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Jul, 27 2023

How Much Is A Tuxedo? Understanding Tuxedo Costs

A man wearing a black suit with a white rose attached to the lapel

Tuxedos cost money. How much depends on many factors, with tuxes at the luxury end of the scale potentially setting you back thousands of dollars. Thankfully, you rarely have to spend that much. Despite their classic appeal and reputation as formalwear for high-class events, tuxes can fall into the same price range as regular mid-range suits.

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Still, you want a cost breakdown, and you also want to know if there are ongoing costs that make your tux a worthwhile investment over time.

Understanding Tuxedo Costs

A zoomed in image of a man wearing a black suit with a white rose attached to the lapel

On the surface, pricing up a tuxedo seems simple. You’re getting a jacket, shirt, and trousers, probably with a bow tie, and the style doesn’t change too much. But first impressions can be deceiving. Plenty of factors influence the price you end up paying, with even a specific tuxedo brand name being enough to add hundreds of dollars to the cost.

There’s also aftercare. That can mount up if you intend on buying a tuxedo that you’ll wear for several years. Finally, there’s the option of tuxedo renting, which eschews ownership in favor of getting a tux at a lower price for a short period.

So, prices can vary dramatically. You’re about to discover what influences those variances, and get some tips on keeping your tux spending low.

Quick Answer: How Much Does a Tuxedo Cost?

Man wearing a black peak lapel tuxedo

The cost of a tuxedo can greatly vary depending on several key factors such as the type of fabric used, the designer label, and the style and detailing. If you're looking for an average, off-the-rack tuxedo, you can expect to pay somewhere in the $500 range. Opt for synthetic materials and this could be as low as $150, but premium materials can raise the cost up to the $800-$1,000 range. Designer tuxedos will add a 'designer tax,' bumping up the price by $500-$1,000. Custom-made tuxedos that require substantial tailoring can reach up to $5,000.

Alternatively, tuxedo rentals are a more affordable option, typically ranging from $100-$250 depending on the designer and style. This makes them ideal for one-off events. For maintaining a tuxedo, dry cleaning costs can vary from $10-$30.

Keep in mind, these are just estimates, and actual prices may vary depending on the specific store, brand, and your personal style preferences. The key is to find a balance between style, comfort, and budget to make a worthwhile investment.

The Factors Affecting Tuxedo Pricing

A person cutting out the fabric for a tuxedo

Tuxedos may have a specific look, but the work that goes into that look has a huge influence on the price you pay. These three factors could increase (or decrease) the price you pay.

1. Type of Fabric

Man wearing a light gray notch lapel tuxedo with his hand in his pocket

The fabric factor starts with a choice between synthetic or natural materials, then evolves into cost variances between the various types of natural materials you could choose.

Starting with synthetics, these materials cost less to produce and, in many cases, deliver lower-quality tuxedos. The upshot is that you’ll pay less for synthetic materials (polyester and rayon are the most common) than you will for natural materials. A lot of the tuxedos you see that advertise a “wool-like” material are synthetic and may cost $100 or so less than a natural equivalent.

Assuming synthetic materials are a no-go, natural materials can vary from traditional wool to velvet options that look more like smoking jackets than classic tuxes. Natural materials cost more than synthetics, as a general rule, because they cost more to obtain and fashion into clothing. But prices can vary massively, even within the natural material domain.

For instance, a 130s wool tuxedo with a silk inner lining costs more than the same tuxedo with a synthetic lining. Velvet costs even more because it involves the use of a special double cloth loom, adding to the labor. And again, the type of velvet influences the price, with pure silk velvet costing more than velvet that combines silk with rayon.

Simply put – look at the materials used to make your tuxedo.

2. Designer Label

Going designer comes at a cost.

If you need examples, Ralph Lauren charges almost $1,400 for its standard Polo Wool tuxedo, and Gucci slaps a near-$3,700 price tag on its tapered wool mohair tuxedo.

Of course, there’s an element of paying for the name as much as the tuxedo here. Established designers come with prestige, and you’re wearing them both for the luxury that prestige carries and (possibly) the chance to boast about your designer of choice.

But there’s also a quality component.

Designer tuxedos tend to use premium materials and may have design flourishes that you don’t see in standard tuxes. That means extra work and more costs carried over to the consumer compared to a no-frills tux.

3. Style and Detailing

Man wearing a midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo with a yellow flower boutonnière

Intricacy is an investment.

At least, that’s the case with tuxedo design, as intricate designs, additional detailing, and modern cuts require more work. More work means more money spent by the designer. And, of course, that cost gets passed on to the consumer.

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It’s for this reason that classic tuxedos, with no extra frills or trimmings, tend to cost less than modern tuxedos that bring unique design elements to the equation. Even something as simple as a floral pattern on the jacket’s inner lining creates more work, adding to the amount you pay.

Breaking Down Average Tuxedo Costs

Man buttoning his black notch lapel tuxedo jacket

Now that you understand the factors that influence a tuxedo’s cost, let’s break things down further. What is the average cost of a tuxedo, and how much extra will you spend if you go down the customization route?

