The Ultimate Guide to Menswear for Weddings
It’s not just the bride who needs her dream outfit! It’s important for the groom to get his outfit perfect too. Buying your groom’s suit may sound simple. Just some trousers, a shirt and a jacket, right? Actually, when it comes to picking out the groom, groomsmen and usher outfits for the wedding, menswear can be surprisingly complicated! There are different styles of suits that are suitable for weddings in different seasons and formalities. Already feeling a little daunting? Here’s our ultimate guide to menswear for weddings to help you make those key outfit decisions.
Recent developments in the Menswear sector: The uncertainty around the national menswear supplier, the Baird Group, launching a CVA proposal has prompted many looking for menswear and suits for their weddings to shop more locally. You can view our recommendations for top suit suppliers across the country here or search for menswear suppliers by your location.
This guide covers the following:
- Should I hire or buy my wedding suits?
- How far in advance should we get the wedding suits fitted?
- What styles of wedding suits are available?
- How do you decide on a wedding suit style?
- What are the different wedding suit materials?
- How do you choose a colour for a wedding suit?
- What shirt should you wear with a wedding suit?
- How do you accessorise a wedding suit?
- Should the groom and groomsmen match?
- Where can I find menswear that is appropriate for a wedding?
This is a question that needs to be answered prior to shopping for your menswear. It will dictate the options you have and how much you’ll need to budget for your suits and accessories.
Hiring the wedding suits
Where there is a limitation in the budget, hiring suits may be the most financially viable decision. Hiring suits can be significantly more cost-effective than purchasing. Also, not only is hiring a suit an environmentally friendly solution, it means that you can place extra budget on other wedding elements that you wouldn’t have been able to afford.
Plus, if you’re opting for something you are unlikely to be able to wear again, we recommend going for the option of hiring anyway. Bright colours and loud patterns are on-trend at the moment, especially for summer and spring weddings, but you may not necessarily see yourself in this attire again. On the other hand, traditional options, such as morning suits, might not be reusable easily. This is why hiring can be such a great choice.
Buying the wedding suits
Your wedding suit is one of the most important outfits of the occasion, so you may wish to own the attire. This option usually works best if you are opting for a style that can be worn again or for those who can afford to splash out. For example, if you’re opting for a classic lounge suit, this can easily be worn again to another formal occasion, so purchasing it makes sense. In this case, go for a colour and material that would be suitable for other formal occasions, such as grey wool. Similarly, if you would prefer something completely bespoke and tailor-made to you, purchasing would be the best option to ensure you get what you are hoping for.
Also, purchasing means the suit can be tailored to perfectly fit the person wearing them. However, this option can be pricey, so depending on your budget limitations, you may wish to purchase the groom’s suit only and hire the suits of the rest of the party.
It’s really important to know your measurements before you shop as it can speed up the entire process, whether you are buying or hiring. Be sure to get measurements for your groom, groomsmen, ushers, and any ladies who will be wearing suits around 6-9 months in advance of the wedding day. If you are having suits made bespoke, ensure you speak to the tailor as they will be able to advise you on their lead times and how soon they will need the initial measurements. Be aware, that when you are getting measured for a tailor-made suit, you may need to be measured by a professional to ensure that all sizing is accurate.
When measuring for hired suits, it may be easier for those wearing the suits to do this at home in advance, rather than trying to get them all in the boutique at the same time. Especially with the current Coronavirus restrictions where a mass trip to the menswear store is just not feasible.
It’s really important not to rush the process of getting your suit. If it doesn’t fit properly, experiment with different sizes and styles until you find something that feels perfect. Different fabrics and shapes of suit may come up slightly bigger/smaller than you’re used to, but alterations can always be made so don’t settle! You want a suit to feel snug but comfortable when you’re walking, standing and sitting down.
If you’re thinking of a classic wedding suit, you’re probably thinking of a morning suit. This traditional dress is usually worn for weddings taking place before 3pm; hence the name ‘morning suits’. A great example of this look is the blue, black or grey tailcoat, worn with plain or pin-striped trousers, white wing-collared shirt, coloured waistcoat, and cravat. Waistcoats for weddings are almost compulsory if you wear a morning suit, but you can add an air of modernity and personality beyond the usual silver and cream men’s waistcoats for weddings. Why not consider having the lining of the suit a funky fabric or bespoke pattern to really add the personal touch? For extra formality, add a top hat and gloves.
