So, chaps, time to get down to rugged macho business…. and talk fashion. Let’s face it, when it comes to wedding attire your stunning bride is almost certainly going to take top spot. She’s probably had her dress picked out since primary school afterall, and all eyes will rightfully be on her on the big day. But she’s going to want a dapper guy by her side, so no two ways about it shop-fearing folk of groom-kind, unless you’re planning on showing up in one well-worn birthday suit, you’re going to need to put some serious effort into finding your own marital threads. With a multitude of options up for selection on everything from budget and style to tradition, we’ve put together a brief guide to help you pick the best of a mighty fine bunch. So in the words of the absolute master of all things sartorial and awesome…. time to wedding suit up!
Wedding suit options
Traditional / classic wedding suits
- Morning Suit
- Comprises: traditional sweeping tailcoat, striped trousers, waistcoat, shirt and tie. Et voilà, one very dapper groom-to-be.
- Colours: jacket and trousers generally black or grey, plain pale shirt.
- Accessories: top hat, pocket square, buttonhole, Oxford shoes, cane, gloves (just not all at once eh chaps… you’re after sophisticated, refined and traditional, not a Chris Eubank / Monopoly Man mega-mix)
- Examples: think Timothy Dalton, the Royals and the Races.
- Frock Coat
- Comprises: knee-length, square cut gentleman’s coat. Usually double-breasted.
- Why: Flamboyant alternative to the morning coat, and bang on point if you’ve opted for an affair with a distinctly Victorian edge.
- Extra info: can be a great shout if you’re looking to disguise the effects of any extra pre-nuptial pints, but be aware frock coats can be mightily heavy, so a well-chosen waistcoat is a must when it’s time to throw caution (and jackets) to the wind and get into the wedding dance groove.
- Examples: think Tombstone’s Kurt Russell, anyone from the 1900’s and the mighty Cap’n Jack Sparrow (you know, minus the rum and Kraken)
- Prince Edward Jacket(‘three quarter length frock coat’)
- Comprises: er… a three quarter length frock coat. Generally single-breasted option.
- Why: a distinctly more contemporary vibe for the modern man about the marital town, and much lighter in weight to boot, so a solid choice if you’re tying the knot in summer.
- Extra info: you might want to take the collective height of team groom into account on this one gents. We’ve tried to think of a way to package this delicately, but to be frank we can’t. So, short story? If your fine upstanding groomsmen happen to be a bunch of short-arse mates, stick them in a long jacket and they’ll end up looking like a rag tag troop of schoolkids in oversized blazers for the day. Ruddy hilarious? Without doubt. Suitable for the occasion? Probably not.
- Examples: Prince Edward VII
- Comprises: ‘dinner jacket, tux, penguin suit, black tie’… call it what you will we’re pretty sure you’ve got a solid idea on this one already. We’re talking the classic single-breasted jacket, flat-front or satin striped trousers, crisp white shirt and bow tie combo favoured by every 007 in history.
- Colours: black or grey for that classic style, or go ‘white tie’ for the full ‘evening dress’ effect.
- Accessories: Bow tie, cufflinks, waistcoat, pocket square, polished shoes.
- Why: James Bond. That’s why. Classic elegant formal wear and top notch choice for an evening soiree. Be aware of your choice of venue on this one though. While black tie undoubtedly makes for a fine entrance at any top flight hotel or suave affair, it might not lend itself too well to an intimate village occasion.
- Examples: think Sinatra, Cary Grant, the Oscars, and every 007. Ever.
Modern / contemporary wedding suit options
- Lounge Suit
- Comprises: we’re talking your modern, dapper everyday suit here -two-piece, three-piece, single-breasted, double-breasted, slim-cut, regular, wool, linen, printed lining…. The choice, gentlemen, really is yours.
- Why: offers a fun, flexible and personal but still mightily classy option for weddings of a more informal nature. A well-cut suit can make for an extremely dashing alternative but no two ways, it’s all about the fit, so make sure you get it right (suits: essential info)! Also the sensible option if you’re thinking of buying your suit outright. Well-tailored threads will stand you in good stead for a mulitude of future events.
