007 Your Life: A Gentleman's Guide to Tuxedos - Part 4 Where to Buy
Have you studied part 1, 2 and 3 of our tuxedo series? Are you ready to get out your cash and go buy your tux? Jon Rich is here to guide you! Here's his advice on where to get the tux to complete your dapper, formal style:
Okay, you’re finally ready to put your hard-earned cash to use with your tux purchase. I chose a handful of options with quality and high style at reasonable prices.
J. Crew, a.k.a. preppy boy heaven, has some nice, reasonably priced options, with jackets priced at $525, pants at $265, and shirts ranging from $98 to $168. The good thing about J. Crew is that their stuff fits well, and you probably won’t need much tailoring (although if you need the needle and thread, they have in-store tailoring support!). And, J. Crew has the notch lapel, shawl and peak options. The fabrics and construction are high quality (impressive for the price), and they have a nice variety of fabric types and color options. Also, they have knowledgeable and stylish salespeople and tailors who will help you pick out something that looks good on you. Generally, their styles of tuxedo are not the most formal – some jackets have two buttons, the buttons aren’t covered and you can’t buy a ventless model, but, I’m still a big fan. The excellent Ludlow Shop is located at 50 Hudson Street in TriBeCa. Book your appointment!
Bloomingdale’s (a.k.a. Bloomies) probably has the largest selection of good quality tuxes, at least in New York City. The staff is knowledgeable, but it’s such a big, high volume place, that you may not get the one-to-one attention you always need with this type of purchase. So, if possible, go with a friend to have an extra-set of eyes. Bloomie’s has a large selection of Ralph Lauren, Theory, British labels, and of course, Hugo Boss. I happen to own a Boss, so I’m a little biased, but their tuxes are great and most cost under $1000.
Rothman’s, a.k.a. the underdog. Rothman’s is a very small men’s clothing chain, with one store in Union Square and the other in Scarsdale, New York, the place of my upbringing. Rothman’s has an entire department dedicated to well-priced, high quality tuxes. In fact, they get major fashion labels to design custom tuxes just for them. I learned this tidbit from their head tailor, who also doubles as their buyer. He told me he has deals with companies like Ralph Lauren, Elie Tahari, Versace and John Varvatos, who make Rothman’s modernized and wallet-friendly versions of their expensive tuxes. The results are pretty impressive. Rothman’s has a large selection of formal and traditional styles, which are mostly priced under $1000. Rothman’s also has plenty of accessories to round out your James Bond impersonation.
Gilt: Oh, the woes of online tuxedo shopping. The uncertainty as to how the tux will look and fit. The deep seeded burning rage, masked by mild contempt, when your shipment arrives, and it just doesn’t work out. The shipping charges lost, the extra effort to repackage the item. Yes, it all sounds delightfully fun. But, if you can get passed all of that riffraff, mainly by knowing how to buy your size and learning your specific measurements, it’s well worth it. Gilt sells some pretty nice tuxes, and because it’s a sale site, you can find some pretty sick deals when Gilt has a tuxedo sale. But, they do run these sales pretty frequently with some very nice brands. Calvin Klein Collection, Varvatos, Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Brooklyn’s own, Martin Greenfield. Nearly all of Gilt’s tuxedos are under $1000, and I say, well worth it.
With wedding season creeping around the corner, hopefully, you now have a better handle on why you should absolutely buy and not rent a tux, how to pick one out and where to spend your cash.
Happy tuxedo shopping! Courage and style my friends...
Jon Rich is In the Midfield's Men's Lifestyle Editor. He is also a practicing attorney in NYC.