The Funniest Places To Wear A Tuxedo

People give you a lot of idiotic advice when you’re in your early twenties. You’re constantly being told to “seize the moment,” and “live your dreams,” and “do something everyday that scares you!” Give me a break. Are we Roman gladiators or actual human beings? Seize the moment is the kind of thing you tell a guy who’s gotta fight a lion tomorrow; I’m not really sure how it applies to a 23-year-old sitting in a coffee shop reading his iPad. You know what advice I wish someone gave me when I was 20? “Take a lot of naps. Naps are great. You never regret a nap!” And it’s true. I’ve never regretted a single second of napping in all my life. But if there’s one recommendation I’m delighted I did receive when entering my grown-up hood it is this: Buy A Tuxedo.

When you graduate college, the first thing friends start doing is getting married. It’s exciting, mostly because weddings usually have open bars, and are a great opportunity to dance terribly in front of people you never have to see again. But with formal occasions come formal attire, and inevitably, when you’re asked to be in your first wedding party, an old person will saddle up to you and whisper this seductive advice. “You know, what you should do is a buy a tux. In the long run, it’s a lot cheaper than renting.” Then you think about it, do the math, and realize they’re right. For most guys, that’s where the story ends: knowing you should buy a tuxedo, but wanting nothing to do with the actual activity of doing it, so letting the whole thing pass. But for me, it did not. In a move of uncharacteristic initiative and, well, energy, I bought a lovely little Ralph Lauren number, put it in my closet, and waited for the savings to come rolling in.

A few years passed, and I wore the tuxedo enough times for it to pay for itself, just like the creepy old guy said it would. But still, I was unsatisfied. It’s a strange feeling, opening your closet every morning and seeing a bunch of crappy clothes, and then one super-nice suit that isn’t really an option unless you kinda wanna look like an idiot. But that’s never been such a big concern for me, so after a while, I just said “Screw it. I’m putting on this damn tux anyway.” And it was the best decision I ever made.

What I quickly learned is that life in a tuxedo is totally awesome. Everywhere you go, people act like you’ve brought a little party along with you, and they’re never totally sure that you’re not a prince from some foreign land. You get high fives, free flowers for your lapel, and in more than one instance, phone numbers from women that you totally don’t deserve. (Sure the numbers turned out to be fake, but hey, you can’t have it all!) I don’t really know why, but people treat you differently in a tux, like a little bit of a celebrity. A very, very crappy celebrity, like, say, Billy Bush — but a celebrity just the same. It was such a kick that I found myself wearing the suit a couple of times a month: to pick up a prescription, or hit the DMV, or to try to seem too classy for jury duty. Really, whenever I wanted to spice up an otherwise droll event. The results were sometimes weird and sometimes hilarious, but always worth noting. Here now is a list of some of my favorite places to wear a tuxedo.

Subway (the restaurant): I’ve experienced every fast food chain in a tuxedo, and Subway is by far the best. The burger places are too used to seeing crazy shit, you really can’t expect a penguin suit to make much of an impression. Actual penguins on the other hand, that would be worth a shot. But if all you have is a tuxedo, I recommend you focus on Subway. There’s just something about being offered triangular cheese slices in a $600 suit that always makes someone laugh. You walk down the toppings line, asking for olives and no hot peppers, dressed like a weird old-fashioned butler — the “sandwich artist” will almost always start to giggle. The last time I ordered a 6” meatball sub in a formal wear, I asked if I could use the bathroom. The clerk said “You don’t want to go in there dressed like that. It would be a bad idea.” Not totally sure what that meant, but I took his advice.

Subway (the train): Nothing makes a homeless guy more angry than when a dude in a tuxedo appears in his bedroom — otherwise known as the last car of a Brooklyn-bound R train. Apparently a guy in a fancy suit epitomizes everything they hate, as demonstrated by the “Oh, excuse me, Mr. President” remarks I’ve gotten, along with the “Give me a damn dollar, Daddy Warbucks” requests. And yes, I always gave them a dollar. It seemed like the least Daddy Warbucks could do.

Central Park: You will never get more frisbees thrown to you by strangers than when you’re wearing a tuxedo in Central Park. Sure, the suit makes it almost impossible to throw it back without looking a moron, but that’s the price you pay for greatness. One time a hot dog vendor was so happy to see me that he gave me a free gatorade! I’m pretty sure the bottle had been already opened, but hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

The doctor’s office: Actually, don’t do this one. It gets weird. Doctors don’t treat random acts of whimsy with the lightheartedness of other professions. Simply put, if you visit a doctor dressed in a costume they’re going to think you’re insane. And that can be a difficult bell to unring. Unless you want your medication reevaluated, I’d leave the tuxedo at home for this one.

On an airplane: People don’t know want to do with a guy wearing formal wear on a large commercial airline. You’re getting the full search from TSA, that much is certain. Both times I wore my tuxedo on a plane, I got aggressively patted about my chest and crotch — which didn’t make a ton of sense to me. If I was gonna blow up a plane, would I really bother to get dressed up for the occasion? I think I’d want to wear most comfortable thing possible. “If I’m going down today, I’m doing it in sweatpants. This is far too stressful to have to deal with zippers.” I mean, come on, what terrorist is gonna bother with a cumberbund? The nice thing about flying in a tux though is when you get on board, you always get an extra smile from the stewardess, and other travelers won’t stop asking if you’re going on your honeymoon. Even though there’s not a woman in sight.

Prison: I’ve never been to prison, but if I do, I hope it’s on one of my Tuxedo Days. A recent Ralph Lauren model has got to be worth a pack of smokes or two, right?

