Suits Make You Look Important


Collin recently suggested that instead of renting tuxes, our groomsmen wear their favorite black suits. He thinks that rented tuxes never fit well and look crummy. He wants everyone to look sharp and be comfortable.

I worry that our groomsmen don’t actually all have black suits, and I don’t want to make them buy something as pricey as a nice suit. And when you bring in the male members of the Bridal Hootenanny, who will help walk me down the aisle, I’m almost sure not everyone owns a black suit. And some of them live paycheck to paycheck, so asking them to buy a suit feels cruel and unusual.

[Sidebar: some of the women in the Bridal Hootenanny also have constrained finances, but I suspect nearly all of them will end up buying new dresses.  I think it is about a billionty times easier to find a perfectly lovely yet inexpensive formal dress than it is to find an inexpensive well-tailored suit. So I am considering this to be not so much a double standard, but rather two sets of circumstances.]

Also, I love tuxedos. Especially with bow ties and cummerbunds! I want to put “black tie welcome” on our invitations and hope that as many dudes as possible show up in tuxedos. If the men standing up at the ceremony are wearing suits, even if they are super nice ones that are expertly tailored and they all look like a million bucks, we have to set a different formality for the wedding.  I am not comfortable suggesting guests wear tuxedos and then putting on a ceremony without any.

Let’s break it down:

Tuxedo pluses:

  • Formal.
  • I love them.
  • Matching.
  • When rented, affordable.
  • Easy to obtain.

Tuxedo minuses:

  • Too expensive and impractical to expect people to buy them.
  • When rented, imprecisely tailored.
  • I would have to convince Collin.

Suit pluses:

  • Collin wants this.
  • Some of the guys will have to spend no new money.
  • Will be better tailored.
  • Will be worn again.
  • Comfort.

Suit minuses:

  • Not everyone has a nice one that fits.
  • Which will yield, for some, considerable expense.
  • Not matching.
  • Less formality than I envisioned for the wedding.

[Sidebar 2, Re: Matching:  For the ladies, the current plan is I'll pick out matching bridesmaid dresses for our sisters in the Bridal Party.  They all have the same body type, they all have money to spend on a dress and alterations.  I've never entirely gotten over the traditional images of bridesmaids in matching dresses, no matter how out of style it is at the current moment.   As for the Bridal Hootenanny, I'm going to select a color pallet, provide some style guidelines, and let them find a dress that fits their body/personal preferences/budget.  This will probably be extremely delicate and complicated and be the subject of many posts to come!   Anyway, having unmatching dresses in the extended group of honor attendants, in my opinion, doesn't reduce the general formality of the event.  In contrast, men in unmatching suits to me, knocks down the formality a good bit.  This is probably just a double standard.]

My conclusion is either I need to convince Collin that tuxedos are the superior option, or I need to warm up to suits.  Thus, I hereby solicit your persuasive photos of men in penguin suits, or your best Convincing John routine about how I should get over myself regarding formality and matchingness and embrace suits.


  1. I’ll be psyched if Ryan shows up wearing something other than a Green Lantern shirt and shorts.

    Good luck in your quests for tuxes!

  2. just keep telling Collin they will look more like cutie little penguins in tuxedos. (You may have to compromise the tie part and that may be worth it!)

  3. @Lisa- Green Lantern! SCORE!

    I’m not a suit expert, but what about something in the middle? Like a three-piece suit? Then you have the price question again. I think affordability to rent and easy to obtain are two HUGE selling points for the tux.

  4. Personally, I prefer suits to tuxedos. Tuxes never fit right, and you don’t want your guy (or the other guys) to look like they’re 6 playing in their dads’ suits.

    Oh, if you switch it up slightly to black slacks and a sport jacket, this is less $$ than a suit. You can specify style of slacks and then find a reasonably affordable sport coat that they can all wear if you want them to match. Men’s Warehouse is really good for affordable and will carry lots of the same/similar jackets. Macy’s Men’s Store is also really good for this. I would avoid Nordstrom’s and the other high-end department stores.

  5. I say tuxes. Three times fast: tuxes.

    I’m not sure if it’s actually a compromise (as I’m not really sure of Collin’s arguments for suits) but I agree with Angie about vests. I like tuxes with vests, however, because I’m a nerd like that.

    I guess I don’t really understand the “tuxes never fit right” argument. Either A) I don’t know what we’re talking about or what to even look for; or B) I just have even more apprehension about suits, as a person who has gained 617 lbs since the last time he had his suit on 6 months ago.

    I love tuxes!

  6. Bah. This is a hard one. I think with the venue you have, you could definitely pull off tuxes. And I agree that getting super spiffy can be fun, too. But since a lot of the debate boils down to weighing the differences in cost, would it be remotely feasible to email the suit/tux pro and con list to all the guys who will be wearing them, and have them take a vote for which they prefer? It is their money, comfort, and fittedness that’s at stake, here. The downside is that they may pick the option you don’t want.

    Also: every now and then, Men’s Wearhouse has a deal on 4-5 suits for the wedding party. This may be a good option to get the guys who don’t have suits outfitted all at once — if suits are the chosen option, of course.

  7. My fiance and I had this debate, too. We opted for the dudes to wear black suits. You can find good deals at Banana Republic, Express, JCPenney, even Target. These two suits from JCP look pretty sharp:

    Good luck!

  8. We went with suits 100%. Tuxes only look good on tall broad shouldered dudes who aren’t too too skinny.

    The nice thing about a suit is that everyone can find one that looks nice on them, and frankly you don’t even need to have them tailored most of the time. Target suits won’t look gorgeous 10 years from now, but they can get matching jacket and pants for well under the cost of a rental tux and have something that won’t have to be returned the next day.

  9. Renting a tux is roughly half the price of buying a suit and you don’t get to keep it.

    If you don’t own a black suit, this is your chance/excuse to buy one.

  10. And now I am reading your blog instead of torts. Gah! We went w/ tuxes but I made Mark buy one b/c I wanted him to look good….and the others will rent. A tux can cost as little as a suit, so it might be an option to buy. Also some rental styles look better than others, so you should have some of the guys try them on and see if C changes his mind.

    • PLUS then he’ll have a tux I can try to convince him to wear as often as possible. [Then again, Collin has a beige Nehru suit I constantly try to make him wear, but I have yet to successfully convince him.]

  11. I have seen a lot of men in tuxes, both rented and purchased, and on all sorts of shapes and heights, and have yet to see one single dude look bad in a tux.

    Also, renting decent tux is roughly half the price of renting a crappy suit. Those modifiers change the equation significantly. If I have learned anything from years of hearing people and pop culture bitch about buying bridesmaid dresses, it is that people resent having to purchase something that they won’t look that awesome in and don’t want to wear again.

    If you rent tuxes, they’ll probably be the same tux from the same dye lot. I mean, you want the blacks to match, don’t you? ;) ( I am kidding, please don’t obsess about this)

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