Ask the Expert: Tuxedos

Today’s post is courtesy of the men’s style guru of NYC, Julie Rath of Rath & Co. She knows all the best places to find the perfect attire for your groom, no matter what his style. Dressing for a formal event is like ice climbing: one misstep, and it's all downhill. Here’s your cheat sheet:

Tuxedo Wedding Style Advice Tips

Renting vs. Buying: Buy if possible. Buying a good-quality, well-tailored tux is an investment, but it's a very good one that will pay dividends in photos. Renting will cost you anywhere from 25-50% of the average purchase price of a tux, so if you rent a few times, and it adds up.

Black Tie vs. White Tie: The wording of your invitation dictates the color of your neckwear. "Black tie" or "Evening dress" means a black bowtie and tuxedo and "White tie" or "Full evening dress" means a white bowtie, which is worn with tails.

Color and Fabric: Black is the standard, but midnight blue is also acceptable. White is typically worn in warmer climates for open-air events.

Collar: This should be either peaked or shawl. A peaked lapel (where the points of the lapel point upward) reads as more powerful, whereas shawl collar (which has a continuous curve) sends off a softer message. Unless you’re a waiter, your wedding tux shouldn't have a notched lapel.

Cummerbund vs.Vest: In general, the cummerbund is a more stylish option than a vest. It should be subtle and keep its mouth shut - now is not the time to channel your inner Elton John. Stick with black for a cummerbund and black or white for the vest (no colors!).

Bowtie: Always tie it yourself. If you’ve never tied one before, this guide will walk you through it. The bowtie should be black or white (no colors!) and made of silk satin or silk grosgain. If you’re more comfortable in a straight tie, it’s acceptable to wear a black one that’s relatively slim, as a more modern fashion statement.

Want more advice on tuxedos? Visit Tastehunter, the Rath & Co. blog, and read Julie's expanded post on tuxes.

Photo via Rath & Co. courtesy of Suitable for Men