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Tuxedo Guide to Prom Season 2014!

Tuxedo Guide to Prom Season 2014!

Prom: noun – A formal dance, especially one held by a high school or college class at the end of an academic year.
Origin: 1890–95,  Americanism; short for promenade

Tuxedo: noun – A man’s jacket for semiformal evening dress, traditionally of black or dark-blue color and characteristically having satin or grosgrain facing on the lapels.
Origin: 1890–95,  Americanism; short for Tuxedo coat,  after country club at Tuxedo Park, N.Y.

It’s time for prom and you’ve been tasked with renting the perfect tuxedo to compliment your date.  Seems simple enough.  How hard could it be?  Well, there’s good news and bad news.

There’s actually a lot to consider when picking out the perfect tuxedo to compliment your date.  Renting a tuxedo is easy.  Renting the perfect tuxedo is a little harder.  It means knowing the answers to questions most prom-age guys don’t ask.

What the above definition for prom leaves out is that a prom just isn’t a dance.  It’s an important rite-of-passage for young men and women.  It’s a memorable life event that will likely stay with you your whole life.

Likewise, the definition of tuxedo leaves some things out.  Your choices are far more varied now than the definition suggests.  While traditional formal wear is more limited in variety, proms don’t require traditional formal wear.  Your options are wide open, encompassing classic, modern, fashion, novelty tuxedos and even suits.  More variety means you can get what you’re looking for.  It also means there’s more decisions to make.

The Good News: Formal wear is what we do for a living.  We’ve thought ahead for you and are happy to guide you through every step to make the process of renting the perfect tuxedo as easy-peasy as possible.

Frequently Asked Prom Questions:

What’s the difference between a tuxedo and a suit for prom?

Prom Tuxedo or Prom Suit: What's the Difference?The primary physical difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the presence of satin, as the definition above suggests.  Tuxedos have satin facing on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim, and a satin side stripe down the leg of the trousers. Suits don’t incorporate any satin and usually have either plastic buttons or buttons faced with the same fabric as the coat (aka self buttons.)

But more than the physical difference, it’s important to note that a tuxedo sends a different message than a suit does.

A prom tuxedo sends the message that you’re wearing something specifically for this memorable occasion and you would look out of place anywhere else.  It commemorates the event in a way that a suit can’t.  You can certainly look incredibly dapper in a suit, but you can wear a suit anywhere, any day, regardless of whether you typically do or not.  A tuxedo is a special ensemble that you only wear for special occasions.  That’s the point of it, and the reason we prefer tuxedos over suits for proms.


Do my accessories have to match my date’s prom dress?
Black Tie or Matching Accessories?
Well, if you want to play it smart, you definitely want your accessories to match.  The question here is what they should match: the rest of your tuxedo, or your date’s dress?  There is usually only one right answer to this question. The problem is, only one person knows that answer.  Your date. But if she doesn’t have an opinion either way, here’s some fodder for your case, whichever way you’re leaning.

To Match the Dress:
The current trend of matching your date’s prom dress is a fairly modern one and it serves as a way for a couple to look and feel like a matching set. The sentiment is visually and emotionally appealing to most prom couples. And it’s also a way for your date to claim you as hers. And that’s not a bad thing. But because of that, one thing you definitely want to avoid is going with a colorful vest/cummerbund and tie combo that is a different color from your date’s. That could send the message that you’re with someone else, and that’s bad for obvious reasons.

To Match the Tuxedo:
Traditionally speaking, men wear accessories that match the tuxedo they are wearing.  The timeless look of course is known as Black Tie, which pairs a black bow tie and cummerbund (or low-cut vest) with a black tuxedo, but the same principle applies for any color tuxedo.  Whether you’re wearing a black, grey, tan, silver, brown, white, ivory, or other colored tuxedo, matching accessories is a great look.  It’s not only masculine, it’s also pretty chivalrous.  Here’s why.  When your accessories match your tuxedo, they don’t particularly stand out.  That means that your accessories don’t draw attention away from your date.  Good formal wear is all about accentuating your best features, and in this context, your best feature is her.

