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The tuX files: How to rent a tuxedo

If you have a large wedding party to be outfitted, it’s smart to start the planning process as early as possible. Photo: ImageMakers

How soon should you come by to look at tuxes? The single easiest answer is, “As soon as possible.” Most couples visit about three to six months in advance, but we routinely service weddings on much shorter notice. Our half-price invitation special represents the biggest incentive to book early. All too often brides visit us after they have purchased their invitations and are dismayed to learn they could have saved hundreds of dollars.

When you visit the shop to look at styles, it’s best to leave the wedding party at home. If you want their fashion advice, then, by all means, invite them, but do not expect to find an easy consensus among the members of the group. Frequently in such cases, couples will capitulate to please the tastes of their party, rather than picking what they had in mind. Remember, it’s your day. When it’s their turn to get married, they can pick what they like.

Each member of your party is required to make three visits to the shop. The first visit should occur approximately four to six weeks before the wedding (ideally). At that point, we take a quick (10 minutes, tops) fitting. One or two days before the wedding, each person returns for a longer visit (about an hour), during which they will try on the entire tuxedo, and we will make any required alterations on site, e.g., lengthen the pants, shorten the sleeves, etc. The last visit is the following Monday when the party returns their tuxedos. If you wish, you can designate a single person to return them. We don’t care who brings them back, so long as we get them back…!

If it sounds easy, that’s because it is. If you’re worried about short lead time, out of town ushers, or anything else, we do it all. Just give us a call!


The tuX files: David and Goliath

Mike and Tabitha. Photo by Nelly Saraiva.

Planning a wedding is (hopefully!) a once-in-a-lifetime event that can be both thrilling and stressful. During this emotional time, it’s easy to be victimized by false or misleading advertising, so in an effort to help you sort through some of the misleading claims out there, we’re going to break down the most important details about selecting your wedding’s formal wear.

Formalwear Selection
Brides like to have choices, no doubt, so often they explore chain stores first, under the erroneous impression that bigger companies will offer a wider array of products. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The logistical challenges of supplying chain stores from coast to coast force them to homogenize their inventory and offer fewer choices. Independent stores like Main Street Formals have the flexibility to offer all the standard styles the bigs guys offer—plus an exciting array of styles to which franchises don’t have access. What if the style or color you want doesn’t exist? Main Street Formals can custom-make it.

Uncle Charlie’s nephew from Roswell.

Convenience of Experience
Chain stores often boast of having hundreds of locations across the country to make fitting your groomsmen more convenient. In truth, all tuxedo shops easily and routinely accommodate out-of-town groomsmen. These men simply request a courtesy fitting at any shop in their home state and then send the measurements to us. In fact, in all of these cases, independent stores like Main Street Formals have the advantage. Why? Because courtesy fittings are notoriously inaccurate, and so when/if the tuxes don’t fit, we have a team of talented seamstresses who can correct them on the spot. Even more important, we carry inventory on site, so when things can’t be tailored (for instance, if shoes don’t fit), we can simply grab another pair. National chain stores cannot do this because individual locations keep almost no inventory on site.

Old-World Service
When it’s all said and done, most tuxedo shops can all get all the same (or similar) styles. So, why do two men wearing the exact same suit look so different? It’s the fit. This is the most important component of a tuxedo rental, and yet it’s often the most overlooked. In short, the fit is EVERYTHING. Main Street Formals is the only formalwear shop in the region that offers full-time professional on-site tailoring. We alter suits, street clothes, uniforms, even bridal wear. Do you think a bride would trust a national men’s store with her bridal gown?

You can often buy outfits like this for close to the cost of what you pay to rent at the Big Box.

Affordable Prices
Many people think that chain stores will be cheaper. If you’re shopping for paper towels, maybe. Tuxedos, no. Indeed, chain stores will advertise low prices. But after they sink their hooks into you, you’ll find those low introductory prices are accompanied by countless hidden fees that transform your vision of a $69 bargain tux into $269. Beware the shell games.

Value-Added Specials
We all offer free rentals for qualifying grooms. But what makes Main Street Formals’ free rental different? Well, its…free. Yes, it sounds nuts, but with many competitors, “free rentals” are often not free. By the time you’ve added things like shoes, vests, insurance, you can pay up to $30-$70 for a FREE rental. We work to build a relationship with our customers, and most of our business comes from referrals. We’d lose that if we broke trust by tricking them. We can tell you for certain that we offer, bar none, the best specials in the region. Don’t miss out on any; call us today at (508) 995-0200 to learn which specials apply to you.


The tuX files: Sneak peek at what’s new at Main Street Formals

The talented crew of Lague Construction is working hard to keep us on schedule.

The sun is shining, and spring is in the air at Main Street Formals, as we wait with bated breath to witness each stage of progress in our building addition. There has been lots of activity here at the shop recently, as we wrapped up our participation in a number of successful local bridal expos and ratchet up our expectations for a busy 2018.

At present, much of our attention is dedicated to the expansion of our building, which after some 300 years of solid service (did you know we are the oldest standing structure in Acushnet?) needed to be expanded to make room for more inventory. Why do we carry so much product during a time when retailers everywhere labor to carry less? No friggin clue. We’re just nuts that way. These no-good salesmen keep knocking on our door, showing us racks and racks of amazing suits and formalwear, and we are simply powerless to say no. Toss in a new catalog, or an envelope full of the latest season’s swatches, and we’re instantly reaching for our wallet.

So, speaking of the “latest swatches,” what are we seeing for the hot looks for 2018? On the wedding end of the business, we expect strong demand for navy and charcoal, as brides continue to shift away from the lighter, more casual tones that have been so popular. We are also seeing a return to a more formal aesthetic, with the resurgence of bowties (yah!) as brides embrace the cosmopolitan elegance of black tuxedos in the opulent historic mansion settings of Newport and its peripheries.

