I own 5 formal suits. Probubly more than the average guy, but I love dressing up. I own…
a 1940’s black dinner jacket and pants (what you would recognize as a tuxedo)
a white formal jacket (for those tropical casino outings!)
a black tail-coat for those white-tie affairs
a swallowtail coat for morning tea or a day at Ascot
a victorean frock coat, for balls and when dining with Sherlock Holmes.
oh,wait…SIX “tuxedoes” if by tuxedo we mean formal wear then you can count my scottish formal kilt ansemble.
So, I have some knowledge of this subject and a great love for formal men’s clothing.
The average american man will rent a tux on his wedding day, and the day of his children’s wedding. Fie on that! Who wants to be average? You can get by nicely with a classic Black Dinner Jacket for most cocktail parties, or New Year’s eve parties. PLEASE do not EVER wear a RED clip-on tie and matching cummerbund. They are the universal symbol of clueless-ness.
Avoid the cheap satin lapels and single ribbon trimmed pants. The slightly higher cost of ‘grograin’ or ‘file’ material for lapels and pants-trim will be offset by the timeless appeal.
Be careful of tuxedo rental shop sales. They usually unload the cheap stuff that is dated or fit only for lounge bands.
A tailor will give the best results, but do not be afraid to haunt the resale or second-hand stores. I’ve gotten some very high quality goods that way.
Look for classic styling and timeless lines. That way your tuxedo will not look odd or geeky.
100% cotton shirts and for the love of humanity, learn to tie a bow tie! it’s not hard and it gives your wife something to untie after a couple of martinis.
cuff-links and studs. Unique. Men’s jewellry should strive to be all the same metal, all gold or all silver, if possible. The less the better.
I have to get back to work but I’ll search for some more info later on. Good Question!