Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fashion: Suit Yourself - A Formal(wear) Education


A Groom's Guide to Getting Suited Up For The Big Day! 

By Patricia Canole

When it comes to things to do before the big day, finding the right formal menswear may not be at the top of your groom's list. In fact, he may not know how to get started when it comes to choosing formalwear. But it’s not difficult. In fact, For the Bride recently met with David Mutter, co-President and CEO of Beau Ties Ltd., who shared some savvy advice for looking great!

For The Bride: Where should a groom start with his wedding attire?
Image courtesy of Beau Ties
David Mutter: The groom’s attire is defined first and foremost by the level of formality he and his bride prefer. However, assuming that the groom and his men are going to be dressing formally, there are some basic rules of thumb that will help them choose their attire. The first is simple: If the wedding ceremony starts before noon, and the reception will be over before dark, the groom should wear a morning suit rather than a tuxedo. If the wedding is in the afternoon or evening, then a tuxedo—is an appropriate choice. Second rule of thumb: It’s not a tuxedo if it’s not black or midnight blue.

FTB: What about outfitting the groom and his groomsmen?
DM: The nice thing about a tuxedo is that it is designed to make a man look good. That nice white “V” that is created when a tux jacket is buttoned over a sharp white shirt makes shoulders look broad and waists narrow. There are variations, however, that will help grooms of different shapes and sizes choose the jacket that is best for them. Generally, a single-breasted style, with a single button is a good choice. Peaked and notch lapels on the jacket will tend to accentuate the horizontal, and may not be good choices for heavier men. Nor are they ideal for very athletic men, whose shoulders and chests tend to be bigger than their waists and/hips already, and need not be accentuated. The Shawl collar is a more rounded lapel that rolls back in a continuous tapering line, and lends a more vertical line to the fellow wearing it.
What’s most important, regardless of the exact style, is how well it fits. The jacket should lie smoothly on its wearer without pulling across his back, or stretching across his front—both of which indicate that the jacket is too tight. Nor should there be vertical creases down his back or under the arms—a sure clue that the jacket is too loose. The bottom of the jacket should be parallel with a man’s thumbs when his arms are hanging naturally at his side. Not only does a good tuxedo that fits well look good—it will make every groom feel his best. So taking time to choose the right tuxedo will make all the difference.

FTB: Should accessories match or compliment the bride/bridesmaids?
Image courtesy of Beau Ties

DM: Typical accessories for a tuxedo include a white shirt, a vest or a cummerbund, a bow tie and braces. A proper tuxedo shirt will also require studs and cuff links. Chances are that the bride has a color scheme in mind for the wedding – affecting everything from her choice of bridesmaids dresses to flowers and table linens. So while a man’s tie and vest need not match other fabrics, there is no doubt that choosing complimentary colors is important.

FTB: What are some popular ways to customize a groom’s attire?
DM: Once a bride and groom are in sync regarding colors, a groom may certainly choose what shape and size bow tie he prefers; and whether or not to add a pocket square to his outfit. He can certainly have a little fun with his cuff links and—depending on the overall level of ultimate formality—take some liberties with his braces (suspenders) and socks. The bottom line is simple. When it comes to choosing a tuxedo and accessories, a groom should make the most of the pleasure of dressing formally, and feeling comfortable at his wedding.

For more formal menswear & fashion tips for the groom, visit ForTheBrideMag.com 

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