There are a few occasions in your life where wearing a tuxedo is mandatory.
While shopping for a tuxedo, you’ll find that are tons of different designer labels, styles, and even colors.
The choice can be overwhelming, but what can be even more overwhelming is the price tag.
The average price of a tuxedo can be as reasonable as $100 but can also skyrocket to over $1,000.
For certain occasions like weddings, you may find yourself needing to splurge on an expensive tuxedo that makes you look your best.
The expensive price tag may make you wonder what makes tuxedos pricey in the first place.
Here are 10 reasons tuxedos are expensive.
Why Are Tuxedos So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
A tuxedo is expensive if you need alterations.
When you buy a tuxedo off the rack at any formal store, you sometimes have the option of receiving alterations or buying it as is.
If you choose to buy the tuxedo as it is, then it’s cheaper.
The consequence is that the tuxedo won’t fit your body perfectly.
Since the tuxedo enhances the structure of the body, it can make you look odd while wearing it.
The shoulders won’t sit right, and it can sometimes make you look as though you’re wearing someone else’s tuxedo.
If you chose the size incorrectly, then it may even look as though you’re swimming in the suit rather than wearing it.
If you do choose to have it altered, then a tailor takes your measurements and customizes the tuxedo exactly to your proportions.
This means that they might add more fabric or take some away to fit your figure better.
Alterations don’t always come cheap because it takes time to alter an existing tuxedo to fit your body.
If there are only one or two tailors in the store, then they may have several orders that they need to handle.
This means their services are in high demand while their service, itself, has a limit on it.
The high price of alterations can contribute to an already expensive price tag of the tuxedo.
The benefit of receiving alterations is that you’re left with a tuxedo that fits your body a lot better.
It looks as though you had it specifically made for you from the start.
Tuxedos are expensive if you choose to have someone make alterations on them to fit you better.
Another reason tuxedos are expensive is if you have one custom-made for you.
This is easily the most expensive option since it requires an entire team of individuals to work on your order, specifically.
The process begins with a designer.
You can end up with an expensive tuxedo if you choose to have your suit made by a famous designer.
The benefit of hiring a famous designer is that you usually get an incredible product.
The designer takes their reputation seriously which is why they overlook every step of the process.
You also get the benefit of wearing a suit with its name attached to it.
This can significantly upgrade your status.
Besides the designer, you then have the actual team of tailors working on the suit for you.
You’ll have to come in for several fittings to ensure that the suit fits you perfectly.
They literally make the suit according to your measurements to make it fit like a glove.
A well-tailored suit enhances your body rather than hides it.
Since the suit is custom-made rather than mass-produced, you also have to pay for the materials up front.
When buying from a store, those costs are a part of the final price tag but are also shared among the other products that used those materials.
With one specific suit that they designed and made for you, it’s up to you to pay for all the materials and tools yourself.
Between paying for their services and the cost of materials, you’re left with a pretty high bill for your custom-made tuxedo.
You might make it even more expensive by requesting personal details that add more time to its creation.
Tuxedos are expensive when you have them custom-made because they require the services of several workers and materials.
All tuxedos are suits but not all suits are tuxedos.
The main difference is the presence of satin.
If a suit has some satin, then it’s a tuxedo.
It’s also one of the big reasons behind the expense of a tuxedo.
While materials always add to the cost of an item, satin is one of the big costs for designers.
There are several different types of satin on the market.
The cheapest is polyester satin.
This is the type of satin that’s used primarily in cheaper tuxedos.
The most expensive tuxedos use satin made of silk fibers.
Silk is expensive because it’s a natural product.
Silkworms make silk, which is then harvested and spun into various products.
Silk fibers create the characteristic sheen and soft texture of satin.
It takes a lot of effort to feed and nurture silkworms to make high-quality silk.
When a producer makes silk from high-quality worms, then you can expect their products to be on the expensive side.
They need the profit to continue to nurture and raise their silkworms to give the best possible product.
That means designers also have to spend a good amount of money on silk if they want to use the best material available.
Since they need a lot of silk to make satin for the tuxedo, they end up investing a lot of money on that material alone.
