Fashion Advice: Rent a Tux or Buy a Suit?

Wedding season is upon us and somewhere along the line you need to ask yourselves, “What are the guys going to wear?” Usually when you ask the groomsmen to be in your wedding it’s assumed they will be renting tuxedos, usually at their own expense. While rental offers range from $50 to $150, I have personally found most rentals end up averaging $125 & can be as much as $200. Each tux is a different price and most brides and grooms gravitate to the nicer fabrics and more expensive packages because they feel and look better, but they also cost more. Some stores charge extra for shoes and accessories such as vests. The entry level deal is rarely the out the door price.

Another option is to buy a tux. The problem is most people won’t have enough occasions over the next 5 to 10 years to justify the cost. After all, you may want to wear a 3 button coat to your wedding, while the next wedding you are in is a 2 button. Then you’re back to square one. The point at which it makes sense financially to own a tux is if you will wear it 3 to 4 times a year. Less than that and you are buying one because you want to wear YOUR tux and not one a hundred other guys have worn.

When the Bride and Groom decide they want their wedding somewhat formal but different from the norm, the third option comes into play. That is when the Groom and Groomsmen wear a matching suit. The fathers usually enjoy being a part of this as well. The great thing about it is the Groom gets to come out of the ceremony not just with a beautiful new wife, but also with a very nice and useful suit he can wear for years to come.

However, this isn’t for every wedding ceremony, and if it’s not in the budget, don’t even consider it. Here’s when it might be right to do so:

– The Groom & Groomsmen will get plenty of use out of a nice suit later
– You would feel a little awkward wearing a tux that you don’t where it’s been
– The Bride or Groom’s family can subsidize the purchase OR
– The Groomsmen have the ability to buy their own suit

– The Groomsmen are already out $100-200 for a rental tux anyway so why not put that money towards a purchase
– You would like your special day to not be a cookie cutter wedding
– Your wedding is out of town, making a rental last too long & cost too much
– You would like to have a lasting memento of your special day

When it comes to this option the Bride and Groom need to talk about styling, colors, pricing, etc. What is it that they would like their clothing to do for their wedding theme? Do any of the groomsmen have any fit issues which would make buying off the rack clothing difficult, making a rental or custom clothing their only options?

When asking the Groomsmen about the option of buying, make sure you state it as something you are only considering if you think money might be an issue. They may surprise you and say they were hoping you would consider this option.

While the suits/tuxedos are usually made for each man individually out of the same cloth, some Grooms like to wear something a little different to stand out in the wedding party. Perhaps he’s in Black and the Groomsmen are in charcoal grey. Or, for a summer wedding outdoors during the day, he’s in tan and they wear brown. Different colored ties and pocket squares to match the bridesmaids can also make a splash.

Just remember, this is your BIG day; make it everything you want it to be. Thank you for reading and if you are considering this option, feel free to ask me more questions via email.


Jeff Collins

Professional Haberdasher

Jeff Collins answers your fashion questions regularly in THE FATHER LIFE. Got a question for Jeff? Send it in to

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