Gentlemen, you probably have no idea the lengths a bride goes to on her wedding day for that “take our breath away” look! The dress, the shoes, the hair, the makeup, the tan, the spa visit, the pre-wedding workout regime she’s been at for weeks. Would it really hurt terribly to return the favor just a little? Most brides I have photographed wear a dress they spend between $1500-$3000 on but most grooms are wearing a $120 ill-fitting tux that hundreds of other men have worn.

With this, I propose some better options for you men, on your big day.

The Options

The Rental Tux (Under $200)

The rental tux is the standard. As a wedding photographer I have seen some bad rental tuxes though. I took a look at the options and decided to rent a tux from my experienced friends at Skeffington’s. I walked through the entire process the way a groom would. My goal was to get something classy that fit well for under $200.

 

The Custom Online Suit (Under $500)

There are a handful of new custom-order suit companies that are popping up online. I am impressed and intrigued by the idea and I wanted to try it out for myself, so that you would know what to expect. I used to work in web-design/development so I chose the site that I thought had the best pictures, best price, and was easy to navigate. After looking at dozens of options, www.indochino.com was the clear winner.

 

The Men’s Clothing Store (~$1000)

Most guys have never experienced a true men’s store. Having travelled quite a bit myself, I can with certainty say that Des Moines is home to one of the best in the nation, Mr. B. I chose an an entry level suit from Mr. B that would fit the price-point I was going for.
Disclaimer: I do have a professional relationship with Mr. B though this post is not sponsored or edited by Mr. B.

The Experience

The Rental Tux (Under $200)

Skeffington’s definitely has it figured out.

Matt did a great job walking me through the options. He eyed my size and put me in great jacket right off the bat.  Skeffington’s has their full warehouse in Des Moines, so I was able to try on the exact jacket that I used in the post just by Matt running to the back to grab it.

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The Rental Tux (Under $200)

PROS

  • Huge Inventory – Tons of styles, sizes, etc.
  • Correct issues that same day. With the warehouse in Des Moines, if you have a last minute issue, you are only 20 minute drive away from having a replacement in hand.
  • Price – Can’t beat it
  • Damage Waiver – If the party is good, it isn’t my problem.
  • Everything is included (tie, jacket, shirt, pants, shoes and more).

CONS

  • Have to return it.
  • Fit – Pants not as trim as I would like.
  • Fabric/Comfort – Made to withstand the worst, but not quite as comfortable.
  • Shoes aren’t very comfortable, standard issue that have been worn in by others.

 

The Custom Online Suit (Under $500)

I love shopping online.

I enjoyed looking through the Indochino website. The photos were fairly good, but not fully accurate. I thought the brown I ordered would be a little lighter than it it was upon arrival. The most complicated portion for me was the 18-step measuring process that I was to do at home. I measured myself with a buddy and I think we must have got a few of the measurements wrong because I don’t think the jacket fits as well as I would have liked.

On the plus side, there were some really cool customizations with the suit, for instance, my suit has my name embroidered on the inside. I was pleasantly surprised with the options I chose: peak lapels and functional button-holes. The suit came within 3 weeks, which was a reasonable turnaround.  Indochino also offers to cover up to $75 in tailoring if the fit is off.

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The Custom Online Suit (Under $500)

PROS

  • Price – Very reasonable for a custom made suit.
  • Custom – Loved the options: color, size, lapel, waist pocket, lining fabric, etc.
  • Pants fit great.
  • Fun – It’s always fun getting mail that isn’t a bill, especially when the box looks good. Bonus: the suit comes with a garment bag.

CONS

  • Fabric is not great. I could really geek out here and explain but for all practical purposes, the fabric feels good but not great.
  • Fit – This is my second jacket from Indochino and I tried to adjust the fit of this one to try to get it right, however apparently I haven’t figured it out.
  • Turnaround – 3 weeks is great for a custom built suit but some guys may not have 3 weeks to wait.

The Men’s Clothing Store (~$1000)

Have you ever been sold by an amazing salesman? It is just fun.

Tim Sitzman and the staff at Mr. B are great salesmen. They know their product and can make you look and feel incredible… for a price. The suit I got was an entry level suit at $1000 and you can easily walk out of Mr. B with a $2500 sport coat. When I started working in menswear, the pricing was shocking. Is a Canali jacket really worth 10x as much as the Indochina jacket? Well, I can with confidence say, YES. We won’t get in to why in this post but go try one on and tell me what you think! The components of buying a suit; the fit, construction, fabric, sales-people, tailoring, etc. these all contribute to the price point.

If you love your Toyota Camry then get to drive a Lexus ES 300 for a few weeks you may be ruined. The same thing happens when you wear a great wool sport-coat, you may never go back to the mall again.

Most suits come without a finished hem in the pants, so I bought a 40R off the rack and measured my pants for no-break. Additionally, we took the pant bottoms in an inch. We marked the jacket sleeves up a half inch as well. I came back 5 days later to pick up the suit. Mr. B includes tailoring with all of their suiting, so any changes are included in the price of the suit.

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The Men’s Clothing Store (~$1000)

PROS

  • Service – cannot be beat, you’re well taken care of from salesmen to experienced tailors
  • Fabric – The fabric is by far and away better feeling, it lays better, much softer to the touch
  • Fit – Jacket is amazing, much better feeling than both of the other jackets

CONS

  • Price – In comparison, this is considerably more expensive.
  • Fit – Pants are still a little baggier than I want, I will probably have them taken in again (for no additional charge.)

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Conclusion

No real surprises for me.

  1. I am not a model. It is painful to edit photos of myself.
  2. No matter what your budget allows, take time and get the fit right. Matt at Skeffington’s does a great job at providing high-end service and proper fitting at the rental price point. Unfortunately, not all rental shops have staff that is well trained.
  3. If you want to buy, buy it once. Buy something nice. You will pay more but you can get a great fitting suit that lasts years beyond your wedding day.
  4. Why not mix and match? Maybe send the groom over to Mr. B and have the groomsmen rent?

 

Mr. B, Indochino and Skeffington’s have many other options not considered here in this post. Skeffington’s also offers suits for purchase but in this post I only explored rentals.

Photography by my talented friend Austin Day

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Indochino
Mr. B