The Groom Style Guide
Certainly one of the most momentous occasions in a man’s life, getting married has a lot of moving parts leading up to the big day. From seating arrangements to Aunt Susan’s ridiculous dietary restrictions, to, let’s face it, the open bar, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. That said, having a solid wedding day attire plan is imperative. It’s not just as easy as throwing on a suit or, god forbid, renting something that fits terribly and has been worn by a 1000 other guys. In terms of style choices, you've got some things you need to think about. You want to consider the time of year, perspective temperature, setting, wedding theme, and time of day, among other things.
Yeah, we know that probably sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, we’re going to break down all the key points you need to consider, so making your decision will be as easy as it was choosing a spot for your bachelor party.
Day vs. Evening Options
The time of day your wedding happens can have an effect on the level of formality you should go with. Traditionally, evening weddings are on the more formal side and daytime weddings tend to be more casual. Practically speaking, a daytime black-tie wedding is probably not the best move, but if your event is beginning as the sun dips, feel free to land on casual or formal.
Depending on what time of year and where you decide to have your wedding, you’re going to have to deal with one of two types of heat: direct sunlight or muggy humidity. Take solace in the fact there are plenty of suiting options perfect for the hotter months. Linen, chambray, seersucker, and cotton are all breathable choices that keep you looking sharp, without breaking a sweat during the day. If you're opting for the cooler months, you've got more of a range you can choose from.
In non-summer months or evenings, the temps have likely dropped some, so you can opt for something a little heavier in weight, and with a broader range in color palette. If it’s a more formal indoor wedding, take it up a notch with darker suits or tuxes. Extra style points if you can pull off a white dinner jacket or a navy tux.
The Look: Warm weather daytime wedding? Opt for a lightweight suit fabric, like linen or deconstructed cotton, a white shirt, and keep your accents (e.g. tie, shoes, pocket square) on the darker side. For evenings, you can lighten the accents up a bit but preserve the formal look as much as possible. Charcoal or navy suits are always going to look excellent, and you can complement them with white shirts and dark ties.
Location, Location, Location
For spring and summer weddings, most people try to take the party outdoors, if possible. This could mean a beachside resort, garden setting, or lakeside estate. With these more casual, outdoor settings, a more relaxed look is most appropriate. If it’s more of a city vibe, a higher level of formality and darker colors make sense. Cotton suits always work for spring and summer weddings but a darker navy, charcoal or cool olive adds a bit of style and makes the look feel less casual if you're looking for something outside of the traditional tan.
The Look: For the beach or outdoor setting, keep your suit light and casual. Choose something timeless, like a khaki suit, and pair it with an oxford or dress shirt and light-colored tie combination. Slip on a pair of loafers, as they’re easy to remove when it comes time for the shoreline photo op or if you more of the barefoot-on-the-dancefloor type.
To Match or Not to Match
Gone are the days of matching necessity between you and your groomsmen. It can be a good move when done properly but you shouldn’t feel pressured to adhere to tradition. You should obviously consider wedding colors, bridesmaid dresses, and picture opportunities, so you don’t want to create a mismatched mess (and piss off your future bride). But at the end of the day, prom-level matching isn’t necessary. Since you’re the groom, why not choose an alternate but complimenting color for your suit and keep your groomsmen coordinating? You’ll stand out in just the right way but create enough stylistic interest to keep pace with how amazing your bride looks.
The Look: If your groomsmen are wearing lighter-colored suits like grey or khaki, try keeping your suit in a darker shade like navy, charcoal, or even a tux. You’ll complement their colors and elevate yours in one fell swoop. If you're going the full tux route, try putting your groomsmen in classic black notch tuxes and opt for something a bit more elevated like a navy or charcoal shawl or dinner jacket for your ensemble. Again, it's all about complementing with subtle differences, not matching.
A Pinch of Personality
At the end of it all, the wedding is supposed to be about you and your bride-to-be having a great time with your family and friends. Punch up the stuffy, traditionalism with a bit of flair. While you won’t be the number one focus of the day or evening, putting forth the effort and consideration towards your wedding day look is going to be well spent. At the end of the day, you definitely want to look almost as good as she does.
The Look: Keep as much of the old-school ways intact (at least for grandma’s sake), but don’t forget to make it your own, it is your wedding after all. Anything from a unique pocket square to heirloom cufflinks to a pop of color is fantastic ways to make your special day style memorable, without sacrificing good taste.