Guys are often unsure about what they can wear for their weddings. Jim Adams answers some frequently asked questions:
What can I do to show my personality without drawing attention away from the bride?
It’s good when the groom understands that he’s not the star of the wedding and, as a gentleman, wants to defer to the bride. But with the bride’s input, there are still plenty of ways to highlight your individuality. First off, a well-tailored, trim suit is flattering and will allow you to stand out from the crowd. Then there are a number of little extras you can add—a unique vest, a colourful tie, a coordinating pocket square, gorgeous shoes or funky socks— to accent your suit. Meaningful family items, like your grandfather’s tie bar, cuff links or pocket watch, will complete your look and add a personal meaning to the day.
What suit colours work?
Black suits are always appropriate and add elegance to an evening wedding. Grey, however, is the freshest colour I’m seeing in wedding suits. It works at any time of the year and the tones cover the spectrum from light, silvery grey to medium and charcoal greys. Grey is sophisticated yet neutral, which means it’s an easy colour to accessorize. Against the calm palette of your suit, you can add ties, shirts, pocket squares and even vests in colours that coordinate with the scheme chosen for the bride and bridesmaids.
Does the time of day influence what I wear?
A basic rule of thumb is that an earlier wedding allows you to wear a lighter suit or tuxedo, while you should go to darker shades (and perhaps more formal styling) later in the day. But many couples today are breaking with traditions and simply doing what feels right, such as having their ceremony at a family cottage or on tropical beach, and that means anything goes as long as it reflects the mood chosen by the couple.
I’m a traditionalist and a fashion guy. I like trends as much as the next person, but I always think ahead to what the pictures will look like in 10 or 15 years. Good style endures. So for me, a less-is-more classic look will always last, and I prefer tasteful and coordinated to overstated and contrived.
Tie or bow tie? How do you choose the perfect one?
Ties are definitely more popular than bowties—even with tuxedos.
How can a groom ensure a perfect fit?
It’s possible for every man to have a suit that fits beautifully and looks contemporary. Since guys come in all shapes and sizes, however, they won’t follow the same path to perfection. The most important thing is to start with the right cut for your body type. Fuller in the thigh and seat? No problem. Broader through the chest or between the shoulder points? Done. You need to start with a suit that is proportioned like you and feels comfortable. From there, we can tweak and tailor it so it fits like a glove. If you are a particularly challenging fit or want a suit super-customized to a specific style, we offer a custom-cut service and have a number of special-order options that can satisfy almost any requirement.
In terms of colour or fabric choices, tall guys have it a bit easier since nearly everything works for them. Shorter grooms should consider lighter-weight fabrics as they add less bulk. But in the end, a good fit is what matters. It absolutely transforms your look and it’s your best armour.
When should a man start shopping for his big day?
The sooner the better so you can take your time and make the right decision about style, fabric, your shirt, tie and accessories. That said, I’ve fit guys for their wedding attire in as little as two days.
What style tips can you offer to groomsmen?
Leave your personal likes and dislikes behind and do what the groom asks. Spring for a new shirt and tie without complaint if he wants you to. It’s your friend’s biggest day. After all, every guy on the planet needs a new white shirt once in a while!
Do you have a certain style that you tend to lean towards in formal wear?
Drawing on my traditional tastes, I always favour a tuxedo, black suit, grey suit or navy blazer. The extra bit of style can come from how the suit is accessorized: shirt, tie, shoes, pocket square, belt and socks.
What should a groom wear to a casual wedding?
It’s a wide range, but I always like a shirt and tie. A navy blazer is the minimum, but you can still make a stunning, pulled-together look with tan, cream, light grey or grey pants and even jeans. A tie is optional for a beach wedding that features natural linens or silk. For a fresh, crisp look, a white shirt is always right.
Any advice for the big day?
Give yourself time. Don’t get dressed too early or you’ll end up sweaty, stinky and wrinkly. Let a professional, like me, tie all the ties in your wedding party. That way, you’ll look consistent for the event and for your pictures. After all, nerves can make it hard to get details perfect on the big day.
What other tips and advice do you have for dressing on the day?
Relax and enjoy yourself. Really important: Don’t wear your suit jacket in the car to the wedding. Lay it neatly in the back of the car and put it on once you arrive. During the ceremony your back will face your guests and a wrinkled jacket is completely unnecessary.