The result is a tuxedo that looks incredible because of the high-quality satin used in its production.
Fashion designers and lovers can often tell the difference between low-grade and high-grade satin.
That’s why celebrities and other affluent individuals pay high prices for tuxedos with quality satin.
The more satin that a tuxedo contains, such as in personal or small details aside from the lapel, the more expensive the tuxedo is going to be.
Tuxedos are expensive because they use satin which is an expensive material made of silk.
4. Tuxedo Tails
The amount of material that goes into making a tuxedo influences its price.
That’s why a tuxedo with tails is more expensive than a tuxedo without tails.
You may be unsure whether you should buy a tuxedo with tails or without tails.
It depends on the type of event you need the tuxedo for.
Back in the 1800s, tuxedos were exclusively worn after sundown.
They represented a change of clothes from daytime or work time to nighttime or social time.
To distinguish the suit from executive work, tails were popular on tuxedos.
Fashion started to change after the emergence of the vehicle, however.
The time between work and social evenings blurred into one another.
As such, tuxedos and tuxedos with tails started to lose their popularity.
Business suits became formal-casual and made it easier for people to wear them both during and after work.
Today, tuxedos and tuxedos with tails have a firm place in extremely formal events.
Those events might include opera performances, diplomatic events, proms, black tie or white tie events, and weddings.
When it comes to tuxedos with tails, that particular suit calls for the most formal of events.
Weddings and diplomatic events tend to be the most popular choices for tails.
Ceremonies like knighting or other fraternal organization gatherings are also popular places for tuxedos with tails.
Since these events have a reputation for being extremely formal affairs requiring white ties, the use of tuxedos with tails is often expected.
As such, if you ever plan on getting married or going to a white tie event, then you may need to consider buying a tuxedo with tails.
The problem with that particular style of tuxedo is that it’s more expensive.
The tails use more material, and some even use more satin.
These two elements make tuxedos with tails far more expensive than those without tails.
Tuxedos that have tails are expensive because it requires the use of more fabric and materials.
5. Pricey Accessories
When you buy a tuxedo, it isn’t only the tuxedo that you’re buying.
You’re also buying the accessories that come with it.
Two of the most important accessories associated with tuxedos are buttons and cufflinks.
The buttons are an important part of the tuxedo because they’re front and center.
If you choose the wrong type or color of buttons, then it can throw off the entire design of the suit.
That’s why some fashion designers will have several different options available.
They want to help ensure that you’re picking the buttons that best go with the suit.
Buttons can be pricey, however.
Some might have real gold or silver in them.
Others might even have diamonds or other precious gems.
If you want custom buttons to fit with a specific design or logo, then you can also expect that to cost a lot of money.
Luxury buttons are expensive based on the materials used and the time it takes to create them.
Some button manufacturers even make their buttons by hand, which drives up the cost even further.
If that weren’t enough making the suit expensive, cufflinks also add a lot of cost to the tuxedo.
Some cufflinks are even worth $4.2 million.
Cufflinks are a vital part of the tuxedo because they’re considered one of the finishing touches.
They can have gold, diamonds, or other precious metals or gems as their central design point.
If they come from a famous designer, then that also adds to the cost since you’re buying the brand name.
Tuxedos are expensive because the cost of the accessories associated with the suit also drives up the price.
6. Difficult To Make
There’s a reason that tailored tuxedos look better than mass-produced tuxedos.
The suit is difficult to make.
Tuxedos have a purpose to make the wearer look amazing.
The problem is most suits tend to look shabby after a few uses.
A tuxedo has to continue to look crisp and fresh.
That means its design has to be flawless, and the suit has to be carefully crafted.
Mass-produced tuxedos go through a factory and are only given a cursory quality check.
The goal of those tuxedos is to generate a profit through quantity rather than quality.
The problem with those tuxedos is that they won’t hold up well over the years.
Tuxedos that aren’t mass-produced or are handcrafted do stand the test of time.
That’s because the designer and tailor can carefully put together every aspect of the suit.
