Rent or Buy?

By Timothy R. Schulte

CTW Features

Rent or buy your wedding tuxedo? It's a simple question without a simple answer.

Here, Rik Ducar, proprietor of eponymous formalwear shops in both Atlanta and Los Angeles that both sell and rent tuxedos, offers some insight for grooms' style choices:

Price: Tuxedo packages, when all is said and done, can come out to around a little under $200, Ducar says. For purchase, tuxedos - just the jacket and pants - can start around $400 and reach upward of $1,000 on designer labels.

It's all about budget - but more so with rentals "because the groom also has the groomsmen to think about," says Ducar, noting that around 9 of 10 groomsmen do not live in the same area as the groom, which can make coordination tricky. "That would be a good case for a rental," he says.

Still, buying has its bona fides. "From a pure economic sense, tuxedos are the only part of the wedding on the man or woman side you'll be able to wear again. It'll pay for itself after one wear," he says.

Fit: It's night and day, Ducar says. On a 1-to-10 scale, Ducar says he could get a rental jacket to fit an 8, but he says he can get a Perfect 10 fit on a purchase. But it's the pants where you run into problems, he says. It's the always the same cut - whether the guy is 5' 5" or 6' 5" - so short guys will get a long rise in the pants. "They're always voluminous," he says. If you rent and the guys are being measured from afar, try to get them into the shop a day or two before the wedding to make any last-minute sizing tweaks.

Even if renting, Ducar likes to get the guy in for-purchase clothes just to find out what would be the best options in terms of a look. "There's nothing wrong with using a for-purchase product to paint the picture of what they might like on the rental," Ducar says. From there, Ducar likes to build the tuxedo from the top down. The jacket's lapels will influence collar length; the collar length will influence the tie style and width, etc.

(c) CTW Features

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