Tuxedo or Tuxedon’t

As faithful followers of this blog I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m engaged and will be walking down the aisle to marry this man in October. I couldn’t be happier! So far the wedding planning has been fairly painless – the worst part was finding the bridesmaid dresses – and everything is coming together well! I think.

That is, until I started looking at tuxedos. Uh, I mean we – until we started looking at tuxedos.

First of all, I should tell you that within hours of becoming engaged I had Adam convinced that he and his groomsmen would be donning powder blue tuxedos with ruffled shirts for our nuptials. I described ad nauseum exactly what they would look like, down to the shoes and he bought it hook, line and sinker. Poor guy is so gullible.

Tuxedon't #1: The mullet puts it over the edge

Then, Adam began telling me how much he liked the look of traditional tails. But here’s the problem: our wedding? Is in my small hometown in Southwest Arkansas. It’s your typical laid back southern town and I love that, but I also love Adam and didn’t want to deprive him of his dream – even if it was a bit formal for our fête.

So I asked his mom what she thought. She laughed. A lot.

Then I asked my mom. She wasn’t buying the idea, either.

Finally, in an effort to gain a full consensus, I asked the big gun. She doubled over laughing. Literally.

Adam’s dream of tails was dashed – unanimously.

Tuxedon’t #2: [Not] Chasing tails

Then, the Royal Wedding happened and I become enamored with morning suits. They seemed to be an almost perfect compromise for us. Almost tails, but not uber formal. Relaxed yet traditional. Classic. English. It just might work. Then I realized that they are almost impossible to find for rent, not to mention renting one for my 6’8″ dad. So we nixed that idea, but I still love a good morning suit. How could you not?

Tuxedon't #3: Morning dress: It makes every man look dapper...unless you're a giant.

At this point, we’re 0 for 3 on the tuxedo front. Which should mean our options are significantly less than when we started almost 6 months ago, right? Wrong. Did you know there are are approximately 3,581 options remaining for picking out tuxedos? Now you do.

Allow me to explain.

While we have now realized that we want the standard tail-less tuxedo, we have to choose the color we want. Do we go with khaki or gray? Black or pin-stripe? Once that’s decided we have to choose the style of lapel. Do we like shawl lapels or notch lapels? Diamond shaped shawl or satin trimmed notch? Then there’s the issue of buttons. One button, two buttons or no buttons? It’s pure torture. And the combinations for all of these options are endless and look different every. single. time.

Once the jacket is decided upon we have to pick pleated or flat-front trousers. Easy enough, since I prefer flat front. Phew. That’s one decision made. I hope.

You’d think at this point the decisions would be easier. You’d be wrong. Again.

You see, at this point in the tuxedo shopping extravaganza the issue of shirt comes into play. Did you know there is more than one type of button-down shirt for tuxedos? I didn’t. There’s the laydown collar or the wing collar. Easy enough to choose between – if you knew what type of tie you wanted.

So once you [hypothetically] settle on the 2 button black tuxedo with satin-trimmed notch lapels, flat front trousers and white shirt with lay down collar you have to choose the windsor tie style. But I’m not just talking colors, I’m talking patterns: paisley, diamond, striped or solid. Then, and only then can you pick a color for the tie. Sounds easy enough right?

Unfortunately, at this point in the tuxedo selection process your brain is so tired from choosing lapels, buttons, and tie style that colors like ecru, mocha, champagne and white cannot be differentiated.

Thus causing you to abandon all efforts and forget you spent an hour and a half deciding between shawls and notches.