Every step of the process goes through a form of quality assurance because if something isn’t set up correctly, then the next part of the tuxedo can’t proceed.
The particular style is also difficult to make.
This means it requires experienced and skilled workers to make.
They often need higher wages to entice them to join one factory over another.
Those costs add to the total cost of the tuxedo.
Tuxedos are expensive because they’re difficult to make and require skilled workers who receive higher wages.
7. Designer Label Exclusives
Another reason tuxedos are expensive has to do with exclusivity.
There are a few well-known designer brand names like Hugo Boss, Versace, Armani Exchange, and Tom Ford.
These names are associated with luxury and celebrities.
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to walk red carpets in Tom Ford or Armani suits.
There’s a reason that these tuxedos fetch high prices.
Top designer labels only produce a small number of tuxedos every year.
They purposely make a limited supply to make them exclusive.
That’s because designers know that in the world of fashion, no one wants to wear the same thing as someone else.
To limit the chances of that happening, they only release a limited number of tuxedos of a certain model or design.
Since they also have a lot of demand for their suits, the prices for their exclusive suits go up substantially.
In any market, when a product has a low supply but a high demand associated with it, the price for that product becomes high.
Tuxedos are no different.
Tuxedos are expensive because designer labels create a market of exclusive suits which drives up the prices.
8. Life-Long Investment
Unless you’re a celebrity, in most cases, you only ever need to buy one or two tuxedos in your lifetime.
Designers and fashion retailers know this.
Most people aren’t going to various high-fashion social events every few evenings.
Because of this, they have to make the most of their money through the single purchases that people do make.
That’s why you’ll often find that tuxedos for weddings are some of the more expensive suits in the market.
They’re capitalizing on the fact that grooms will likely buy this one tuxedo and then never buy another.
To make the most of their money, since the groom likely won’t be buying another in the future, they put a high price tag on the suit.
This helps their profits last a little bit longer.
Due to the high-quality put into most tuxedos, they also last a long time.
Combine this with rarely wearing the suit, and you have a tuxedo that can easily last a person’s lifetime if not longer.
Tuxedos are expensive because they’re made to last a lifetime and have few repeat purchases among the masses.
9. Fabric Material
While satin is a pricey material for the finishing touches of a tuxedo, there are also different choices for the main material of a tuxedo.
In most instances, the most expensive tuxedos use a type of wool.
The type of wool can influence the price of a tuxedo even further.
For example, if it comes from a type of sheep or llama that produces high-quality wool, then it’s going to be more expensive.
Soft wool is a highly-prized commodity when it comes to manufacturing clothes.
The softer the wool is, the more expensive it’s going to be.
Cheaper tuxedos might use cheaper materials like polyester.
You can usually tell the difference between a polyester tuxedo and a wool tuxedo because of the difference in grain and texture between them.
Since wool tends to be more expensive, it also makes the tuxedo expensive.
Wool is expensive because it comes from animals that require care and feeding.
The best wool comes from a rare type of animal.
Since they’re rare, they’re unable to produce as much wool as there is demand for it.
It goes to the highest bidder who then charges more for their products since they have to make up for their costs.
Tuxedos are expensive because some of the makers use expensive materials like wool to make up the bulk of the suit.
10. Various Parts
Buying a tuxedo isn’t as simple as buying a jacket or shirt.
A tuxedo is a full suit.
This means you’re buying the jacket, pants, vest, and shirt that goes with it.
The price you pay is actually split up between all the parts of a tuxedo.
That doesn’t include additional parts like shoes, a bow tie or tie, or cufflinks.
If each part contains expensive materials or has personalized designs to it, then those all add together to make an expensive price tag.
Tuxedos are expensive because they’re several parts that create a suit rather than a single product like a jacket or vest.
Tuxedos have been a part of fashion for centuries.
Although the proper environment in which to wear them has changed over the years, their place as a luxury clothing outfit hasn’t.
Along with its place as a luxury clothing outfit comes a high price.
Tuxedos are expensive because of their difficulty in production, the materials used in their production, and whether the suit fits the individual perfectly or not.