I'm Getting Married & I Need A Suit For A Day
September 10, 2020 12:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm a male that is getting married and am looking for options for attire. Details inside....

’m getting married in a couple of months and need to get something to wear. It is just my partner and I, no family due to COVID. We will be having pictures taken, so I want to look nice. I don’t usually get dressed up and am looking for the easiest way to get some clothes. I’m a skinny guy. I want something that fits me well and accentuates my height and thinness without looking scrawny. I am awful at picking out clothes and absolutely HATE shopping, especially for clothes.

What are my options? Rent? Buy? Get altered? I don’t really want to wear a tux. Perhaps a suit with a vest and a tie. Again, I want something that will fit me well but not break the bank. I RARELY wear suits and do like the idea of not having to spend $500 or more on a suit that I’m not likely to wear again.

I’d also prefer to not have to do the shopping and selecting styles myself if possible as I work long hours. I’m in NY state.

What are my best options? I realize that that I may be looking for something that doesn't exist. I am flexible on all of this, but at the end of the day I want to look good for not a lot of money and not a lot of shopping. Is this possible?

Thank you in advance
posted by Alvin80 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Many places that rent tuxedos will also rent suits - there are lots of options besides just a black/white tux. I'm not sure how it all works with Covid in the picture, but if you have a Men's Wearhouse near you, you can chat with them.
posted by hydra77 at 12:48 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]

I'd buy, not rent. If you're not spending for high-end, having a suit, even if you only wear it on special occasions, is a good investment.

Grab a suit from Charles Tyrwhitt. You'll likely spend $400 or $500. You'll need to get it tailored a bit, but can do that locally.

CT has a couple locations in NYC if you want to go into the city and get it all taken care of there, but it's not essential.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 12:49 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

Sourcing this from advice I gave to one of my best friends, who is also quite tall and skinny, for his wedding. It worked well. You should:

1. Go to a local tailor and get your measurements. (You can find tailors on Yelp, or if you have a friend who dresses well, they probably have a tailor)
2. Order a navy Lazio suit from Suitsupply in your size based on those measurements.

- Suitsupply because they're one of the best quality-for-cost values in men's suiting; this suit would cost you $360 to purchase, and even with the tailoring I'm going to recommend, your total cost will be well below $500
- Navy because it's the most flexible suit color you can own; you can wear it to weddings, funerals, really any formal event
- The Lazio style because it's their slim fit with structured (i.e. slightly padded) shoulders. A slim fit will look best on a slim frame, and the structured shoulders will broaden your silhouette slightly and help you avoid looking overly scrawny

3. Once the suit arrives, take it back to the tailor who did your measurements and have them alter it to fit you as needed. This is a pretty good, simple overview of the big things to look for in terms of fit.

This is another article from the same site about buying a wedding suit that goes into some other details you might want to consider. Good luck!
posted by protocoach at 12:57 PM on September 10 [13 favorites]

New Era Factory Outlet is your friend.

Their specialty is tuxes, but they do suits as well. Not a huge investment, and you may need tailoring, but overall it's a great value. They outfit half the male audience at the Tonys, and they also do a lot of prom business. They're good people (if a bit cantankerous).
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:02 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

It's going to get you near $500 but I got married in a suit from Banana Republic. It had a good fit to start and then I to the best tailor in my town and he made it look even way better. And now I have a suit and I'm not Blazer Guy at events where most men are wearing suits. Should look good and last for nearly ever since it spends most of its time in a closet in a suit bag.
posted by ftm at 1:06 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]

I'm not positive they still do this and depending on the COVID rates in your area it may or may not be a good idea, but if you're marrying a woman and she's willing to schedule and attend a try-on session at David's Bridal, they used to give brides a special coupon for 50% discounts at Men's Warehouse, extendable to the entire wedding party and not limited to the suit specified as their outfit for out wedding.

We did this and got my husband a nice grey suit, and the dress shirt, tie, etc. He still wears his "wedding suit" to basically any non-funeral occasion that calls for a suit. Two of his groomsmen ended up wearing the suits they had bought for our wedding to their own weddings, and my brother has worn his to countless events.

To be clear, I didn't have to buy a dress at David's (and I didn't), this was just handed to me when I showed up with my mom for a scheduled try-on.
posted by The Librarian at 1:22 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]

Get a single breasted two-button charcoal (dark) gray suit from Suit Supply. Something like this. Order a few, keep the one that fits best in the shoulders. Have the trousers adjusted if necessary. You don't need a vest/waistcoat.

Don't get blue. Get charcoal (dark) gray. Blue is a great color, but if you're only going to own one suit, it's not the color you should get. Gray is more useful. It works at formal funerals and can work for evening wear. The possibility of a funeral at short notice is the reason why you should buy this suit rather than rent. If you buy a second suit, get a blue one! And then if you buy a third one, get tan or light gray or green or whatever. But your first and only suit should be charcoal.

Definitely don't get black. Black suits are for waiters and teenage boys.

You sound like you don't want a tux, but just in case: you don't want a tux. They tend to look bad on people who aren't comfortable in formal wear, they look awful in the daytime, and they are less useful than suits after the event.

