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The Tuxedo: Sizing Basics

November 1st, 2004

No matter how nice your tuxedo looks on a hanger, it won´t mean a thing if it has not got If you haven´t sized your tux correctly, you may end up with a high-water, too-tight, or too-loose suit that will make you look like a goofball on your wedding day. Make sure you get the right size by following our sizing guidelines below.

Choose your formalwear for style and comfort. You should be able to move easily -- do lots of twists, turns, and arm raises when you audition outfits. After all, you´ll be wearing those duds for four to eight emotional, fun-filled hours.

It´s a good idea for everyone to try on their formalwear at least two days before the wedding. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? You´d be surprised. Many mismatched bridal parties or ill-fitting jackets result from neglect of this simple step.

If the suits don´t fit, you´ll still have time to run back to the rental shop or the tailor to get the kinks worked out.

Here´s what to look for when you´re sizing up a tux:

Your jacket should fit comfortably at the neck and shoulders and fasten easily. Try standing and sitting with it buttoned.

About 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of your shirt´s cuff should show below the jacket sleeve. It should fit comfortably at the neck, shoulders, and waist.

Vest buttons should line up with your jacket front, and the vest should button comfortably across your chest. The bottom should slightly overlap the trouser waistband. The vest´s waist usually adjusts with a slide strap for a good fit. Something to consider, says Lord West´s Toll: a vest with a full back. When jackets come off during the reception, guests will see the real deal instead of a strap and the back of your shirt.

These should button comfortably and feel good when you sit. Many styles have adjustable waistbands, or you can opt for suspenders. The hem should break just over your shoe tops.

Bow tie
If you go for a bow tie, make sure you know your neck size. Most ties are adjustable, but check twice to make sure.

If you haven´t checked your shoe size since you bought dress shoes for your sixth grade graduation, reacquaint yourself with the Brannock device -- that metal slide-rule contraption shoe stores use to measure your feet. Remember that the best time to try on shoes is at the end of the day, because if your feet swell at all, they´ll do it then. Better for shoes to be too roomy than too tight.

by - Sara Fiedelholtz
at The Knot