cake cutting, and rental transport and delivery fees. Others don’t take into account the potential that their wedding and/or reception will run long and thus do not budget for overtime pay. Don’t be one of these people.

There, now we feel productive, and we can only hope that you feel prepared. May your basking recommence.

July 22, 2011

The Art of Choosiness: Best Man Edition

Good day, gentlemen. Today we are going to begin by stating something so obvious that it’s long staked its claim as a persevering cliché: a man’s wedding is one of the most important days of his life. This of course means that it can’t simply be easy. Following his decision to propose, a man is immediately faced with a lengthy string of decisions that ultimately begins and ends with his selection of a best man.

Best men can be an unpredictable breed. While some rise to the occasion with all the grace and valor expected of one man who has devoted himself to ushering another into the world of matrimony, others… well, we’re going to let this video finish that thought for us.

Generally speaking, a good best man can influence and encourage the success of a wedding, but unless he’s domineering control-taker his power ends there. On the other hand, as seen above, all it takes is one unfortunate misstep to wash the event clean of romance.

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

So what should you look out for (and look to avoid) when selecting a best man?

First and foremost, one can never undervalue the forces of friendship and true brotherhood. The best man should be devoted to weathering the inevitable planning storm, and he should work to ensure that the wedding won’t be turned to a tumultuous affair.

In other words, the man who tends to give half efforts — jovial though he may be — could make a poor choice. That one reliable guy you know however, the one who never thinks twice before offering 100% of himself with a 10% loyalty bonus, might just make all the difference between satisfaction and excellence. Since the best man’s main duties are to keep the rings safe (and dry), deliver a crowd-pleasing toast, and organize the groom-to-be’s last stand — a.k.a. the bachelor party — it’s also wise to find one with whom you are familiar and can relate with on a casual level.

Of course, it always helps to have a fashion-conscious best man by your side; they could prove to be an invaluable source for decisions on the perfect tuxedo shoes and tuxedo accessories.

Finally, it’s not easy being a best man; it can be rather time-consuming, particularly as the wedding approaches. Chronically busy men might not have the freedom to be as gung-ho about your wedding as either of you would like, so it might be wise to take your candidates’ schedules into account.

In the end though, selecting a best man is all a matter of determining who you want by your side as you’re preparing to swear your hand and heart away. And all joking aside about the gentleman above who put a bit of a damper on things, we’re willing to wager that the groom wouldn’t take back his decision, even if his best man took the most unorthodox path possible to ensuring a memorable wedding.

July 18, 2011

Updated: Photo Contest: Vote For Your Favorite Photo!

UPDATED:  This Contest is Closed! The Winner is Megan Schley Photography … Photo #2!  Thank you all for your votes!

Welcome to FineTuxedo.com’s Photography contest!

One of the best days for us is, of course, the fact that we supplied the finest tuxedos to you and your wedding party. The other part is how good you look in your tuxedo and how those wedding photos turn out! Then we thought, wouldn’t it be fun to find THE best wedding photo out there? We’re glad you agree!

Off to the internet we went and searched through A LOT of wedding photos – some fun, some romantic, some shocking and then we found some that made us really smile! We couldn’t really decide the best from our finalists though. Since we couldn’t decide ourselves – we decided to put it to a vote from the public! (you!)
The following 9 photos and photographers are the ones we selected as our best for a “Tuxedo” theme.

How do you vote for your favorite?
• Send your vote for the best photo by telling us your favorite picture in the comments below or by tweeting your favorite photo on twitter using the hashtag #FineTuxedoVote ! (sample comments and tweets next to each photo)
• We’ll tally the votes by the Twitter hashtag #FineTuxedoVote (must use hashtag to be counted) and by the blog comments below.

Voting points are as follows:

  • Each unique Twitter Mention with Hashtag #FineTuxedoVote = 2 votes
  • If you have a blog and you write about our contest = 10 votes
  • Each unique Blog comment in the comment section below = 1 vote

The photograph with the highest number of votes will be our featured photo and photographer on our website! Here are our picks:

Vote Photo 1 - Justin Mott's Wedding Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #1 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 1 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o

Megan Schley Wedding Photo Contest

Vote Photo 2 - Megan Schley Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #2 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 2 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Light Love Laughter Photography, Military Wedding Photo, Tuxedo

Vote Photo 3 - Light Love Laughter Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #3 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 3 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Haring Photography Photo, Wedding Moment Photo

Vote Photo 4 - Haring Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #4 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 4 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Emily Harris Photography, Wedding Photo Contest, Tuxedos

Vote Photo 5 - Emily Harris Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #5 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 5 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Raining Wedding Photo, Cluney Photography, Wedding Photo

Vote Photo 6 - Cluney Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #6 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 6 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Wedding reception tuxedo photo, Wedding reception photo, Borrowed Blue Photography

Vote Photo 7 - Borrowed Blue Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #7 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 7 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Dance floor grooms, fun tuxedo photo, Ben Chrisman Photography

Vote Photo 8 - Ben Chrisman Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #8 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 8 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Amelia Beamish Photography, funny mustache wedding photo,

Vote Photo 9 - Amelia Beamish Photography

Vote in the comment below “Photo #9 is my favorite!” or Tweet – I vote for photo 9 for #FineTuxedoVote http://tinyurl.com/6leyv8o!

Aren’t those photos great?! May the best photograph win!

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July 14, 2011

Sports and Men’s Fashion Collide at the 2011 ESPY Awards

Where there is an entertainment outlet, there is an awards show, and the world of sports makes no exception of itself. Last night marked the 19th iteration of the ESPN-presented ESPY awards, similarly acronymed lest one forgets where to watch them. We kid.

