Q 1: When it comes to getting dressed up formally, it’s a lot easier for men than women. Guys have to make a decision once – to buy a one, two or three-button tuxedo – and for each special event they just have to make sure it still fits and is clean to wear. So if I have one, I can keep on wearing my old tuxedo, right?
A: Tuxedos do rotate in terms of style, up and down from one button to four buttons. Three buttons is the classic one. These days the ones and twos are making a comeback. For the younger men, longer jackets are popular, sometimes with designs in the satin piping. Be careful if you buy these, though, as they are a passing fancy. This crowd is also tending towards the flat front pants.
Q 2: I’ve heard the style of tuxedo shirts has changed
A: Shirts have changed slightly for the first time in a long time. The standard wing tip collar has given way to a flat collared shirt, but still with pleats. Some shirts might even sport a silky white on white design. With these styles, a regular tie is worn, although it should be a very dressy one, perhaps in black satin or with a dash of silver in it. Formal black tie events still call for the standard wing tip and bow tie, though.
Q 3 : Cummerbund or vest?
Cummerbunds are not around much, since the vest is king these days – usually with a tie to match. Suspenders aren’t very popular, but for comfort they do work best, since they keep the waistband up if you have a bit of a paunch, so the whole effect is much smoother – especially when you take off your jacket for all that wild dancing.
Q 4: Rent or buy?
Pat Formal Wear Rental, 5425 Verdun Ave. at Woodland Ave. Phone: 514-768-9332. It’s been 60 years of renting tuxedos for this family business. For as low as $59.99, you get your tux, shirt, studs, suspenders or cummerbund, tie, hankie and pants. They sell tuxedos and you can order vests and matching ties in at least thirty-one colors. In this haberdashery, with the attentive owners serving you, you will be thrilled with the service when buying sport shirts, sweaters, suits, dress shirts, ties and pants. Ask about the used tuxedos for $125-$175.
Classy Warehouse Store, 8211 17th Ave. at Jarry St. Phone: 514-728-6200. www.classy.ca In this headquarters building and distribution center, you will always find deals on formal wear. A whole tuxedo can be had for as little as $175. Broken down into parts: a jacket starts at $100, pants at $25 and up, shirts $12 (for a used one) and $49 for a new one, shoes begin at $25, ties are $10 and up and vests $15. If you get stuck and need a tux at the last minute, they can have one ready for you in an hour. Warehouse sales prices are better. For the sale, black jackets are $50-$75 (white or ivory are $50), pants $25-$40, and the rest of the outfit – vests ($25), shirts ($9), shoes ($5), ties, suspenders ($2) are here too. Other location (upstairs): 6768 St. Hubert St. (514-277-7641).
Boutique Jacques, 5970 Cote-des-Neiges Rd. at Linton Ave. Phone: 514-737-1402. www.execstyle.com For the well-dressed man who wouldn’t dream of going “discount shopping”, here you will receive one-on-one boutique service along with top of the line men’s domestic and European suits – (suggested retail $750 to $1,800) at discounts of up to 50%. Their tuxedos are higher end too, so the wool will be softer, feel more comfortable and drape better on your body (cheaper suits will look more like cardboard and crease easily). Theirs have real shoulder pads and canvas facing inside the chest pieces, so the tailor can work with it easily to make it fit you better. There is a complete tailor shop on the premises.
Q 5 What if you need a dress suit for the boys?
Schreters, 4358 boul. St-Laurent at Marie-Anne. Phone: 514-845-4231. I often get questions about where to buy boy’s suits. Since they hardly ever wear them, the one time they need one, you don’t even know where to look. Well I do. Go to good old Schreters on the Main. Schreters has put a lot of emphasis these days on filling the niche of dress suits for young lads and young men. For the past 80 years, Schreters has always been known for its men’s suits and its full size range and it is no different for the boys.
Though this is the busy season for buying suits for first communion, confirmations, and weddings, you can find the suits here all year long. The sizes go from 4-20, prices from $99-$250 and the brands are wow: Michael Kors, Joseph Abboud, Ike Behar, Hart Schaffner Marx and Robert Allan. They can even fit husky boys in sizes 12-20. You can of course finish off their outfits right here with shirts, ties, and shoes. This is Schreters after all! www.schreter.com