So today we have one especially for the boys, or if they’re not bothered – the girls choosing the suits for the big day. As with wedding dresses, groomswear goes through definite trends over time. In my parent’s day morning suits were all the rage, and for a long period Edwardian-style suits with strong coloured brocade waistcoats were de rigeur (thank god that’s over!). Over the last couple of years the general trend has been towards more informal and individual trends in groomswear. Choosing the right attire for your wedding day needs to be a combination of individual taste, time of day and style of wedding, so today we’re giving you a bird’s eye view of the general styles of groomswear available so you can decide what kind of wedding suit suits you (or the man in your life).
Types Of Wedding Suits For Groom
First Question for the Groom: Formal or Casual?
As a groom when it comes to choosing a suit for your wedding, the first question, essential to have discussed with the bride, is: are we having a more formal wedding or a more casual wedding? Because this is how you could loosely bundle up the options for the groom.
Formal options include:
The Morning Dress/Suit: A traditional choice consisting of a tailcoat, waistcoat, and (striped) trousers. Most often seen at Ascot or on the Princes of England, this is a very posh option or for the groom who is a bit of a dandy. Morning suits should only be worn for noon/early afternoon weddings.
The Tuxedo: Classic black tie evening wear, complete with satin-striped trousers and bow tie (cummerbund optional). Should be worn to evening weddings only. Avoid coloured dicky bows and cummerbunds at all cost (we’re not in 1983!).
White Tie and Tails: The evening equivalent of the morning suit, white tie (and tails) is very rare in Ireland, but visit Oxford and it’s pretty common! An extremely elegant choice for a formal evening wedding (ceremony should be after 5pm) but it could be difficult to hire full evening dress (its other title) complete with top hat.
Are You Even A Suit and Tie Man?
Over the last few years the combination of tighter budgets, more informal workwear (less suits) and an increasing interest in menswear and fashion, has meant that grooms taste when choosing a wedding suit has changed significantly. For many grooms now preparing to get married, the formal look has been replaced by a more informal, laid back look.
So in the Casual Corner we have:
Casual Suit/Jacket: A linen or cotton suit makes a casual and very comfortable wedding outfit for the summer groom. In winter a wool jacket and trousers instead. Either can be accessorised with a great bow-tie to make a groom stand out in a fun and relaxed way.
Modern Day Suit: Simple, elegant, preferably slim-fit (depending on the groom) two piece suit and easily accessorised with a fun colourful tie to coordinate with the bridal party.
Slim Cut 3 Piece Suit: This is a dapper and fun alternative for a man who wants a touch of formality and yet look modern and fresh. Smart choice of cufflinks and tie are essential, while a pocket watch would add a retro/vintage feel. This look is defined by a well-cut suit, so choose wisely.
Waistcoat & Bowtie/tie: Relaxed and informal look for a groom, and of course given our climate – only really suitable for a summer wedding. Probably best to buy a jacket to fall back on just in case!
Or Are You Mr. Fashion Forward?
Or if you’re a complete maverick and have your own very individual style you could go wild and have as much fun as the bride fashion-wise.
Think colour, personality and individual accessories – each groom above has a particular style and he’s stamped it all over his wedding day cos it’s not all about the bride you know!
Tips for Wearing a Suit
Here are some subtle tips for wearing a suit that will instantly make you look more put together.
1. FIND THE RIGHT SHOULDER FIT FIRST
Did you know shoulders are the hardest area to tailor on a suit? Avoid the dreaded shoulder divot, and instead choose a suit that fits your shoulders best when shopping off the rack. Your tailor can easily take in the waist and adjust for length, so shoulders should be your primary concern when suit shopping.
2. GET YOUR SLEEVE AND PANTS TAILORED
A good fit is the first step to looking fresh in a suit. Without a suit that hugs and hangs from your body in all the right places, you’ll look sloppy and disheveled — no matter how hard you try. Invest a few extra bucks in tailoring your suit to get the perfect fit, and you’ll instantly look more polished.
3. INVEST IN A QUALITY DRESS SHIRT, BELT AND SHOES
Sure, you know suits are an investment, but what about the rest of your look? A quality shirt, belt and shoes go a long way in tying together your professional look. Don’t skimp on these, or you’ll cheapen your suit. Check out HisFavoriteShirt.com for top men’s dress shirt brands to complete any look.
4. SAVE YOUR SUIT WITH A SLEEK UNDERSHIRT
In high-stress environments, sweat will find a way to soak through any barrier. Your dress shirt, your suit jacket — sweat will test the limit at the worst moment possible. Do yourself (and your co-workers) a favor, and wear an undershirt beneath your dress shirt. Blocking sweat from your dress shirt will help hide those jarring underarm sweat marks and help your shirts look fresher, longer. Opt for a sweat proof undershirt like Thompson Tee to guarantee no one sees you sweat. Read more tips on how to stay cool in a suit.
5. CHOOSE A TIE THAT’S DARKER THAN YOUR SHIRT
Unsure which tie to choose? As a general rule of thumb, your tie should be darker than your shirt to create balance. Also, avoid matching the pattern of your tie and dress shirt. For example, with a checkered shirt, try a paisley tie to offset the more casual checkered pattern.
6. PERFECT THE TIE DIMPLE
What’s a tie dimple, you ask? That natural divot at the top of your tie that looks deceivingly unintentional. Really, perfecting the tie dimple is an art that requires a bit of practice and patience. For the best chance at achieving a tie dimple, use a thick, wide tie made of silk or cashmere and stay away from cotton ties.
7. MATCH YOUR SHOES AND BELT
Coordinating your shoes and belt is an easy way to create a more cohesive look.
8. UNBUTTON YOUR JACKET BEFORE SITTING DOWN
You stand up and sit down repeatedly all day. But sitting in a suit is a quick way to ruin it. Make a habit of unbuttoning your jacket before sitting down to avoid stretching it out and potentially popping buttons (the kind of attention you definitely don’t want in a board meeting.)
9. DON’T BE WARY OF A SNUG JACKET
The fit of your jacket is crucial. Although you might want some breathing room, your suit jacket should actually fit quite snug. In fact, when placing your hand between your chest and suit jacket, it should have just a little room to move. If your hand has plenty of wiggle room, your jacket may be too big.
10. EXPOSE YOUR SLEEVE CUFFS HALF AN INCH
Long jacket sleeves look dated and sloppy. Show your attention to detail by exposing your sleeve cuffs half an inch.
11. PERFECT THE LENGTH OF YOUR TIE AND JACKET
While short ties might have been in during the 1940s, today they’re a major faux pas. Both extra-short and extra-long ties make you look disheveled and throw off the balance of your look. Your tie should just graze the top of your belt buckle or fall an inch below. But it should never reach below the belt. As for suit jackets, they should cover your pants zipper and butt.
12. MATCH THE WIDTH OF YOUR TIE AND LAPEL
This is one overlooked detail that makes a huge difference. When pairing a tie with your suit, be sure to match the width of your tie with the width of your lapel. This creates symmetry — an essential for rocking any suit.
13. WEAR LONG DRESS SOCKS & STEER CLEAR OF WHITE
Want to know a quick way to diminish your fresh look in a suit? Flash white athletic socks or a little leg when sitting down in an important meeting. Although you might not think anyone will see your socks, it’s sure to happen when you least expect it. Save some of your dignity, and invest in dress socks.
The key to owning your suit is making your look appear effortless. With these subtle tips for wearing a suit, you’ll instantly look more refined.