If you get that $400 Suit Supply option you'll have money left over for a tie and a pocket square from the Tie Bar. The pocket square is optional but it jazzes up what might otherwise be a formal business look for a festive occasion.
posted by caek at 1:28 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]

Look to see if there are any consignment shops in your area. You should able to get a good looking suite at a discount off buying new. You will need to get it tailored to make it fit right and look good while wearing.
posted by tman99 at 1:29 PM on September 10

Don't rent! Rental suits get vomited on: they are gross. And not as cheap as you might think.

Your best quality for money would be a high-end used suit, like tman99 said. But that would take a lot of time & expertise, so I think it's out for you.

So I think yes, you should just go to a not-too-expensive store, buy a suit, and have them alter it for you. (No suit fits off the rack.) But, you need to know that most suits are cut for heavyset middle-aged men. So you will need to go to a shop that targets younger men, because the suits will be skinnier.

Last time I went to a wedding, my partner stopped into Theory, picked a suit he liked, and they had it altered & ready one week later. We felt like that was a pretty good balance of price and quality and convenience. J Crew would be similar and here are their suits. I know those are both more than you want to spend but I think it's the closest you're going to get to satisfying all your requirements.

caek's advice is also good: I don't have any personal experience with Suit Supply but well-dressed men I know swear by them.
posted by Susan PG at 1:35 PM on September 10

We used The Black Tux to rent a tux for our wedding last year and I would highly recommend it, especially during Covid. Think Warby Parker but suits, you can buy or rent, and there's lots of good customer reviews with images so you can see how things look on actual people. They have slim fit tuxes and suits in a variety of color ways and styles that sound like they would work well for your body type and aesthetic preferences. The shipping, customer service, and fabric and suit cut and quality were exceptional and the price was right.
posted by stellaluna at 1:46 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

Just nthing all the advice to buy, don't rent. Hopefully you are only getting married once, so you want to look and feel your best, and having a nice well-fitted suit is going to help you do that. Consider that renting would probably get you a so-so suit for $100, for one day, while buying will run $400-$500. So for the extra $300-$400 you have a great suit you can use any future occasion that calls for it.
posted by beagle at 2:19 PM on September 10

Nobody is buying suits right now, so there are bound to be good deals. I second (or third) the Suit Supply idea. J Crew's Ludlow suits are another similar option for less than $500.
posted by Mid at 2:22 PM on September 10

Do you have either a jacket or pants that you like? If so, I would splurge on a very nice version of the other, and go with the sport coat and slacks look. Then upgrade other things you don't have. A nice button down shirt, belt, and tie. Basically don't wear a suit, wear slacks and a coat, and just upgrade the pieces you are missing.

To really fit well, these things need to be tailored to your body in a way that rentals just never will. And better to put it towards things you really will re-wear again (like for all the weddings you go to in the next 5 years) than a rental.

It will be fun to wear your "wedding shirt" "wedding coat" or "wedding tie" in the future, and it's a great opportunity to get a new nice piece or two.
posted by amaire at 2:25 PM on September 10

I have had two positive experiences with The Black Tux, mentioned above. Fit and quality were good.
That said, every guy should own a suit. Caek's advice upthread is good.
posted by Wretch729 at 4:14 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

Just to note - you don't have to get the suit tailored. I know that's the "right" thing to do, but if you don't want to and/or have COVID concerns, then you can just leave it if the suit already makes you feel good. Assuming their return policy is still in place, one option is to order a bunch of off-the-rack suiting from Banana Republic, which is indeed a place with slimmer cuts, and then return whatever doesn't fit. Lots of people don't pay for tailoring and that's okay too.

And you can always change your mind and/or tailor later.
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 4:34 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]

How tall and skinny are you? I'm also very tall and skinny and it makes a huge difference in terms of your options.
posted by saladin at 5:41 PM on September 10

Seconding gray over blue. It photographs well, looks good with almost all complexions, and accessorizing with any color is foolproof.

posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:29 PM on September 10

My tall skinny husband got a gray suit from Macy’s . He’s had occasions to wear it elsewhere.

This slim fit suit is on sale for $90. This one is also $90. This is a good sale!

You could probably find a tailor to measure you and then alter it. I think Macy’s usually offers tailoring too and they’d probably help you figure the right size to begin with.
posted by vunder at 7:32 PM on September 10

I also used the black tux. In my opinion “everyone should have a suit” is not really true anymore. It’s been years since I’ve wanted one.
posted by bbqturtle at 6:23 AM on September 11

This might not be a fit for you culturally, but when we got married in the US we hired a kilt for the groom.
posted by mippy at 8:59 AM on September 11

We went with Indochino for a made-to-measure suit. We were able to book an appointment at our local showroom so we could look at the fabric and get his measurements taken in person, but you could do the whole thing online if needed (they walk you through how to take your measurements with videos, and flag anything that looks unusual and might need re-measuring). It took a week after submitting our order for the suit to ship, and it arrived about five days later (to California).

We also went to the Black Tux showroom to look at their suits in person; while we didn't choose to go with them for our wedding, we did like their suits overall, and my fiance said he would choose to rent from them in the future as a wedding guest. With Indochino there were a lot of details to refine and decide on ("how do you want your lapels, how do you want your vents, what buttons do you want" etc.), which was nice and made his suit a little more special, but there's also something very nice and easy about "this is what we have, yes or no, great, here you go". The Black Tux sales consultant did say that some colors are more popular than others (particularly navy for fall weddings, which is what we were thinking), so they recommended placing the rental order earlier rather than later or risk not having that particular color available for our date.
posted by littlemisslaika at 5:03 PM on September 11

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