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Tuxedo advice?

GeoPa58

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Greetings from a former lurker.

I just turned 50 and am looking to purchase my first tuxedo. I've been to: http://www.blacktieguide.com/ and I know that I want a classic look. So, I'm thinking:

Black, single-breasted, peaked lapel, unvented, single-button -- you know what I'm talking about.

I live in a "centrally-isolated" university town, so my first line of research has been via the internet. I'm not turning up a lot, so I thought I would seek your collective advice.

I'm short and trim (marathoner). I don't have to wear a suit very often in my university job, but the BB I purchased almost 20 years ago still fits well. 37S jacket, probably 31S trousers (although I would wear a very-short rise if it were possible to find; inseam ~28). I'm not sure what my budget is but, since I would wear it infrequently, I will probably have a tough sell with my wife to go high-end.

Any suggestions as to designers? Retailers? I presume I would get a better fit at a bricks-and-mortar store, but I'm not sure about prices. There's no way I can pay full retail for some of the ones that I have seen.

What do you think about buying online and having tailoring done locally?

Care to recommend any reputable sources, of any kind?

Thanks for any advice you'd care to offer.
 

GeoPa58

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OK, 65 views and no replies. Let me try again.

I am venturing out of my isolated college town next week to pick someone up at BWI. Are there some places in Baltimore where I could find some decent tuxedos (SB peaked lapel, 1-2 buttons; 37S)? How much should I expect to pay?

I might get a chance to visit DC over the holidays. Are there places I might look there?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

James Bond

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If you know a good local tailor, buying online will probably save you some cash. Check eBay and forum sponsors ShopTheFinest, eHaberdasher, and Virtual Clothes Horse (links at the top of the page).
 

Bird's One View

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If you are patient you can get a 1920s or 30s tuxedo on eBay. This is the cheapest way to get a really classic tuxedo.

Brooks Brothers seems to have removed the 1818 one button peak lapel DJ from their web site but the last time I was in a store they still had them on the racks. They (and every other retailer, probably) will likely have a big sale after Christmas.

Brooks DJs have pocket flaps and vents ... but so do Oxxford.
 

needshoehelp

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There's no way you can walk into a store and find a (1) classic tuxedo in (2) that size for (3) a reasonable price. It just won't happen. Of those three requirements, pick two (at best). You're going to have to go online for what you're looking for.
 

eHaberdasher

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Originally Posted by James Bond
If you know a good local tailor, buying online will probably save you some cash. Check eBay and forum sponsors ShopTheFinest, eHaberdasher, and Virtual Clothes Horse (links at the top of the page).

Not sure what your time frame is, but we will have our tuxedos (full canvas - Benjamin label) some time before March. Single breasted, peak lapel, 1-button, satin facing. We will have in all sizes including 36S and 38S. Will be under $700.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by eHaberdasher
Not sure what your time frame is, but we will have our tuxedos (full canvas - Benjamin label) some time before March. Single breasted, peak lapel, 1-button, satin facing. We will have in all sizes including 36S and 38S. Will be under $700.

That's a nice price point for something decently made like that.

Why satin and not grosgrain facings, though?

- B
 

JLibourel

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Although I kind of cringe to recommend them in these circles, JAB does have some reasonably sartorially correct black tie separates usually at very modest prices. I note that they go a small as 38S, if that would fit the OP.

I observed with some dismay that they did offer a tailcoat for white tie on their website. The reason for my dismay was that on the dummy, they showed the vest protruding well below the jacket. You'd think somebody there would have read Flusser, at least.
 

Zandros

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
I observed with some dismay that they did offer a tailcoat for white tie on their website. The reason for my dismay was that on the dummy, they showed the vest protruding well below the jacket. You'd think somebody there would have read Flusser, at least.

Speaking of which, the attendees of the Nobel banquet weren't exactly in good style either.
 

Bhowie

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I have been looking for a tux as well, there seems to be a ton of RLPL tux's out their on the net. Are these discontinued models, I can't seem to locate them on the RL website. It has what I'm looking for but I would hate to drop that kind of cash on something I have only seen on ebay.
 

GeoPa58

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
Although I kind of cringe to recommend them in these circles, JAB does have some reasonably sartorially correct black tie separates usually at very modest prices. I note that they go a small as 38S, if that would fit the OP.

Thanks for the suggestion. Much to my surprise (but not my wife's), I discovered that there is a Jos. A. Banks store in our town. I paid them a visit today.

I tried on a 37S "Black Notch Collar Tuxedo Jacket" from their separates collection, and it was definitely the right size. Perhaps a little more shoulder padding/width than I would like, but it fit.

Their "Signature Peak-Lapel Tuxedo" has all the features I was looking for, and I really liked the grosgrain lapel. The smallest size, however, as you said, is 38S. Perhaps it could be taken in a bit, but that wouldn't affect the even-larger shoulders, which were the main issue for me. And I'm not crazy about taking in 32 trousers, as I believe most of the adjustment comes from the rear seam, pulling everything towards the back.

Too bad, as the sale price today online is around $450-$100 = $350 with free shipping. I think I would recommend the JAB signature peak lapel to someone who is looking for a modestly-priced tuxedo for occasional use. If they'd had a 37S, I would have bought it.

So, still looking ... good thing I have time.
 

eHaberdasher

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Originally Posted by voxsartoria
That's a nice price point for something decently made like that.

Why satin and not grosgrain facings, though?

- B


Satin seems to appeal to a wider audience, which is important with a limited production garment from a label that is just starting off... if we do well and have the demand for grosgrain, we'll consider offering that as well in the future. How many others out there prefer grosgrain over satin?
 

GeoPa58

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Originally Posted by James Bond
If you know a good local tailor, buying online will probably save you some cash. Check eBay and forum sponsors ShopTheFinest, eHaberdasher, and Virtual Clothes Horse (links at the top of the page).

I fear you are right.

I drove 3 hours to BWI yesterday, and visited a few places in Towson, MD (Syms, Filene's, Nordstrom (and Rack), Mens Wearhouse). I didn't even see one tuxedo that wasn't a notch lapel, but I did find quite a few single-button. I tried on a few, mainly to check sizing. I might be able to get away with a 38S, but they all felt a little large, especially in the shoulders; I'd rather not have to "get away" with anything. 37S seemed good in general, although there weren't many. I tried on one 36S that seemed to fit, but mostly they didn't.

The sales associate at Nordstrom wasn't very encouraging, but suggested that I call and remind him to check around a little bit.
 

Charley

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I don't believe that you will have much luck finding anything in 37s. Most makers just don't cut anything in that size anymore. Very seldom will you even find a 37r. It all starts at 38 today, unfortunately for the smaller sized folks. What I have found is that the ones in 37 are usually from a lower quality line, somewhat like the situation you found at JAB. Then it seems that in recent years the size 38 jackets made very full in the chest and with excessive shoulder width. If it is too wide for me if I DID wear a 38, it will be very difficult to tailor it into a fair 37 fit. Pretty frustrating situation.

The suggestion of looking at older garments on eBay is a good one. They did make 37 sized clothing 40 years ago. Get a good idea of your measurements from something that fits. Under the armpits, collar seam to hem at the back, shoulder seam to shoulder seam, and sleeve length. A good tailor can take it in a bit without harm - it will be much better than getting a 38 that is just way to big.
 

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