We’ve got the amazing team at Dessy giving us all the formalwear advice today, something that can seem a little overwhelming but these guys have all the answers…feel free to link to your groom!
Let’s face it, choosing formalwear for one of the most important days of your life can be incredibly stressful. Perhaps that’s why most grooms are perfectly content to allow their partners to pick out their wedding day attire and make all the big decisions for them.
Here’s the thing, though: You’re a grown man. There is no reason why you can’t be more involved in picking out your wedding day attire and having a sartorial say in the greatest day of your life.
Sure, you may not know the first thing about choosing men’s formalwear for your big day. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?
With this groom’s guide to formalwear, you can pick out your wedding day attire with confidence and impress your partner in the process.
Start the Process Early
Keep in mind that your suit style should align with the bride’s dress, especially if you’ve chosen a theme for your wedding. The bride typically buys her wedding dress about eight months before the wedding, so any time after this is typically fair game for you to start shopping for a suit.
While every groom has a different timeline for buying/renting their suit, here is an example of when you should get the ball rolling on your formalwear:
- 6 Months Before—Set a budget and start shopping for a suit. Consider all your options before you buy (i.e., buying off the rack, getting a custom suit or renting a tuxedo from a formalwear company).
- 5-6 Months Before—Pick a style for you and your groomsmen and purchase your wedding day attire. Now is also a good time to get your name in the books for alterations.
- 4 Months Before—Get alterations done for you and your groomsmen.
- 1-2 Months Before—Get final alterations squared away. This can take up to three weeks, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Pick a Suit Style to Fit the Occasion
You’ve figured out a timeline and set a budget. Now comes the most difficult part: Choosing a style that fits the overall vibe of your big day.
To help you make the right choice, here are few things you should keep in mind:
- Season—Getting married in the summer? Warm weather weddings call for lighter colors and breathable fabrics. While you’re shopping for summer suits, keep an eye out for breathable fabrics such as chambray, linen, cotton and seersucker.
- Time of Day—When considering the time of the event, a good rule of thumb is to choose lighter colors for daytime events and darker suit colors for nighttime. For example, a light gray suit for an afternoon wedding and a navy or black suit for evening affairs.
- Theme—If the theme of your wedding is vintage with a contemporary twist, take advantage by wearing a three-piece suit in gray or brown tweed. Getting married by the sea? Consider a nautical-inspired suit with tiny stripes and blue accents.
- Location—Both the venue and your location can impact the formality of your attire. Grooms who are tying the knot in a tropical location will want to opt for lighter colors and fabrics, while those getting hitched in a classy venue will need to up their formality with a tuxedo or dark suit.
Dress for Your Body Type
No matter how stylish your suit looks on the mannequin, this is no guarantee that it will look just as good on you. To be a truly well-dressed groom, you need to focus on the cut and style of your suit as well.
Different suit cuts and styles can make a huge impact on your overall look. For example, if you’re a bulkier guy, double-breasted suits can make you appear heavier. In this case, a single-breasted suit in a classic or modern fit would be much more flattering.
If you’re shopping for suits in a physical store, swallow your pride and ask a consultant for assistance. They can help you choose a style that will best flatter your shape. You may also want to take an overly truthful friend with you to give his unfiltered opinion, just to be on the safe side.
Get a Tailor
Once you’ve picked a suit style that looks good on you, the work is far from over. Now, your goal should be to find a great tailor who can make you look like a sartorial mastermind on your big day.
At first, you may not believe that you need a tailor. But let us remind you that this is your wedding day. If there is one time in your life where it’s okay to splurge on a bespoke suit, this is it. Plus, a good tailor will hide your imperfections (we all have them) and make you feel truly amazing on your big day.
Not to mention that you can easily get your money’s worth by choosing a suit style that you can wear again. Blue and gray suits are extremely versatile and can be worn for summer soirees, business meetings, interviews, graduation parties, etc.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
After finding the perfect suit style and cut, it’s time to add the finishing touches with menswear accessories. Before you start picking out patterned pocket squares and colorful ties, be sure to coordinate with the bride and your groomsmen for a cohesive wedding day look.
While you don’t need to perfectly match your groomsmen, you should choose accessories that align with their style. For instance, if all your groomsmen are wearing the same gray suit and solid blue tie, you can switch out your tie for a blue patterned bowtie for a distinctive look.
If you’re wearing a different color suit than your groomsmen, you stand out well enough as it is. However, you can still opt for a larger boutonniere than the rest of your groomsmen or switch things up by wearing a different shade from your wedding color palette.
As you can see, choosing the right formalwear for your wedding day can be a long and complicated process. Even if your bride-to-be is fine with taking on the additional task of dressing you and the groomsmen, she’s probably neck-deep in wedding details as it is. By doing your research in advance, you can impress your partner and incorporate your own unique sense of style into your wedding day look.
Jane Davenport is the head marketing manager for The Dessy Group. They are a leading manufacturer of bridesmaid dresses, social occasion, flower girls and destination wedding gowns. Jane oversee all of the marketing operations with her team at the Dessy HQ in Manhattan. When she’s not working and writing wedding articles, you can find her at Soul Cycle or checking out the coolest plant-based restaurants in the city.