By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.
There’s so much more to a groom’s wedding attire than you’d expect. Follow these tips to step up your groom’s style game on the big day. The secret is paying attention to the details and finding a look that fits (both literally and figuratively).
If your wedding is a “black tie” event then go with a tuxedo. Black tie “optional” then air on the side of caution and choose a tuxedo. Save the suit for semi-formal weddings.
A white dinner jacket is traditionally worn in the summer or in tropical climates as an alternative to a black tuxedo. The white jacket is also a great option and look for a beach wedding. Avoid wearing a black tuxedo to daytime events prior to 6 p.m.
When wearing a two-or three-button tuxedo jacket, always leave the bottom button undone. A single-breasted jacket is traditional, but men six feet or taller may prefer a double-breasted jacket to accentuate their height.
When shopping for a formal shirt, French cuffs and cufflinks are essential. Choose a lightweight cotton fabric, as this will be the most comfortable option. For a more formal appearance choose a wing collar. The tips or flaps of wing collar shirts should sit behind the bow tie, not on top of it. Many formal shirts also feature a different texture or pleats where the shirt will be visible under the jacket. Going conservative is the best option.
Planning to remove your tuxedo jacket? Then opt for a full back vest. It’s a much cleaner, well-dressed look when your coat is off.
Allow your trouser color to set the tone for the color of your shoes and socks which should always be the same or darker color than your trousers. Your formal pants should always have a grosgrain, silk or satin trim down the leg. Use the outseam measurement (top of belt to the top of the shoe) when ordering formal trousers. Be generous with the length to ensure the trousers are not too short. They should break just at the top of the shoe. The waistband should rest at about navel level since this is not the time to wear your pants low.
Patent leather or polished oxfords make the best formal footwear. Keep it simple and go with a round toe or lace-up or slip-on.
Cummerbunds are a great accessory, especially if wearing a bow tie. Not only do they make the midsection more appealing, they also help keep shirts tucked in. Be sure to wear a cummerbund with the pleats facing up.
You have the option to choose the pre-tied bow tie or a formal version of the hanging tie if you are not wearing a cummberbund. A traditional bow tie takes some experience to tie correctly, so practice before the big day. You want to look your best for the occasion. A black tie event does not mean one has to wear a black tie. It simply means the event is formal. You can showcase your style with any color formal accessory.