Should I wear a bow tie or a long tie?
Bow Tie or Long Tie?For proms, this is a fairly subjective question, based on your personal taste.  Both options are acceptable for proms.  But if you’re asking our opinion, and you are, here’s our take on some things to weigh out.

Long Ties:
These are often the favorite for Proms, since they feel formal but not too formal – much like a prom is a formal event, but not too formal. A good thing about wearing a long tie is that many formal affairs you’ll attend in life will require a bow tie. Prom is a good chance to mix that up a little. The downside is that it makes your tuxedo look more like a suit. Also, it bisects the white “V” that is made by the shirt when the coat is closed. That “V” is important because it emphasizes broad shoulders and a narrow waist, for your most masculine look.

Bow Ties:
From a sartorial standpoint, these are always going to be your best look. Traditionally the bow tie is the only correct neckwear to accompany a tuxedo.  Long ties tend to make your tuxedo look more like a suit, and that kills some of the commemorative effect of a tuxedo.  Also, the bow tie preserves the white “V” and draws attention to your face, instead of your naval. It’s also more traditional. And you can still splash some fun into your outfit with basically every color and pattern known to man. We like them both, especially for proms, but if we had to pick either a bow or a long tie, we would opt for a bow tie.

What does the ‘fit’ of the tuxedo mean?



The fit is a relatively new consideration in the world of rental formal wear.  For years and years, the industry provided only standardized classic cut garments.  Then around 5 years ago, modern cut tuxedos began to be more popular.  And withing the past 2 years, slim fit tuxedos have made a big splash on the scene.

The reason for different tuxedo fits is that not everyone is built the same way.  We people-folks come in all shapes and sizes.  When trying to get a tuxedo to fit you well, the first question you have to answer is what size you wear.  The people at your local store can help you there.  But once you know what size you need, consider the fit of different garments.

- Classic cut garments will give you a fuller fit.  There’s more material there and accommodates all sizes of people, but it wouln’t give you that fitted look.
- Modern cut garments are trimmer than classic cut.  For your money, this is a good option for everyone.  It’s trimmer.  The silhouette is updated, but the garment shouldn’t hug you too closely.
- Slim cut garments are as the name suggests.  They are cut to hug the wearer closer around the ribs.  These are absolutely the best option for smaller guys, or guys that like a fitted look.  They don’t compare to bespoke made garments, but they’re the closest thing the rental industry has to offer.  These may not be available in plus sizes.


Below we’ve selected a few of our favorite picks for prom season 2013.

Classic Prom Picks:

Black 'Jackson' Tuxedo by Ike BeharMidnight Blue 'Maxwell' Tuxedo by G. AlexanderBlack 'Braydon' Tuxedo by Ike BeharWhite 'Waverly' Tuxedo by Ike Behar





See More Classic Prom Picks…

Modern Prom Picks:

Heather Grey 'Allure Men' Tuxedo by Jean YvesBlack 'Obsession' Tuxedo by Michael KorsSteel Grey 'Allure Men' Tuxedo by Jean YvesSlate Blue 'Allure Men' Tuxedo by Jean Yves





See More Modern Prom Picks….

Fashion Prom Picks:

Silver 'Swagger' Tuxedo by FLOWBlack Diamond 'Illusion' Tuxedo by Jean YvesBlack 'Avalon' Tuxedo by FLOWWhite 'Illusion' Tuxedo by Jean Yves





See More Fashion Prom Picks….

Novelty Prom Picks:

Orange Tuxedo by Bright Colored TuxedosLight Blue Tuxedo by Bright Colored TuxedosCamoflauge 'Alpne' Tuxedo by Bright Colored TuxedosRed 'Illusion' Tuxedo by Jean Yves






Prom Suit Picks:

Black 'Ceremonia' Suit by Jean YvesHeather Grey 'Twilight' Suit by Jean YvesSteel Grey 'Twilight' Suit by Jean YvesTan 'Rapture' Destination Suit by Jean Yves





See More Prom Suit Picks…

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in clearing up any uncertainty and narrowing down options for any indecisive prom-goers this year. While the size and the style of tuxedo you get for your prom is important, don’t forget the most important thing. Prom is supposed to be fun. Whatever you do, and whatever you wear, make sure it adds to your evening and helps you make those long lasting memories that will make you smile years down the road.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Check out our Complete Listing of all our Prom Tuxedos and Prom Suits!
If you want to take it all in and decide for yourself, check out our Entire Catalog of Tuxedos and Suits!

