Manly Monday: Penguin Suits
The truth of the matter is weddings generally take men and place them outside their comfort zone. For some men it is farther outside their comfort zone than others however, the thought of being the center of attention can paralyze some men.
Women also need to understand that most men only where a tuxedo about four times in their lives. The first and second often being their prom in high school, the third being their own wedding, and the fourth (fifth, etc.) being to their children’s wedding.
Gentlemen, there are several rumors and misconceptions we need to nip in the bud about tuxedos. In other words I am about to “de-bunk” many of the popular excuses you might use in reference to not wearing a tuxedo.
1) The shoes hurt
There is some truth in this, however it is not an excuse for not wearing a tuxedo. If you have some condition with your feet (i.e. high archers, wide feet, some kind of physical condition) there are steps, which can be taken to reduce the discomfort. The first of these steps is informing the tuxedo rental location. Almost all tuxedo rental shops have a wide range of shoes and are willing to fulfill your needs. If they are not, there are many tuxedo places out there.
There is also “Plan B”. Once all the official portraits done, you could easily change into a pair of dress shoes that are more comfortable. They might not be shiny, however if they are black and in good condition they will work fine. But until that point, suck it up.
2) They are expensive to rent for one day.
Granted it can cost up words of $150 to rent a tuxedo and shoes, it pales in comparison to the price of the wedding and the bride’s dress (NOTE: This argument is on the basis the groom does not get his tuxedo for free if the wedding party get’s their tuxedos from the same location).
Let’s put this into mathematical proportioning. In 2102 the average cost of a wedding gown was $1,124. This includes the shoes, vale, and alterations. If you take the average cost of a tuxedo ($150 for argument sake) and divide it by the cost of the gown, you discover the cost of the tuxedo is only 13% percent of the cost of the dress. That means you can roughly by 7.5 tuxedos for the cost of one average wedding dress. If you abstract this even farther, it is fair to say the average groom in a life time won’t spend on tuxedos what the average bride spends on one wedding dress. You can’t argue with the numbers.
3) They don’t fit me right
First introduced in the Victorian era the tuxedo has evolved into its modern variation. This means the tuxedo which you choose to wear is the “shark” of the tuxedo world. It is the perfect evolution of men’s clothing. The truth of the matter is, most tuxedos worn at wedding are actual “semi-formal” tuxedos (the classic waist coat length tuxedo) with the true “formal” tuxedo being a coat with tails. In modern times, the coat for tails is mainly reserved for “white tie” events (an entry for another day) however, the mourning coat (which has tails) can be considered both “semi-formal” and “formal”.
Another interesting fact, it is actually against “formal” (and “semi-formal”) fashion to wear a black coat in the summer. It is traditional to wear a white coat with black trim. The white coat tradition fell out of fashion in modern times for brides wanted to be the only ones wearing white (NOTE: This does not include an entirely white tuxedo which falls outsides the bound of traditional European and American tuxedo fashion). Anyway, I digress.
With all that being said, the tuxedo has evolved over roughly 600 years to its current state. They are specifically designed to put men in their best light and shape. I caveat my argument with this statement that the tuxedo needs to be tailored and cut correctly. Like any piece of the clothing, if it not tailored correctly it will not fit correctly. I believe most men feel that they do not look good in a tuxedo. It’s because most of the tuxedo they have rented were not properly tailored. I make the recommendation to all my clients they have their tuxedos tailored about two weeks before the wedding. They should then try the suit on several days before the wedding and see if they like how it is tailored. If not, go back to the store and have them fix anything you don’t like.
4) They are hot
This is true they are. I really can’t argue with fact, however how you handle the heat is more important and the obvious fact they are hot. You are wearing the tuxedo for one day. Actually you are probably wearing it for about 12 hours. For those twelve hours, less than 1% of your entire life, you can suffer through wearing the entire tuxedo and sweating.
With that being said, I must admit I am a little old fashioned however I have several rules about what is appropriate to remove from the tuxedo during the wedding. Once the reception is reached and dinner has been eaten, I feel it is acceptable to remove your jacket, and if you are still warm, roll up the sleeves the shirt. This means the following items must remain on you and your groomsmen at all times: the tie, the shirt, the cumber bun or tuxedo, shoes, and pants. Call me old fashioned however, I feel people don’t like looking back at their wedding photos seeing the groom in his tuxedo pants and tank top.
Basically I am saying, gentlemen, suck it up and wear the tux, but at the same time do everything necessary to make sure the tux, is comfortable and fits correctly. At the same time, women, understand that more time than not, wearing a tuxedo is farther outside his comfort zone than wearing a dress is outside yours. The most important thing to remember is through understanding, and picking your battles, you will be able to have an amazing wedding and a smooth journey to its day.