The Black Tux
For better or worse, summer wedding season has touched down and groomsmen everywhere are suiting up in borrowed duds. If rental suits instantly conjure up images of box-shouldered atrocities (think David Byrne in 'Stop Making Sense') or a clownish prom night ensemble, The Black Tux might ameliorate your concerns. Launched by L.A.-based friends Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne, who were frustrated by a lack of options when outfitting the groomsmen for Blackmon's wedding, The Black Tux is a reinvented rental service that takes cues from tech-savvy online-only retailers like Everlane and Warby Parker. The boys partnered with one of the country's top suitmakers to create what they're calling "the greatest rental tux ever designed," a high-quality, fitted, modern tux that blows outdated counterparts out of the water.
Without the expense of maintaining physical locations, The Black Tux sinks its funds into inventory, delivering a superior product (equivalent to a $1,500 suit at retail) for $95, around half what you'd pay at, say, Men's Wearhouse. Our first look at the wares confirmed the company's selective eye: midnight blue and black peak-lapel tuxes in classic and slim fits, plus spot-on suiting in light and dark gray, all in Super 150s merino wool. The formalwear outfitter also provides necessary trappings like dress shirts, bow ties, cuff links, and shoes – including rentable black Converses if you're so inclined. More styles and collabs with notable names in American menswear are forthcoming.
Efficiency, no less than quality, is key here: The well-designed site walks you through accurate home measuring to get that all-important customized fit and also offers you the option of visiting a Black Tux-suggested tailor in your area, if you prefer. Shipping is free and suits arrive on your doorstep 10 days before the event, instead of the crazed day-before pickups of national chains, giving you time to troubleshoot as needed. Drop the goods in the mail for returns (return shipping is also included). The only other thing you need to know: Book early, because The Black Tux is already finding its audience and seeing skyrocketing demand. [$95; blacktux.com]