Let’s be honest here gents, when it comes to picking out dapper threads for any big occasion more often than not it’s the fairer sex who confidently lead the way in choosing the clobber for the event. And while it’s a fairly safe bet your bride-to-be will play more than a little part in getting your wedding attire right, with the dashing and dare of team groom firmly resting on your final decision, it pays to know a few of the basics. So we’ve compiled a few essential tips to get you on your way.
Wedding suits – to buy or not to buy?
You’ve decided on the style, now it’s time to part with your hard-earned cash. When it comes to men’s wedding suits you’ve got two main options up for selection; to hire or to buy. Recent polls throw out a fairly level playing field on this one, with 51% of grooms-to-be marginally pushing wedding suit hire into top spot. Your wedding budget will more than likely play the ultimate decider here but each method has its merits, so a few points to consider along the way:
Hiring a wedding suit
- BUDGET: if you’re trying to keep costs down, hiring your outift can massively ease financial outlay. You’ll still get your hands on top spec clobber, but with good quality hire suits coming in at around a third of the price of their off-the-peg counterparts, you won’t have to blow your bucks in one sitting.
- PRACTICALITY: which makes solid financial sense -unless you’re Willy Wonka or Puff Daddy (P Diddy? Mr Combs? What do we call him now?), you probably won’t find much call for top hat and tails or a smashing white get-up once the big day is over. So if you’re on for a very formal or sun-soaked affair, hiring could well make for the more sensible option.
- GROOMSMEN: wedding suit hire also makes for a solid choice if you want your groomsmen kitted out in identical garb. Not only are you guaranteed a perfect match you’re also looking at shelling out far less moolah for the honour than you would buying outright.
- RANGE: if it’s all about the label, as well as the likes of wedding gear gurus Moss Bros’ and Brook Taverner’s own top flight offerings, you’ve got a whole heap of cracking designer names in stock across the country.
- CARE: unless there’s a major Mr Darcy ‘gentleman falls in pond, gets soaked, shows finely-chiselled torso to crowds before realising that’s his chuffing rental deposit well and truly down the drain’ moment to be had, once the day is over your kecks get returned, job done. No dry-cleaning. No maintenance. No worries.
- SIZING: adjustments are a definite no-no.
- RE-USABILITY: suit could have been worn by hundreds of someone elses on their special days.
- MEMENTO: you won’t keep it. ‘Nuff said.
- RETURNS: you’ll need to line-up a responsible bod to make sure the suits are promptly returned within the specified timeframe.
- DAMAGE: it’s a ‘you break it, you pay for it’ kind of deal here. And you could be looking at some hefty fines if you do.
Wedding suit hire – top tips
As with all pre-nuptial planning, preparation is vital on this one, gents. Formalwear masters Moss Bros Hire have put together a blinding ‘top ten tips’ on how to get it right. A brief look at the top three points to remember:
1) Book early – Bear in mind that everything from the double whammy prom and wedding summer season to the country’s top race meetings can place high demand on the most formal and popular picks of the bunch. You don’t want to miss out through poor planning, so early booking really is key here.
2) Advance fittings – Does what it says on the tin. Check out a supplier’s own self sizing guide for online purchases, or head to your nearest tailor for a proper run-down of your vital statistics. Size and fit matter.
3) Do your homework – You might not have a handle on the exact style or fit you want, but head out with a firm idea on theme, colour and tone of the wedding and you’ve got a solid base to work from.
Buying a wedding suit
- RANGE: the world’s your suited booted lobster… go bespoke and the options are endless.
- FIT: whether you opt for an off-the-peg standard, or bespoke special you’re guaranteed a well-cut suit tailored to fit your dapper self perfectly.
- QUALITY: if you’re prepared to pay for the honour bespoke wedding suits are unrivalled in terms of sheer quality.
- IT’S YOURS: does what it says on the tin. You now have one extremely well-cut, dashing set of threads to add to your collection. In terms of investment, you’re golden.
- BUDGET: buying is by no means the cheap option. Factor in made-to-measure and bespoke choices and you could well see a large chunk of the wedding funds disappear on wedding attire alone.
- GROOMSMEN: unless you (or team groom) are prepared to buy the same suit for each and every member of your party, you run the risk of a mismatched crew. Opt for matching attire and you could be looking at a hefty final bill.
- TIME: bear in mind you’ll need to commit to a number of fittings if you choose to have your wedding suit made from scratch.
- PRACTICALITY: consider your wedding theme. If it’s top hat and tails all the way you probably won’t get much wear out of the suit after the main event.
Buying a wedding suit – general info
With more and more companies cropping up to provide grooms-to-be with that perfect fit for the main event, investing in a good quality wedding suit is becoming far more mainstream – and affordable – than ever before. In fact, head online and you’re faced with a multitude of top spec options. But before you part with any of your hard-earned cash, it pays to make sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting for your money.
‘Off the peg’
This one’s pretty self-explanatory gents. Head to any independent, chain or online outfitters, browse around and take your pick. Most stockists supply the full spectrum of sizes and colours, and alterations can be made to purchase.
‘Made-to-measure’ vs ‘Bespoke’
As a general rule, ‘made-to-measure’ and ‘bespoke’ options both result in a well-cut suit, perfectly tailored to fit the wearer’s own individual shape and style (however unique one or both may be). But when it comes to the finer details of fully tailored wedding attire, the difference isn’t quite so clear cut. So we looked to the masters of the cloth and Savile Row’s finest for a full explanation on this one:
- Made-to-measure – ‘garment made to a customer’s individual requirements, to some extent, but not necessarily by hand’
- Bespoke – ‘a suit made… bespoken to the customer’s specifications. A bespoke suit is cut by an individual and made by highly skilled individual craftsmen. The pattern is made specifically for the customer and the finished suit will take a minimum of 50 hours of hand work and require a series of fittings’.
Mens wedding suits – useful online resources
Stockists – to hire
Stockists – to buy
Handy online tools