Should I buy or rent a tuxedo?

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If you are a black tie gala man, then, certainly, buy a tuxedo!

If you are a very social, on-the-town kind of guy who attends upscale events more than 4 times a year, certainly, buy yourself a tuxedo. 

If you are asking, "should I buy or rent a tuxedo?" the decision is also made for you if you work in a profession that requires formal dress: musician, professional catering staff or entertainer. 

Purchasing a tuxedo is a good investment if you frequently attend black tie galas - as a guest or a service professional. Otherwise, you are going to be spending a fortune in tuxedo rental fees. However, if you are an average guy who only plans to wear a tux two times in his life -- at his senior prom and his wedding -- it is better to rent. It would not make financial sense to shell out the cash for a tuxedo that you will probably out-grow before you wear it again.

When you are deciding whether to buy or rent a tuxedo ask yourself this question: Am I going to gain weight over the next decade? The general guideline is that a tuxedo, if purchased should last you anywhere from 10 to 12 years. If you think you are most likely to have a major growth spurt then perhaps you are better off renting.

Are you going to wear a tuxedo a lot during that decade period or just a couple of times? Of course, it is hard to predict exactly, but you can come up with a good estimation because you know your lifestyle best. If you are anticipating weddings, formal dinner parties, gala or charity events and other black-tie functions during the coming decade, purchasing a tuxedo may be a smart investment.

If you know you are going to wear a tux at least once a year, fashion experts would advise you to buy one quality tuxedo -- and get a black one. Do not go crazy and buy a neon color that is going to look ridiculous as well as become dated as soon as purple tuxedos are out of fashion. The next choice in color is midnight blue. The fabric that a tuxedo is made from should be high quality and shouldn't be too heavy. Comfort is an important consideration when purchasing a tuxedo.

Shop around.  Do not buy the first tuxedo that you meet. Look closely at the tuxedo to make sure there is no sign of wear and tear, which indicates that it has formerly been rented out and is now being sold. Look closely and make sure that the jacket and pants match and are made by the same designer. Get your shirt at the same place that you purchase your pants and jacket so they will go together. 

To avoid making a costly decision that you are not happy with for many years, consult with a men's suit expert at a top-scale men's clothing store. A retail consultant will be able to advise you on fabrics, color, and cut that is best suited to your body type and help answer your question, "should I buy or rent a tuxedo?"

When it comes to buying a tuxedo, simple is probably best. Tails and vests and other tuxedo accessories can be cool looking but just complicate your decision. You want a classic look, not one that has you looking like you should be on stage soft shoe-ing next to Ginger Rogers. 

To personalize a tuxedo, most men opt for a bow tie and cummerbund and, of course, a formal shirt. That is it. You can create a unique look for your tuxedo, and change your style a bit from event to event, by adding accessories like a vest, pocket square, flashy dress socks and cuff links or button covers.

Have a budget when buying a tuxedo

You can buy a tux for as little as $200, up to $500 and, of course, for more if you have very deep pockets. Have a budget, stick to your guns and do not overspend. You do not have to spend a fortune to get a good looking, quality tuxedo.

Your selection should, ideally, be a classically-styled tuxedo so that is not get dated in a few years. No one should know if you bought your tuxedo in 2000 or 2010. High quality tuxedos often look like the most classic vintage tuxedos. This is one fashion staple that has a timeless character to it.

If you like to be trendy, then perhaps it is better to rent your tuxedo and that way you can get a different style every time you rent one, keeping up with the tux fads, whatever they might be in any given year.

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