A Tuxedo or Not

In 1866, Griswold Lorillard, a wealthy tobacco heir, shocked the guests gathered for the annual Autumn Ball of the Tuxedo Park Country Club in Tuxedo, New York, when he arrived to the ball wearing a tail-less black dinner jacket.  Mr. Lorillard explained that he had the coat tailor made after a close friend had given him a description of a cut-off coat worn by the Prince of Wales.  The style soon caught on and continues to be the most popular style of formal wear for men today.

Most of the time tuxedos are rented because members of the bridal party do not all own dark suits.  It’s often more expensive to insist all the groomsmen purchase a new suit in your wedding color than it would be to simply rent formal wear.  Tuxedo shops are generally small, but they are serviced by large tuxedo warehouses.  Orders need to be in no later than ten days before the wedding.

When the groom and his party go for their fittings, they should allow for plenty of time.  Each member needs to try on the entire ensemble and make sure all parts are there.  The rental shop usually has a tailor available to make any needed adjustments.  Do not wait until the day of the wedding to try on a tuxedo!

If it is possible, arrange for your groomsmen to pick up their tuxedos as early as they can on the Thursday before the wedding.  Tuxedo shops can be very busy and chaotic on Fridays.  If someone ends up needing an alteration, he will be picking up his corrected tuxedo the morning of the wedding.  Try to avoid this!

Most rental shops request the tuxedo be returned on the first business day after the wedding, usually a Monday.  The store clerk will count the tuxedo parts to insure everything has been returned.  Sometimes the best man will make arrangements and return all the tuxedos at once.

Today, more and more couples are opting for informal weddings.  The groom may choose to wear a dark suit, a navy blue blazer with white trousers or perhaps an oxford suit, a handsome time and khaki slacks.  The groom’s attire needs to coordinate with the formality of the bride’s wedding gown.  Whatever you decide, your groomsmen should be similarly dressed and wearing a boutonniere.

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