Just as many athletes are known for living larger than life, so too do they dress to the limits of style and beyond. We went into watching this event with an eager expectation of the unexpected, unbelievable and inconceivable examples of men’s fashion that almost define such affairs.

Overall, the night was alive with color and personality. While some men, like New York Nicks power forward Amare Stoudemire, impressed the crowd in a classic tuxedo styled with black tie sensibilities, the majority of men in attendance dressed to be different. Of course even Stoudemire himself bucked formality, as he was also seen sporting a more casual look of a different jacket — sleeves pushed up to his elbows — worn with a black t-shirt and a large gold chain, bracelet and wristwatch.

Leading the pack with everyone’s focus was the notably eccentric San Francisco Giants’ pitcher, Brian Wilson. Opting to forgo formalwear, at least in the traditional sense, he instead donned a rather form-fitting spandex tuxedo, complete with silver jewelry, a fancy black cane, and a bright orange clip-on bow tie. Don’t try this one at home, gentlemen; though his unique choice was received with positivity toward its cheeky quirkiness, lightning won’t strike spandex twice. At least, that’s what we’re hoping. Oh please, let us be right.

Elsewhere at the event, Dallas Maverick Shawn Marion wore a pink pinstripe shirt and a navy floral tie beneath a saturated blue jacket, while Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat opted for a white suit and pastel green tie to complement his own pink and white checkerboard shirt. Quarterback Tim Tebow looked plum in his own checker patterned shirt, which he wore with a loose tie and black vest.

Black and gray were the colors of the night, though blues made their own attempt at dominance, and with gentlemen dressed from the strictest standards to casually unbuttoned takes on formal attire, the ESPY awards weren’t just about rewarding athletics; they were about the sport of style.

July 11, 2011

Prince William Goes Formal in Hollywood

It’s hardly news that the worlds latest power couple — the newlywed Prince William and his wife Catherine — spent their weekend on an official tour of California from its glitz and glamor to its inner cities. All news outlets were abuzz with royal interest, and never with more fervor than when the pair attended Saturday night’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (or BAFTA, for the less long-winded among us) formal reception.

After all, we’re a society that finds itself raring and willing to scrutinize both royal and celebrity fashion, and no black tie event should ever be allowed to pass without some commentary on the rule makers and breakers.

True to the “Brits to Watch” theme of the affair, two of the most noteworthy formal looks belonged to William and the young actor Ed Westwick, though each caught our eyes for distinctly different reasons.

Cutting a delightfully dapper image in a double breasted tuxedo that he accessorized with a classic black bow tie and crisp, white pocket square, the prince charmed his audience with a look that was a perfect display of confident and understated regality, proving that sometimes dressing to impress is about making the right subtle choices.

Following his lead were actors Tom Hanks and Chris Evans, and British producer Nigel Lythgoe, each of whom wore classic tuxedos with standard formal neckties. Actor Don Cheadle went a little untraditional with a grayscale plaid tie, while Jack Black erred on the side of a navy tie tucked beneath a one button tuxedo.

On the other side of the style spectrum stood Westwick, who wore a fairly nice notch lapel tuxedo only to, ah, take it down a few notches style-wise by wearing what can best be described as an abomination of a necktie. I suppose we can’t blame the poor lad for wanting to stand out in a crowd that included the Duke of Cambridge himself, but we can certainly fault him for making such a questionable formal wear decision at such a highly-publicized event.

Joining him in the fashion faux-pas corner was director Quentin Tarantino, who for reasons beyond our comprehension thought it was a good idea to wear his tie loose and his dress shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal the collar of a black t-shirt. We hear that he was even wearing, of all things, sneakers.

Then again, we are talking Hollywood here, and it is the land of few fashion surprises.

July 5, 2011

3 of the Greatest Wedding Proposals Ever

A marriage proposal is a big event for any woman, but not all grooms go out of their way to make it particularly memorable. Luckily, before they are ready to pick out tuxedo vests & accessories, some men go the extra mile to make the proposal really stand out. These three guys really shine when it comes to well-planned and romantic proposals.

Movie Theater Wedding Proposal

This wedding proposal makes its mark in the movie theater- watch the whole video on YouTube. Because of the split screen in the video, viewers can see a real-time reaction from the bride-to-be as she realizes that this movie trailer isn’t exactly standard. The prospective groom prerecorded his conversation with his girl’s father, asking his permission for her hand in marriage. It takes a minute for the girlfriend to realize that the voices are familiar, but it slowly dawns on her that this is no ordinary preview. The tears flow freely until the final climax, when the guy walks into the theater, gets down on one knee and officially pops the question. Perfectly timed and planned, he gets an immediate acceptance. After that effort, picking out tuxedo shoes will be a piece of cake for this groom.

The Disney Musical Wedding Proposal

When a couple meets at Disneyland, what better way to propose than returning to the Magic Kingdom? In this proposal, what starts as a fairly standard public declaration quickly turns into a full-fledged musical review. Spectators turn out to be involved participants and it’s clear that a lot of time, planning and practice went into this amazing proposal. The man even picks the ring out of a street sweeper’s dustpan while the girlfriend looks on in almost total shock. At the end of the show, her adorable acceptance is met with enthusiastic applause from the assembled crowd.

The Airport Proposal…With The Whole Flight Involved!

While this proposal lacks some of the theatrical effects of the previous two top proposals, it is extremely romantic and heart-felt. Like the other two top proposals, it is a decidedly public affair, taking place as the prospective bride waits for her man to disembark from a flight. As passengers start to come off the plane, each hands the woman a single red rose. With her arms full and teary eyes, she finally sees her boyfriend walk out the door. He immediately gets down on one knee and pops the question. Of course, cameras capture her reaction as it unfolds. When she’s busy shopping for formal wear, this bride is sure to remember this moment again and again.

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