Business Spotlight: Gray is the New Black; Stay in style with fashionable formal wear at A Better Deal Tuxedo in La Jolla


This year’s big fashion changes in the tuxedo and suit industry meant significant investments for formal wear shop owners Jerry and Janet Klein at A Better Deal Tuxedo in La Jolla.

“Many of the changes had to do with the growing popularity of the slim-fit and the modern-fit styles,” Jerry Klein said. “Customers want these new styles for important occasions like weddings, award ceremonies, fundraisers and business occasions.”

To keep current for the San Diego market, the Kleins invested in new inventory for their 16-year-old store in Bird Rock. As Klein explained, jacket lapel widths are now much slimmer and there is less padding in the sleeves to exaggerate the shoulders.

“The changes had a lot to do with the high school proms and graduations, as well as college fundraisers and the business community,” Klein said. “Young customers influence what’s in demand a great deal.”

He said color favorites also change with the seasons and this year’s summer colors included light gray, light tan, light blue, medium blue and midnight blue tuxedos and formal suits. “For the coming autumn, we’ll see a lot of gray tuxedos and suits because gray has almost overtaken the popularity of black, and gray is now being called the new black,” Klein said.

Since the bride and her stylist decide what colors will be used for a wedding and 70 percent of the tux business is providing formal wear for weddings, Klein said their shop is always prepared with an extensive inventory.

He pointed out that for accessories, men have returned to wearing bow ties with tuxedos and hand-knotted ties for dress wear, but the ties are narrower now and come in far more color choices. Further, bow ties are available in dotted and striped patterns in every color and shade imaginable.

“Our business secret is having a huge inventory right here and available, so if a man comes in with his bride and they want something that captures their attention, we already have it in stock, unlike chain stores with little inventory,” Klein said. “I also reassure clients that we can make any fitting adjustments needed right here in the shop.” If a wedding is on a Saturday, he said, A Better Deal Tuxedo has the garments ready by Thursday or Friday.

A Better Deal Tuxedo is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 369 Bird Rock Ave., La Jolla.

(858) 551-6044

The Business Spotlight features commercial enterprises that support the La Jolla Light.