Fashion, Wedding Tips

How to Choose Your Groom’s Wedding Suit (or Hawaiian Shirt and Shorts)

When you see your almost-husband for the first time in his wedding suit, it’s a special moment. He scrubs up OK.

4.5 minutes to read

Like all things wedding, what your future husband wears is a minefield of traditional and should-do’s. You can follow all the rules, or have him wear his favourite Metallica t-shirt with rainbow-striped shorts, if that’s your thing. Your wedding, your way.

To rent a suit, or buy?

If you’re deciding to rent a suit or buy one, it’s up to you and your finances. If you’re pretty sure he’ll wear it again, then buying one is a good investment. A white suit, a tuxedo, or a morning dress style tailcoat aren’t commonly re-worn items, whereas a three piece suit likely will.

If it’s highly unlikely your husband will ever be shoe-horned into a suit ever again- it’s not worth the expense. Renting is cheap, it’s pretty reliable, it means all the guys will match, you get a good selection of styles, and it’s great for the environment too. Just make sure you arrange this in advance, as in peak wedding season there may be limited selections, especially if a groom or groomsman is not a standard size.

If you’re a keen traveller, then buying a custom made suit could actually be cost effective. Places like HoiAn in Vietnam have a competitive market in tailored clothing. If you were planning on a holiday anyway, take the detour to the tailor precinct, allow a few days there for fittings, and take your fully custom suit home in your suitcase.

What type of suit?

There are a few different types of suits, and which style you choose depends on your wedding.

Morning dress/ tailcoat: When you think of David Beckham at Wills and Kate’s wedding, this is a morning suit. This style with the ‘beetle wing’ style back is for highly formal weddings, and tradition says that these are for daytime weddings – black for morning, grey for afternoon (but if you follow this, that’s up to you). Your bridesmaids will be similarly in long, formal gowns to match the super formal guy’s side.

Tuxedo: Traditionally, tuxedos are worn for formal weddings after 6pm. Generally black, these can be worn with a cummerbund, peaked lapels, and a silk bow tie. Imagine a night at the opera; flowing gowns, posh martinis and whiskey sours, and dashing good looks.

Two or three piece suit: A contemporary option, this suit can be made (or hired) to fit in with your wedding style or your husband’s personality. The size of the lapels, style of waistcoat, and colour can all be dictated by your theme, the time of day you get married (black for evening, grey or blue for daytime), and what looks great.

Suit accessory options

Belt and shoes: Not so much accessories but must- haves. Traditionally, you’d have brown shoes and belt for blue suits, and black shoes with a black or grey suit.

Pocket square: This is a cute touch, and a great way to add a sparkle of colour to a sombre suit.

Tie or bow tie: Ties are still the most common wedding option, generally in the colour the bridesmaids are wearing, to suit the theme.

Hat: A top hat with a morning suit could look rather dashing. Or if your almost-husband is into his old-man hats, these can look great too.

Cufflinks: A fab way to personalise a suit, just make sure you buy a cufflink-style shirt.

Suspenders: These can be cool, depending on the style of your wedding.

Boutonnière: This traditionally will have the same flowers that the bride’s bouquet does. It is generally worn on the left lapel of the jacket.

Groom not-suits

There are some weddings where a suit just isn’t going to work. Maybe, it’s a casual beach wedding. Your husband could be the kind who thinks wearing anything other than jandals, shorts and t-shirt is dressing up. Or, a suit might not fit with that ethereal boho look you’re cultivating. Luckily, these days you can do whatever you like.

Dress shorts or smart chinos and a casual-fit shirt are becoming a more common groom outfit. This can be dressed up or down depending on what you want. On a beach? Sure, a Hawaiian shirt is fine. You’re marrying a jedi? Probably not going to be able to fight storm troopers in a suit. Marrying a Scotsman? Kilts are totally appropriate. Indian? Dhoti and sherwani. Samoan? Faitaga and shirt. Make it work for you.

Top tips for grooms

  • Don’t choose tight-fitting clothes. They will get uncomfortable quickly, especially in summer. Opt for a looser fit.
  • What colour shirt you choose is up to you. If white is a bit stark, you can choose anything else that looks great and suits the theme.
  • Wash the shirt before you wear it, and iron it thoroughly. You don’t want those brand-new-shirt creases.
  • Wear your shoes in to avoid blisters.
  • If you’re wearing a waistcoat, leave the bottom button undone.
  • The jacket sleeve should allow for one centimetre of the shirt cuff to be seen.
  • The trousers should be the perfect length- sit on a chair, cross your legs, and lean forward a bit. The hem should not be above your ankles. When standing, the hem should sit about 1.5cm above the edge of your heel.

Comfort is important

Whatever you decide to wear, the groom should feel comfortable. While they might look great in a top hat and tails, if they are constantly fiddling with it or look uncomfortable, it detracts from the appearance. Just like a dress on a bride, the outfit should incorporate something of the groom’s personality; it’s his day too.

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