The hunt for tuxedos in the Capital Region

Waldorf Tuxedo photo.JPG

The Waldorf on Lark Street in Albany

By Erik Dollman

I'm getting married.

I have four groomsmen, including my best man. Two of my guys are here in the Capital District, and two are out of town. One is downstate, in Rockland County. The other lives in North Carolina. And I'm here in Albany

With this in mind, I began my quest for a tuxedo rental solution that would work for my geographically disparate men.

But I'm pretty particular about tuxedos...

Black tie dress should designate a special event.

There's a trend out there to make men's formal wear as un-special as possible. People are dressing up like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black and calling it a tux. Straight ties and notch lapels make a tux look like a plain old business suit. Straight ties on a tux are trendy. Nothing will date your wedding photos like a trendy tux.

A classic tux should have the following:

Formal shoes
Modern formal shoes include either patent-leather oxfords or velvet slippers (which Ralph Lauren offered last year).

Trousers with a grosgrain or satin stripe
These should have a plain (as opposed to cuffed) hem, and are worn somewhat higher than suit-pants, just below your belly button.

A French cuff shirt with a wing or lay-down collar
The most traditional shirt has pleats on the front, and uses studs in place of buttons. However, you can also wear a shirt with covered buttons and no pleats, which presents a sleek, clean look without dressing it down.

A jacket
These can be one of three colors: white/ivory (special rules apply) black, or midnight blue. Midnight blue is a blue so dark it looks black, and is both traditional and an elegant touch, but not as widely available. Also, they should be either one or two button, and have a shawl or peak lapel in either satin or grosgrain.

A bow tie
Black. Hand-tying is preferred, but tricky.

Waist coverings
Here we're talking about a waistcoat/vest, or a cummerbund. I like the cummerbund because of its classic look, and the fact that you can (and are supposed to) cinch in any extra man-body that might make your silhouette something less-than-dashing.

My search:
OK, so I was looking for a one-button, peak lapel, all black tux, with a wing collar and cummerbund. Because of my geography problem, I decided to try the Men's Wearhouse.

I was guided to a catalog which included exactly one option for me. One. Nearly everything else looked like a business suit disguised as a tux. There was however, a fine selection of colored "tuxedos," without lapels or collars, to help you achieve that pimptastic look you've always wanted.

They had exactly one of the style I picked and it was not my size. They had me try it on anyway, which was obviously useless. I asked about a few specific modifications which I normally need. They said they "don't do much tailoring for tuxes." So I was supposed to pick a jacket for my wedding having never tried it on, knowing that it was going to fit poorly, and nothing would be done about it? No.

Frustrated, I went to The Waldorf Tuxedo Company on Lark Street. First off, the gentleman who helped me actually knew what he was talking about. They didn't hand me a catalog. Instead, we went over to a mirror and I tried on several jackets until I found one that fit properly.

And guess what? Having groomsmen scattered about the universe is not uncommon -- and they have a plan to handle it. Apparently independent tuxedo shops have an informal "arrangement" with each other. My groomsmen walk into any independent tuxedo shop, have measurements taken by a professional, and have those measurements sent to Waldorf.

Speaking of measurements: it turns out that national chain I went to takes outseam measurements, not inseam measurements. Chances are the young lady who helped me would be squeamish about getting intimate enough to take an accurate inseam. The inseam measurement is a constant, while the outseam can vary, based on the cut of the trousers, and where they are worn.

In the end, I couldn't have been happier with the service and knowledge level of the staff at Waldorf, and I would recommend them to anyone having a wedding or other formal event.

One last thing to think about:
Waldorf sells used rental tuxes for $275 and new tuxes for $375, so if you can see wearing a tuxedo two or three times in the next year, it might make sense to buy.


Put Waldorf tuxedo in the "reccommended column" for me. I got married in October and put my and my groomsmen's tuxes in the hands of Waldorf without worry.

Their service was top notch, and the staff was really personable. It's one thing to have a great product and resonable prices (which they do) but it's another for business to go the extra mile, take their time, and not force things. It may be only once or twice in your life you need to rent a tux - so don't just shop on price alone - Waldrorf is the best!

Waldorf is the only place to get a tux. Or in some of my cases, half a tux -- kilt bottom

I also have a great fondness for Waldorf, but when I got married in September 2008, I ended up going to Choppa & Son ( on Central Ave instead.

What made me decide against Waldorf was that ultimately, they couldn't rent me what I wanted. Your discussion of the proper qualities of a tuxedo omits one fact - to be truly proper, you can't wear one before dark. Since I had an afternoon wedding, the choices were morning dress (suitable for ultra-formal daytime events, the equivalent of white-tie evening wear) or a stroller (the daytime equivalent of the tuxedo you described in your post). Although the gentlemen at Waldorf seemed to appreciate my desire to follow the rules, they said that they couldn't stock strollers because no one ever requested them. (They also told me that the overall range of styles they carry has decreased over the years as they have had to stock larger and larger sizes to accommodate our expanding American waistlines!)

