First, I don't know how much you know about tuxes, but you might want to look for a message written recently that explains what "formal" means for men. Nothing earthshattering there, but it might answer a couple of questions and help you make a couple of decisions you will need to make. It's a pretty traditional outfit and I think everyone should be AWARE of when they are traditional and when they are varying off of the traditional. Beyond that, I think it is helpful to know what is traditional so that you can make an INFORMED decision when confronted with the choice of vest vs. cummerbund, or the different kinds of ties available. My belief is that if you are buying a tux, you should get something that is pretty much traditional, THEN make any variations that you might prefer for less-formalized formal events later.
Second, I don't know where you live, but if you are in or near a major city, you should have no real problem finding somewhere that can fit and tailor you properly. You would be much better off going to a Men's Wearhouse or something like that and buying and tailoring it in one place with someone who has a clue. Remember: you might get a cheaper price online, but you will still need to get it tailored properly so at least some of your savings will get eaten back up. (at MW, if they tailor a seem, it's free if you ever need to tailor it again - loose a little weight, or whatever.)
Third, unless you are buying the obvious big-names, in which case you obviously have the money to do it right anyway, I think it is always much better to get a hands-on feel of the material and maybe try a few different styles (shawl vs. peaked lapels, etc) and how they look on you. You can really only do this right in a store where they have a selection (which again goes toward my second point). For example, you can find perfectly decent $150 dinner jackets, but if you can COMPARE it to a $250 jacket, you can decide for yourself whether the price upgrade is worth it to you. Nothing at all wrong with the cheapies, but the next step up will deffinately be a visible quality improvement - and it may or may not matter to you.
I applaud you buying a tux. Starting from scratch, you can get a very nice outfit for about $450-550, if that's within your budget.
We happened to find a sale here in the midwest at a major tuxedo rental company. They had a semi annual sale, where you could purchase new or used, the savings were fantastic. At the time, our daughter's wedding was around the corner,so that was the main reason for buying one, but now he has one for cruising too. So, keep an eye out for sales in your area, or even call one and ask if they sell tux's...Best of luck, this is a good decision especially, when you plan to cruise more often.
your best bet would be to watch for sales at your local better men's department stores or places like Men's Warehouse. Go to tux rental shops, find out when they are having their end of the season sales. Check local consignment shops. EBay is always an option, but you won't know what you are getting until you see it. If you go this way, make sure your seller has some sort of return/refund policy posted.
They look like a damn good deal as well. For <150 (excluding shoes) you can be all set. There's almost no excuse NOT to own a tux now! All I would say, having only looked at the website, is compare the material with another really nice suit. It's wool, which is good, but if you compare a $100 suit with a $250+ suit you will likely see the difference in material fineness. BUT, the fact is, it may not matter to you at all and let's face it: It's a tux, it will ALLWAYS look good. I'll have to go check these out in person but Stafford (JC Penny's house line) is usually respectable stuff.
Get decent shoes though. There's nothing worse than uncomfortable shoes. On the bright side, you can get tuxedo pumps (basically patent slip-ons with a satin strap in front) that are both comfortable and are a traditional style (slip-ons, not appropriate for suits, are fine for tuxes [in fact they are the PROPER shoe for white-tie dressing]). Good pairs can be bought for $100-150, but I'm betting that decent pairs can be found for considerably less. Maybe even at JC Penny now. Otherwise, I'm sure cheap patent oxfords can be found.
The shirt pictured has a wingtip collar. This is a fine, traditional, style. But since $29 is only a few $'s cheaper than other stores for tux shirts, you might want to consider a laydown collar (the collar style like you'd wear with a regular suit). I happen to prefer laydown collars and I think they look a little better overall. It seems a little cleaner in line. That's just me though. Just don't sub a regular dress shirt - get a proper tux shirt with no pocket, french cuffs, and the option to replace some of your shirt front buttons with studs.
Well, I happened to find myself passing through Penny's and thought I'd check out this tux thing. I took a very brief look at the jacket (didn't see the trousers, but they are apparently being sold as separates, so I'm sure the trousers were hanging somewhere nearby).
Again, not a critical look-over, but I didn't see any instant alarm bells in the jacket. It's a peaked lapel with the lower part in satin, as expected. The buttons are covered (as they should be). The material is nothing special, but seems nice enough. I admit that I didn't look at what it actually was, but if it was worsted wool, it was decent enough to be respectable (it wasn't that really rough low-end wool that you sometimes see in cheap tuxes). I forgot to notice whether it was (properly) unvented, but they got the other details right, so it's probably fine.
Like I said, I didn't see the trousers, but presumably they are made like the jacket and I know from the website description that they have the proper satin stripe.
I took an even quicker glance at this boxed set of (apparently) shirt, cummerbund and bowtie sitting nearby. Looks pretty standard. Wingtip collar in the shirt. I didn't notice them now that I think about it, but I think it also comes with the cufflink/stud set as well.
All in all, it seemed like a quality, low-end tux setup. If you just need a tux for a few/couple occasions a year, this'll be fine and nobody will care that it's a JC Penny/Stafford anyway. Run you about $130 for everything but the shoes I think. I'm betting a cheap pair of patent oxfords can be found easily enough. I would think anyone that can drop a grand+ on a cruise could maybe pinch a few more pennies and get this reasonable cheap tux for their formal occasions/cruising. Worth considering anyway.
