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How to Rent a Tuxedo

Before you pick a tux to rent, check out these 10 important wedding tuxedo tips.

Photo: Rachel McGinn Photography

You may think that all tuxedos are the same -- that you can walk into the closest formalwear shop and pick up your wedding day duds. Sorry to say it, but it'll take a little bit more effort than that. The groom needs to show off his sense of style too, with the perfect tux. Here's how to find the right tuxedo for you.

Do:

Find a Reliable Shop

Like tuxedos, all tuxedo stores are not the same. Look for one with the best selection, best service, and best knowledge. Ask for recommendations from former grooms and groomsmen for a top-quality store that will show you countless tuxedo styles (you can call ahead and ask about their range of tuxedos). When you walk into a place, assess the overall vibe. How busy is the shop? Are there other grooms in the store? Do the salespeople seem to have a helpful and professional attitude?

Consider Geography

If your groomsmen live in different parts of the country, it's essential to rent from a shop with several outposts. With multiple locations you can inquire about picking up a tux in one city and dropping off at another, which is especially helpful for destination weddings. Plus, you may be able to get a discount (depending on the size of the wedding party) if you're all renting from the same store.

Know Your Dress Code

Make sure you rent a style that works with the formality of your affair. Sure it's a wedding, but different types of events call for different pieces of formalwear. (You wouldn't sport tails if your wedding took place at sunset in Hawaii.) Discuss your look ahead of time with your bride to help narrow down your style search.

Seek Out a Pro

Take advantage of the store's consultants. Besides knowing the various styles and merchandise that match your budget and wedding look, these professionals are experts in fit. They'll measure you properly and give you a fitting well before the wedding. And when it comes down to it, a properly fitted tux can make any groom look as good as James Bond (okay, almost any groom).

Audition the Outfit

Check the tuxedo's comfort level. You need to move without difficulty. Test it out by shaking your groove thing in the dressing room (make sure the door is locked). You'll be twisting and turning in this getup for eight or more hours, so you'll want to feel at ease. That said, it's not a sweat suit, so don't expect complete coziness.

Don't:

Go for Kitsch

Avoid shops that stock outdated merchandise. Choosing a powder blue tux might seem cool and quirky at the time, but you might not feel the same way 20 years later. That said don't get bullied into a look that's not you. If you have a certain style in mind, talk it over with your specialist and make sure you're comfortable with the end result.

Leave Out Dad

The dads should also be a part of this process. Their respective tuxedos don't need to perfectly match the groomsmen but they should certainly fit the formality of the event. Also, think about other wedding VIPs beyond your groomsmen that may need tuxedos too: ushers, ring bearers (over the age of six), and grandparents.

Procrastinate

Ideally, you need to place your tuxedo order at least three months before the wedding. For ease, organize a group outing around this time at your preferred tuxedo shop. Tell those who can't make it to provide you with their exact measurements (they need to hit up a local tuxedo shop or professional tailor for the specifics: inseam, sleeve length, and so on) so as to not hold up the ordering process.

Ignore the Fine Print

Find out about deposits, alteration fees, and return deadlines. Getting this info ahead of time and distributing it to the entire bridal party will make it easier for the men to keep track of their responsibilities. Because most rentals must be returned to the store the day after the event, make a plan with your best man to take it back for you.

Forget to Accessorize

You're the groom -- you should stand out from the crowd. You'll want some detail like a vest, tie, cummerbund, or cuff links that differentiates you from the groomsmen (your specialist should be able to help). Pick a store that has a wide selection of accessories to make it easier for all members of the party to get everything they need.

-- The Knot

See More: Groom Style