Dear ESB: So the fiance wants to wear a tux

Categories   Wedding Fashion

Poor grooms. They get totally left out of the wedding fun so often, don’t they? But East Side Bride doesn’t forget about them. She always has their best interests in mind.

Paul Newman in a tux

So the fiance wants to wear a tux… And I have nothing against tuxes per se… but I totally do.

We’re doing an outdoor ceremony and laid-back reception in September, not some stuffy, puffed-up reception at the Grand Prospect Hall. He’s telling all his groomsmen to wear black suits. And he wants to wear a tux. I thought this would be a perfect time for him to get a really nice, tailored suit from someplace that’s not the Men’s Wearhouse, but apparently, dude does not care about custom-made garments as much as I do.

So two things: (a) How do I convince him not to wear a tux by not just saying, dude, don’t wear a tux and (b) Do you happen to know an awesome/not too expensive tailor around the Brooklyn area where dude can get a suit made for a wedding that’s six months away?


If the man wants to wear a tux, LET HIM WEAR A TUX.

A really nice, well-tailored tux from someplace that’s not the Men’s Wearhouse.

Indochino makes relatively inexpensive custom tuxedos that you can order online. (Sounds scary, I know, but here’s one glowing review.)

Or go the vintage route. My sources recommend Star Struck Vintage on Greenwich Ave. Also try What Goes Around Comes Around, Ina Men + The Family Jewels.

Image via the impossible cool.

(Editor’s note: There’s nothing like a photo of young Paul Newman to make you want to see your man in a tux every day. Rrrrrr. )

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Social Love

Brian on May 17, 2011

Great advice from ESB. You can't hate on your groom's style.

Maddie on May 17, 2011

I just want to stare at this picture all day.

Laura *You Stir Me* on May 17, 2011

So I am just going to say I was totally guilty of this very same thing. And I wish I hadn't been. The huz wanted the guys to wear tuxes and I pushed him toward the suit look. Nowadays, tuxes come in all different can totally make them look less glam by pairing them with a tie or even no tie at all (does that look good? I don't know mens fashion!)....I wish I had let my man go with his gut on this one, he's a snappy dresser and I should have trusted him!

Jacob on May 17, 2011

My wedding is coming up in a few months and I am wearing a tux. My argument has always been that why would the groom wear a suit when the bride is wearing a wedding dress. The wedding dress is the most formal you get. A suit is not that formal and is therefore not on the same level. She should be wearing a nice dress to match, but she is not. The girl wears the wedding dress one day and then the guy wears his suit all the time.You see what I am saying. Wearing a suit is like saying this is just another day where I have to wear my suit. It should be special and you should wear something you don't normally wear. My two cents but still a valid argument.

molly on May 17, 2011

let him do it! my fiance fell in love with a custom, vintage Manuel tux (black with black rhinestones and black velvet leaves on the lapels and back). i had to completely re-think the type of dress i wanted and what the rest of the wedding party would be wearing, but it's so worth it for him to feel excited about what he's wearing and not just be a pawn in my fairytale. and as my bridesmaid said about everything being more formal, "this is your wedding, not a cook out."

emily on May 17, 2011

my DH wanted to wear a kilt. And at first, I was like WHAAAAAAAAAt? But he's so proud of his heritage, and we got his bestie (who is 6' 5") in one, and both our sons (4 and 10 at the time) wore kilts as well. I say, mash it up. Bring in bow ties with coordinating patterns and/or ties and cummerbunds... Use awesome alternative materials for the boutonnieres, and have FUN! It will be so great in the end, and no one will walk away thinking "Yeah, wow, those guys should NOT have been wearing tuxes..." It's all about the party!

Maggie on May 17, 2011

I agree - let the man have a say in his wedding day attire too. But steer clear of rental tuxes, because I'm betting that "baggy" and "ill-fitting" aren't in his vision of how that tux looks. And unless the bride is going with a casual cotton sundress, he won't be over-dressed (any more than ANY bridal gown).

Annie on May 17, 2011

I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time focusing on the post because of Paul Newman. ;) But seriously, I can understand the tux concern. It doesn't sound like it matches the venue exactly and I have memories of bad prom tuxes. That said, it sounds like the groom-to-be might just be excited about the idea of wearing a tux (how often does he really get to?) and he should feel as snazzy as the bride on their wedding day. I'd go through sites and give the groom-to-be several styles and options. He might just not know what goes into a tux and what you can do with that.

andrea on May 17, 2011

seriously! one thing i'm most excited about my wedding is finally seeing my guy in a tux! he's going to look super sexy and handsome...

