How to Choose a Custom-Made Wedding Tuxedo

Davis Vanderlin, director of merchandise for Boston's premier custom suit maker Blank Label, guides us through the process.

Blank Label's new navy blue shawl tuxedo

Blank Label’s new navy blue shawl tuxedo / Photo courtesy of Blank Label

When it comes to finding a tuxedo for the wedding, most grooms give a blank stare. Yes, you could rent a tuxedo. But when it comes to looking debonair on your big day, we’re guessing you might want to suit up in greater style.

As it turns out, going the custom-made route is becoming more common. We asked Blank Label, Boston’s premier custom suit maker, whose prices range from $575 to $950 for suits and $775 to $1,150 for tuxedos, for a little help on the process.

Davis Vanderlin, Blank Label’s director of merchandise, has seen a shift in the menswear industry over the past five years. “Men are becoming more style-conscious, and care more about the look that they’re wearing, especially for such a special occasion,” he says. “As a result, they’re looking to custom to achieve their desired look for the big day. With comparable pricing to off-the-rack retailers, custom has become more accessible and affordable.”

Below, Vanderlin discusses whether or not custom is right for you, and how to tackle the process:

If a groom is going with a custom-made suit or tux, when should he start the process?

We suggest starting the process about three months prior to the big day to alleviate the stress of a tight timeline, and to allow for enough time to perfect the look. While a custom suit or tuxedo can be made in much less time, the more time you allot, the better.

Aren’t custom suits outrageous in price?

Custom has traditionally been seen as an exclusive and expensive luxury that was beyond the reach of the average man. This is no longer the case. Custom offers suits and tuxedos at the same price as most off-the-rack retailers without the additional cost of alterations, which can average $200. While custom is still more expensive than renting a tuxedo, for a guy who wants the best fit and perfect style, custom is a great option.

How key is communication when envisioning a look?

We cannot emphasize enough how important communication is when building out your suit or tuxedo. Providing a clear vision for your wedding-day look will help your designer deliver on your expectations. Your designer is there to guide you through finding the best fit and style, but ultimately this is your suit or tuxedo. Be honest and confident in your choices. A custom suit is an investment. You want to make sure to communicate what you’re looking for, but don’t be afraid to lean on your designer for their expert opinion.

What should the groom bring with them for the first meeting with a designer?

Questions, ideas and a clear timeline. By providing as much information as possible, your designer is able to help paint a clear picture of what will work best for your vision. It’s also helpful to bring along photos that have inspired them, as well as color swatches that are going to play a big role for the wedding day. We also suggest bringing along your significant other if he or she should have any questions at all about the process and what the final garment will look like.

Any other advice you want to impart?

Do your research. Look around and get ideas about styles you like to have a baseline to start from. Trust your expert. They have your best interest at heart and will do everything they can to ensure you look amazing on your wedding day. Also, give yourself plenty of time. The custom process should be easy and stress-free. The more time you give yourself, the more at ease you will feel.


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