The Groomsman's Dilemma

This is a joke.
At some point in a young man's life, it is likely that he will be asked to stand up at a friend or relative's wedding. The day of his wedding is quite possibly the most important day in a man's life and he and his wedding party usually dress accordingly. Clearly the groom and groomsmen want to look good and especially for a religious ceremony will err on the side of formality in terms of dress. I won't delve into the details of types of wedding dress. It's all been said before (by the way, I can't agree with this advice more). Truthfully, I didn't know much at all about formal dress before reading these articles.

Anyway, last spring I was asked to be in my best friend's wedding. This was the first wedding I was actually to be a part of and I really had no idea of what to expect. It was decided by the bride and groom that the men of the wedding party would be dressed in tuxedos (even though the ceremony was to be held during the day). There was no argument from me and not much time passed before I found myself in a Men's Wearhouse Tux getting measured for a slick Calvin Klein two-button number, the best option available (if you've ever been to a MWT you've probably seen the ridiculous and insane zootsuit nonsense they have available for attention-seeking prom-goers). From what I ascertained from the measurements and the subsequent first and only fitting was that essentially they take an off the rack tuxedo jacket in your general size (in my case 42L) and simply alter the sleeve to the appropriate length. The pants are even easier: side tabs accommodate a range of waist sizes and the leg is cut full and flowing for all. The pant length is hemmed to taste.
This is me in a rental tuxedo.

To the right is a photo of what I looked like on the day. Forgive that my expression makes me look like a total dork and that my jacket is unbuttoned. I was taken by surprise. Even so, you can see that the jacket falls fairly straight down my sides and does little to flatter my body shape. It is difficult to see in this photo but the most bothering part of this outfit was the pants. They were just too big through the thigh and lower leg (something very difficult to do with me). I felt like I was wearing Hammer Pants. In fairness, I don't think I looked completely horrible. My experience just left a bit to be desired. This article will give you more of what to expect if you're going the MW route. All complaining aside, the ceremony and reception were truly beautiful and I would never, ever hold anything against the bride and groom because they are my de facto family. This is simply a case study in trying to dress one's self without the assistance of someone who sells you the use of a garment for 24 hours for $150. To me this is a waste. This is akin to paying rent and living in an apartment for your entire life. You get to park your body in it for a little while but own nothing at the end of the lease. You can also do nothing to customize it because you don't own it. Anyway, here's to investing in real estate formal clothing.

So, another friend is getting married late this fall and has asked me to be a part of his wedding party. I have refused to make the same mistake of renting a schlubby tuxedo for nearly half the cost of one that fit me that I could own for as long as the seams held up. The groom-to-be has chosen the same suit from the Men's Wearhouse as my good friend last year. And after looking at a bunch of tuxes I have concluded that a two-button, notch lapel jacket is a two-button, notch lapel jacket. There's a reason why its design has changed so little in the past few generations.
P.S. - I hope Idris Elba is the next Bond.
So for this wedding, I have resigned myself to acquiring my own tuxedo (I may have to rent some accessories from MW to be in the cool kids club but I'm fine with that). I looked up the same CK two-button that MW rents for $150: it retails for $350. Granted, there are extras included in that $150 but those are extras you can use over and over again (shirt, tie, waistcoat, studs, links, shoes, etc.). Still, I'm thinking the cost of getting that suit altered is gonna push the total cost higher than I'm comfortable with. Another idea: Internet made-to-measure. Enter Indochino. You may have heard of them before. They offer custom suiting based upon user-submitted measurements. They also offer a classic tuxedo for $359. They offer a ton of extras (lapel style, vents, ticket pocket, your choice of lining color), the sizing is based on your own measurements and the fit is guaranteed (they give you a $75 alterations credit to use with your local tailor if the garment doesn't fit you at first). I'm giving them a whirl for this upcoming wedding and hoping to look like James Bond (as the product description explains). They're also having a promotion right now with tuxedos where you get a shirt and two accessories free with code "TUXEDOPROMO".

From what I've read online on people's experiences with Indochino, reviews have been pretty good. Most agree that the fabric quality is not phenomenal but pretty good for what you're paying. Most people have to use the $75 credit and take a trip to the tailor at least once. This is simply the nature of the beast. You shouldn't expect a bespoke quality fit based on no actual fittings of the suit. Anyway, if the tailor can't do anything to make it fit you for $75, Indochino will cut you a new suit. Read this guide before you start anything.

Anyway, I'll be sure to let you guys know how it works out. I'm excited.

Aside: Don't Indochino's trenches look awesome?


  1. Hi Tommy, cool post, thanks for linking to my guide! There are also a couple of new coupons, that are quite worth a try: dailyedealsfall (8% off, 2 free shirts, 1 free tie!).

    I'm curious how your tux will turn out, will check your blog for updates :)

  2. Hello Tommy,
    This is the Dave, a representative for the Men’s Wearhouse. I read the experience you had with our tuxedo rental and it sounds like a tailored tuxedo fits what you are looking for. The advantage of owning your tuxedo is that you can alter it to your taste by a master tailor. The advantage of buying your garment at our store is that we guarantee the garment and the fit. Tommy you can touch and feel the quality of your tuxedo, you can meet the tailor that is backed up by a guarantee and the best part the wardrobe consultant will do all the work for you. Currently, the Calvin Klein 2 button tuxedo is on sale and you can get a second suit for $100.(http://bit.ly/a110Ca) I invite you to go to you’re nearest Men’s Wearhouse in Chicago and experience the shopping difference with us.

    Feel free to contact me through Facebook | Twitter

    (FYI All offers are subject to availability and offers valid during sale only)

    Quick Links (Just copy and paste):
    Facebook: http://bit.ly/bVLo6K

  3. Nice photo despite what you were saying about the fit. Even though I won't be wearing a tux any time soon, it's good to read about the other gender's wedding dressing experiences :)

  4. That movie poster. Good God, I'd forgotten how damn cute Love Hewitt used to be!!

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