HiLLjO on May 17, 2011

Now, I get where the bride is coming from HOWEVER... if she wanted to wear a big poofy ballgown at her outside casual ceremony, he wouldn't hem or haw one bit. This is his wedding day, too! Let the man wear his choice of what makes him feel like a groom. Is it worth telling him what to wear when he'd never dream of changing your mind?

Molly on May 17, 2011

Just let him wear a tux. The nice ones look like black suits anyway. If you shop for it, you can probably buy a tux for a decent price. (My dad got a basic, black tux on sale for $75, including the shirt.) That way, he can have it altered to fit him.

e on May 17, 2011

You do realize you can get a suit at like Club Monaco or JCrew or Zara and then get it tailored to look $$$$. do that. or a tux (I guess, but outdoorsy fun wedding - tux = blahhh)

Katie on May 17, 2011

Just going to throw this out there, in case anyone IS still looking for an awesome tailor in the Brooklyn area: Brooklyn Tailors. (Isn't that easy to remember?) A friend's boyfriend had a great suit made by them, and now my fiance is ordering one as well. They do made to measure or bespoke. We're on a tight deadline, and they're turning it around in two months, so the six month deadline is totally doable. The price is reasonable, and my fiance was so adorably excited after he got back from picking his fabric and getting his measurements taken. It makes way more sense for him to go all out (and this isn't extravagant) on a suit he'll wear for years than for me to blow our budget on a dress I'll wear once. Plus, I can't wait to see him look so dashing!

megan on May 17, 2011

thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU for letting the groom have a say. The day is about the couple, and I hate it when the Groom's opinions are discounted.

BL on May 17, 2011

No joke, I've been composing a "Dear ESB" e-mail with the same problem - and so I just got my answer! I planned a color scheme six months ago that my sweet FH approved, then recently told me he wants a suit in a color that will completely clash. I'm not about things being matching, but I am definitely not into colors clashing. Wedding is in two months, so this stressed me out a little. But ultimately, I think ESB is right - the groom should be able to pick out what he wears. If it makes you feel better, at least you don't have to change what your bridal party is wearing and your flowers (like this bride here).

JenW on May 17, 2011

Excellent advice as always, ESB. But could you also provide the name of a not-crazy-expensive-and-also-awesome tailor in the Brooklyn area for those of us with fiances who are going the kick-ass tailored suit route? I'll just be drooling over Paul til you get back to us on that one.

100layercake on May 17, 2011

Ladies and Gents this is another amazing and very affordable tailor in the Lower East Side...Rene Tailor Shop 164 Orchard Street (between Rivington St & Stanton St). Myself and hubby have had things done in just a few days. They also do custom suits. Worth checking out.!

Andrea on May 17, 2011

Thanks ESB! I'm the bride up there who's controlling my finance's attire. I have several paper dolls of dude, and I dress them a week in advance so he knows what to wear. Kidding. He's 100 percent involved in all the decision making, from picking out the menu to deciding what font we should use on the invites. ANYWAY, after I wrote this two months ago in one of those internal OHMYGOSHEVERYTHINGISGOINGTOBERUINEDBECAUSEOFTHISONESMALLDETAIL fit that I'm sure most brides have, dude decided ON HIS OWN WITH NO INPUT FROM ME to go the tailored suit route, mostly because he wanted to update and class up his current suit collection (prob because he recently acquired a custom shirt from 20peacocks and now loves the idea of having something tailored to him and wearable for any dressy situation) . So yes, thanks Katie for your Brooklyn Tailors link and 100 Layer Cake for the Orchard St shop). Echoing JenW If anyone else knows anymore Brooklyn/New York tailors, let me know and I'll pass them along to my henpecked duder.

Laura @ Let The Real World Begin on May 17, 2011

Or he could wear a tux for the ceremony and change into a nice, well-tailored suit from somewhere other than Men's Warehouse for the reception. Compromises are much more fun than either side giving in completely!

Day Trader on May 18, 2011

It is a fantastic blog !!!

