Menswear 101

Help your man find a look that suits him.

Men’s black suit from John’s Tuxedos

Ardent Studio photo

Unlike the typical bride, the groom usually doesn’t worry about his wedding attire as soon as he gets engaged. But that doesn’t mean he can leave it until the last minute. Thought needs to go into the decision to ensure your groom is a perfect partner for you as the bride. Whatever he wears, he is meant to complement you, allowing you to shine at your brightest.

So what should your groom wear? That depends on the style of the wedding. Though the old rules determining certain suits for day and night weddings may be passé, the groom’s suit does need to reflect the tone of the service and reception. What are his choices? Suit or tuxedo? Black or white tie? There are many factors to think about before your groom decides on his wedding look.


The Basics
“The most important thing is the fit,” says Joey Hunter of John’s Tuxedos. “You can’t order a suit out of a catalogue. The groom needs to try on different styles as the cut of the jackets, collars, pants and shoulders will vary. He needs to choose one that he feels comfortable in and flatters his build the most.”

In addition to fit, the store you choose is crucial. Hunter recommends reading reviews before you go, and make sure the store you have in mind has on-site alterations. “People often lose weight before a wedding but they still want the suit to fit, so the store needs to be able to accommodate last minute changes,” he says.

Melvin Grodsky of Tuxedos To Geaux says he tells grooms to find a store with a staff they can trust. “We just moved into a new location in Metairie where we have a dedicated bridal room,” Grodsky says, “so grooms can take as much time to try on as many suits as they need to, in order to find the right one.”

Once you have an idea of where your groom wants to go look at suits, it’s a good idea to go with him,” says Susan Berniol of Ladies & Gents Formal Wear. “Most of the grooms come in with their brides who ensure that he blends with her dress and her bridesmaids’ dresses.”

It’s also important to make sure your groom picks a suit or tux that matches his personality, as well as the overall feel and colors of your big day. “We can advise what a groom typically wears depending on the scenario,” says Kevin Rome of Rome’s Tuxedos, “but he needs to think about his personal style and what he is going to feel most at ease in, based on the formality of the day, the time of year and the place.”

Once your research is done and you and your groom have an idea of what you want him to wear, Rachelle Lacombe of Top Hat Tuxedos recommends making sure you give a store plenty of notice. “If grooms can give us a month’s notice we can find the right suits for the grooms, their groomsmen and other men in the wedding party,” Lacombe says. “We will find a cut that works for all the men in the wedding party so they all look the same.”


Current Trends
Though there are general rules to how a suit fits and how to go about choosing one, there are lots of options when it comes to picking styles and colors, especially if you and your groom love to follow trends. “Just like other clothing, movie stars and celebrities drive different trends in wedding attire,” Rome says. “Dark and light grays are really popular right now and blue is set to be the next big thing.” Rome adds that some people are also going for the European look, with slightly shorter trousers and jackets and a more tailored leg.

Other trends include bow ties with a cummerbund, instead of the classic long tie. If you’re planning on a warm-weather wedding, seersucker and linen suits are still popular, as well as a khaki or tan tuxedo.

Accessories also require some thought when it comes to bringing together the look, Berniol says. “The groom usually wears a cream vest and tie to match the bride and the groomsmen match the bridesmaids,” she says. “Brides shouldn’t worry about the colors being an exact match. If the vests are a shade or two different, no one will notice.”

Lacombe adds, “Some couples pick the vests and ties to highlight another color in their wedding. You don’t have to match both. You can pick one to add a pop of color.”

Keep in mind that it’s fun to be fashionable, but make sure you and your groom aren’t making a fashion trend your top priority. “A lot of grooms are asking for an extremely skinny cut but we warn them that they need to be able to move and dance at the reception,” he says. “It’s a wedding not a prom and they want to look more classic than trendy in the photos which will last forever.”

 


What the Experts Know
There are guidelines when it comes to how men wear what they do.
1. The cuff length should show ¼ - 1 inch below the jacket
2. The pant length should break on the shoe.
3. The jacket sleeve length should be where the fingertips reach the bottom of the jacket.
4. The jacket length should hit halfway between the nape of the neck and the feet.
5. Two fingers should fit inside the shirt collar.
6. Thinner lapels have a slimming effect.
7. Wider lapels make a man look taller.
8. Flat front trousers suit wider thighs.
9. Lay-down shirts and wider ties slim the face.
10. Natural shoulders are lengthening.
11. The pleats of a cummerbund face up.
12. Suspenders go with a cummerbund but not a vest.
13. A boutonniere is worn on the left lapel and tilts outward.

 

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