Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cooler alternatives to Mr. Tux?

Alison emailed me with this dilemma, and I'm reaching out to all of you for help:

Love your blog, esp the groom fashion - and I have a groom outfit dilemma! My fiancee (who definitely has his own style) is completely adverse to renting a tux, and butting heads with my mother, who is hyperventilating over not having everyone match in the pictures (to be fair, my parents are paying for most of the wedding, including the photographer). We were thinking grey suits and buying everyone's shirts, ties and cufflinks, but turns out not everyone has grey suits and no one (including us) is really in the financial state to buy new suits. We were wondering, are there cooler alternatives to Mr. Tux where the boy can satisfy his sartorial dreams, but my mother gets everyone matching?

My dress is ivory with champagne embroidery and a sweetheart neckline, the girls are wearing plum gowns with the same neckline, and we'd like the guys in relaxed, classic but modern lines. We live in NYC, though my family's in the Boston area and the wedding is in NH (though we're happy to transport across state lines to fix the issue). I would appreciate any ideas - thanks!

Alison, when you say you'd like the guys in "relaxed, classic but modern lines" you're describing three different things. This is classic. This is modern. And "relaxed" just makes me think of a suit that's not tailored properly.

My first thought is, "DON'T RENT. They will never fit properly, and why would you want to put the guys in the exact same suit?!" But okay. The bridesmaids are wearing matching dresses, and your mom wants the guys to match.*

But here's what I will insist on. Don't dress the groom exactly like the groomsmen. You're wearing a different dress than your bridesmaids, obv. So why can't the groom wear a different suit than the groomsmen? (See photo above.**) And please buy a suit for the groom so you can have it tailored properly. Forgive me if this sounds cornball, but it's his day too.

So... can anyone recommend cool spots to rent suits in the nyc area? What about vintage/used/consignment stores where Alison's groom might find a suit that fits their budget?

(Photo by John Rozier via Brooklyn Bride)

*I'm trying to wrap my mind around this. I know you don't all tell your moms to eff off the way I do. I think my poor mom has been afraid of me since I was about five.

**And please focus on the suits, not the hair.


  1. Yep, we wanted the exact same vibe in grey. They actually don't rent the trendy suits that are in style now, since they will not always be in style, which makes sense for the rental shops, but less so for style-conscious folks.

    So, what's a hip groom to do? We went to the K&G Fashion Superstore, a suit warehouse that has locations in NY too!

    We found six two-button, narrow lapel, flat front pants suits for $100 EACH. That is actually cheaper than renting [which are often $120-ish here in Atlanta].

    Their selection is all over the board, but you can find some serious gems! Good luck!

  2. Hi there. I totally understand. My boy loves his fashion and is on the lookout at vintage shops every weekend looking for the perfect suit and then evening combo. Yes my boy will be a two outfit groom!

    Not one to big up my blog. But please check out this page for some sexy inspiration!

    Anna x

  3. I am not even your mom and I am afraid of you...

  4. Or just do vests and slacks. That's pretty hot.

    I mean, attractive and completely mom-approved.

  5. My mum's scared of me too. Or so she says. It doesn't stop her chiming in with 'I'm not going to say anything because I know you hate being criticised, but...' every so often.

    And that is bad hair. Bad, bad hair.

  6. not super great quality, but both target and express have suits in the "tux rental" price range. (we found suits there that cost the exact same amount it was going to cost our guys to rent tuxes. shirt, tie and all.)

    and as far as esb's recommendation to let the groom stand out, i am in 100% agreement. you're not matching your bridesmaids.

    and also, i went to college with the guys in this photo. small world.

  7. eff. whatever you do don't rent. poor ben, being if smaller stature looked like a kid in the rented tux he had to wear to his brothers wedding. vests only, rental price target or express, or semi matching and well tailored vintage suits all seem like the next best option....

  8. I'm thinking that most men have a black suit, yes? Or at least black dress pants? Perhaps Alison and her fiance could provide the men-folk with matching ties/shirts as she suggested with black suits for the groomsmen and a lovely gray suit for the groom.

    My man just purchased a fantastic navy suit from Frank Stella Men's Clothier in Boston for $226 (with tax and alterations included!!) and Google tells me that there's one in NYC:
    (212) 877-5566
    440 Columbus Ave New York, NY 10024
    He also tried on suits from Filene's Basement, Marshalls, and Men's Wearhouse with prices ranging from $99 - $350. Most were fine, but Frank's suits were cut much slimmer (especially the jacket), making my man look like a sexy beast.

    Good luck!

  9. The suit expedition from which I was banned! happened today. Fortunately I received texts from both my Mr. and his best man throughout. Here's hoping ...

    But I will love you forever for "it's his day too" in italics. WORD, dammit.

  10. What about black suits. Most guys have black suits. We wanted the grey vibe too (summer wedding) but we know not everyone would have grey suits and if they didn't they wouldn't match. I don't mean matchy-matchy, which I hate, I mean grey's all over the map... winter grey, summer grey, etc. So! We put the groom in grey (AND WE TAILORED HIS SUIT. And I don't just mean took up the pants, I mean did the jacket so it fit him just right).

    We asked the guys to wear black suits, and are giving them complementary ties. We knew one groomsmen might not have a black suit, but we figured that would be the worlds most useful groomsman gift, if we had to buy it.

    PS My mother also fears my wrath ;) She says I've been saying 'no' to her since I first learned how to talk.

  11. My boys are wearing these:

    Something about the rolled sleeves & vest that is so sexy. We're going to mix & match similar toned ties so that they aren't all exactly the same... and they'll be rockin' chuck tailors... but I don't think your Mom would go for that...

    Good luck. Let us know how it turned out.

  12. I don't have an answer to the query but I wanna hear the suggestions too.

    PS: My mom is in absolutely no way afraid of me .. teach me ESB! Teach me how to instill fear in mamanator!

  13. Oh bridechka, my mother is the matriarch too! I fear her wrath. Teach me, teach me too!

  14. I find that a lot of couples put almost no thought in to the guy's attire but that's such a mistake! People expect a fabulous bride and fabulous decor, but they are really impressed when they find a fabulous groom!

  15. Bridechka, your mother is Russian. You have no hope.

  16. I agree completely with the vest and slack idea. My boys are doing tux vests and matching slacks, cuffed shirts and skinny black ties. We're dropping the jackets, esp since our wedding is outside. And, the boys still look the same. Total price: $37 (men's wearhouse)

  17. I'm all for jackets without ties (Mick Jagger). Or vests without ties (Bob Dylan). But I do not approve of ties without jackets, with or without the fucking vests. Not for the ceremony. The guys just end up looking lazy (or cheap).

  18. Ha - you guys are great! I love the idea of him wearing his own thing, he's been 100% involved in the planning so it is TOTALLY his day too, and I think he does want to stand out. I will def pass these tips along - thanks so much for the help! (ESB - I think I meant "classic", thanks for the clarification. :) )

    P.S. Mom says my first word was "no". But at some point, I admit, the frantic phone calls wear me down...

  19. I agree with east side bride- as usual :)

    same dilemma- chocolate brown seems to be soooo EFFING hard to find cheap that doesn't look cheap. My girls' dresses were $40 so why should the guys pay $150?!?!

    frustrated in SC

  20. I know I'm a little bit late here, but we had a similar problem. My husband didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a new suit but thought rented tuxes usually look sloppy, and he's tall and thin so they're not his style anyway.
    We got him a 3-piece suit from H&M, which cost $125 for the pants, shirt, vest, and coat. It was unique but he felt comfortable in it and we knew it was affordable since he could rewear all of the pieces. Good luck!