suit accessories

Wedding Outfit Accessories

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With the main bulk of your wedding attire chosen, it’s time to add a few extra touches for that truly dapper finish.  Wedding accessories offer up a great way to inject some fun and personality into your outfit, so we’ve put together a brief guide on the what, where and how to’s of top notch groom accessory options to add that extra dash and dare.

Shirt

In a nutshell:

Your choice of shirt will ultimately depend on the overall style of wedding attire, but as a general rule you’re looking at one of three main options here:

  • Single cuff – Think everyday office wear – really only an option if you’ll be wearing a lounge suit.  Make sure you go for a rigid collar over the softer style.
  • Double cuff – Top choice for the traditional groom get-up, does what it says on the tin.  With double cuffs and the absence of any buttons, a well-chosen pair of cufflinks is an absolute must.
  • Wing collar – Possibly the most popular of the bunch, and a great shout for virtually every wedding style out there, you’ll need a superb tie and set of cufflinks for the full marital monty.  Works blindingly well with a stylish cravat.

Essential info:

  • Tradition dictates team groom wear white or cream shirts, although ultimately it’s down to personal preference.
  • Size matters!  ‘A jacket will never look right if the shirt beneath it doesn’t fit properly’ says top Savile Row threadmaster Terry Haste, so make sure you get your vitals spot on.
  • Iron it!  ‘Nuff said?

Useful resources:

www.brooktaverner.co.uk/shirts

Waistcoat

In a nutshell:

As groom accessories go, a well-chosen waistcoat probably ranks as one of the main players on the day.  A top notch choice for adding to the formality of traditional wedding attire, and a great way to inject some personality into a more informal affair.  Take into account your style, colour, pattern and budget when choosing, and be very aware (and marginally afraid) of clashing with your lovely lady’s dress.  We like an adventure as much as the next guy but you’re on your own there.

Essential info:

An essential component of the traditional morning suit, you’ve got both single and double-breasted styles up for selection, most feature between 5-7 buttons and etiquette dictates the very last button should be left undone.  Bear in mind you’ll almost certainly remove your jacket during proceedings, so backless styles are probably best avoided.

Useful resources:

www.moss.co.uk/waistcoats

www.debenhams.com/waistcoats

Ties:

In a nutshell:

The mainstay of the quintessential groom’s outfit, you’ll probably only get away without some form of neckwear if you’re on for tying the knot on sunny shores (beach attire).  You’ve got three main options to consider on this one:

  • Neck tie – The most informal of the bunch, so generally more suited to the lounge suit or shorter jacket styles.  Single colours tend to work better than a psychedelic explosion, and in terms of financial outlay it’s a solid idea to buy rather than rent.
    Online tutorial: tying a Windsor knot
  • Cravat – The dashing alternative to the standard neck tie, and an essential groom accessory if you’ve opted for a traditional morning suit and wing-collar shirt.  Top notch choice for a more formal look.
    Online tutorial: tying a cravat
  • Bow tie – Think 007 and the Oscars.  A superb addition to any suave occasion and the essential component if you’re on for a ‘black tie’ affair.  Keep colours plain and muted and it goes without saying novelty ties are strictly out on this one.  It’s your big day here chaps, so while you can easily get your hands on a massive range of clip-on bow ties it’s worth putting in the effort and going for the ‘self-tie’ variety.
    Online tutorial: how to tie a bow tie

Essential info:

When it comes to ties it’s all about the detail: make sure you co-ordinate neckwear with both the general colour scheme and the rest of your (and your groomsmen’s) outfits, don’t forget to invest in a tie-pin to keep it firmly in place and yes, we keep banging on about it but make sure it’s tied properly!

Useful resources:

www.drakes-london.com

Cufflinks

In a nutshell:

The chances are you’ve got a drawer full of these already, so there’s probably not much we can tell you that you don’t already know on this one.  The world’s your lobster on choice here – simple, neutral, elegant, fun, funky… Cufflinks make for a great way to inject some personality into your outfit but tread carefully on choice… sometimes West Ham just won’t fit the bill (but that’s another topic entirely).

