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Tag: classic tuxedo tips

Hi ladies + gents! It seems like almost as soon as I finish writing one “Emily Plans a Wedding” post, the next one is on my doorstep (even though they’re scheduled two weeks apart – yikes!). Time marches on, does it not?

Yesterday, I was SO excited to skip out on work early to drive out to Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem and try on my dress for my first fitting!! My Mom was able to come, even though she lives in Connecticut, and we had a great time together. I still love my dress (whew!), it fit well (double whew!), and the only alterations that are needed are a hem, a (13-point!) bustle, and cups (of course).

BUT we’re actually not talking about my wedding fashion today, we’re talking about John’s! John will be wearing a tux, a decision he made on his own but that I was perfectly amenable to. I think he looks handsome in anything, but I would concede that he looks particularly debonair in a tuxedo, as do most gents.

A Bryan Photo

As soon as we knew he would be wearing a tuxedo, we knew we would be buying, and not renting. There were a few reasons for this:

1. He has to wear a tuxedo for two weddings this summer, and likely more in the future, so it made sense for us financially.
2. A great fit was very important to us, and you can’t tailor a rental. Grooms in baggy tuxedo pants make me sad!
3. We had a specific style of tuxedo in mind, and we didn’t think we’d find it at a rental shop.

Ashley McCormick via Southern Weddings

As I mentioned, we had a specific tuxedo aesthetic we were going for, and it was largely based off of two things: the J.Crew tuxedo (which is very sharp, but very expensive), and this handy New York Times graphic which has been floating around Pinterest.

Our first choice was in the lapel style. There are three options: shawl, peak, and notch. Shawl is the most old-school, while notch is more understated and business-like. We went for peak.

Top two images are shawl collar tuxedos from Katharine’s wedding by A Bryan Photo. Below, on the left is a peak lapel (photo by A Bryan Photo), and on the right is a notch lapel tuxedo (photo by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings)

We were also looking for a two-button jacket and a shirt with a point collar.

For accessories, we vetoed both vests and cummerbunds in favor of suspenders for a more clean, modern, and fuss-free look. And all you Southern ladies will be pleased to know that John will be tying his own black bow tie! (Well, maybe with some help from Dad… or this handy SW graphic!)

Amanda Rae Photography via Style Me Pretty and A Bryan Photo

So we knew what we wanted, but not where to find it. Enter Marget’s fiance, who wears tuxedos frequently for work (fancy!) and is something of an expert. He recommended the Tommy Hilfiger tuxedos at Macy’s as a reasonably-priced option of good quality. On the day we cruised over to the Macy’s site to check things out, the tuxedo that caught our eye just so happened to be 66% off! With free shipping and free returns, we didn’t hesitate to snap one up in John’s size. For those that are curious, we bought this jacket and these pants, and this shirt. We’re still on the hunt for the perfect bow tie, suspenders, and shoes!

Jessica Lorren

So we have a tux – yahoo! Now all that’s left is to get it tailored, and to add a little personalization. Who says belles are the only ones who get to have fun with embroidery and monogramming? We haven’t decided yet exactly how we’ll add some pizazz, but embroidering the inside of the jacket is at the top of my list:

Lisa Poggi

What will your groom be wearing on his wedding day? If he’s wearing a tuxedo, which lapel style did you choose? Will you be renting or buying? Please comment + let me know!

In case you missed a post…
The main characters
Where we’re getting married
I go dress shopping
We choose a photographer
I ponder bridesmaid style
Mini food!
The music
We’re renting a tent!
We discuss bouquets + boutonnieres
We send out our save the dates
I gather hair and makeup inspiration
We talk cake and sweets
I introduce you to our videographer
We create a registry

P.S. If you like this post, check out these other ones, too!
What to wear to a black tie wedding as a guest
Our menswear favorites from 2011
An overview of wedding menswear options
How about tuxedos with navy dresses?