Charcoal suitFor suits, charcoal and banker’s gray remain strong, for even the suit novice can put together a sharp ensemble with minimal effort. Navy and indigo continue to gain steam–all in tailored two-button models. The fashion blogs continue to promote bold colors, but we’re not hearing many requests for them (because you’re all a bunch of chickens). We are working hard to get you fellas to step out of your comfort zones, and if you’re toeing the waters, we recommend the addition of a patterned suit or two (windowpanes are hot right now). If you are the boss (or want to be), then perhaps it’s time to add a double-breasted suit to the mix. If you don’t know what that is (which makes us want to cry), just pop in, and we’ll walk you through what’s out there.

More news coming, we’ll post as time permits. Over and out. 😉



The tuX files: Myth-Busting at Main Street Formals

This handsome groom came all the way from Maine to buy a suit from us! 😉

Wedding season is nearly here, and as we host new brides and grooms in the store, they regularly regale us with tall tales from the competition. For fun this afternoon, we thought we’d bust a few of the myths out there.

Guess again. Shopping malls charge their tenants high rents for those properties, and they take a percentage of store sales, too. Guess who really pays for that. That’s right, You. Nestled in quaint, rural Acushnet, Main Street Formals owns its location, helping to keep our average tuxedo rental prices dramatically below what the big box often gets. How much lower? This weekend, one of our wedding customers reported he’s in another wedding at [the name that cannot be named], and he is paying more TO RENT a suit from them than he is TO BUY a suit from us.

When it comes to matching your colors, “mainstream” has nothing on Main Street. In addition to the hundreds of hues we carry in stock, our experienced, eager staff is happy to show you catalogs full of colors that we can special-order. What’s that you say? The color is so new that formalwear manufacturers haven’t made it yet? If we can’t match it, we can make it. That’s a level of service you just can’t find in a big box shop. Other stores claim they have “the most,” but if you ask them if they will custom-make accessories for you, you’ll probably hear crickets.


Uncle Charlie’s nephew from Roswell.

Whether they hail from Michigan or Mars, your out-of-towners can request a courtesy fitting from any tuxedo shop in their hometown and send us the sizes. When in town for the rehearsal dinner (1-2 days before the wedding), they can visit our store and try on their tux, and if it doesn’t fit, we will fix it while they wait. Wrong shoe size? Gained 15 pounds? Unlike chain stores, our store is stuffed with extra inventory, and we are the region’s only formalwear store with full-time in-house tailoring. When it comes to making your “Men in Black” look their best, nobody beats Main Street Formals.

Class dismissed.



The tuX files: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

The holiday season is upon us, and with this week’s dusting of snow, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! While everyone knows that most retailers list December as their busiest month each year, people are often surprised to learn that in the formalwear industry, business crawls to (nearly) a standstill over these weeks, and we take advantage of the season to attend to the many tasks that get neglected during our busy prom and wedding seasons. Inventory, garment repairs, and CLEANING take priority this time of year, but perhaps the best thing that happens is that we decorate the shop and it looks, well, awesome! (Nice job, Molly).

That’s not to say we have NO business this time of year. Certainly we have weddings almost every week, but they are few and they tend to be smaller parties. Too, we still visited by our loyal suit customers, shopping for Christmas gifts and dandy duds for holiday parties. Of course, there is a steady stream of ladies needing alterations on cocktail dresses for New Year’s Eve, and a steady but significant trickle of customers looking for gift certificates and unique stocking stuffers for the men in their lives.

So, we understand if tuxedos aren’t the first thing on your mind as you awaken to a driveway of snow this morning, but do know that if you find yourself tossing and turning in a full holiday panic because you forgot someone on your shopping list, we have you covered! Bowties, neckties, suits, blazers, dress shoes, scarves, fun socks, cufflinks and tiebars, and of course, TUXEDOS…whatever your sartorial predilection, you will be able to find something you like at a price you love at the SouthCoast’s (official) #1 men’s store, Main Street Formals.   


The tuX files: Fit to be tied

Indigo Suit

New Bedford City Councilor Steve Martins looks lean and mean in this slim-fit indigo suit from Main Street Formals.

At Main Street Formals, we are often asked what the “rules” are when it comes to men’s fashion.  Although ignorant fops routinely break the Commandments of Style (which were written in tailor’s chalk on a bolt of gabardine by the Almighty himself), we can surely agree that certain menswear commandments engender a spirit of elegance to which every gentleman should aspire. For instance, one should never fasten the bottom button on a two button jacket. Ever. Also, every man should own a navy blazer, which pairs as neatly with gray flannel as it does with designer denim. Naturally, we’d never pair a business suit with loafers.  And so on. But, if we were to establish a punch list of fashion tips, there would be one unequivocal tip to top them all: Fit is everything.

Model Josh Clattenburg cuts quite the athletic silhouette in this perfectly cut tuxedo from Main Street Formals.

No matter how much you’ve paid for it, an ill-fitting suit or tuxedo automatically looks cheap.  A $149 suit that is tailored to perfection will out-shine a $1000 potato sack any day of the week.  At Main Street Formals, we know that when it comes to menswear, fit is the key, and as such, we are the SouthCoast’s only men’s formalwear specialist that offers full-time in-house tailoring services.

Taylor Cormier

WBSM News Director and Rat Pat Crooner Taylor Cormier hams it up for the crowd at the FUN 107 Bridal Expo.

Whether your wedding party is renting or buying, you will not have to worry about your jacket looking like it came out of your grandfather’s closet or your best man’s trousers looking like parachute pants. We HATE that, and we’re sure you do, too.  With the help of our expert tailoring staff, Main Street Formals will go above and beyond to make sure your guys look perfect for your wedding day.