Choosing boutonnieres that complement the floral arrangements. Deciding what color dress shirt your guy should wear with his tux. These details are not high on your wedding to-do list because you’re swamped with, well, everything else. So give your groom this guide, full of must-know info, and let him take charge of his wedding-day style.
These should complement your shirt and tie—not match them. They can be solid, patterned, or tipped, linen, wool, or chambray. (Just stay away from anything shiny. It’s a hanky, not a status symbol/sports car.) When it comes to fold, there’s no need to be fancy: the simpler, the better.
Beard: Trimmed and shaped neatly (and smoothed with a bit of beard oil). You can look like Grizzly Adams any other day, but on this occasion it’s a no-go.
Hair: The Prohibition high-and-tight—a slightly lax version of the military cut—is in, as are Jared Leto–like flowing locks (just don’t go past the shoulders). Ditch the man bun or any style that says, “I haven’t showered in a week.”
Manicure: Even if you don’t go to a salon, make sure your nails are clean and trimmed. On your big day, there’s going to be more photos taken of your brand-new ring (and therefore, hand) than any other day of your life. Don’t muck it up.
You want your boutonniere to mirror your wedding’s theme. Which one is right for you? Flowers by Marti’s Floral Designs.
“The boutonniere is always worn on the lefthand side. Or [on] the side that a pocket square would be worn. But I like to make it simple for guys: the lapel that has the hole in it! That is always easier to remember.” – Marti Heard, Marti’s Floral Design
Classic White Shirt
There’s no doubt the white shirt is a mandatory closet staple, and one that can do double-duty as office wear and formal attire is worth every penny. You want a lightweight fabric that isn’t sheer (e.g., poplin), a collar sturdy enough to hold its shape, and, above all, proper (slim!) fit. Look for: 1. You can fit one finger between your neck and collar; 2. There’s no extra fabric billowing above your belt when it’s tucked in; and 3. Shoulder seams should hug your shoulders.
The Main Points: Know Your Collar
Sock It to Me
Just because you’re wearing a suit doesn’t mean you have to be drab. Argyles come in all patterns and colors—from traditional plaid to polka dots to mustache-adorned—and it’s more than acceptable to clad your toes in whatever whimsical pattern you choose. Have your groomsmen sport coordinating pairs or give them free rein—either way, you can’t go wrong.
These stylish and classy combos will keep your tie and cuffs in check.
Dos and Don’ts of “I Do”
Off the Rack: Don’t
No matter what your physique, you’re simply not going to find a suit that fits perfectly off the rack. If you do, budget time (four weeks) to get it tailored.
Be it a tie or bowtie, don’t shy away from mixing up the elements—choose from silk, wool, linen, cotton, or mixed knits.
We’re all for coordination, but sporting a matching tie, socks, cummerbund, and pocket square is overkill. It’s a wedding, not high school prom.
Non-Black Suit: Do
The days of the mandatory black tuxedo are over. Charcoal, navy, light gray, and even khaki suits are just as appropriate—if not a bit more trend-savvy.
Choosing between a belt and suspenders? Either is perfectly acceptable—though we have to say we’re partial to the latter.
Shoes and Suits
Whether wingtip or oxford, dress shoe selection is not all black and white. Here’s a quick guide to complementary shoe and suit combinations.
yes NAVY yes
yes GRAY yes
yes CHARCOAL no
no BROWN yes
yes BLACK no
Q&A with a Tailor
Sue Kuo has been tucking seams and hemming cuffs at her Montgomery shop, Sue’s Creations, since 1990—and the longtime tailor-designer knows proper fit is everything. Here, she shares her tips on suiting for grooms.
How much time should men allow to get their suit or tuxedo tailored? Two weeks? Two months?
Having more time, of course, is better. Two weeks is usually OK, and I can—if I have to—get [a suit] done in a week, but I’d say a month before the wedding is a good amount of time.
How do you determine the proper pant length?
Usually men’s shoes have a bit of a heel. I usually hem to about 1 to 1 ½ inches from the bottom of their shoe. It depends, too, on the break [where the pant “bends” when it hits the top of the front of the shoe.] Some men are slimmer, so they don’t want much of a break—for them, [I do] a slightly higher hem that’s a bit more fitted. [It doesn’t hurt] to have the tailor keep the extra fabric tucked under the hem, rather than cut it off—you can always trim, but you can’t put fabric back.
What about shirts?
Fixing the sleeve length is most common, and taking in the back to make the shirt a bit more fitted. [A good tailor] will take in the extra inches, instead of just chop them off, so just in case, you’ll have something to work with in the future. As you know, some people gain weight, some people lose it; I like to be able to make adjustments for them in the future if they need it.
Wedding date: May 11, 2013
Occupation: Architect (runs a small firm in Brooklyn with a fellow UC alum)
“Guys getting married should use their wedding as an opportunity to invest in a great suit or tux that they can for years,” McGuier says. “On the day of, definitely have a drink when getting ready–and make sure to keep a spare dress shirt on hand!”
Wedding date: October 25, 2014
Occupation: Graphic designer
Matt met his wife Meredith at UC, where they were both studying design at DAAP. The artistically inclined couple was drawn to Union Terminal for their reception because it served as a source of their Art Deco inspiration.
Wedding date: September 14, 2013
Occupation: Graphic designer
“React with patience. Hand [the bride] her drink of choice, and encourage her to have a good time.”