Average Costs of a Tuxedo

A good rule of thumb is to assume that an average, off-the-rack, tuxedo costs somewhere in the $500 range. That price can vary based on materials. Opt for synthetic, and you may pay as little as $150, saving some money at the cost of comfort and style. Premium materials can bump the cost up to the $800-$1,000 range, with the type of wool used being a huge factor.

Then, there are designer tuxedos.

Even when all other things are equal in terms of the materials used to make the tux, you can expect to pay a “designer tax” of between $500-$1,000 for the name alone.

Custom Tuxedo Costs

Bespoke always bumps up the price, and the amount can be significant if you need a lot of work done on your tux.

Starting with tweaks by a tailor, Money Crasher highlights how much you’re likely to spend. Simple hemming of trouser legs or shortening of jacket arms can set you back between $10-$60, depending on the tailor. A waistband adjustment costs up to $45, with lining replacements starting at $50 and going up substantially if you want a fancy lining. You can easily add a few hundred dollars to your costs with tailoring, bumping a $500 tuxedo closer to the $800 range.

Then, there are the costs of the full works – getting a tuxedo made from scratch.

Depending on your tailor, material choices, and any design flourishes you add, a custom-made tuxedo can cost up to $5,000. Remember, you’re paying for the workmanship as well as the materials, hence the higher cost.

Tuxedo Rental Costs

A button down shirt, bowtie, shoes, and tuxedo jacket on a Generation Tux shipping box

You may not want to invest in owning a tuxedo, especially if you only need it for a one-time event. Renting solves that problem. Plus, it keeps your costs low and guarantees you’ll get a solid tuxedo.

Average Costs of Tuxedo Rentals

Tuxedo rental usually costs between $100-$250, with variations again depending on the tuxedo style and designer. But even when you’re paying at the high end of the rental scale for a designer tux, you’re still getting the outfit for far less than the thousands of dollars you’d spend on owning it.

Generation Tux is a great example of tuxedo rentals, with all of its styles of tuxedos costing $149. Even as an online rental company, it offers a fit guarantee so you look sharp in your tux. It also delivers tuxedos 14 days before your event so there’s no last-minute rushing around.

Prom Tuxedo Rentals

Prom tuxedo rental doesn’t differ too much from regular rentals, though you’ll find that many stores offer special deals for prom-goers. Prices can still climb to the $200 region (again – designer tuxes cost more), but it’s also possible to get a full tuxedo for as little as $60. Smaller sizes and the knowledge that they’re going to rent en-masse make these cheaper tuxes worthwhile for the renting company.

The Cost of Keeping a Tuxedo Clean

Like any clothing item, tuxedos need regular cleaning, especially if they are used for multiple events. Dry cleaning costs generally range from $10-$30, although the price can increase if you add shirts and trousers or choose a specialist cleaner.

Tips to Save Money on Tuxedo Dry Cleaning

Man holding a garment bag with a black tuxedo inside

To keep dry cleaning costs manageable, try these tips:

  1. Small stains can often be removed with a bit of baking soda and water, eliminating the need for a full dry clean.
  2. Check for bulk deals or specific day discounts at dry cleaning outlets.
  3. Ask about loyalty discounts, but this is only worthwhile if you frequent the dry cleaners often.

Wedding Tuxedo Costs: Buying vs Renting

A black tuxedo, suspenders, and dress shoes in a shipping box

For many grooms and groomsmen, the decision to buy or rent a tuxedo for a wedding often comes down to budget and how often they plan on wearing a tuxedo in the future. Here's what to expect in terms of cost for both options:

Buying a Wedding Tuxedo

When it comes to purchasing a tuxedo for a wedding, the costs can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the designer, materials used, detailing, and whether it's custom-made or off-the-rack. For a mid-range, off-the-rack tuxedo, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

If you opt for a designer label, prices can easily climb into the thousands. For instance, a Ralph Lauren Polo Wool tuxedo can set you back almost $1,400, while a Gucci wool mohair tuxedo comes in at nearly $3,700.

Custom-made tuxedos are another option, especially for those seeking a unique fit and style. These tuxedos are tailored to your measurements and often have customizable options, but this luxury comes at a higher price point, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 or more.

However, remember that owning a tuxedo also means you'll have ongoing maintenance costs such as dry cleaning, alterations, and potential repairs, which can add up over time.

Renting a Wedding Tuxedo

For those who don't frequently attend formal events, renting a tuxedo can be a more cost-effective option. Tuxedo rental prices typically range from $100 to $250, with the price depending on the style and designer of the tuxedo.

Some rental companies also offer package deals that include the tuxedo jacket, trousers, shirt, tie, and even shoes and accessories. This can be a convenient option for those who want a one-stop shop for their wedding attire.

It's also worth noting that renting a designer tuxedo allows you to wear a high-end garment at a fraction of the cost of buying. However, remember that rented tuxedos must be returned in good condition, or you may face additional charges.

When deciding between buying or renting, consider how often you will wear the tuxedo, your budget, and the style you're going for. While buying gives you a garment that's tailored to fit you perfectly and that you can use for years to come, renting can be a more budget-friendly way to achieve a stylish look for your special day.

