When it comes to picking out your suits for the wedding, menswear can be surprisingly complicated! There are different styles of suits that are suitable for weddings of different seasons and formalities, so shop around once you have your date and venue confirmed.
Depending on your budget, you may want to decide upfront whether you want to hire or buy the menswear – if you’re opting for a classic lounge suit that can easily be worn again, then buying may be a better investment, but we advise hiring if you’re opting for more traditional wedding dress. Either way, be sure to get measurements for your men around 6-9 months in advance of the wedding day. It may be easier for them to do this at home in advance, rather than trying to get them all in the boutique at the same time.
Once you’ve decided whether you’re hiring or buying, you’ll need to decide your suit style. Here are just a few of the options…
These are traditionally worn for weddings taking place before 3pm, and if you’re thinking of a classic wedding suit, you’re probably thinking of a morning suit. A blue, black or grey tailcoat is worn with plain or pin-striped trousers, white wing-collared shirt, coloured waistcoat, and cravat. For extra formality, add top hat and gloves.
This is a knee length jacket that is available in a variety of colours and fabrics, and is a formal alternative to the tailcoat. Worn with plain black trousers, a wing-collared shirt and a coloured cravat.
These are suitable for less formal weddings, but are becoming increasingly popular. Single or double-breasted, two or three piece with a plain shirt and coloured tie. A quality lounge suit in light wool or even linen can look effortlessly elegant – and also represents a good investment. Unlike the bridal gown, it can be worn again and again.
Black Tie/Dinner Suits
These are a suitable choice for late-afternoon weddings with a formal reception. A black dinner jacket is teamed with tapered trousers and braces, a shirt with a pleated front and turn-down collar, and a black bow tie.
Don’t forget his other essentials; waistcoat, cravat or tie, shirt, shoes and socks. He’ll also need a nice watch and cufflinks, which could be a gift from the bride.
Your colours will need to complement the bridesmaids’ dresses, so get these sorted first (a sample of the fabric would really help you out while shopping). Don’t go over the top with matching your waistcoat, tie and handkerchief – the general idea is to choose a patterned waistcoat, in keeping with the general colour theme of the wedding, and then highlight the main colour – usually worn by the bridesmaids – by wearing a plain cravat or tie, and handkerchief.
If you are wearing a morning suit, then cravats should only be worn by the groom and best man. A high necked waistcoat will stop the cravat from ‘escaping’. And remember that it is traditional for the bottom button on your waistcoat to be left undone!
Images by Peter Posh.
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