Tuxedos are a tricky thing. Odds are you don’t attend enough opera galas or red carpet movie premieres to necessitate owning one. But when you do receive an invitation that says “Black Tie” on the bottom in small, your options are severely limited . The choices available at most tuxedo rental places range from horrid to atrocious.
Whether it’s the fit (Is this built for two people?), the style (Do pants need that many pleats?), or the material (How flammable is this thing?), guys can end up looking their worst on the very occasions when they want to look their best.
The Black Tux was founded in 2013 by friends Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne to solve this issue. After seeing what was out there (and realizing it was crap) while preparing for Andrew’s wedding, the two decided to start a business that provided stylish and affordable tuxedo options for guys. The company offers three tuxedo options and each is available in either a classic or slim fit. Top suitmakers tailor the tuxedos using Merino wool (as opposed to the cheap polyester used in many rentals) sourced from Italian mills. Renters can complete their look with leather shoes, shirts, bow ties, cuff links and other accessories. To ensure a proper fit, you can submit your size (if you know it) or follow a simple tutorial to get your correct measurements.
Renting a tuxedo from The Black Tux starts at $95 and it arrives seven days before your event so there is time to fix any issues that come up. Shipping is free both ways.
But having the right clothes is only one part of pulling off black tie with style, so I spoke with co-founder Coyne to find out his tips for rocking a tux without looking like a waiter.
Playboy: What are the best ways for a guy to express his personal style with black tie?
Patrick Coyne: Subtlety is key, but you can still make a strong statement. A couple of things like a vintage watch and a simple pocket square have an impact. A pair of great shoes, while almost always overlooked, also says a lot about your taste level.
Playboy: With all the how-tos and instructional videos out there, is there any reason not to tie your own bow tie?
Coyne: No. There is a confidence that comes in taking a few minutes to learn to tie a bow tie properly. It’s also a great ritual before your event. The bow tie is such a prominent feature of any outfit, and a quality, hand-tied one looks far superior. Playboy: What sets your tuxes apart from other rental shops?
Coyne: We are the only tuxedo rental option that doesn’t feel like one. We work directly with the world’s best factories that make designer suits.
Playboy: What style of tuxedo are you finding to be most popular?
Coyne: The midnight blue tuxedo is. We’ve always struggled to keep it in stock.
Playboy: What should guys keep in mind when wearing a tux?
Coyne: Wearing a tuxedo shouldn’t change who you are. Allow your personality to exist. Make sure you look sharp, and then have some fun.