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Tuxedos and black tie suits: From high-end hires to high street bargains

Hiring a black tie suit can be a cost effective way to look dapper at any formal occasion

james bond tuxedo
Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon
Head of Digital
7 June 2017
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James Bond makes looking good in black tie seem easy. With his satin-smooth peak lapels, slim fit trousers and perfectly tied bow-tie, it never really matters whether Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery are inside the suit – the suit is simply enough. But if you’re not a movie star double agent, knowing how to perfect the tuxedo look can be a daunting prospect. And if the formal occasion requiring such a dapper appearance (a wedding, formal ball or perhaps even a cruise) is likely to be a one off, it can be even harder.

Daniel Craig shows off his tuxedo prowess on the red carpet

You want to look great but there’s no point breaking the bank. So what’s the solution? Thankfully these days there are a multitude of answers. Once the reserve of the poshest tailors on Saville Row, in 2017 tuxedos are all over town. Here we take a look at the options that abound – from high end hires that allow you to wear the smartest clothes without paying a fortune, to genuine black tie bargains from high street stores like Marks and Spencer and Primark.

MORE: The world's most stylish men

Moss Bros hire: style at a fraction of the investment

Hiring a suit can be a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario. Fancy yourself in finely tailored suit made with designer detailing and as-close-to-made-to-measure as you can get without paying for it? Then suit hire is the perfect solution. Moss Bros is the go-to destination for many a celebrity needing a knock-out look for a premiere or lavish celebration and the store’s flagship Regent’s Street branch has seen stars from Tom Hiddleston to Richard Branson stop by to borrow a suit.

The process is incredibly simple: pick a style (tuxedo/tails/lounge suit, no problem) and their hire experts quickly present you with a rack of options in exactly your size, just by glancing at your physique. While these suits are of course all off-the-peg, the array of styles and fits available (in addition to a personal stylist to help you step out of your comfort zone if necessary) means you’re pretty much guaranteed a suit that fits you like a glove.

And you don’t have to panic about wearing an expensive suit that you don't own: if your over-enthusiastic dance floor antics lead to disaster and your trousers split, standard Peace of Mind insurance means you’re completely covered for every eventuality - style without the stress. A minimum 5-day-hire for a tuxedo starts at just £42. Sizes from children to size 52 are available and if you leave at least 5 days before the date of your engagement to pop in for your fitting, you can be sure of a huge range of options. Alternatively, if you're confident of your size, you're free to order online

 Primark: the sub-£50 tuxedo

If you'd rather invest in a tuxedo for all time - there are a few different pricepoints available on the highstreet. And, no surprise here, Primark really do have the answer to everything! Black tie jackets (with satin lapels and satin covered buttons) are a steal at just £30, and matching trousers (without the silky touch, but at £15 who’s going to notice) mean your entire black tie problem can be solved for just £45. With an array of colourful accessories and bow ties, you can even add a novel twist to the monochrome dress code with ease.

MORE: Instagram star Nick Bateman shares his style and selfie tips

Marks and Spencer: Classic lines at high street prices

As you’d expect, the M&S tuxedo is a study of classic lines. Simplicity perfected, this jacket and suit combo comes in at an impressive £89 and does exactly what it says on the label. A black dinner jacket for a formal night out – classy and understated. Just what we’ve come to expect of the British high street treasure.

Hackett: Individuality, but at a price

With strict dress codes it’s easy to feel like your individuality has been stifled, especially when the lady in your life has a much freer rein with colours, styles and self-expression at the same event. Hackett has a solution for those gentlemen wishing to stand out from the crowd for the right reason at a formal event – but it does come at a price. For £550 you can look instantly distinguishable in this beautiful Ascot velvet black tie jacket. And in a very dark green, blue or maroon, you’re not only good enough to stroke, but also ever-so-subtly eye-catching too.

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