Black Tie for the Cheap Guy

Alison Rothwell

Everyone loves a black tie event, it’s like the debs all over again, except you don’t have the awkwardness of having to bring a date. DCU has some stellar black tie events coming up over the next few weeks. But for guys it’s not as simple as wearing a traditional black tuxedo, a black bow tie and white shirt anymore, but it doesn’t have to be something that will break the bank.

The sold out A&F ball is one of the bigger black tie events coming up over the next few weeks on the DCU events calendar. Suit company ‘Collar and Cuff’ based in Phibsborough, Dublin 9, are offering students attending the ball €50 off all suit rentals, and 10 per cent off all products in store. They are the official sponsor for the Dublin Senior Footballers and have a lot of modern looks available, variations on the classic tuxedos, and a variety of tweed, and coloured suits. They can be reached through their website

The first decision is whether you’re going to rent or buy your suit. A standard tuxedo can be rented for as little as €59.95, and a three piece suit can start from €69.95. The quality you get when renting a suit is very high, but suits can be can bought in high street stores for almost the same price as renting. Very popular and affordable stores to rent from around North Dublin are Love Suits, Suits You and Dorian Black.

Renting can be a great option if you’re strapped for cash, and need a suit quickly without having to put too much thought into it. The only issue with renting is you need to take good care  of the suit as they can add charges on if there any major problems when returning it. So be careful for deposits and added charges for dry cleaning etc. If you are a one off suit wearer, renting is probably the option for you.

High street stores have recently brought ranges of affordable suits into stock. In recent years Primark have expanded their men’s formal wear. They have a huge range of colours and styles. They also stock their suits in size height, so you can tailor your suit to fit your exact measurements. They carry a lot of accessories for very reasonable prices, all under €10.

Another excellent place to get good quality suits at high street prices, is Topman, and they offer a 10 per cent student discount. From asking DCU students, the most popular affordable high street stores among them are Topman and River Island. River Island do not offer a student discount, but they do stock very original looking suits. Their style is a lot of patterned items, focusing very much on the patterned shirt to accompany a suit. An unusual brown check suit can be bought for €168, which could be paired with a coloured shirt. This is a typical style coming from River Island, which is becoming a popular choice for black tie events.

With the popularity of the show Peaky Blinders starring Irish actor Cillian Murphy, every guy who watches the show fancies himself as a Peaky Blinder. The show is set in 1918, and the stars are constantly in tweed suits. Tweed has become a huge trend, and places like Primark have spotted the interest in it. They have a Donegal tweed range by Molly & Sons with a two-piece suit coming in at €160 (€210 if you add in a waistcoat).

A very popular, more casual choice is to go for a blue or grey suit. Buying a blue or grey can be a good investment, as it’s more versatile and can be worn to a lot more locations than the traditional tuxedos. If you were going to buy a suit, it would be worth the investment to buy one of these. They can be worn in the workplace, dressed down without a tie or dressed up with a dickie bow. This style of suit allows for a bolder choice when it comes to accompanying colours for shirts, and accessories.

The classic tuxedo is such a timeless look. It’s reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour and you can’t really go wrong with it. If you are looking to make an investment in a tuxedo, a great place to get quality reasonably priced tuxedos is Marks & Spencers. Their men’s formal wear department is huge. The staff is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, with the clothes still being reasonably priced for the quality you’re getting. They have a lot of styles to choose from, and hundreds of shirts. If you know your exact measurements, you can order your suit online and collect in store, or have it delivered.


Alison Rothwell

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