I’ll start this off by saying I am in no means experienced with proper dress. The extent of my time in formal wear is exactly six occasions; 3 winter balls, 2 proms, 1 Wedding (When I was 10). I’ve spent six years of my professional career in a tee shirt and jeans, I only just bought my first pair of “work socks” last August. So needless to say… I’m a novice in the suit and tie game.
But how hard can it be to go get measured, pick out a jacket, strap on a tie, and strut on down the aisle?
News flash. It can be insanity.
After going through the saga that was my tux fitting I came away with three pieces of advice for future grooms, write this down:
1. Know what you want before you get there.
We got to the tux shop and must have looked like we’d just discovered a martian planet. When our fitter asked us to give him the basic idea of what we wanted so he could find choices we just stared blankly. To us we thought knowing our color scheme would be enough. We had no idea of the intricacies of wearing a tux, making sure the white of the shirt matches the gown, Straight tie? Bolo tie? Bow tie? Suspenders? Cummerbund? Vest? The list just never seemed to end and certainly led to frustration on our part and the part of the poor guy trying to find the perfect look.
2. Have a backup plan.
We went in thinking a gray tux would look good with our colors. Then we saw the gray tuxes that are “in season” and to quote Happy Gilmore, “If I saw myself in those pants I’d probably kick my own ass.” They just didn’t live up to expectation. So after over an hour of trying to find styles to go with gray suits we ended up switching to black anyway. This put us back to square one and started the whole process of finding the right fight jacket, the accessories and the whole kit and caboodle all over again.
3. Don’t bring an army.
Looking back we probably should have gone just the two of us to lay the groundwork on finding a tux, knocked it down to a couple choices, and gone back with a fresh set of eyes to finalize the decision. What did we do? We brought six people… who pretty much all had different opinions. Having so many people giving input really just led to confusion for the fitter as he scrambled to try and piece together everyone’s requests. Overall we just end up with a pile of shirts, jackets, and accessories and way to many things to sift through. Keep the group small. Keep the choices simple.
Follow these guidelines and you might just make it out of a tux fitting with your sanity, but you still might need a beer afterward.
My best James Bond for those that are curious… to the left is a close representation of the bridesmaid dresses.