Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tuxedo or Suit?

When deciding on menswear for the wedding, it is important to keep in mind a few things:
  1. Formality - How formal is your wedding?  If you want to keep things traditional, then a tuxedo is the way to go.  If you are trying to keep it more casual, then perhaps a suit is the better option.
  2. Overall Look - What is the look you are trying to achieve?  How do you want the men to appear in photographs?
  3. Price of Renting versus Buying - Renting a tuxedo is not super expensive, but it's a significant cost.  Would you rather spend the extra money and own a suit that could be worn again in the future?
When considering all of those variables, and factoring in the fact that it is only Ryan and my father who need matching attire, we decided that suits were the best option for our wedding.  We looked at some pictures online and liked the appearance of a vest and suit pants, with the jacket taken off.  We also considered colors, and thought that brown would be our first choice, and gray our second choice.

Having made those decisions, we chose two stores to look at - the first was Macy's and the second was Men's Wearhouse.  I have to say, I didn't think that choosing the menswear would be equal to or more stressful than choosing my wedding dress, but it was - and it was a lot less fun.

In both stores, as soon as we crossed the threshold salesmen were attacking us from all sides.  Ryan really just wanted to look around a little bit and get his thoughts together before asking for help, but they wouldn't let this happen.  We didn't even see anything that we liked at Macy's, because they only had one vested suit and it was the totally wrong fit for both Ryan and my father, so we spent a very short time there.

Hoping that Men's Wearhouse would give us a different sales experience, we went over there with high spirits, but were greeted with the same thing.  When describing the look we wanted to the salesman, he was very discouraging and basically tried to tell us that "three-piece suits aren't really being made any more," even though I know that can't be true.  Even though they are not as popular, we all knew that they are still being made, and he should have just showed us what he had.  Instead, he showed us the "only two" vest separates that they had in the store, neither of which were what we were looking for.

At this point, we felt that the image we had in our minds wasn't going to work, and we needed some time to rethink what we wanted to do - alone... without a salesman breathing down our necks.  Unfortunately, this wasn't going to happen.  We explained to the salesman that we wanted a little time to just look around and think and that we would come get him when we were ready for help again, and he left us alone for a few minutes, but very shortly after a second salesman came over to see if we needed help.  We politely declined, but in the amount of time it took us to turn around the original salesman was back again!

My father suggested that he and Ryan just try on a few things, and maybe the act of trying on suits would spark an idea.  Once again my dad has proven that fathers really do know best!  Great advice, Dad!  We couldn't find a lot of brown suits that didn't look like potty colors, so we decided instead that a dark gray pinstripe would be nice.  While pulling jackets off the rack for Ryan to try on, lo and behold, the salesman found a few gray pinstripe three-piece suits with vests!  If he had just let us look at his stock of vested suits to begin with, the whole process would have been a lot easier!  It even turned out that the first vested suit Ryan tried on was perfect and exactly what we were looking for, and they had it in sizes to fit both men!


Thankfully, picking out the rest of the ensemble was much easier than finding the suit itself.  The salesman, Ryan, my colorblind father, and I pieced together a shirt and tie combination that is going to look amazing.  We decided against a clean white dress shirt, since Ryan intends on wearing only the vest without the jacket, and if he stands next to me in my ivory dress wearing a bleached white shirt, I am going to look like dirty teeth.  Instead, we chose an ecru color, which will make my dress seem brighter.  They have quite a lot of ties to choose from at Men's Wearhouse, and we were easily able to choose a tie that complimented both the suit and shirt, and also had sublte touches of green to compliment my shoes and our wedding colors.

Although we had to deal with some pushy and not-always-helpful salesman today, Ryan and I both like Men's Wearhouse a lot.  This is actually the third suit he has bought from that store, and they always have a really great selection of shirts and ties to fit his needs.  The prices are great as well - today he got a deal that allowed him to buy a second suit for $100, which worked out great since we needed two suits.  It didn't matter that one was for my dad and one was for Ryan, as long as they were paid for together.  Overall we are very happy with the purchase and I look forward to seeing two of the three men I love most in the whole world look amazing on our wedding day!  

(I'm sure my brother will look amazing, too!)

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