Some people are always prepared for everything and we immediately ask: how?!
Give us 8 months to prepare for a black tie wedding and we’ll take 7 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days to buy our tuxes. And that’s just what we did for a wedding we were set to attend in Santa Barbara earlier this month. We’ve officially figured out how to shop last minute for the best off the rack tuxedos 😉
SIDE NOTE: we must love to be stressed because we do stuff like this to ourselves ALL. THE. TIME. We need a life manager (but, that’s a whole other can of worms). #ProcrastinationNation.
Initially, we set off for J.Crew to try on a few tuxedos a week before the wedding, and realized while trying everything on in the fitting room together that, WELL, we could blog about this. All of this being: shopping last-minute for a black tie event.
Across Google alone, you can find 2 million+ results for “what to wear to a black tie event.” But, we like to think we know what we’re doing 😉
So, here’s what we do for ‘black tie:’
- Tuxedo or black dinner jacket (navy and white are acceptable options, but white should be avoided for a wedding)
- Matching tuxedo or black trousers
- White shirt (only visible at the chest, and not beneath the button of your jacket; if it shows, opt for a waistcoat or cummerbund)
- Bow tie (not a general neck tie)
- Black, knee-length socks
- Black patent leather shoes
The verdict for best last-minute tuxedo options?
Off-the-rack or overnighted, we found the fits from J.Crew, Topman, and Bonobos to be the best, all at a more mid-tier price range. For fit, we prefer tailored over loose, and all three brands focus on a more slim fit in general. The Ludlow from J.Crew, the Skinny Fit from Topman, and the Trim Fit from Bonobos.
In the end, we went with the shawl-collar Ludlow tuxedo in navy (on Chris) and the two-buttoned peak-collar Ludlow tuxedo in black (on Brock) from J.Crew, based on fit, quality of fabric, and price point. We both paired our looks with these black patent Aldo loafers (multiple people asked if they were Ferragamo, haha), which are on sale now!