Want to have a high-class, traditional feel to your wedding attire? The frock coat suit is a perfect, sophisticated look. 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. Pair this look with a top hat and cane to really go all out on the Victorian gentleman feel.
White tie is the most formal of all dress codes and typically associated with royal affairs, as well as state dinners and formal balls. It is a dress code that leaves little room for creative interpretation. It includes a white bow tie, tailcoat, white low cut waistcoat and black dress trousers.
Black Tie or Tuxedos
Some traditionalists are against tuxedos and black-tie wedding suits (especially in religious venues), although tuxedos are popular choices in the UK. 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.
These are suitable for less formal weddings and are becoming increasingly popular. This effortlessly suave look can be styled 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.
We particularly love that a lounge suit can be worn with different colour and material pairings. Why not consider a tweed waistcoat like these groomsmen below.
This is the most important suit you will ever wear and it is vital that you really love the end result. The best thing you can do is have an open mind, look at lots of different shapes, styles and colours. However, you don’t want to choose a suit which will completely clash with your wedding colour scheme, venue and theme. Make sure you take all of these things into consideration when deciding on a style, colour and fabric.
The time and season of the wedding are also very important when going on a hunt for the perfect wedding menswear. Wedding suits for the groom and suitable dress codes are different in the morning than in the evening. Also, think about the season when the occasion is going to be held. For example, linen suits are great for summer, while wool and tweed would be more appropriate for winter. Remember to decide the style and dress code so you can also advise your groomsmen and ushers!
There are so many different types of fabric that can be chosen for your wedding suit. From tweed, to cotton, to linen. The fabric you will choose will likely depend on the season. Late autumn and winter suits lean towards heavier materials such as wool or something more unusual such as tweed, wool or corduroy! Hotter temperatures in late spring and summer lend themselves to lighter materials. Linens, cottons and summer wool and silk blends with softer construction are all excellent choices as these materials are still striking suit fabrics but are far less heavy. Whatever you choose, make sure you will be comfortable!
If there is a colour theme, having a swatch of the colour with you when you choose your cloth will help. The most popular colours for men’s wedding suits are blue, grey, and black. However, depending on your type of suit, you are free to display your personality and reflect your wedding theme. Generally, the groom uses the colour of their waistcoat or other accessories, to highlight a colour theme or compliment their bride. However, patterned suits or bright colours are becoming more common. This can be influenced by a venue. For example, a suit in off-white, light grey, beige or light blue is more likely to suit a beach wedding than a more traditional suit colour.
The colour and the fabric both should be kept in consideration when picking up the dress shirt for your wedding suit. White is the best option, as it makes the colour of the suit pop out and gives you a clean and crisp look matching the white dress of the bride.
For spring/summer weddings where the fabric can be lightweight something like 100% cotton poplin fabric. For the autumn-winter weddings, the fabric should be a little heavy, perfect when paired with a woollen suit. The collar of your wedding shirt should most preferably be cutaway or straight pointed with double cuffs.
Don’t forget other essentials; waistcoat, cravat or tie, shirt, shoes and socks. You’ll also need a nice watch and cufflinks, which could be a gift from the bride! There are a variety of different styles for the modern groom to complete the wedding look with a perfect wedding tie. The best colour options are blue, cream and ivory in silk. If you are wearing a waistcoat or cummerbund then go without a belt. Either of these options covers the belt area of trousers and make your look very formal. Cufflinks are the accessory that completes your wedding look. For the big day opt for some decorative cufflinks, like gold or silver that compliment with your suit.
Boutonniere and pocket square are both very essential parts of the groom’s traditional attire. They are also a great way to add personality to what you’re wearing, helping you to stand out. Pocket squares are a favourite among men wanting to add a pop of colour to their suits. Your pocket square choice will depend on your suit colour, your wedding’s colour scheme (if any) and your personal choice! As for boutonniere, make sure they are real, fresh and compliment the type of wedding you are having.
Your colours will need to complement the wedding’s overall style and colour scheme. 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. Then highlight the main colour – usually worn by the bridesmaids – by wearing a plain cravat or tie, and handkerchief.
Wedding shoes for men are usually the easiest part of the outfit when dressing in a traditional morning coat and morning dress: all black. Brown shoes, grey, or other shoe colours are common with more informal suits.