Al's Formal Wear has what they call a Cruise Package, for about $129.00. You get the jacket, pants, shirt, tie, cumberbun, and cufflinks. You can order online if you know your size, or go in to the store and get it. We also purchased a pair of used shoes from them for 30.00. Very nice. You should check it out.
I am looking for an on-line recommendation for a texedo purchase. I have rented the last three times, and while convevient it is not the best value.
I don't recommend buying formalwear through the Internet because you really do need to try it on for proper fit. There are a couple ways to get formalwear at very low prices, though, especially if you can wait until a deal is available.
>> 1. Super-discount retalers that specialize in liquidation of overruns, insurance salvage, or whatever else they can obtain at prices substantially below normal wholesale, like Building 19 (http://www.building19.com) here in eastern Massachusetts, get shipments of brand new formalwear periodically. They don't stock these outfits continuously, though, so you have to watch their ads or get a friend who works for such an outfit to tell you when the formalwear comes in.
>> 2. Most tuxedo rental shops sell formalwear that still has a lot of useful life after a few rentals at prices substantially below the price of new outfits. There may be many reasons why they can't rent a suit again that would not affect you. For example, a few cleanings might have caused a slight change in shade that's imperceptible except when it's next to a brand new outfit, but weddings, etc., require exact matches. Your constraints are not nearly so rigid. The staff at your local tuxedo shops can tell you when they hold sales on used outfits.
Before you buy anything, though, figure out what you really want to buy. If you plan to use your formalwear primarily for cruising, a white or pastel dinner jacket might be a better choice than a tuxedo (black) jacket since you'll be using it primarily in the summer or in the tropics. If you plan to use the outfit in cooler wieather, though, the tuxedo would be the better choice. Also, decide what you want in shirts, vests & ties, cummerbunds & ties, etc. Formal shirts come in several different styles (pleats or ruffles, standard collar or wing collar, straight cuff or French cuff, etc.), and you can get real vests (with a full back) or faux vests (yoke made to look like a vest when worn under a coat, held in place by a strap in back). Most shops seel each item individually, so you can shop around to get what you want at good prices.
In my experience, the shops on Princess Cruises seem to be the best places to buy sets of studs and cuff links. They stocked a good seleciton of interesting designs at reasonable prices.
Here's what I recommend for cruising.
>> Dinner Jacket and Formal Pants (or Tuxedo)
>> 2-3 Formal Shirts
>> 2-3 Vests or Cummerbunds with Matching Ties
>> 2-3 Cuff Link & Stud Sets
>> Black Dress Shoes, Freshly Shined
Obviously, you should wear plain black dress socks with this outfit.
BTW, you can drop the suspenders from Andre's shopping list since most formal dress pants do not require them. Also, you don't need to buy special shoes. Standard black dress shoes, properly polished, are appropriate.
About a week ago Good Morning America compared high end name brand tuxes to the JCPenney brand. In a side by side comparion, the JCP tux won! So I got curious and checked it out. I just bought one -$135 for the whole shebang. This tux rocks for $300-400 less than its peers. Go check it out, you might be as surprised as I was.
I checked out the Tux package at Pennys also, Even tried one on. Its a GREAT deal. sold as seperates you really can pick your fit instead of having everything tailored. The fabric is a tropical worsted wool.
For 99.00 I would say there is NO EXCUSE for not having one for a cruise, or even buying one as a gift for someone ( They can exchange it if it doesn't fit properly) .
I have been looking for a new tux, and have found as someone else said going to a rental company and buying a used one is a great deal...although many are poly or poly blends, or going to a manufacturer or wholesaler.
I have to now decide between a Ralph Laurent CHAPS traditional two button, or a Oscar De Laurenta one button traditional both for less than $175.00 at a local discounter/retailer here in Illinois.
I like the Pennys Tux, actually two different styles ( one button and three button), but the cut of the jacket has a higher button than what I'm used to. I like the Ricky Ricardo, Cary Grant old time look with the lower button exposing more of your shirt.
Keep looking...there are many great deals out there..Do avoid Ebay. The tux could have been altered, or the posted size may be wrong, and most items are not returnable.
Most recent cruises:
Celebrity Century - CocoCay 01/12/06
Celebrity Mercury - Mexican Riviera 03/17/06
Celebrity Mercury - Alaska 09/08/06
Celebrity Century - Freeport 01/04/07
RCL Monarch OTS - Ensenada 01/11/07
Celebrity Zenith - W. Caribbean 03/23/07
Azamara Quest - CocoCay 10/24/07
Celebrity Century - W. Caribbean 01/03/08
Celebrity Galaxy - Mediterannean 06/09/08
Celebrity Millenium - PNW 09/19/08
The Tuxes at Penneys are not too bad. They have the whole shirt set for about $30 too.
A couple of weks ago they had the Stafford brand tuxes on sale for $99. You bought your tie and cumberbund separate. The shirt was separate also but all together it was $159- and this tux was 100% wool.
On another messageboard-a post who calls herself cruisearizonia bought her husband a Bill Blass tux online for $185. I don't remember where she said but if you go to cruisecritic to the fashion forum-look for a thread about my buying my husband a suit at JC Penney for $150.
My husband purchased his tux oniline and it was a perfect fit. However, we went to our local tailor and had him give us acurate measurements to send to the on-line company.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013