Black Tie Stressed

Dear Hal-
I am 80 years old and have been together with a woman for the past year and a half. Her grandson is getting married in the fall and it is a black tie event. She wants me to purchase a new, expensive tuxedo for the event. At my age, this seems a waste of money. She does not feel that a rented tuxedo is of sufficient quality for what she envisions as the last really large event in her life. This is causing us a great deal of stress. What do you suggest?

Black Tie Stressed

 

Dear Stressed-
I have owned many tuxedos through the years and have discovered that the most important thing is how it fits. First off, are you an “easy” fit? By that I mean are you pretty much a standard size (i.e. 42 long)? If so, then rental may be a possibility. But if you are like many of us, with a unique physiology that accompanies our advanced years (i.e. larger waist, shorter statures, thicker necks, etc.) then you will likely be looking at purchase. In the high-end world, bespoke tuxedos are the ultimate in fit and material. But these cost $2000+. But department store tuxedos can suffice if you are willing to work closely with the tailor (I suggest tipping the tailor $50 when you are being fitted). ALSO, have the tailor alter the tuxedo shirt so it comfortably fits around your neck while not having sleeves that are too long nor blousing unnecessarily across your chest. When you figure in all the rental costs, I think you will likely be better served irrespective of how many times you wear it, with a moderate purchase with good tailoring. Either way, I would assure her that you will do what it takes to be sure you look good for her and yourself.
Hal

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.