The relaxation of modern-day wedding etiquette means there are more options for the groom’s attire than ever. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing wedding day clothing for men, check out our guide to the groom’s attire.
The modern groom now approaches his wedding day attire as a reflection of his style and personality. While some grooms choose to go much less traditional by wearing casual jeans and dress shirts (even foregoing jackets altogether), the two most classic wedding attire choices for grooms—a suit or a tuxedo—still remain the most popular.
It’s easy to see why: suits and tuxedos work well with the aesthetic and formality of many weddings. The decision to wear a suit, tuxedo, or something less traditional on the big day is often a difficult dilemma for guys, especially now that the relaxation of modern-day wedding etiquette means there are more options than ever. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing wedding day clothing for men, check out our guide to the groom’s attire below.
Finding the right wedding attire is an important decision. Check out our range of the best wedding dress designer and shop at Brighton Savoy.
What Accessories Do Grooms Need?
A fun (and totally optional!) way to inject some style into your wedding-day look is with accessories! Both suits and tuxedos can be customized, and here are just a few ways to spruce them up:
Dress shirts for suits come in every colour and pattern under the sun, and even shirts for tuxedos are available in multiple styles—from straight and pleated fronts to a variety of collars and cuffs. Remember to think about which style tie you prefer before shopping for your shirt.
Adding a vest changes your look from a two-piece suit to a three-piece suit. Also referred to as a waistcoat, it’s an easy way to add a colourful pattern to your suited ensemble.
Cummerbunds are a tuxedo accessory that covers the waist and are worn with a single-breasted jacket. Traditionally, men don’t wear cummerbunds with long ties.
Suspenders not only pump up your style, but they also keep your pants firmly in place while you dance the night away!
The type of belt you choose usually depends on the colour of your suit. Traditionally, a black case requires a black belt. If you choose a blue suit, though, a brown belt can look terrific. (Just be sure to match your shoes to your belt, since a wedding is a more formal occasion.)
A pocket square is basically a handkerchief tucked into a suit jacket pocket. It’s yet another opportunity to colour coordinate!
Cufflinks are like jewellery for your dress shirt cuffs. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, the cufflinks should match the shirt studs. For a suit, you can get as creative as you like. Beer cap cufflinks, anyone?
The typical black tuxedo tie or bow tie look is perfect for a formal event, but ties come in every colour and pattern imaginable, so have fun finding the one.
Although socks are usually pretty invisible, it’s a real kick to see a quirky, patterned sock peek out from under a pant leg!
The most important part of choosing your suit is making sure that it’s sized appropriately for your body type. Getting measured by a professional tailor is vitally important to ensuring your wedding suit fits you perfectly and compliments your shape. Even if you’re going with a suit from a big box store instead of a custom clothier, as most people do, a salesperson in any menswear store should know how to take your measurements. From there, the choices about suit vs. tux, individual garments, materials, and cuts will all be easier knowing exactly what sizes you should be shopping for.
The Difference Between a Suit and a Tuxedo
At first glance, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the physical appearance of a suit and a tux. Here are the main differences between these two menswear styles:
- Tuxes tend to have satin features (such as the buttons, the lapels, and a stripe down the side of the pants) whereas suits do not.
- Tuxes are typically worn with bow-ties and a cummerbund or vest, and the jacket might have a tail.
- Suits usually have a standard jacket and are paired with a long tie (and sometimes a vest, depending on preference).
When choosing between a suit or a tux, focus on which style makes you feel comfortable, fits into your budget, and matches the formality of your wedding.
The Pros and Cons of Suits and Tuxes
If purchased, can be worn multiple times after the wedding day to all sorts of events
Easier to personalize to match the groom’s look
Available in a wide range of different colours and styles
Pairs easily paired with accessories, such as pocket squares, ties, and shirts
Can be more comfortable
Great for slightly-less formal or informal weddings
- Expensive to purchase
- Certain colours and styles, such as light-coloured suits, are not appropriate in all settings and seasons and thus aren’t as versatile
- Looks out of place at really formal weddings
- Great for formal, black-tie weddings
- Can look more refined and polished
- Creates greater cohesion with less work for a large group of groomsmen
- Available in fewer styles, but cuts down on decision-making
- A most popular choice for grooms’ attire
- Often not worn much after the wedding (unless the groom attends many formal, black-tie events)
- Very expensive to purchase
- Looks really out of place at informal weddings/events
- Requires a special type of dress shirt (typically white with black buttons)
- Though possible in other colours, black is the most widely available
Brighton Savoy has a wide list of top wedding dress designers and shops to wear on your big day.
6 Fashion Rules for Grooms
You want to look as stylish as your partner on your wedding day so follow these rules. As the groom, all eyes will be on you (and your partner) on your wedding day, so of course, you want to look your best. Need help figuring out what to wear? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Follow our rules below to look stylish when you say “I do.”
Your suit or tux should fit the formality.
At the most basic level, your attire should be appropriate for your venue and match the overall vibe of the wedding. If your wedding is in the daytime or outdoors, you can wear something a bit more casual (think: lighter-coloured suits made of fabrics like seersucker or khaki). If it’s an evening affair in a ballroom or swanky hotel, go with either a dark, well-tailored suit or a tux. Want to get even more formal? White tie (a black tailcoat, white shirt and white bow tie) is the ultimate in formalwear and ideal for an extra-luxe venue.
Your attire should coordinate with your partner’s.
