While working on this post today, I was curious...How many of your guys really cared about what they wore, and how many just said, "Tell me what, when and wear, and I'll be there" ? I would say that my husband was a little of both. He needed final approval, I guess you could say. I didn't choose anything too crazy for him though; we got married on the beach in Mexico, so he wore a tan linen suit with no tie and sandals. Pretty standard beach wedding attire, I think.
My husband kept his look pretty simple, but take it from me, your guy's attire can, in fact, get somewhat complicated. Dress shirts, slacks, cummerbunds, waistcoats, ties, ascots, kerchiefs, single-breasted, double-breasted, tails, strollers, lapels, suspenders...I could go on and on! I decided that today, I wanted to break down the groom's and his groomsmen attire into five main Picks, so that we all know exactly what we're getting into.
Picks on Paper - Groom's Attire
Like most things nowadays, there are few rules that aren't meant to be broken when it comes to weddings. However, there are three main categories of menswear - Black Tie, White Tie and Classic Suit. Black Tie is typically characterized by a black jacket with satin trims, black slacks and a black bow tie (although I think that a traditional black tie works well with a tux, too!). White Tie sounds exactly how it sounds. It's technically considered the most formal of the menswear styles, with a tailcoat (short in front, long in the back), white vest and a bow tie. The Classic Suit has the loosest guidelines, including a jacket, slacks and a tie in all styles, colors and fabrics.
Ready for this? There are five different kinds of formal jackets, all of which can be characterized by three different kinds of lapels. Oh, the possibilities!
- Single-breasted tuxedo, a long, classic look with a single button fastening.
- Double-breasted tuxedo, often a more traditional option distinguished by a double button fastening.
- Stroller, a jacket similar to a tuxedo jacket but without the satin lining.
- Morning coat, the most formal option for a daytime wedding usually comes in black, charcoal or gray and is cut into a long "tail" in the back; often paired with an ascot.
- Full-dress tails, the most formal option for black- and white tie weddings.
As far as the lapels go, there are three styles (shown below left to right) - Notch lapels, which is the most common style out there; Peaked lapels, a more dramatic cut often found on more formal tuxedos; and Shawl lapels, which have no notches, and have a softer, rounded edge that generally has a more vintage feel to it.
Waistcoats and Vests
Waistcoats and vests are essentially the same thing; they're called vests here in the U.S. and Canada, and Waistcoats abroad in the UK. Vests are often worn underneath the suit or tuxedo jacket, but they are definitely making a big trend up nowadays, and are often being worn alone, without a jacket. Vests, in particular, look great with a crisp white shirt rolled up to the elbows, along with a traditional tie or bow tie.
Ties, Bow ties and Ascots
Yes, I said Ascots! I'll admit that they're considered somewhat dated at the moment, but ascots are a third, less popular option to adorn your groom's neck. Additionally, there are ties, which are the most casual of the three options, as well as bow ties, which are a quirky option when paired with a more casual suit and more upscale when worn with a tuxedo!
Suspenders, Cuff Links, Socks and Kerchiefs
If you're looking to add a little more flair to your groom's wedding day look, try getting creative with a pair of funky suspenders or socks! Despite the fact that suspenders have become more and more trendy lately, they actually serve a more practical purpose! You're not supposed to wear a belt with a tux, so instead, you should wear suspenders! The cummerbund, which I haven't featured here for obvious reasons, is also worn to cover the bottom part of the suspenders. Cuff links and kerchiefs are definitely the most common accessories for the men in your bridal party, and it's a great way to pull a suit together.
Cuff links in onyx, gold and silver are classic choices, while mother-of-pearl cuff links are traditional for a white-tie dinner jacket. As for the kerchief, a white linen or cotton handkerchief are best suited for a tux, while other suit styles can work with a variety of handkerchief fabrics, colors and patterns.
Source: The Wedding Book, by Mindy Weiss with Lisbeth Levine