The folks over at the Art of Manliness have written a great article all about how a young man should prepare for his prom. The entire thing is wonderful and worth a read, but we especially want you to check out the bit by Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style about renting or buying a tuxedo for prom.
from The Art of Manliness:
In most places in the U.S. prom is a black tie affair, so that means you’ll need a tuxedo. For most men these days, whether young or old, life gives you very few chances to wear a tux–so enjoy it! Our resident style man, Antonio Centeno, did an excellent video explaining exactly what a young man should wear to prom for his own site, Real Men Real Style, that should answer a lot of your questions about what to wear:
Basically, Antonio suggests keeping it classic and simple. You can’t go wrong with a single-button, peak lapel tuxedo coat, a waist coat, and traditional tuxedo trousers. You want something where you can look back at pictures twenty years later and think, “Man, I looked dapper. And look how much hair I had!”
Of course, you could have some fun as well. You’re young. There probably won’t be another time in your life that you can get away with wearing a zoot suit or a powder blue 1970s tuxedo to a formal affair, so if that’s your thing and your date’s okay with it, go for it. Just stay away from the duct tape tuxedos and neon-colored pimp hats. (Note: The zoot suit and powder blue tux bit is solely the responsibility of Brett McKay and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mr. Antonio Centeno…who is probably shaking his head right now in disbelief.)
Rent your tux, don’t buy. It doesn’t make sense for a person your age who’s still growing and probably isn’t attending a lot of black tie events to buy a tuxedo. Because you’re renting, you’re not going to get a tuxedo that fits like a custom suit, but try to get something as close as possible to it. If your tuxedo jacket fits well in the shoulders and in the chest, you’re golden. Also, make sure the pants are as close to your size as possible.
Visit a rental place as soon as you can to ensure you have the greatest possible selection to choose from. You’ll have to decide on what jacket style and shirt collar type you want, whether you’re going bow tie or neck tie, and whether or not you’ll be wearing a waist coat or cummerbund. You can also rent shoes there if you need them. After you’ve been fitted and have placed your order, the rental place will let you know when you can pick up your tux.
Keep track of all the stuff that comes in your rental bag, especially the small stuff like the tie and cufflinks. Make sure to return the tuxedo to the rental place as soon as possible. Don’t worry about laundering. They take care of that.
Make sure and read the entire article: The Art of Manliness – A Young Mans Guide to Prom.