Another fairly obvious one, but it has to be said: Remember, your wedding is your first opportunity to show off your style as a couple, so make it a joint effort. While you may not know exactly what your partner is wearing, you’ll want to be sure your styles work together. So if her dress is a bedazzled ball gown, you won’t want to wear a lightweight linen suit—a classic black tux is more like it. Other combos that work: a rustic lace gown paired with a tailored tan suit, or a streamlined city-chic gown with a slim-cut grey suit.
Your body type should dictate the suit.
The key to looking sharp is dressing for your body type. If you’re tall and slim, most tuxedos and suits will look good on your frame. To add bulk, try a double-breasted suit, which will make you look broader. To slim down, try a fitted suit with a little bit of a nip in the waist to give the impression of a leaner silhouette. Skip lighter-coloured suits since darker hues are slimming. And to elongate the body (and add some height), go for a two or three-button jacket with a low button stance.
The fit should be perfect.
Even the most expensive tux on the rack will look and feel awful if it doesn’t fit right. You should be able to move around easily—do lots of twists, turns, and arm raises to make sure there’s plenty of mobility to show off your dancing skills. Regardless of whether you’re renting or buying, most shops will custom tailor the purchase. Here are a few basic tailoring rules:
The jacket sleeve hem should fall at the wristbone with about one-fourth to one-half inch of the shirt cuff showing below.
The bottom hem of the jacket should cover the butt, and the vent shouldn’t pull open. If it does, that means it’s too tight.
The collar should lay flat on the back and sides of the neck without any gaps or bulges.
Pants should fit comfortably when standing and sitting and break across the top of the shoes, so they cover the top one-third.
A bow tie should fit snugly around the collar.
Your look should coordinate with your attendants.
Traditionally, the groomsmen wear attire that’s the same as or similar to that of the groom, but it’s up to you. Even if you aren’t planning for all the men in your wedding party to wear the exact same suit or tux, it’s important that their outfits match in style and feel with yours. (It will look a little bit off if you’re up there in a tux while your buddies are wearing casual khaki suits.) Matching doesn’t just end with the guys either—your whole wedding party should have a cohesive style. To achieve this, aim to pair your groomsmen style to that of the bridesmaids—for instance, if the bridesmaids are rocking a vintage vibe, the guys can don retro three-piece suits.
Your accessories should set you apart.
Now that everyone is matching and coordinated, it’s time to pick your extras. To achieve a totally unique look, it’s all in the details. Spice things up and wear a special boutonniere or a bow tie, vest, necktie, cummerbund or cuff links in a different colour or style. If your wedding palette has two colours, you can wear one of the shades while the rest of the guys wear the other. For a luxe affair, have the groomsmen each wear a tux with a black bow tie and black vest, while you don a white tie and white vest. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your outfit. Musical? Add a treble clef to your boutonniere. More of a sci-fi nerd? Find a cool pair of Star Wars-inspired cuff links.
The price of a groom’s suit or tuxedo really depends on a combination of factors:
- Where the groom lives
- The store(s) where he is shopping
- The suit or tuxedo design
- The menswear designer
- Whether you decide to rent or buy
- How customized the details are
- The quality of the materials
Because so many of these pricing factors are circumstantial, it’s best to shop around to compares prices in order to get a true comparison. Be sure to ask about the cost of renting versus buying the suit or tux and the benefits of each. Also, do your due diligence by trying on various styles at staggering price points. This will help you determine what makes you feel your best and will give you a clue about what you can truly afford to spend.
Buying Vs. Renting
If buying, tuxes tend to cost more than suits.
If renting, suits tend to cost more than tuxes.
And, of course, if you opt to forego a suit or a tux for something more informal, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a lower price tag. But, as we mentioned, it’s all relative—bespoke casual looks can cost a pretty penny, too, if you’re buying high-end designer jeans or custom-tailored shirts.
It’s true that suits are an acceptable choice for grooms’ wedding fashion, even if the wedding is formal. However, there are times when a tux is more appropriate than a suit and situations where both are just too stuffy for the occasion. What are those times? How can you tell which is a better fit for your wedding? Here’s some general advice to keep in mind:
Suits are better for less formal events. Suits come in all kinds of different styles and can usually be tailored to fit various levels of formality. However, a suit is often best when the event is slightly less formal or altogether informal. For example, if you’re having a barn wedding, a groom might look out of place in a tux with a tail.
Tuxes are better for more formal events. Just like suits, tuxes come in more varieties than you could ever begin to imagine. Despite this wide range, the tuxedo will always fall into the “more formal” category. If the event is highly formal, then the groom’s attire should be, too.
It’s best to match your the dressiness of your partner’s attire. Finally, the extravagance of your partner’s attire should be taken into consideration. If your fiancé(e) is wearing something very formal or very informal, then you should choose a complementary look.
Who pays from groomsmen outfits?
Traditionally, all attendants buy or rent their own wedding day looks. Be up-front with the expected prices and let them be a part of the selection process. If you’d like to let your guys wear their own suits (something they’ll be thrilled about), be sure to give them guidelines (such as a full black or navy suit). Ask them to submit a photo of their outfit a few months before the event, so if someone does need to rent or purchase something, they have time.
“Gift them an item that will create the matching throughline, be it a tie, bow tie, embroidered pocket square, pair of suspenders, cufflinks, or any other small accessory of the sort,” advises Dudley. This is a great way to keep your guys looking sharp while also giving them something to remember the event by.
Check out our list of top wedding dress designers and shops at Brighton Savoy.
When should the outfits be ordered?
As soon as you’ve settled on a style, place your rental or purchase orders ASAP to keep things running smooth and stress-free. They should be ordered no later than a couple of months before the big day. While it can be tricky to wrangle a group of guys to order suits, sites like The Black Tux have a solution. Remember: It’s your vision, and your guys are there to help you see it through.