Everyone does this differently and there are no wrong or right answers. Some grooms like to have their groomsmen in uniform suits matching to theirs. On the other hand, others like to have their own suit in one style, and their groomsmen in differentiated styles. It’s all about the vision that you have for your special day. If the bridesmaids are in mismatched dresses, for example, it may be a nice idea to do the same with your ushers.
Shepherd & Woodward in Oxford offer many options of wedding suit for your wedding day. The large range of menswear available will ensure that you find the perfect wedding attire. There is also a large range of waistcoats, cravats, ties and accessories available. Experience staff are on hand to help with their extensive knowledge of the current formalwear trends and etiquette. Shepherd & Woodward offer a completely free consultation, leaving you safe in the knowledge that your attire completely meets your taste and requirements.
The Cotswold Tailor is an award-winning tailor that takes traditional British cloths and tailors them with a contemporary twist. This results in unique, elegant designs, that stand out from the usual mass-produced clothing on the high street. The Cotswold Tailor offers both bespoke wedding tailoring and luxury hirewear, with the expertise to offer you the best possible service for your wedding. With a range of country waistcoats, traditional morning suits and highland wear, you can easily find what you need. The Cotswold Tailor is part of 120 affiliated stores across the UK, allowing members of your wedding party to pop into their nearest store for a fitting for maximum convenience.
With over 22 years experience, Keates Formal Mens Hire is dedicated to looking after grooms. With a dedicated formal hire department and their own stock, you can discover a fantastic collection of morning suits, tweed & lounge suits, in modern styles, fits, and colours. Not only are you able to try on various outfit combinations, More importantly, Keates Formal Mens Hire ensures the correct fit. Appointments with dedicated and trained staff are available to offer advice and suggestions.
Elegans Menswear is the formal wear shop with a difference. They aim to update the traditional top hat ‘n’ tails look for weddings and Royal Ascot with cutting edge slim-fit styles. Offering the latest in luxury formal wear, a range of inspirational lounge suits, mix and match jackets and accessories for both formal and smart-casual occasions are available. Elegans provides exceptional one-to-one service to ensure you feel your best from the moment you step through the door.
Walters of Oxford offers a wide range of menswear for your wedding day. These include tailcoats, Edwardian jackets, morning jackets, highland wear, and dinner suits. You will find the ideal wedding suit along with everything else you will need for your wedding day. For example, there is a large range of waistcoats, ties & cravats, and accessories. Many suits are available for immediate hire in a wide range of fittings to ensure that you look your best. Offering the best quality service, you will receive individual attention and professional advice. Also, if your party hires 4 or more suits, you can receive the groom’s suit for free! Furthermore, if you have additional bridesmaids’ dresses’ material, accessories to be made for you to match.
Hire Class is a family run business, specialising in designer clothing from leading Italian houses. A full-time professional tailor ready to adjust everything to your satisfaction, ensuring size is never an issue. Quality and service are the two words associated with Hire Class and you will be part of the experience from the first time you come for ideas through to your final fitting and wedding day. Nothing is to much trouble for Hire Class and their staff.
HIRE5 is an independent Menswear Business that offers formal hire, ready to buy and bespoke tailoring. As well as a range of new tweed suits, prestige morning suits and lounge suits are available. With hundreds of fabrics and styles, there is lot to choose from and you’re at full freedom to create your own style at a budget that suit you.
Cookham Formal Hire is an award-winning wedding suit hire in Buckinghamshire. A family run business specialising in designer wedding suit hire, Cookham Formal Hire have established themselves as a premier company. They stock Europe’s top formal wear designers of Suits and Waistcoats. Also, they are one of a handful of shops that stock morning suits and lounge suits to hire in both classic and slim fittings. At Cookham Formal Hire, staff are committed to offering a service that continues to be personal, friendly and independent for people who simply want to look their very best on their wedding day.
With over 10 years’ experience on Savile Row and Jermyn Street, Thomas David Tailoring brings quality suiting to your home.
They believe that choice is better than compromise, that their job is to create products based around the customer’s wants and needs. Thomas David Tailoring uses fabrics from all over the world to bring you the perfect item, Scottish and Irish tweed, Yorkshire worsteds, Italian superfines, Australian merino and cashmere from Mongolia. Working with a diverse array of mills provides you with greater choice in bringing you exactly what your heart desires. Your suit is designed with you in mind.
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