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Tux vs. Suit, Rent vs. Own: The Struggle Is Real

Tux vs. Suit, Rent vs. Own: The Struggle Is Real

Wise men have asked several particularly deep questions over the millennia:

"Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?"

"Why do we park in a driveway, and drive on a parkway?"

"Where's the beef?"

OK, that last one was a little old lady in a fast-food commercial, but you get the point. Wise questions are often the hardest to answer. Like this one: "Why does the bride purchase her wedding gown, which she intends to wear only once, while the groom rents his suit/tux, which he could wear many times over?"

We here at Manly Bands are here to help bring some sense to the debate, if not end it all together. Let's get started!

Discussion 1 - Tux vs. Suit, FIGHT!

Let's first set the stage by defining what a Tuxedo and a Suit actually are. Both start off with pants, a shirt, and a jacket; from there, things get little hazy.

For a suit, the jacket, lapel, and pants are usually made of the same material, with the buttons on the jacket consisting of plastic, or being covered with the same material as the rest of the ensemble. For a Tux, the jacket, lapel, and pants are typically striped with satin to some degree, including the buttons and pockets. As far as the shirt, Tuxedos are typically worn with a white shirt, with specific collar styles, and occasionally, some sort of ruffled design. Suits can be worn with any style and color of dress shirt.

It gets even crazier when it comes to accessories, as vests and cummerbunds are typically worn with a Tux, but can also be worn with a suit... and I'm just going to take a rest right here and let my head stop hurting.

No. We aren't going to get into the "Bow Tie vs. Long Tie" discussion here... That gets into the murkiest of the murky, and I won't do it... In this post at least.

Long story short, the differences are mostly subtle in form and function, with the Tux landing on the slightly more "fancy/formal" side of the spectrum, and the Suit landing on the more "versatile/casual" side. Both can be dressed up with whatever accessories you want (often coordinating with the colors of the wedding, as in the bridesmaids' dresses.) The main decision here is exactly what sort of style and image you are going for, as the Suit lends more of a casual-yet-sharp air to the event, while the Tux is seen more as the pinnacle of "evening event" formality.

While it is tempting to lean towards a Tux for your big day, both options give you flexibility to build your own style. For example, regardless of which route you take, dressing your Groomsmen in vests that match the Suit/Tux, while dressing the Groom in a vest that matches the ties/boutonnieres/pocket squares is an easy way to help the Groom stand out. So pick a style that works for you (and with your Spouse-To-Be's color pallet.)

Discussion 2 - Rent vs. Own, FIGHT!

So now that you have an idea which style you want to go with, we arrive at the meat of the debate: "Do I Rent, or Do I Buy?"

A few factors come into play here, but mostly it all boils down to these two points: Likelihood of Reuse and Budget.

Depending on just how many fancy accessories you are attaching to your wedding day attire, it should be rather easy to work your way through things. A light bluish green (or is it "Pool," or maybe "Spa"???) vest and tie are not likely to work their way into your normal wardrobe rotation, and what are the chances you will EVER pin on that boutonniere again? The more fancy the elements of your Tux (or even your Suit) are, the less likely they are to ever be of service to you again. Alongside that, the more elements you incorporate, and the flashier they are, the more costly they will be.

On the flip-side, a simple black or gray two-piece suit with a simple shirt can come in handy for all sorts of uses, such as job interviews, business meetings, and court appearances (let's hope all three of those aren't related.)

The point is, you know your budget and you know your life. If you see value in keeping all of these items for use down the road, and your budget allows, go ahead and purchase. While you might not attach the same sentimental value to your outfit that your bride has for her dress, keeping it around for the future can be a great investment. On the other hand, since you might not have that sentimental factor to worry about, renting an ultra-snazzy wardrobe for your wedding may be just what the doctor ordered. You can have all those fancy bells and whistles the shop has to offer, and only spend a fraction of the money it would take to buy them outright. Heck, you don't even have to worry about washing it all once the party is over (although, they may charge you a cleaning fee if you get any stains on it, so drink responsibly bro.)

The choice is yours, good sir. You have a nearly endless supply of options before you, so shop around, figure out what you like, and let a little common sense (and your wallet) guide your decision. As long as you feel good with it, it's the right call.