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The Black Tux

If you've ever rented clothes, you know it’s a special kind of hell—lined with polyester suits that don’t fit anybody exactly right and memories of a prom night that didn’t quite live up to expectations. That said, it may be time to shake your long-held associations with the borrowed tux. Times have changed, with newer rental services offering clothing that fits like a dream—a la Rent the Runway, but for men. Enter, the Black Tux.

For the uninitiated, the company rents suits and tuxedos, but uses machine learning technology to accurately predict the right size for every guy that places an order.

In 2013, founders, Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne saw something was missing with suit rentals. The pair resolved to address the problem of getting the perfect suit without visiting a retailer or tailoring shop. And beyond that, Blackmon and Coyne set out to better the tux rental biz, by getting away from the polyesters of prom-nights past, instead looking toward the kind of high-quality suiting you’d normally need to shell out for big time.

How the Process Works:

You can rent complete outfits for about $200, including a dress shirt, cuff links, tie or bow tie, and leather shoes. From weddings to prom to any formal event, The Black Tux is ready with its wide selection of the finest suits and tuxedos.

The process is simple: First, you have to choose a style or outfit, and then you have to answer a few questions to help them get the right fit. Your outfit is delivered to you two weeks before your event so that you have plenty of time to order a different size if need be.

Shipping is free both ways – even if you need to get a different size, you still don't need to pay for shipping. And, if you’d rather try on your clothes in person, The Black Tux partners with select Nordstrom stores.

Do They Live Up to the Hype?

It depends who you ask. The menswear shop boasts plenty of positive reviews from men (and women) who claim that The Black Tux really came through for them on their wedding day—outfitting the groom and his men with relative ease.

That said, the “machine learning suit tech” wasn’t exactly fool-proof. Several men complained of suits and shirts not fitting correctly. The site provides you with access to a fit specialist and bases their process on body type, but it’s hard to fit the full range of human bodies into one, specific mold.

The only real benefit to choosing The Black Tux over its counterparts is—the suit comes in an attractive box, mailed directly to you—capitalizing on that convenience box model we love so much in these late 2010s.

Best Finds

There are plenty of basic black suits and tuxes on the website, but there are a few standout items that make this service seem worthwhile. A $125 Midnight Blue Pin Dot Tuxedo (includes jacket and pants) is one of our faves. Made from 100 percent, super-fine Italian merino wool, this tux has a one-button closure, silk satin peak lapels, side vents, and comes fully canvassed. If you don't want to wear black for a special occasion, midnight blue is the perfect choice. It separates you from the pack while giving the same elegance as black.

Or, try a Tan Suit for a springtime affair. This model rents for $110, and includes jacket and pants. It's made from 100 percent super-fine Italian merino wool, with a two-button closure, notch lapels, side vents, and comes fully canvassed. It's perfect for warm weather, and can be styled as serious or laidback—and a lot of guys probably aren’t going to get a ton of wear out of a lighter colored suit that works for just part of the year and lacks the versatility of something like black or navy.

Certainly, the argument can be made that, if you’re renting high-end clothes at a fraction of the retail price, why bother with buying nicer clothes at all? And it’s totally valid. This online service provides a slightly greener approach to clothing—loaning out on an as-needed basis. More adventurous men can try suits in colors (hello, Grey Mélange and Tartan Tux) they wouldn’t normally wear, as a one-time rental is far more wallet-friendly than spending your hard-earned cash on wild interpretations of formal wear.

Ultimately, though, you’ll need to figure out whether it’s worth it to keep renting tuxedos, or if you’re better off investing in your own. That’s all going to come down to your lifestyle—do you need to wear suits at all or just when that odd wedding comes up? If you’re renting a basic black or navy suit multiple times, it might be time to look into getting one of your very own.

What’s The Verdict on The Black Tux?

While suits and tuxedos retail for over $1,000, The Black Tux lets you rent premium suiting between $95 and $145, depending on the design. But, the thing about rentals is, you should probably buy your own if you plan on wearing it more than twice. Suits and tuxes can last several years if you invest upfront—so a few special occasions in, the garment should pay for itself.

We can see the Black Tux being an excellent resource for men who love fashion but don’t want to break the bank with every suiting trend that comes to pass. Think velvet jackets or suits that fall outside of the office-wedding-funeral versatility model.

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