Deciding Where to Buy or Rent a Tuxedo

A couple looking at a tuxedo on a computer

To buy or to rent – that is the question. And your decision significantly impacts your costs, though your main conundrum comes down to whether you want to rent or own.

Tuxedo Rental and Purchase Locations

You have three options when renting or purchasing a tux:

  • Department stores
  • Men’s specialty stores
  • Online stores

Department stores usually serve the cheaper end of the spectrum. You can get a more cost-effective tux but don’t expect designer names or fancy design flourishes. Designer tuxedos are more the domain of menswear shops, which cater specifically to your needs and may even have in-house tailors for tweaks.

Online buying or renting comes with a risk – you don’t see the tux until it arrives. But it’s often cheaper, gives you more variety in tux choices, and offers exceptional convenience. Look for online rental places (like Generation Tux) that focus on early delivery and offer fit guarantees.

Tuxedo Rental and Purchase Considerations

How do you choose where to buy or rent your tuxedo? These are the key considerations:

  • Does the store offer a large enough selection of tuxedos to ensure you get the best tux for the occasion for which it’s needed?
  • Where is the store and is it close enough for you to visit or be confident that you’ll receive your tuxedo by mail when you need it?
  • What is the quality of the store’s customer service? That question comes into play if you need to return the tux or make changes to the fit.

Tuxedo Types and Their Price Differences

Man wearing a midnight blue tuxedo jacket over a black vest

There’s one final thing that can influence your tuxedo’s price – the style you choose.

Classic Tuxedos vs. Modern Tuxedos

Taking all the factors mentioned already into consideration, the classic style of tuxedo usually costs less than modern tuxedos that incorporate trendy design elements. The reasons are many. Classic tuxedos work from something akin to a template, with the designer getting to focus more on quality ahead of creativity. A traditional tux also requires less work to create than a modern tux with fancy trim or customized accents.

Designer Tuxedos vs. Non-Designer Tuxedos

There’s also the designer dilemma – major brand names cost more than lesser-known designers.

Quality plays a role here. Designer tuxedo creators can justify their heftier price tags because they usually use luxury materials to serve a specific high-end market. But don’t underestimate the impact of having a designer’s name on the tag. The mere presence of that name can add hundreds of dollars to your tuxedo.

Conclusion

Groom wearing a black tuxedo and hugging a bride

Investing in a tuxedo can seem like an intimidating expense, but understanding what drives the costs and how to mitigate them can make it a more manageable endeavor. Whether you choose to buy a new tuxedo, opt for a second-hand one, or rent one for a particular occasion, keeping these factors in mind will help you make the most out of your investment.

Remember, a tuxedo is more than just a piece of clothing; it's a statement of style and sophistication that can make any occasion even more memorable. With smart shopping, you can look your best without breaking the bank.

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Q: What is the average rental price of wedding tuxedos?

A: The average price for a tux rental for a wedding ranges between $100 and $200. However, the exact cost can vary based on the style and accessories chosen.

Q: How much does it cost to buy a tuxedo?

A: The cost of buying a tux can start from around $200 to even upwards of $1500. The price will largely depend upon the quality, brand, and material of the tux. If interested in more premium labels, you can expect a higher price point in the range of $2000 all the way up to $5000.

Q: How much does a black tie wedding suit cost?

A: The cost of a formal wear suit for a black tie wedding typically starts at about $200 for a basic style and can go up to $1000 or more for a designer piece.

Q: Is renting or buying a wedding tux more economical?

A: If you'll seldom wear a tux, then renting may be a more affordable option. Men’s Wearhouse offers selection which varies by store and online from which you can rent a tux. However, if you foresee numerous formal events in your future, buying a tux might be more cost-effective in the long run.

Q: What's included in wedding tuxedo prices?

A: Typically, wedding tuxedo prices include the jacket, trousers, a formal shirt, a tie or bow, a vest or cummerbund, cufflinks, and a stud. Keep in mind that prices can increase if notable alterations are needed for the perfect fit or if you’re looking to upgrade certain elements like the lapel.

Q: What are the ways to save on wedding tux costs?

A:There are several ways to save on the cost of a wedding tux. Some options include renting the tux, purchasing it off-season, choosing a less expensive material or lesser-known brand, and shopping online where better deals might be found.

Q: Is it better to rent a tux or wear a suit for a wedding?

A: This depends on the formality of the event. For black tie events, a tuxedo is generally expected. However, for a semi-formal or casual wedding, a suit can often be a perfectly acceptable choice.

Q: Do the costs differ between a wedding dress and a wedding tuxedo?

A: Yes, typically a wedding dress is more expensive than a wedding tuxedo. The average cost of a wedding dress ranges from $1000 to $1500, while a tuxedo can range from $100 to $1000+ for top-line designs.

Q: Is the return policy different when renting a tux?

A: Yes, typically a tux rental will require the item to be returned a day or two following the event. This return policy will apply to the remainder of your rental and any late fees may be imposed.

Q: Does the price of a wedding tux increase if alterations are needed?

A: Typically, yes. The cost of alterations will depend on the nature of the changes needed. However, if you're renting the tuxedo, most companies include minor alterations in the rental price.

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