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Should You Rent or Buy a Tux?

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Like clockwork, wedding season arrives every summer. For those who are going to be members of the wedding party, that means going out-of-pocket to pay for the fancy clothes that you’re going to wear to the event. That’s especially if it follows a traditional wedding style, which involves gowns for the bridal party and tuxedos for the groom’s party.

If you’re on the bride’s side of the event, you’re almost certainly going to buy your outfit. That’s a given for the bride’s gown, and while the bridesmaids’ dresses are less special, they often fall into the category of something that will only be worn once. They may or may not be custom fitted, but they’ll often feature unique colors or patterns that will not work for use in additional weddings, which means you cannot get away with renting them.

The groom’s side of the aisle has it a bit easier, money-wise. The standard tuxedo has long been around for a very long time and its design has been adapted to make it much easier to adjust from one wearer to the next. Because it has, the members of the groom’s party have the option to rent what they wear for the occasion.

But that may not make as much sense when you’re in the position of having to be in multiple wedding parties on the groom’s side. If you have a bunch of weddings to attend as a member of the groom’s party in your future, it may make more financial sense for you to buy a tuxedo to wear to all of them.

Whether it does will come down to how many weddings you will have to attend as a tuxedo member of the wedding party, how much it costs to rent a tuxedo, and how much it costs to buy one. There’s also the matter of other advantages for owning a tuxedo, which are explored in the following video:

We’ve built the following tool to do the math to see whether it makes more sense for you to rent or buy a tuxedo. The default data is from 2023 and 2024, so you’ll likely need to update it, but that’s why we set it up the way we have. If you’re accessing this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, you may need to click through to our site to access a working version of the tool.

Cost Data for Renting or Buying a Tuxedo
Input Data Values
Number of Events per Year for Which You Need to Wear a Tuxedo
Cost of Renting a Tuxedo per Event
Cost to Buy a Tuxedo
Rate of Inflation
Credit Card Interest Rate
Should You Rent or Buy a Tuxedo?
Calculated Results Values
Profitability of Owning (Positive = Buy, Negative = Rent)
The Bottom Line

The numbers for renting a tuxedo are taken from Tom Grupa’s Fash article on the cost of renting a tuxedo in 2023. The number for buying a tuxedo is one we came up with through trial and error, where we sought to identify a price point near where it would make sense for the prospective tuxedo wearer to buy their tuxedo rather than rent with respect to the other default values in the tool.

If you play with the tool, you’ll find that if you only change the cost of buying a tuxedo, a price lower than the $1,725 we’ve indicated will swing the choice in favor of buying.

The other inputs for the tool affect how the cost of a tuxedo may change over time, where we assume the value will increase due to inflation at about 3.3% a year. Whether renting or buying, paying for the tuxedo will most likely be done with a credit card, for which the interest rate we set as the default is the average credit card interest rate Bankrate reports applies as of 5 June 2024. These are both values that can change, so update them as you need when considering your own rent versus buy situation.

Outside of the cost of buying a tuxedo, probably the most influential number affecting the rent versus buy choice is the number of events for which you might wear a tuxedo. The higher this number is, the more it will swing the balance in favor of buying over renting a tux.

In the tool, the “profitability” is the benefit to you in buying rather than renting. A positive result favors buying over renting, where we’ve provided this result to give you an indication of how close you are to that recommendation.

All that said, if you have a lot of weddings in your future, be sure to enjoy the celebration regardless of whether you’ve rented or bought your tuxedo!


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