So have you got a tuxedo in the back of your closet too? Perhaps you should go ahead and put it on. Come on, you can do it. Just… Seize the Moment! TC mark

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  • Linh

    I wish there was such thing like a tuxedo for women. Pant suits just don’t have the same effect.

    PS: Ed, my friend, if you read this: please do this. And take pictures!

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      Who’s this Ed character?

      • Ed

        Hello. That might be me.

        I also have a ball dressing up in an overly formal manner and waltzing around public places, and, in fact, it has gotten me into a lot of things for free.

        Including a Radiohead concert.

        Unfortunately, I haven’t quite stepped up to the tuxedo level yet (a suit from Express works fine for most ventures), but I hope to soon look as good as you flexing that bow tie at the gym!

    • AJ

      Gowns. Fancy gowns. Do it, you wont!

      • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

        Well, I’m glad we’ve had this bizarre chance to meet, Ed. Now quit being such a wuss and get a tux.

      • Linh

        Gowns don’t have the same effect at all. They rather make you look like you’re dressed up as a disney princess. And a gown sure won’t get you in a Radiohead concert ;)

  • Josh

    Bahah. QUALITY

    • Tiff

      agreed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/asmaafaris Asmaa Faris

    For the first time, reading a TC article made me truly laugh. This was hilarious! If I was a guy, I’d totally wear a tuxedo everywhere.

  • shantelle

    hahaah this is by far the funniest and silliest post I’ve ever read on TC! Thanks for the laughs!

  • http://www.johnschu.com johnschu12

    “Seize the moment is the kind of thing you tell a guy who’s gotta fight a lion tomorrow; I’m not really sure how it applies to a 23-year-old sitting in a coffee shop reading his iPad.”

    That’s the best sentence I’ve read all week.

    And I’m curious to know if you actually stayed and ate inside the Subway or not. The thrill of seeing a worker’s eyes light up if I walked into the store in a tux might not be worth the unforgiving Subway smell that travels with me for the rest of the day every time I spend more than two minutes in that place. Eating inside a Subway is the equivalent to getting skunked, IMO.

    Super funny article, though.

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      Thanks, J. No, I never eat there because I’m allergic to just about everything Subway serves. But I always hang out a while, just to see what happens. Usually the staff is mildly amused, and the other customers think I’m totally insane. Especially when I start taking pictures.

  • http://dcoopsd.wordpress.com dcoopsd

    You know what would make those moments even better?

    A game show voice. And maybe mumbling something about a new car.

    Remember… spay and neuter your pets.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/gabydunn Gaby Dunn

    This is charming as heck.

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      Why, thank you, Gaby D.

  • rika

    this article made my day, you are just wonderful

  • nightshaye

    So cute! Thank you, and “A recent Ralph Lauren model has got to be worth a pack of smokes or two, right?” Yikes. You’d be getting something, but I don’t think it’d be that… Better stick to the standard orange, and save the tux for when you get out.

  • Paco103

    I wore mine to get a haircut, to work the next day in an office that is VERY casual (shorts and t-shirts for most people), and to a local mexican restaurant for lunch. It was great!

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      I like your style, PAC. Good work.

  • Sarah

    you’re one of those people who makes a bad day better. love you.

  • http://www.manilapop.wordpress.co KOKAY

    Love THIS! Ah! We can never be too serious about life as to decide that tuxedo is just for some old and boring ceremonies when you can go around the supermarket in it! Have you tried taking your groceries in a tuxedo? Would you consider?

  • http://twitter.com/VeggieLord Natsu (@VeggieLord)

    As a cosplayer I can say that I totally understand that kick that you get. :D I’ve tried the subway(train), airport, and places with related-merchandise. All on “non-ComiCon” days!

    E.g. Dressed up as Gaara(from the series ‘Naruto’) and ordered a Happy Meal that came with a Gaara figurine. Or reading a Naruto manga in the library. And shopping for chinese gourd-shaped souvenirs in Chinatown with a huge gourd prop on your back. :D

    Do continue making the most of your tux and tell us more of your adventures! This is terrific and I had a great laugh!!

    • http://thebriandonovan.wordpress.com Brian Donovan

      I don’t understand like half of the words you just said, but thanks!

  • Shelley

    Nice article! :)
    Someone said you can never be overdressed or overeducated. So i took that advice and always dressed up – the barista is almost always nicer to me, the police officer, heck, even the guard at my apartment complex :)

  • http://oracletales.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/subway-serenade/ Subway Serenade | Oracle Tales

    […] The Funniest Places To Wear A Tuxedo (thoughtcatalog.com) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in The Goofiness of Me and tagged anecdote, Cheese, Cook, humor, Life, Meatball, People, Scout songs, Singing, Spaghetti, Subway, Tomato sauce. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  • http://relentlesslyauthentic.wordpress.com Veronica Messegee

    Nice! I got such a great laugh. What a super way to start the day. And the pics are priceless!

  • fl1992

    This is the best thing I have ever read on Thought Catalog

  • briana

    I’d say the next best thing for women would be sun dresses. Girly, girly sun dresses. Works for me every time. Great article btw!

  • http://shethinkstoomuch.wordpress.com Beth

    This, sir, is most excellent. I’ve proposed a day of dressing up and doing normal things to my friends because of this article, and with hope it will happen.

  • sam

    I’m sorry to be a stickler- I like this article; however you are incorrectly using the term droll. It means something that is amusing in a witty or dry way- which is essentially what you are doing with the tuxedo… therefore saying “spice up an otherwise droll event” is weird- because you are droll(ing) the even by wearing the tux.

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