- Accessories: smart shirt, cufflinks, tie, pocket square, well-chosen shoes.
- Examples: Ocean’s Eleven, the Rat Pack, every debonair chap worth his salt ever and, of course… the one and only LEGEN… wait for it… DARY Barney Stinson (GoGroom salutes you sir!)
Groomsmen wedding attire
So what’s the score when it comes to kitting out your trusty team of sidekicks?
‘..members of the groom’s party, and the fathers of the bride and groom, usually follow the chosen dress code’ say etiquette experts Debrett’s.
And while it’s by no means set in stone, and everything from practicality to finance can play a part, as a general rule it’s a solid idea to have team groom literally follow suit. However, unless you want an Agent Smith or MIB type affair at the front of the house, you’ll need to add a few touches to distinguish between the parties, so bear in mind a couple of key pointers:
- Theme – those bouquets you’ve been admiring for months on end? Yep, the mauve ones. If your lovely lady has opted for a distinctly purple(ish) affair, the chances are her bridesmaid’s dresses, and elements of the mens wedding suits will follow the theme. Unless you’re on for a Dumb and Dumber paint-pot extravaganza, GoGroom’s top tip here is to keep it subtle. A splash of colour on anything from your buttonhole and waistcoat to your tie will be sufficient to keep the theme in place.
- Key VIPs – it’s your big day, gents, so it’s a pretty safe bet the entire wedding collective will know who you are, but there’s every chance Aunty Ethel won’t be too familiar with your rag tag bunch of mates. You need to be sure team groom are easily identifiable, and well co-ordinated wedding attire can work extrememly well. You’ve got two options on this one:
- Groom and Best Man tag-team – does what it says on the tin, chaps. Kit yourself and your right-hand man out in the same clobber, with different accessories (eg buttonholes or ties), or maybe different coloured suits (eg. you and best man in black, ushers in dark grey) for the ushers of the hour.
- Or keep it simple and kit your entire team groom in the same wedding attire, with a distinguishing switch of accessory for yourself (traditionally a different colour/style waistcoat, tie or buttonhole).
Whichever method you opt for, it’s vital your guests can easily pick out clued-up members of the wedding party in case they need any assistance.
Check out our guide to wedding accessories for the lowdown on essential team groom extras.
Most expensive suits in the world…. EVER!
If it’s all about the wow factor and you’ve got the brass ones and funds to match, you could always up the ante and opt for some of the most stylish and revered threads on the planet…
The Lowdown: 28hrs craftsmanship, 42 stages ironing (ruddy hell!) and legendary fashion giants Brioni (yep, 007’s own threadmasters themselves) at the helm.
Damage: £25,000 ($43,000)
4) Kiton K50
The Lowdown: 50 hrs apiece and the abolute genius craftsmanship of the formidable Enzo D’Orsi, who’ll hop on a plane and head anywhere on the planet to take your vitals. Now that’s customer service.
Damage: £18,000 – £30,000 ($30,000 – $50,000)
The Lowdown: 80hrs work, 5000 stitches, 18 carat gold, diamonds, top flight Vicuña and Qiviut fabric (roughly translates to skinny camel and Arctic Muskox) AND delivery in one top spec armoured Range Rover.
Damage: £70,000 ($103,000)
The Lowdown: the most expensive suit in the world. Ever. We’re talking 600hrs of manpower, 480 diamonds and an all-expenses paid trip to St Lucia thrown in for good measure. Brought to you from the very same man who gave us the most expensive model car on the planet (yep, ever), the £2 million gold Bugatti Veyron.
Damage: £600,000 ($900,000)
The Lowdown: for a cool million bucks Frosdick’s of London offer 14 Saville Row suits, 28 custom-made dress shirts and ties, 14 pairs shoes and boots, a selection of smoking jackets and dressing gowns (with the obligatory diamond bling, of course), a customised wardrobe and – not forgetting – your top spec personalised motor to boot.
Damage: well, funnily enough….. $1,000,000