A guide to dressing the groom
Let’s face it, men aren’t exactly the most avid shoppers. They can just about manage the basics, so when it comes to choosing the most important outfit of their lives we understand you may have your concerns. We sense visions of pastel top hats and ruffles Dumb and Dumber style.
With this and the frightening prospect of him looking like a penguin hanging over us, it is essential that time is taken to make the right choice. To help ease the suit choosing process here’s our guide to choosing the groom’s suit.
To rent a suit or not to rent?
One of the first things you should consider when choosing the suit is whether to rent or to buy. If you look at the decision in purely economic terms renting clearly makes more sense. However, you should view buying the suit as an investment. Unless you intend to choose a very formal suit, you will be able to reuse the components again and again. Consider that renting a suit could cost you close to half of the price of buying a new one and you will be faced with a fine if it is not returned in perfect condition.
What suit will suit his style?
Depending on the style you and your partner have chosen for your wedding the type of suit you choose to buy/rent will vary. There are many, many different styles of suit at your disposal from the traditional and elaborate to the more modern, trendy versions. Here is a quick rundown of the various options available to the modern or traditional man.
- Morning jacket:
The most classy and formal option available for your groom. Single breasted with a large tail at the back, coats are usually black or grey. Traditionally worn with a top hat, striped trousers and waistcoat this is a sophisticated look often worn by royals so ensure this is in keeping with the style of the wedding.
- Stroller jacket:
More casual and slightly shorter this version can be nicely dressed with a crisp shirt and waistcoat. This style is more common as it is more relaxed and subtle.
Among the more formal styles is the classic tail coat. With two long tails at the back it should be worn with braces and a white shirt. And to complete the look, a razzle dazzle cane!
- Traditional tuxedo or black tie:
Usually the choice for an evening soiree, with plenty of options including a variety of different lapels. Choose black or grey for the classic look or lighter shades for a fun or more casual look. Usually worn with a bow tie (preferably not clip on) and flat-front trousers. You can easily modernise this classic style to achieve a more contemporary look. However, important to note is that if you choose a more modern jacket you can update the black tie look by choosing a darker shirt and a regular tie rather than a bow. You can also substitute the braces for a regular belt.
- Dark suit:
Is a tuxedo a little too 007 for your tastes? If so consider a more subtle dark suit. If you go for this more understated of options then − as with the updated black tie − replace the bow tie with a regular one.
- Dinner jacket:
Probably the most casual option available and great for summer weddings, usually white or cream. Wear with dark, possibly striped, trousers.
If the wedding suit fits
Whatever wedding suit you choose, the most important part of the suit selection process for all male members of the wedding party is proper fit. As much as we love Charlie Chaplin we don’t want to take styling tips from him! Baggy trousers and stretched jacket don’t scream sophistication.
Ensure your groom tries the suit on with all other components of the outfit he intends to wear. Any decent tailor will advise on the suit’s fit but you should look for a few things:
The trousers should just touch the shoe’s heel at the back and sit comfortably on the top at the front – exposed socks are a no no.
Most of all, consider all the options: try different lapels, consider a waistcoat, or even a hat.
Take the groom’s build and shape into account and finally, try to get him as involved as possible. After all you’ll (hopefully) only be doing this once and looking at the results of your choosing for years to come. You don’t want to hear any ‘why did you make me wear that?’ a few years down the line…
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