My senior prom will be here in the next few months (probably faster than I realize). I was wondering from gents with experience, what is the best way to acquire a tuxedo for prom? Should I rent one? Should I buy one? Also, my girlfriend's dress is a peach color, what does that mean for me? Do I wear classic black and white? Thank you in advance for any and all help, friends!
I would say rent, and black or white if you and your lady think it looks good. No crazy off colors though. There's almost always the one guy who shows up in a metallic powder blue tux with a matching top hat, leaning on a swagger stick like Mr. Peanut.
Hear hear! Go with black. Don't match a piece of clothing with your date.
Also, I may have forgot to mention that I already have a tux jacket (I often use it to pass off as a suit jacket and most people are none the wiser). Later on I'll post a picture of said jacket in here to see if it will do. Another thing that's probably worth mentioning is the fact that I will need the tux for prom next year as well (my girlfriend is currently a junior). Considering those factors, would it still be cheaper to rent?
Pictures of the jacket would help.
I don't think you should make the decision based on plans to go again with your GF next year--a year is a long time in a high school romance. Even if you are still together, you might not be able to attend because of work, school, or deployment (not sure what your plans are after graduation).
As far as cost, as you probably know, most places will not rent you only part of a formal rig, so the comparison is between the cost of a full rental and the price of buying the pieces you're still missing.
You would need:
1. Black bow tie.
2. Pants. Black wool, with trim covering the outside seams. Suspenders (ideal) or a black leather belt to hold them up)
3. Waist covering, either a black vest or cummerbund.
4. Shirt. Also, cufflinks and dress studs.
5. Shoes. If you have nice black calf leather shoes, polish them up and they'll do. Also, dress socks.
Now, all of these can be had cheaply, and at good quality too if you know where to look and don't mind buying secondhand. Old, nice shirt studs, for instance, often make their way onto eBay through estate sales. But assembling all of this in your size will take time, as well as money. Really, it comes down to how interested you are in having the full kit or not, and whether you think you'll have chances to wear it after the prom this year (and possible next).
Looks sharp! For a cost effective pair of matching satin piped pants check out this:
I've got a pair and they are actually quite decent considering they cost 100's less than other tux pants.
So, is there a difference between regular dress pants and tux pants?
I believe so. Tux pants are meant for tux's... they have a stripe down the side. Dress pants are slacks, as you well know. I may be wrong, but that's my understanding of it.
So, if I do buy, I will need:
1. Black bow tie.
2. Tux pants.
3. Tux shirt.
4. Black vest or cummerbund.
5. Probably a nicer pair of dress shoes than I already have.
If I bought, I can always use the bow tie and dress shoes on occasions when I'm not wearing a tuxedo. I've been looking for new shoes and a bow tie for a while anyway. I think I may justify the buy...
Sounds about right,
D.J. is correct in that proper tux pants have satin piping (a satin stripe) down the side of each leg. See the previous link, you can see the satin piping pretty clearly in a few of the pics.
I would recommend a vest rather than a cummerbund. The vest is more versatile in that you could use a black vest again to classy up a pair of jeans and a button down shirt.
For shoes, I like black dress boots, again because they transition to casual really well.
Here are a few ideas, keeping budget in mind:
A bit more expensive but I really think its a great way to inject edge into black tie without looking clownish:
Bowties: If you want to play around with colors/textures here is the place to do it
For a shirt, being younger I would recommend you stay away from turn down collars. A traditional, crisp button up white shirt is all you need here. If you can afford it, take the shirt to a men's tailor after you purchase one and have him slim the body and adjust the sleeves. I recommend French cuffs (requires cufflinks) but is is by no means a requirement:
Don't forget a pocket square, just a crisp piece of white linen in a square fold works best for me but you can get playful with the pocket square too:
The shirt will be the most expensive thing, if you already have a good white dress shirt I would just use it to save money.
Hope this gives you some ideas.