Suit or tux for prom Reddit

Hey MFA, I'm a 17 year old high school student, 5'9", slim build. I'm very well groomed, so my only issues at this point are the specifics of my purchases. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now. My family isn't extremely wealthy, so I want to be sure that I'm getting the best value out of the upcoming prom shopping I'll be doing. I'll go ahead and bold my questions as something of a tl;dr

So first off, I'm more than likely going to two proms this May, about two weeks apart from each other. They're happening in early-mid May, so that gives me a few weeks to assemble my ensemble. I'm assuming with this situation, renting a tux for each would be far more expensive than just buying a good-fitting suit, not to mention how dodgy the outcome can be with rentals. Additionally, I could continue to wear the suit for future events (weddings, funerals, etc.). I do not, however, want to look out of place just for the sake re-usability, because this is prom and I should enjoy it. So my only question regarding suit vs. tux is whether or not I'd fit in well enough to be acceptable?

So now we'll dig a little deeper into buying a suit. What color suit should I buy? I know charcoal is very versatile, but would it be appropriate for a "high school semi-formal" event like this? Moving on from color, where should I buy this thing? Like I said, money is a little tight, but my family is willing to loan me a little extra money for this occasion. I'm not sure of the exact amount I would have at my disposal, but for the sake of giving a number, I would like to keep the total around $300 or so (Though at this point there is some give to that number). Should I just buy the bits and pieces from H&M and get it all tailored? Should I buy a full set from somewhere? I'm very finicky about the fit of the clothing I wear, so I'd very likely want to get my suit tailored. How much would I be expecting to pay to get a suit tailored? How long does that process normally take? I have many ties at my disposal via my own collection, my father's, as well as those of my friends, so tie color/width won't be an issue as far as purchases go.

Next we're on to shoes. How much of my budget should be allotted to my shoes? I don't really have much in the way of dress shoes at the moment, so I would need to buy a pair of these. I obviously don't want some lousy, corrected-grain pieces of sorrow, but I also don't want to break the bank on a pair of shoes. I would have various opportunities to wear these, so these would likely be my most reusable purchase. What style/color of shoe is appropriate based on your suggestions above?

I apologize that I've asked some questions that are covered elsewhere, but I just don't know if the same rules apply for this situation. Also, the human touch of being aided through the process helps to take off a lot of the stress that's already mounting. Thanks so much MFA!

Something to think about would be buying a very formal black suit, something with a shaw style lapel, but that doesn't have the silk/satin accents that a tux does. This would allow you to dress up or down the suit as much as you see fit.

Think adding a bow tie instead of a straight tie, and a vest underneath. Conversely wearing a nice patterned shirt with a flat straight tie and no vest to dress it down a little.

Edit: basically buying a suit, cut like a tux, without the shiny bits.

Last year at junior prom almost every guy had the same exact tux from mens warehouse including myself. I hated that tux and the fact we all had the same one. It was il-fitting, loose, and overall just boring. This year I want to buy a suit rather than a tux. I was planning on getting one I saw here not too long ago at H&M this one but grey. Now before you jump all over me for getting it at H&M realize that with all the other senior events and dues I have to pay I have very little money to spend on a suit. I also need a suit for an upcoming washington trip to capital hill myself and 4 other classmates are going on so I figure buying a suit vs renting a tux is two birds with one stone.

I just wanted to hear what you guys have to say. Is it ok to wear a suit instead of a tux to prom? My date is fine with it so that is one thing out of the way. Also I have two weeks to buy it and get it tailored if necessary is that enough time?

Hello, I was hoping you guys could help me with two things.

  1. Critiquing my current backup suit

  2. Giving me guidelines to find a new one I've decided on a suit for my High School Prom which is in two weeks. I've spent the last two weeks scouring stores, but I haven't been able to find a suit that has a decent fit, color, and pattern. It's been 2/3 at best. I still have two weeks left, so one week before panic time.

