Ah, prom. One of the defining points of any young man’s high school life, it can also be one of the biggest hits he takes to his growing bank account. Between tickets and transportation, parties and flowers, and tuxes and photo shoots, the average guy is looking to spend over $500 on making something special out of his prom night. Yikes! Though we can’t quite help you with all of that (we’re still mastering the fine art of not splurging on our own parties) we can offer up some solid advice on how to knock your wardrobe bill down a few digits.
1. Budget in Advance
It doesn’t matter if your prom is years away or lurking around the corner, it always helps to step back, get a sense of your finances (or your parents’ finances) and figure out your spending priorities. What this will do is help you figure out what you’re looking for on an objective level so when it comes to the far more subjective act of actually shopping for your prom tuxedo, your tastes aren’t going to wander off in expensive directions.
Or if they do, then at least you’ll know what you’d have to give up to get the garments you really want.
2. Consider Buying Instead of Renting
No, seriously. A lot of sites will push you toward rental services when in actuality there are many tuxedos and tuxedo packages
available that will cost you less than a rental, all with the added benefit of sparing you from having to rush to return your tux before you get slapped with a slew of late fees and other unfortunately unexpected costs.
3. Hunt Down Discounts
In the world of men’s formalwear retailers, prom is customer-hunting season. All the nation over, a plethora of businesses compete against each other for your dollar, as well of the dollars of your fellow prom-goers-to-be. What this means is that there will be discounts aplenty varying in scope from standard sales to special discounts for students and groups. All you have to do is find them.
Note that some retailers like to be stealthy about their deals and discounts. If you’ve got your must-have tux in hand but it doesn’t seem to come with any offers attached, try asking the staff; you might be pleasantly surprised.
4. Get Creative
There’s no law saying that everything you wear has to be brand new, and given that prom is more of a fun opportunity to dress up than an event bearing a strict dress code, you have a lot of options for accenting and accessorizing your tuxedo. In the end, what really matters is that you’re confident and comfortable, so go ahead and borrow one of your dad’s kooky ties, improvise on your vest or cummerbund, and forgo a polished pair of formal shoes for your favorite sneakers if that’s the style route you want to take.
Most of these tips are fairly straightforward. As a last piece of advice, we’d like to add this: Figure out what you want from your prom and determine your spending from there.