Tuxedo: vintage or new?
March 17, 2013 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm coming to the realization that I need to either buy a new tux or a vintage tux for my wedding. Tell me of your experiences with vintage tuxes please? Tell me of your experiences with cool vintage store in New York City please? Or some other place in the area to buy a tux that isn't a chain or a department store?

If there is some awesome rental alternative to the wedding factories of Jo. Banks and Men's Warehouse that would be grand too. Are there any decent tuxedos in the classic style available for less than $500? Or am I dreaming? Also advice about tux styles would be appreciated. I've read all of this site and beyond knowing to just get black everything I'm pretty confused about what would look good but not obnoxiously formal.
posted by Potomac Avenue to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Housing Works?
posted by musofire at 12:18 PM on March 17, 2013

Best answer: Cheap Jacks in the Flatiron District can be a pinch overpriced, but has an outrageous selection of vintage tuxes and will at least give you a good idea of what's around and what you might be interested in.

In general, yeah, you're gonna want to go vintage. You can definitely get a new tux for $500, but it'll be of the Mens Warehouse variety. Go vintage, and you can get a really amazing tux for less than that (if you get really lucky, much less).
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:58 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On style:

- Think about midnight blue, which I actually like better than black.
- I'd probably avoid a cumberbund: hard not to make that look really dated.
- For shoes, I tend to prefer black oxfords which you either already have or, if you buy them now, will serve you well the rest of your life (Allen Edmonds! Ebay!).
- Cufflinks are a great opportunity to add something from her family or yours, if you're looking for a slight touch of tradition that the two of you will probably be the only ones who know about.
- Please wear a pocket square. White silk.
posted by Apropos of Something at 1:03 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try bluefly.com. I paid about $600 for a tux that retails for $1,000.
posted by hhc5 at 1:16 PM on March 17, 2013

Response by poster: Could you describe how buying a tux online worked for you? I'm worried I'll screw it up since I don't know much about what I'm looking for. Especially if you got it on EBay. Thanks!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:31 PM on March 17, 2013

Best answer: Important if buying online and you have no other eggs in other baskets - get it well in advance, (months if possible), so there is plenty of time to send it back for a different size AND have the order get screwed up for some reason AND still get it with time to get it altered AND still have plenty time such that you don't have to freak out, etc.

Also, it's recommended to get it altered to best fit you, so I would suggest finding yourself a suit alterations tailor before you shop, explain your situation, I suspect they could offer you a world of help and guidance - and any guidance will presumably be matched to a visual evaluation of you personally, which the internet can't do. Especially if you bring in pictures of what looks good to you. Regardless of whether they can help with style, they'll give you an idea of how much time they will need to make alterations (probably more than a week if they're busy), which you'll have to schedule in, and what it'll cost.

I ordered online (not for a wedding) based on my measurements against their charts of sizes vs measurements, and it was clear when it arrived that the charts are vague and the same tux in a different size would be a better fit. (I was able to hang on to the first one while they sent the second, before returning it, which was a nice safety net against disaster)

If you like the tux but want it in another size, it might pay to be specific about any codes or brand/line names to everyone who handles the change, to help ensure you get the same tux in the new size rather than an "equivalent" tux in the new size, which may be cut to yet another ideal of measurements. (I had that happen).

As to styles, do a google image search on wedding couples and grooms. Find a ton of photos where you like how the groom looks. Find lots where the grooms are not obviously not you (ie not wildly differently proportioned). Learn what you like. (Perhaps more importantly, learn what your fiancee likes!) Figure out what is going on that creates that look. Study the shapes, textures, postures, lengths, reveals, silhouettes, etc. That will give you things to look for when shopping, and things to look for and check when trying something on.
posted by anonymisc at 3:21 PM on March 17, 2013

This is the best guide and help for buying formal wear for men I have ever found

posted by lasamana at 4:01 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

One alternative, depending on the venue and how appropriate it might be, is a very nice suit. My husband got a super nice suit at Barney's for our wedding and now he can wear it for other occasions too. Neither of us wanted him to splash out on a tux that would only be useful for one day.

We had a semi-formal garden wedding, so this looked fine.
posted by dottiechang at 7:41 PM on March 17, 2013

First off, I tip my (top) hat to you for taking an interest in proper formal attire. This is an uncommon thing. I wore formal evening attire for my wedding as well and the classic look of a Tuxedo will age very well in your photos.

I don't have advice about places to buy in NYC, but one consideration about new versus vintage is that the vintage fabrics tend to be a bit heavier. If you have a summer wedding you may find many vintage suits to feel a bit on the warm side versus new garments.

You will find that many modern Tuxedos are styled more like a regular suit, which means they have notched lapels instead of peak lapels. The peak lapel is definitely the more traditional look. If you going white tie and tails you will almost universally find this in proper lapel.

My ultimate recommendation is to study the design of vintage evening dress for men but to purchase a newer suit that uses the classic cut. Avoid silly things like ruffled shirts and loud colored bow ties and you will have achieved a timeless look. Regarding the bow tie, they are very hard to learn but you will feel like a million bucks if you do it proper.
posted by dgran at 7:36 AM on March 18, 2013

Response by poster: Hey y'all! Update for the mildly curious: I found some used tuxes for really cheap at one store but many of the others seemed to be gone or out of tuxes. So I ended up ordering one on Indochino. It was awesome and cheap and fast and fit great. I rented a tie and cumberbund from Jack Silvers in Times sq and in the end I think I looked OK! Thanks for the helps MFers.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:38 PM on June 21, 2013

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