Essential info:

Absolutely essential if you’re wearing a double-cuff or wing-shirt.  Be aware on style and suitability.  Subtle and classy reign supreme.

Useful resources:

www.ernestjones.co.uk

Buttonhole / boutonnière

In a nutshell:

Yes, you’ve got it – time to talk flowers.  One of the most iconic of the groom’s accessories, the buttonhole comprises one small flower arrangement worn on the left-hand lapel of the wedding suit or jacket.  Traditional formalwear will usually have a boutonnière fixing underneath the lapel, otherwise grab one of your mates (or maybe one of the bridal party) and get them to pin the arrangement to the front of your jacket.  Your wedding florist will usually take responsibility for the preparation of this one but as a general rule it should tie-in with the bridal bouquet (or in the case of your groomsmen, the bridesmaids’ flowers) for a sense of continuity.

Essential info:

Worn by the groom, best man, ushers and more often than not the fathers of both the bride and groom.

Useful resources:

www.debretts.com/weddings/buttonholes

Pocket square / handkerchief

In a nutshell:

One silk handkerchief worn folded in the breast pocket adds up to a suave decorative touch for the dapper groom about town.  Bear in mind the wedding theme when picking your material, chaps – there’s a massive range available but the pocket square needs to match, or at the very least complement the rest of your colour scheme.

Essential info:

This one’s purely for decorative purposes.  Unless of course your bride needs her dashing knight in suited armour to offer to dry her tears (in which case we’d readily advise NOT putting it back in your pocket).  Be aware tradition dictates a good percentage of the handkerchief be clearly visible above the pocket line, so it’s worth putting in the effort to fold it correctly.  According to the expert bods at The Art of Manliness the top three methods include the straight fold, one corner fold and the puff fold (nope, no idea).  Check out their guide to getting it right.

Useful resources:

www.moss.co.uk/pocket-squares-and-handkerchiefs

Shoes

In a nutshell:

Fair play your feet aren’t going to be the centre of attention but given that you’ll be on them for most of the day it’s worth investing time and effort into getting your footwear right.  A few styles to consider:

  • Oxford – Without doubt the crowd favourite of the marital crew the Oxford (or ‘Balmoral’, as it’s widely known) offers up a timeless classic, with ‘closed-lacing’ style and smart, no-frills design.
  • Monk – Top nod to the Monk for strangest name on the circuit (nope, no idea), this one falls second in line with a buckled style and cracking fit for any of the wider-footed gents in the audience.
  • Derby – Not as popular as its ‘closed-laced’ counterpart but still a classic nonetheless, the Derby encompasses a smart design and ‘open-laced’ finish.
  • Loafer – When it comes to comfort, the loafer reigns supreme.  Be aware this one’s probably more suited to a less formal affair, but a well-chosen pair of loafers can still look the business if you choose wisely.

Essential info:

Appearance and comfort matter.  Take into account the style of the day, and match footwear accordingly.  Black and brown are your staple colours, but as a general rule if you’re on for a formal affair black patent or polished shoes are the way to go.  Make sure you buy your footwear well in advance so you can break them in before the big day.  And – most importantly – don’t forget to remove labels.

Useful resources:

www.moss.co.uk/wedding-shoes

Top Hat

In a nutshell:

Assuming you’ve opted for a vintage or thoroughly English affair (or you’ve found yourself front and centre at a Royal ‘do’), the top hat remains the traditional finishing touch for the ‘top hat and tails’ combo.  Be aware you’ll probably only wear the item until you enter your chosen venue though, chaps – from then on in you’ll be lugging the thing around for the remainder of the day.

Essential info:

Generally available in black or grey, etiquette dictates ‘the wearer should know how to ‘doff’ their hat’ (Debrett’s), so you might need a few practise runs on this one.  It also pays to put the effort into finding the perfect fit and style…. unless the Mad Hatter look floats your boat, in which case the world’s your multi-coloured lobster!

Useful resources:

www.christys-hats.com

And finally…

Please be advised, yes you’ll need to wear socks.  No, Super Ted isn’t an acceptable addition to wedding attire.  And man cards can and will be revoked immediately if you even think about anything remotely frilly.

That is all.



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