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I hate technology. It scares me. But when my editors at Generation Tux offered me the option of trying out a tuxedo for a trip to Vegas with 15 of my best friends, I couldn’t resist. Turns out technology is still scary. But it really doesn’t have to be. It’s all about shifting paradigms. So I set my fear of technology and purchasing anything “on-the-line” aside for a day to try to find a perfect tux—and perfect tux combos—for me and all my friends.
The first step was convincing my friends to wear tuxes in Vegas. This step went by with a simple email. “Hey dudes. Tuxedos for Vegas. Who’s in?” In less than ten minutes, everybody had responded, and everybody wanted in (I had less response and interest in my 40th birthday… guess I should have worn a tux).
You need some time. And you need some vision. Just like Copernicus and George Zimmer and that dude who made the Slanket (you need time to adjust to a new way of doing business). So I set aside an afternoon and started perusing the website. What kind of look works for a bald 40-year-old with a bit of a beer gut and a bad attitude? And what kind of tux works for a guy whose idea of getting dressed up is putting on pants in the morning? I really thought I’d look good in something modern, like this two-button, satin-faced ensemble. But I was wrong. Which brings me directly to step 3.
After you’ve put together your look, send it to your girlfriend, and have her put together the look for you. Whatever they pick is what you wear. I ended up with a much more classic look. Bow tie, blue shirt not white (to go with my eyes), shiny shoes. It’s not something I would have picked for myself. But I ended up looking good in it. And my girlfriend ended up wearing a smoking hot dress with four-inch heels (my payout for being such a sensitive and dapper boyfriend).
Chances are you’ll be making plans for more than one person. I was heading to Vegas to celebrate my buddy Squirrel’s 40th birthday. So I had to make an event for the group. Making the event took about three seconds (I’ve had dates that didn’t last that long).
Then I got to have the fun of picking out my friend’s outfits and giving them ridiculous nicknames. Shockakan got a grey suit with a bow tie. One Finger, a white tux that kind of reminded me of the Love Boat, but actually looked amazing on him. Don’t Call Me Sugar is tall and slim, so I trimmed down his look. For The Squirrel, I shot for something a little more Rockabilly. Beery Sexy looks kind of like John Travolta, so I gave him a striped bow tie, topping it off with a classic black-on-black for Lady’s Love, cause he’s definitely a Back in Black kind of guy. And then I hit send. Because I’m freaked out about how things on the Interweb work, I immediately called the Concierge to make sure she had our order. “No, you don’t need to mail anything in, but you do need to get your measurements.”
The measurements part is the trickiest part of all, especially for somebody’s who’s 5 foot 7, but has been telling the world (and most of its dating services) that he’s 5 foot 9 for some 20 years. You definitely want somebody with you to measure. If you know somebody who’s done it before even better. Luckily, GenTux takes you step-by-step with a series of super easy to follow videos. I made a video of my own. Then you put your measurements in, click send, and call the Concierge again to make sure the whole interweb thing works (if you’re super paranoid).
My order was shipped to the Aria in Vegas. No problemo. I wanted to ship it to Doctor Fantastic (I’m not a real doctor, my first name is doctor), but figured a real name would work a little better. Aside from the ridiculous handling fee charged at the Aria, it all worked seamlessly. When I do it next time, I’ll probably have it shipped to my house ahead of time so I can take advantage of the tailoring. In the end, I didn’t actually need it. I was amazed at how easy it all was. I haven’t worn a tuxedo since I was a waiter at the Hunan Garden in college. I never thought I would again. But what happened next makes me think that I might start dressing more formally (and putting on pants before I go to work).
Greg Benchwick has been writing about travel, wine and having a good time for more than 20 years. He works at home, and sometimes gets his pants on before lunch. Follow him on Instagram @gregbenchwick and Twitter @greentravels. Want to know what happened to Benchwick and crew in Vegas? Get the pg-13 version in his next blog.