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A few weeks ago, I was invited to be a guest at a gala benefit in NYC. I enthusiastically accepted, thinking it’d be a fun night out and an easy evening. A few days later, I got the email that almost every man dreads: “Hey, I think I forgot to mention that it’s black tie formal. Tuxedos for men.”
I only need a tuxedo once every few years, so for me the more economical option is to rent, rather than buy. By renting, I can be sure to get a proper fit for whatever my weight is at the moment–and I don’t need to waste space with storing something that I’ll rarely use. But the standard tuxedo rental options (Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A Bank–both owned by the same corporate entity) are machines, and I wanted a level of personal service and a human touch. Plus, nothing except for scarves and ties from either of those two big box stores have ever fit me well, and I’d rather support a local business than a corporation. I’d been walking past “Cohen’s Tuxedos” for years, and always wondered what their service was like. This was my moment to try them out.
Boy, am I glad I did.
In continuous operation since 1921, Cohen’s is a delightfully old-fashioned business that is thriving. Within 500 feet of its original storefront, which was on 179 S. Broad), the shop is located in a squat and drab building near the courthouse. Off-street, private parking is available right off of South Broad. It’s a bleak exterior, but the moment you step inside you’ll be surrounded by elegance, cleanliness, and a peaceful energy. Cohen’s expert tailors (co-owners of the business) will quickly find out what you need, measure you, and spend all the time you in the world trying on various styles and options. They want to get your fit right, and they give you their full attention. Once you’re suited up, they’ll package everything up for you and have it ready for you to pick up a day or two later. If you are renting, you can pick it up in advance of your event, and return it to them shortly after it’s done.
Like all tuxedo shops, Cohen’s rents (or sells) the full penguin suit–jacket, shirt, cummerbund or vest, bow-tie, cufflinks, shoes, and anything else you can possibly need. The pricing is equivalent to what you’d find in the big corporate rental shops–I spent $149 on my rental–but the level of service is impeccable. Every time you walk in, your tailor will greet you by name and work quickly and efficiently to make you look terrific. The tuxedo fit like a glove, and I felt like a million dollars at my event. In a few years, when I need another one, I’ll be sure to go back to Cohen’s.
Whether you need to rent something for prom, or are ready to buy your first tux, Cohen’s is the place to go. They’re a busy business (especially during prom and wedding season), but you’ll be sure to get a level of individual attention and care that money simply can’t buy.