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Unless you are a movie star or politician, you may only have the opportunity to wear a tux a handful of times in your life. The first time you enjoy the excitement and feel of sleek formalwear may well be your high school prom. Every subsequent experience, however--whether it be a wedding or your first art gallery opening--should be equally exciting. After all, the tuxedo is not a static fashion statement; it is dynamic.

Tuxedo Options

Take, for example, the concept of the tuxedo sock. Most specialists agree that when it comes to tuxedo outfits, your socks--as banal as this may seem--can often be a focal point for your creativity and individuality. Whether you opt for traditional black, plaid, or a bright color that matches your cummerbund, few formalwear opportunities combine subtlety and personality so well.

The opportunity to express yourself with a tux, however, does not stop with your socks. All manner of tuxedo accessories can help you to reveal your individualism, while still looking great. Cuff links, studs, lapels, bow ties--these items represent the proverbial icing on the cake. As long as the components of your formalwear fit together, there is no limit to the ways in which a tuxedo can tell those around you who you are.

The actual style of the tuxedo itself also presents a wide array of choices. Do you want a traditional or a more contemporary look? Do you want to wade through the crowd with the striking elegance of black tailcoat, white vest and white bow tie? Perhaps you would prefer a more modern tuxedo, featuring the very latest formalwear fashions. The choice is yours; when it comes to style, the choice is strictly a personal one.

A Few Tips on Tuxedo Shopping

Of course, it always helps to bring your friends along on a shopping excursion, particularly if you do not trust your own sartorial judgment. And if the event in question is your wedding day, it would be a good idea to include the future bride in the deliberations on your tuxedo. Your special day may not be the best time for the two of you to clash.

Those deliberations also need to begin fairly early on. In the case of a wedding, it is not premature to begin the process several months in advance. Discounts are sometimes available if you can get several men in your party to buy or rent their tuxedos from the same vendor. Often this means a free tuxedo rental for the groom. In the case of a high school prom, advance planning is also prudent. The prom season is pandemonium for tux vendors, and a wise junior or senior will avoid at all costs having to compensate for a shabby or piecemeal tuxedo with an apologetic offering of roses. The general rule for pick-up is true for proms; try to arrange to pick up your tux about two days in advance to make sure nothing goes wrong.

If you keep all these things in mind, you'll be one step closer to a gratifying tuxedo experience. Far from being stodgy or uniform, formalwear can actually be dynamic and enjoyable to wear. And who knows? Before long, you may well be arranging events just to have an excuse to put on a tuxedo one more time.

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