Perfect Fit

Continued (page 2 of 2)

Mistake #4: Your Rental Isn't Made From The Right Stuff

High-end fabrics, says Donna Simonelli of Fabian Couture Group International, makers of Fumagalli, Lubiam, and Geoffrey Beene tuxedos, are available in rentals, too. It's just that many wedding parties don't know about it. "People tend to look through books and select tuxedoes on image, not by the way they feel and fit," she says. "Very often there are more options than what they're looking at."

Simonelli, whose background with Fabian includes customer service, design, sales, and marketing, says the difference between looking good and looking great may be hanging by a thread. "The super 110's and 120's (number of threads per inch) are available on more and more tuxes," she says. And higher thread counts, she says, add up to a better experience all the way around. "Traditional tuxedos have 70- and 80-thread counts. The higher thread counts are lighter, and there's no comparison in how they look, how they drape (hang), or hold up through the day. These are wonderful garments, and wearing a tuxedo shouldn't be a chore."

Mistake #5: You Save a Couple Bucks, But End up Paying for It

Quality costs, but it counts, and here's why: "You're not going to be the first one wearing that rental tuxedo, but you don't want it to look that way," says Nancy Haboush, President of Mr. Neat's Formalwear, a 20-store chain in Colorado and Wyoming. "Designer labels, like Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, or Claiborne are all going to cost a bit more than a generic or private label, but they're worth it. These designers make a better tuxedo, and they look great even after it's been rented more than once." The difference in quality shows up in the price, with generic labels running around $60–$80, depending on where you live, and designer labels running from $90 to $175. Haboush also says to make sure you put your best formal foot forward.

"Great shoes aren't free," she says. "If your tuxedo company is throwing in the shoes, stop and think, 'How can they do that?' If the shoes are free, they probably look free. Great-looking shoes cost money, and you should gladly pay for them. Your feet will thank you."

Haboush says price matters down the road, too. "It's your wedding day. There are lots of places to consider saving money, but what you wear is not the place. That's the only thing that lasts—the pictures, the memories, the way you looked and felt that day. They're all tied in to what you were wearing." Make no mistake about it.

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