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Looking for a multiple-occasion tuxedo

pjskeleton

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Hi there! I'm trying to find a black tuxedo to wear, actually several times, in the next few months. I have to attend two highly formal nighttime weddings in April; one in the family the first week, one for a friend the last week (in which I am a groomsman), as well as prom for my school (late May) and prom for my girlfriend's school (early June). Unfortunately, I have no idea what to look for. To be perfectly honest, I have never seriously shopped for a suit myself. I have two suits; one Alfani black three-button (off the rack at Macy's so the brand is dubious) for less-formal dances, sombre or nighttime occasions, etc. I got it the day before homecoming with the help of my dad and (then) girlfriend several years ago. I swore I'd actually do my research next time
. I also have a grey Adam's Row three-piece (hand-me-down, bespoke, and taken in) for more formal daytime occasions. I'm more than certain that neither of these is even close to appropriate for black-tie formal occasions, and since I have to attend four tuxedo-required events over the span of about a month and a half, I'm looking to simply outright buy a tuxedo rather than rent four times. Though the cost for a good tux would be about equal to renting four times, it's just not in my nature to do so, and I definitely want to stand out in a good way without being too flashy. Other than that, I'm considering all my options to be open. Any and all help would be appreciated!
 

cptjeff

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Single button or double breasted, peak or shawl lapel. Wear a black bowtie- this is not negotiable.

Avoid notch lapels and more than two buttons. If you can, avoid flapped pockets. This isn't a business suit, don't patronize makers who cheap out and use their business suit patterns.

The vast majority these days will be wearing "tuxes" that break the traditional rules in two billion ways. Which means that the best way to stand out is with classy understatement and actually doing everything right. You'll look like a million bucks.

Oh, and if you choose to wear a vest, don't wear the same type you would get with a 3 piece suit. A formal waistcoat just covers the waist, little more.

You want this:


Not this:


If in doubt, read this: http://www.blacktieguide.com/index.html
 

pjskeleton

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Thanks for that information! I intended on black bow-tie for the weddings, even though I believe etiquette is somewhat against anyone except the groom wearing all black. That may be outmoded however, the last wedding I was at saw several people in fully traditional tuxes. Proms might be an issue because you're supposed to in some way match your date's dress (she hasn't picked one out yet, but I'll convince her to do so before mid-April when all the shops start having the biggest order floods) so what I'm thinking is rather than going for the colorful (and usually garish) bow-tie, I'll keep it more understated with a pocket square instead. Would that work, or is that a faux pas? Could you explain the difference between peak, shawl, and notch lapels? Also, a recommendation of a selection of tuxes would be marvelous if you could; I'm trying to keep it under $450 total since rentals would be around $100+ for each night, but I could be convinced to go up to $600 if it's truly worth it in quality. I'd say to include tailoring into that price, 36R isn't an incredibly common size but 38R is; that's what the grey three-piece was before I had it taken in to just over 36.
 

pjskeleton

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Don't match your date's attire, it looks tacky.

Oh, believe me, I know.
etiquette is king though, and I don't really have much of a choice in the matter. I'm trying to keep it as minimilist as possible without offending tradition. I'm not taking a date to either of the weddings, so I'm just going for something simple like the pocket square rather than the matching vest/tie/cummerbund or whatever have you.
 

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