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Like what you see? Hate it? Can’t keep quiet? Well… don’t. Let us know what you think! Leave a comment below and let your voice be heard!

About Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong is the resident staff writer for, the web’s premiere resource for mens rental formal wear styles, news & information, and local listings. He aims to provide the most up to date industry and style information available, while sharing the many venues and ways that mens formal wear presents itself every day. Michael would like to take this opportunity to wish joy to the world, to all the boys and girls now. He’d also like to extend joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, but especially, joy to you and me.

  • Val

    Can you give me some ideas for a style of tux that might go well with this dress for Prom.

  • Quinn

    I would love to wear a blazer like this to prom. Do you know where i might be able to find a blazer similar to it.

  • Jamie

    So, my prom is May 30th and my boyfriend and I still haven’t decided on a tux for him. I think black would be fine, but since my dress is so dark I’m getting some negative feedback on that idea. I hate white tuxes though, and my boyfriend is rather pale so I think white or tan would be weird. I’ve included a picture of my dress as well. I know a lot of it depends on accessories too, I was thinking gold because the green is so dark and it looks rich and royal to me, but I worry if I wear gold shoes or accessories it will look dated. What are you thoughts?

    • Jamie

      Sorry, the pictures didn’t post!

    • Jamie

      For whatever reason the pictures won’t upload. My dress is forest green in color.

    • MArmstrong

      Hey Jamie,

      In all fairness, I’m no expert when it comes to dresses or women’s formal wear in general. So the best advise I can give you for what you should wear is this: Pick out your dress and the accessories that you want to go with it without any thought of how your date will match you. His formal options are very flexible, so that frees you up to wear whatever you want. Once you’ve decided on your outfit, it’ll be easier to pick out how he should match you. But you should probably do that soon. You still have plenty of time, but the longer you wait, he may have fewer options.

      I’m always in favor of a good black tuxedo for an evening formal event like proms. So, even though your dress is dark, I think that would still look nice. One way to create a little more contrast is to make sure he wears a white shirt and a dark green cummerbund and bow tie to match your dress. It will be subtle splash of matching color, a classic look, with enough white shirt showing to break up the dark colors in a nice way.

      Another option if you’re not sold on black is to look at your grey options. Grey tuxedos are great because they come in different shades to match different complexions, but they are still neutral enough to work with almost any color, including dark green.

      You can see some Grey tuxedo options Here:

      I hope this helps! Have a great time at prom!

  • pm#999

    maybe u can fuse you dress color with that suit

  • The Dude

    Any ideas on how to match a Midnight Navy tux (like the one in Skyfall) with a lilac dress?

  • Jake

    Do you think i’ll be able to get a classic tux with pants, bow tie and vest for under 150?

  • Edward

    Hey Micheal, my prom is coming up in a couple of months and my date is wearing a deep purple dress. I’ve been told to wear a bowtie and I’m a bit hesitant on a regular black suit. I was thinking a grey or charcoal to be a bit different ? Also what colour shoes should one wear with these colour suits ?

  • Guest

    Hey! The picture is the blazer I’m wearing with same coloured pants. It’s kinda silvery grey. I’m wondering what color bowtie and/or tie would go well with it. I was thinking of a dark-ish velvety red bowtie or a long black tie but I’m not so sure. Please help me out!

  • Guest

    Hey! The picture is the blazer I’m wearing with same coloured pants. It’s kinda silvery grey. I’m wondering what color bowtie and/or tie would go well with it. I was thinking of a dark-ish velvety red bowtie or a long black tie but I’m not so sure. Please help me out!!!

  • Joseph Braceface Lau

    Hey! The picture is the blazer I’m wearing with same coloured pants. It’s kinda silvery grey. I’m wondering what color bowtie and/or tie would go well with it. I was thinking of a dark-ish velvety red bowtie or a long black tie but I’m not so sure. Please help me out!!!!

  • Alice Dixson

    Which type tuxedo wear on wedding classic, modern or slim and where i buy tuxedo online

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