Friday, June 20, 2008

Buying a Tuxedo

Joseph Abboud Three Button TuxedoThe tuxedo's history dates from 1860, when Henry Poole & Co. (Savile Row's founders), created a short smoking jacket for the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VII of the United Kingdom) to wear to informal dinner parties. Persartorial legend, in spring of 1886, because the Prince fancied Cora Potter, heinvited her husband, James Potter, a rich New Yorker, to Sandringham house, his Norfolk hunting estate. When Potter asked the Prince's dinner dress recommendation, he sent Potter to Henry Poole & Co., in London. On returning to New York in 1886, Potter's dinner suit proved popular at the Tuxedo Park Club; the club men copied him, soon making it their informal dining

Buying a tuxedo is something that most average men get to do only once or twice in their lives. It can be exciting and intimidating. Visiting a tailor and requesting alterations is a throw back to yesterday with today's off-the-rack fashions.

Special Purchase Andrew Fezza Three Button TuxedoKeep in mind that online tuxedo sellers can slash retail prices because they don’t have to maintain fancy stores or pay hefty commissions to sales people. If you’re willing to trade a little homework for a chance to buy a tuxedo for about the same price as renting one, online tuxedo sales could be right for you.

Start with good measurements. Finding a tuxedo that fits you well doesn’t have to be a science project. Any high quality dry cleaning shop that offers alterations will gladly take a professional set of measurements for you. Many shops will provide this service as a courtesy for regular customers,
while others charge a small fee. Either way, a realistic set of measurements can help you rule out tuxedos that don’t flatter your frame or don’t come in your size.

Check out your favorite designers. Brand names are brand names, so grab a note pad and head to a mall or a boutique where you can look at fabrics and fashions in person. Your bride will love the chance to go shopping with her groom, so make it a date. If you live near a mall or an outlet village where you can check out a designer’s own factory store, you’ll more likely connect with non-commissioned sales people who won’t mind the fact that you’re planning on cutting out the middleman by shopping online.

Keep time on your side. If the tuxedo you want for your wedding is coming direct from the factory, make sure you’ve got at least ten to twelve weeks to spare before your wedding day. Your pants will be delivered
unfinished, which means that you’ll have to take them in for alterations at a nearby tailor (very likely the professional that helped take your measurementsearlier in the process).

You’ll also probably need minor alterations to the jacket and to the vest, if you selected one. If it takes six to eight weeks for delivery and another two weeks for the alterations, you should still plan on
picking up your suit at least two weeks before your wedding date. That way, your biggest hassle is out of the way and you can help your bride with last-minute emergencies.

For more history and ways to wear the tuxedo visit: The Black Tie Guide