And that's what brought me to Choppa & Son. They have a much larger warehouse, so they can afford to keep some more traditional styles in stock even if they aren't rented as often. The service I got there was comparable to what I've heard about Waldorf - which is to say, light-years beyond the smarmy car-salesman vibe you get from the sleazeballs at Men's Warehouse. I got a highly professional and no-pressure consultation, and all the orders (including out-of-town measurements) were filled perfectly and without complication. (Here's a photo of me and the groomsmen in our strollers.) Sure, you pay a little more than you would at a chain, but compared to the wedding gown, it's nothing!

Futia's on Central Ave is the only place I'll ever rent a tux from. Great service, great selection and good prices compared to Waldorf.

I'm happy so many have had good luck with Waldorf. I help organize a black-tie function every spring, and many of the men attendants have had many issues with them, from improper fit (there's no need to look like a quarterback if you aren't broad shouldered) to them forgetting cummerbunds.

in my opinion no groom should rent a tux, ever.... the bride does not rent her dress so why should the groom rent his tux? bite the bullet and get a custom fit so you don't look like a clown on your wedding day.

@ Patrick Good point! When following traditional sartorial rules, afternoon affairs do require morning dress (daytime equivalent of white tie) or strollers (daytime equivalent of black tie). The problem comes when an afternoon affair extends past six. Traditionally, strollers are not acceptable evening wear. Modern etiquette in the US does allow a tux or dinner jacket to be worn during the day. I don't know how this was done in the "old days" though I know that changing jackets or waistcoats for the evening was not unheard of. In real "society" affairs, the reception will be held at a time allowing evening wear. Either way, you guys look awesome! Good choice.

I got mine at Tuxego in Latham. The guy seemed very knowledgeable and interested. Everything went well and I was happy with the choices and my tux.

A couple of groomsmen were from NYC and, despite the "gentlemen's agreement", they got a bit of grief from a local tux shop when they asked for measurements with no intention to rent from that particular shop.

The Wagner Family of Waldorf are very nice people & I highly applaud them as one of my formidable & class competitors. A letter written to me by a groom described his shopping experience. Waldorf & my store Tuxego in Latham we were the only stores he found worthy of his business but ultimately chose me for my knowledge & selection. It can be found on my website you may also find many accolades from clients. In my opinion, my true fellow tux pro's, Waldorf, Futia's, Choppa's and myself, Anthony Commisso of Tuxego in Latham are dedicated to Formalwear as our business not as a side line as in others shops. We have the most difficult job of all wedding pros. I've run out of room but welcome discussion.

My husband and his groomsmen got their tuxes from Tuxogo in Latham, NY for our 6/6/09 wedding. Anthony and his staff were excellent to work with and we were very pleased with their services and the price was very reasonable!!! I would recommend them to everyone we know!!

I've been to a lot of tuxedo places and I have to say tuxogo in Latham is the best. My now wife told Anthony what she was looking for me and my groomsmen and Anthony nailed it. I Know he went out of his way to get the job done. One fitting one try out plus I needed some miner adjustments which he fixed at the store and home we went ( that EZ ). So if you need a tux tuxogo is the place to go and Anthony is the man to see.

I love the guys at Waldorf! Not only are they my neighbors in Center Square...they run a quality business.

My husband and his best man got their tuxes there 5 years ago for our wedding.

And best of all - when I (as a female) had to rent a tux at a client's request for a special delivery / courier job - I went to Waldorf and they made me feel more than comfortable with the whole experience. I did end up wearing my own pants as the guy pants just were not working.

Their attention to detail is first class!

You should talk to Anthony at Tuxego ( - I got married a little over a year ago with 8 groomsmen located across country from California to Louisiana to Jersey. Anthony had the perfect tuxes for the groomsmen, groom, grandfathers, and ring bearer and he really provided the kind of personal service that is so rare to find nowadays. I live in VA and had my wedding in Latham, NY and did almost all my planning over email and phone. Anthony was 100% accommodating to my hectic schedule. He also had good deals about renting a certain amount then getting one free, I don't remember the details now but he'll tell you about it. Also, there was one confusion with a groomsman going to the wrong place and Anthony fixed it ASAP even though it was last minute and worked with me any time of the day/weekend to make sure everything was perfect. So I would 110% recommend Tuxego, and specifically to work with Anthony Commisso. Good luck with your wedding!

Check out Tuxego in Latham. Anthony and his staff handled a tough schedule of groomsmen arriving from across the country -- some the day of the wedding. It was one less thing to worry about on the big day. Best of luck with your wedding.

Tuxego in Latham is the best experience i have ever had. I have been going to Tony since my high school proms staright thriugh my wedding last year and i wouldnt have went anyplace else.!

I'm not surprised you had bad results at Men's Wearhouse. In my attempts to buy suits there they've been so rude it had to be calculated. It's inexcusable for a salesman to look at your off-white shirt and say "Was that shirt originally white?"

Hey, I was just looking for a camouflage tuxedo for my 8th grade dance. Cant find anywhere else. I live in the capitol region, NY.
ZIP 12072

Hi there. Comments have been closed for this item. Still have something to say? Contact us.

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine