When I think of tuxedos, two things immediately come to mind.
The first of which is, naturally, James Bond: seated near his arch nemesis in a casino, tossing poker chips across the table with a devil-may-care expression on his face. He could be sweating up a storm and still look amazing, all because of that stunning tuxedo.
The second thing I think about with regard to tuxedos, and more to the point of this post, is of a really upscale wedding.
It’s no secret that today’s bride is presented with a wide array of options when it comes to formalwear for the men at her wedding.
With fancy suits hitting the bridal scene full force, tuxedos certainly aren’t the only option on the board for grooms to choose from these days. Whether you’ve got your mind set to go with a tuxedo or a suit already, or you’re still on the fence over which option to choose, three main questions likely have popped into your mind at one point or another while considering. With all three in mind, I recently asked Rachael Street Howell of Nashville formalwear shop Street Tuxedo for her experienced opinions, and she graciously answered. Read on for details!
1. What is the difference between a tuxedo and a suit?
First of all, it’s important that you know what the key differences are between a tuxedo and a suit. The biggest difference is that a tuxedo has the presence of satin on it, while a suit does not. You will see satin on the lapels, buttons, and pocket lining of the tuxedo jacket, as well as a strip of satin down each pant leg. In contrast, suits have plastic or cloth-covered buttons and no satin parts. Tuxedos may also have additional components like a cummerbund or vest, while a suit may or may not be accompanied by a vest or suspenders.
Rachael points out that Street Tuxedo is getting in a relatively new type of formalwear that seemingly bridges the gap between traditional tuxedos and suits. It’s actually a hybrid of them both! Conversationally referred to as a “suit/tux,” this newer option might be the compromise brides and grooms are looking for when planning the formalwear for their Tennessee weddings. “This formalwear option has a thin piece of satin on the lapels, but it has cloth buttons,” Rachael explains. Street Tuxedo has this unique option available in black, heather gray, and even slate (coming this winter).
2. Is it inappropriate for the groom to wear a suit to the wedding?
Definitely not, according to today’s fashion trends! But there is a great deal of difference with regard to the symbolism between a tuxedo and a suit. Whereas a suit is traditionally worn to the office, at job interviews, and at casual weddings as a guest, a tuxedo stands alone as something only worn on very important occasions. Think of it this way: the bride will likely be wearing the most expensive, most amazing dress she’s ever worn on the wedding day. It’s up to the bride and groom to decide whether the groom should dress “up” to match her efforts with a tuxedo or “down” to make the wedding more casual with a suit.
Rachael states that your decision between a tuxedo and a suit should encompass other details about your wedding as well, including the time of day you’re getting married and your venue. While wearing a suit to the wedding can make the groom harder to single out in the crowds (unless the girl in the big while dress is by his side), Rachael explains that there are times when wearing a suit is simply more appropriate. Chat with your local formalwear professional for his or her opinion on the matter.
3. What is the price difference between a tuxedo and a suit?
Not surprisingly, this varies depending on whom you’re asking, although you’re very likely to find competitive rates between local providers. At retail, of course, a tuxedo is more expensive than a suit. When considering rental costs, however, which is definitely a more popular option at this time, you’ll likely find that tuxedo rentals start at a lower price point than suits.
What’s the best way to find out? Give your local provider a call and check. “In the end, though,” Rachael details, “keep the big picture in mind. Think about the bride’s dress and even her flowers, and make sure you don’t clash!” Everything should fit together like a puzzle piece when it comes to wedding attire, so don’t focus too hard on the little details without taking a step back to see the big picture!
Street Tuxedo has been a family-owned and operated business since 1984. Rachael’s father bought a men’s department store in Madison, Tennessee, that year, and he soon discovered that he enjoyed the tuxedo rental part of the company best. Long story short, he purchased more tuxedos, and the business thrived thanks to the impeccable customer service and attention to detail of the Street family.
Almost 30 years later, Street Tuxedo has expanded to include four locations, three of which an actual Street manages in-person on a daily basis. The company offers a wide range of formalwear options and colors to meet your every need, whether you’re opting for a tuxedo, suit, or combination of the two!
To contact Street Tuxedo at any of its various locations, see the phone number list below. Also be sure to connect with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Tell them that The Pink Bride sent you!
Berry Hill: (615)750-5324
Cool Springs: (615)771-0948
Green Hills: (615)386-0500
Get more tips and planning ideas for your wedding via a Pink Bride Magazine and by attending a Pink Bridal Show this season!
Images courtesy of Rachael Street Howell via email and the Street Tuxedo Facebook page.