Dress to Impress: Groom Edition

Groom getting ready for his wedding

For some, being fashionable is easy. They seem to always know just the right outfit to wear to any occasion. We may have a friend like this or we might be the friend. Then there’s those who aren’t super fashion savvy. But hey, it’s okay if you don’t always know what look to go for or how to go about putting it together. Not everyone attends fancy parties all the time or has a personal seamstress. Speaking of fancy, what about your wedding? Are you unsure of what look is appropriate for the groom or what you should even be looking for? You’re not alone. It may not be often that you have to dress up this much so where do you even start? Read below for groom fashion 101.

Where to Start

Suit on mannequin

You know you want to pick out a suit, but how do you start? Start doing some internet research to find places near you that specialize in formals for men. Finding the right shop is the absolute first step and an important one; the right place will have exactly what you need. Try to find one that has experience in weddings and if the fitting and alterations are done in-house. If you’re buying your suit, it’s much easier to have the buying and alterations all done in one place.

Here’s the thing about renting versus buying. Renting can always be seen as a bit of a risk, but it’s much more budget friendly than actually buying your suit. When renting, each store will have slightly different policies, so you’ll want to ask for details before deciding whether to move forward with it. For example, Men’s Warehouse has a rental policy where they ship your suit to you a week before your wedding day, or two days if you’re picking it up in store. That leaves you only that long to address any problems. However, they also have a policy that allows you to switch out any piece if it’s not fitting right.

Buying can be a more comfortable option if you have the budget because that suit is yours. You don’t have to worry about spilling anything on it or ripping it and now you have a suit you could re-wear for any dressy occasion. Again, money can be an issue here, especially if you’re trying to get a designer suit.

Buying can also enable you to get the outfit together on your own schedule. You can get your outfit altered and ready so that you have it ready to go for the big day long before the day actually comes.

What to Pick

Groom wearing a waistcoat

When it comes to the actual outfit there are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Let’s break it down. First, you’ll want the suit to match the style of your event. Is your wedding more on the formal side? Then you’ll want to go with a full, black tie suit. These suits are very crisp and traditional. Is your wedding more laid-back, maybe rustic? If that’s the case, you may consider doing a standard men’s suit. These are the suits you see more commonly, like around the office. If you’re trying to go more casual you could also consider a vest with no jacket. This look has gained steam in the last few years and can still be formal and stylish without being too dressy. It’s also a more comfortable option in warmer outdoor weather.

What Accessories

Groom with bride

Accessories matter, but what kind of accessories should you be pairing with your look? To start, you should understand what’s available.

As far as your neck goes and to keep it simple, you have two reasonable options: a tie, or bowtie. Now, even getting into these two categories can be overwhelming. First of all which do you choose? It’s important to keep in mind the feel of the event. A bowtie in a solid shade can be considered very formal. Of course, this can be less so if the bowtie is a funky pattern or color. Regular ties are versatile, which is nice because you really can’t fail. Your tie can help you lean ultra-fancy or more laid back.

Pocket square or no pocket square, that is the question. Accessories always add something so it’s important to consider whether your suit is “busy” or not. Is it patterned or are you planning to feature a patterned tie? Then a pocket square may be too much. However, in some cases where the suit is very simple, that pocket square can add the pop of color your outfit needs.

Jewelry—mainly watches, tie clips, and cufflinks—is pretty standard when it comes to grooms’ outfits. It’s up to you whether you want to add this bling. A nice watch can set off a suit very nicely. When it comes to deciding what to wear and what to leave out, decide how much is too much. If you’re putting on a bunch of these pieces and it looks a little busy, consider foregoing something.

There are other not so common accessories that may be right for your day. A lot of grooms express their goofy side with crazy socks under a formal suit. You don’t have to; you can always wear sensible socks if that’s more your style. Not as fun, but much more formal and traditional. Suspenders are another way to personalize your look. This is an especially great choice if your wedding is somewhat casual and maybe rustic or vintage themed.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the style basics, you can go forth into the groom’s fashion world with confidence. Hopefully you’re not completely overwhelmed. It can seem like a lot when you’re first getting started, but if you take it step by step and find some knowledgeable retail workers to help you, you’ll be just fine. If all else fails ask for help! There’s bound to be someone around you who knows the ins and outs of men’s fashion. Don’t forget your partner too. They may be able to offer you helpful insights and opinions that lead you to your best look.

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