Adam Barnes and Jessica Lorren are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
13 Comments
  1. avatar Hannah reply

    I love that peaked lapel! We thought about going with tuxedos for my handsome groom but with a wedding date at the end of July and the East Tennessee humidity, We will probably be putting the whole wedding party (well at least the gentlemen) in seersucker! I’m super excited but have a few groomsmen that are not quite as excited as we are yet… We’re working on that :) I’m also having trouble knowing where to find a good quality seersucker that fits in a modest budget. Any ideas?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Hannah! Considering your location and date, seersucker sounds like the perfect choice for your wedding! I don’t have a great option for good, reasonably-priced seersucker, but I’m going to check with the other gals in the office and will get back to you if we come up with anything!

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Hannah: Joseph A Banks has good inexpensive Seersucker

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Thanks Emily for all your advice my fiance wants to have a custom tuxe made, but I am going to show him this one from Macy’s. I love it. We are also going to let our groomsmen wear what they have no need to make them spend extra if they already own one.

    • avatar AmandaR reply

      Hannah: If you are in or around Knoxville, try Coachman Clothiers, Brooks Brothers or John H. Daniel, and maybe American Clothing. My wedding is in Knoxville June 9th and the guys all ordered custom suits from http://www.studiosuits.com. They have TONS of fabrics, cuts, price ranges, and quick production time. I’ve seen the final product and it is pimp. That was the fiance’s way of letting his groomsmen and ushers invest in something nice, as opposed to renting an awkward tux that was only $50-100 less anyways.

  2. avatar Amanda reply

    So glad you for your dress at nitsa’s in Winston! I did too!!! But as soon as I saw your tweet about the tux at Macy’s I sent the link to my fiancé. He’s so tiny that renting is not an option! So I am in the same boat! I am curious as to what the groomsmen are doing though. My family is stuck on the idea that everyone has to match which is making everything so difficult! (everyone from my mom to his is complaining about this.) so we ordered a tux from topman and see how that fits. Not super nice material but no friends weddings in the future either.. Love to hear your thoughts on your men! And congrats on all the wedding success so far!!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Yay Nitsa’s! For the groomsmen, we gave them the option of either renting or buying, or wearing a tux they already have. We’re not so concerned about everyone matching exactly, but I can sympathize with you! I pointed the ones who were interested in renting towards the new Vera Wang line at Men’s Wearhouse, because they look like they have a more modern/slim fit!

  3. avatar Theresa reply

    Congrats Emily on your first dress fitting going so smoothly! I have mine this Sunday! We opted for light gray suits in a lightweight fabric due to an outside wedding on Hilton Head Island in July.

  4. avatar Bri @ Posh Purpose reply

    I know how wonderful it feels to have the groom squared away (mostly!). My beau can’t rent or even buy off the rack because he has an athletic build, think 6’4″ man with a 6’10” wing span – wonderful for swimming, but terrible for clothing him! Fortunately, we caught the 20% off made to measure event at Brooks Brothers and had a charcoal grey herringbone suit made. He particularly loves the special suit lining in MIT colors, our alma mater. It just arrived yesterday and I am so excited to see it this weekend!

    I decided that it would be silly to buy a tux for him since he will probably never need one again, and I also prefer men in grey ;) That being said, I am still debating between suits or tuxedos for the groomsmen. The local shop in town has a grey suit for rent, but I do love that Vera Wang line. Either way I am not concerned about the groomsmen matching the groom perfectly. I figure since it is expected for me to look different from the bridesmaids, then it should be fine for the groom to not match the wedding party.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Bri! Very interesting! Your groom’s suit sounds wonderful – love the custom lining! I’ve never really seen a groom in a suit while the groomsmen are in tuxes, and while I’m totally fine with the groomsmen dressing differently than the groom, I don’t know how I feel about them being more formal than him. Maybe let them wear their own gray suits, if you’re not concerned about them all matching perfectly? I’ve seen that done before, and it looks great!

  5. avatar jessica lorren reply

    Great idea for a post Emily! Love it. Thrilled to have Kyle’s groom style featured!

  6. avatar Black, White & Gold Wedding Color Inspiration – Crafty Pie Press reply

    […] Lily of the Valley Boutonniere via Southern Weddings. […]

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