Laura Whitney on May 18, 2011

Great advise and so funny that you post this now as my guy and I have spent the last two evenings shopping vintage stores for a great tux to wear to an event on Monday! I totally understand not liking tuxedos. The 70's thru mid-90's really dragged their name through the mud. Most people think of prom when they think tuxedo. Your advice is great and I love the idea of finding a stylish vintage tux from the 1960's!

aga on May 19, 2011

This photo is class, a good stylish well tailored tux can be so awesome!

Apple on May 20, 2011

While I appreciate everyone wanting the groom to be able to have his say (I've let my man make a great deal of the wedding choices myself) I do think we need to be practical about this. A bride has to give up her super-fancy dress for a plainer venue, or the gorgeous white sundress she planned on wearing has to be nixed for the big fancy evening wedding, Why shouldn't a man have to do the same? It's about being flexible with your soon-to-be-spouse. Of course, if you plan to have an outdoorsy wedding and you're wearing a couture gown, you don't have a leg to stand on. If your outfit does not have to work with the venue, then neither should his. I had a somewhat similar problem with my groom deciding he and one of the groomsmen wanted to wear kilts. I told him no because I'm the one with scottish heritage, not him, and more than anything it appeared to be an impulse brought on by our comedy-improv background, basically something to make the wedding funny, which to me insulted the the solemness of the occasion. We are also combining several different social groups in our wedding, and a great chunk of them would not take this instance positively. So I told him that because my family was paying for the ceremony and his was paying for the after rehersal dinner, why didn't he just wear his kilt to the dinner instead? There he could have free reign. (Of course we are 3 weeks away now and he has completely forgotten he ever wanted kilts to begin with). Even if you are paying for all events together, you might want to have him consider possibly wearing his tux to the after rehearsal. You could have it be an extremely formal affair, one where tuxedos would be appropriate. Another option might be a vintage tuxedo. Not all tuxedos are created equal, and a different time period might be more fitting with your venue space.

Rob on May 20, 2011

What time is the wedding? If it is outside and in the afternoon a tux doesn't belong. You might want to have him look into proper morning dress. Generally, a tux shouldn't be worn until after 18:00. Also, I'd like to veto the black suits. Charcoal fine, but black suits just don't look good. Have all the guys go to a tailor and have suits made. This would also be a great introduction to custom tailoring for your FH. It will change his world.

Niurka on May 21, 2011

I was nervous when my groom insisted on wearing a tuxedo for our morning ceremony and brunch reception, but you know what? Rules are meant to be broken, and he looked amazing! See for yourself in our wedding pictures. My favorite shot is him playing pool, such a great look: J Crew and Theory both make very beautiful and modern slim tailored suits. The are goreous. My husband, wore a Theory.

CaseyB on May 22, 2011

I think the comment about Men's Wearhouse was in poor taste. Some of us visit this website for inspiration, because we are trying to throw a wedding that is beautiful while sticking to a budget. We can't all have wedding planners and stylists at our disposal. So thanks, you just made me feel like crap. Men's Wearhouse is reasonably priced, has good service, and locations all over the country. Besides, I got a discount because I bought my dress at David's Bridal. Whoops, you probably look down on them, too.

Jackie on May 22, 2011

this has helped a little, but i'm still freaking out.... we're getting married in the redwoods (chosen together, both totally on board). the bridesmaids are going to be wearing non-matching green dresses of their own choosing (partly his request) with brown boots. the entire wedding is very casual, rustic, earthy colors. i told him he could wear what he wanted and he told me last night he wants to wear a tux. what??!! i should have said you can wear anything you want, EXCEPT a tux! it doesn't fit with anything about the wedding. part of me just wants him to be happy and wear what he wants but the bridesmaids are going to look ridiculous next to the guys and many of them have already bought their dresses and boots. (wedding is in 2months). what do i do???

Nat on May 23, 2011

I'm with Niurka, who says you can't wear a tux to an outdoor wedding. My hubbie wears a suit to work all the time, why should he have to essentially wear work attire on his wedding day? Here's some links to my rustic formal wedding, please someone tell me this looked "but outdoorsy fun wedding – tux = blahhh"....

Sam Milldo on May 25, 2011

Very nice. Check this collection of custom Reversible Bow Ties at

c'est moi on Jul 5, 2011

Please please please tell me where I might be able to purchase that dreamy photo of Paul. It is spectacular!!

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