Backup Suit: These are the picture of the backup suit I bought. The color is a decently dark navy blue and it has very fine pin stripes. The brand is Hugo Boss and it's a 36 regular. Apparently the fit is perfect. One concern I had was that the waist was too pinched and would come off as feminine. I'll be getting a different brand for my button down since it was too short for this. The pants will be cut within a day if I absolutely have to go with this suit in two weeks. The lapels are not peak, but notch. I haven't been able to find many suits with peaked lapels. Tear it apart please.


I'm not worried so much about budget. I have money saved up from working last summer so I can spend from 600-800+ for the suit. One of the reasons why I'm not getting a tux is because my parents are willing to help me out if I get a suit that I can reuse. My date is fine with a suit so it's all good! My parents are very against tailoring, but I'll be insisting if the fit doesn't work out as nicely as the Hugo Boss. I do need to get a pocket square and cufflinks too, but the money is not an issue.


NYC so it shouldn't be a problem to find stores, but I am completely new to fashion. I'm planning on going to Century 21, Marshalls, Macy's, J-Crew, and H&M this week. Any other locations I should hit up?


I'm 6', 150 lbs, and pretty slim. I have a background in cross country running so my upper body is not as built. The picture of the backup suit should hopefully clarify my physique.

Date Info:

She sent me a print of the dress. I want to compliment her dress as best I can. This is a priority for me.

Color of suit:

I really like the idea of a charcoal suit which I think looks amazing. I am worried about complimenting my date though. After reading through a bunch of threads, a bunch of people suggested a lighter suit for pink, but I think her dress isn't as light. I heard that black goes well with red/pink well. For her shade of pink/red/purple, it seemed like a black suit would be much better than a darker charcoal. What do you guys think? Should I look out for a black suit or try some darker charcoal suits? I'm not sure what shade of charcoal/grey would work well with her dress so a sample color would be much appreciated!


The rules are 2 buttons, Peaked lapels, white dress shirt? I haven't been able to find a suit for my size with Peaked lapels, but I still have two weeks... I've done some research on previous Proms and generally everyone has Notched lapels. I saw a few shawl lapels, but only two of the classiest dressers had peaked lapels and they both got a tux. All of the pants I've encountered have been flat front I think. The jackets have all been side vents, but I'm not too concerned about that. While researching, I think I saw something that said the suit jacket should have 4 buttons on each sleeve? Should I be on the lookout for that?

Dress shirt/Button down:

White, longer so 1/2" of cuffs show. French Cuff vs Normal Cuff is stylistic choice. I'm assuming French Cuff is more sophisticated, but finding my size has been fun. Apparently I'm a 14" neck but 32/33 for arms which doesn't exist? I tried a Calvin Klein extra slim fit for 15" 32/33 and that worked really nicely so I'll be on the lookout for that. I'm going to go to Banana Republic because they have better quality shirts that won't wrinkle as easily, but I don't think they have slim fits...


Acceptable? I've broken them in over the summer for work. I'll polish them up the night before. If it's a glaring problem, I'll try to get patent oxfords.


Pocket square and Cufflinks. I was thinking of getting green cufflinks for subtly and going for a dark pink to match with the pocket square. I really have no idea what shades would be appropriate so if someone could post a shade to target, I'd appreciate it.

Belt and Tie:

I was going to go with a black tie and a black belt and just match/compliment with the accessories after making sure the suit color works. I posted this a while back. The quality is ... but that's the belt and tie I was going to use. Should I go shopping?

Should I wear a tuxedo or a suit to prom?

There are no rules on whether you should wear a suit or tuxedo to prom; really, the decision lies on what look you're going for. Suits are modern, easy to accessorize, and can always be reworn on other occasions! Tuxedos are more elegant, characterized by satin details and a classic, vintage appeal.

Is it OK to not wear a tux to prom?

Unless your prom has a strict dress code, you'll have the choice between wearing a suit and a tuxedo.

What should a man wear to prom?

The traditional prom look for guys is all the same: a black (or sometimes white) tuxedo rented from a local formalwear shop. If you have a dark suit that fits well and is in good quality, you can also wear this, too.

Is a blazer OK for prom?

Prom is what is known as a black-tie-optional event, meaning you have three options: a tuxedo, a suit, or dark slacks and a blazer. For a strictly black-tie event, the suit or blazer would not be options.