Groom's wedding suit and formal menswear

detail of the wedding suit and cravat

Men are often at a loss when it comes to dressing for big occasions. It used to be so straightforward — all you had to do was put on the strange suit and starched shirt someone had hired for you and remember to turn up to the church.

Now it's more complicated — suits come in all sorts of styles, with waistcoats in all sorts of colours and ties that don't resemble ties at all.  You're expected to take an interest and make decisions about what you're going to wear on the day. The simplest plan could be to grab your best man as soon as possible and head off to the nearest hire shop where they'll fix you up with your basic morning suit and shoes to match, if you're lucky.  Then you can forget all about the wedding until the stag night.

However, your bride-to-be will have other plans, which will probably involve her accompanying you to a high quality menswear store, like Coes in Ipswich, where you can try on a huge variety of styles and colours of suits, waistcoats and ties until you find something that a) suits you b) feels comfortable c) co-ordinates beautifully with the bridesmaids' dresses and d) is affordable.

Hiring is the most sensible option for grooms, unless you anticipate attending a lot of formal functions. Some shops offer discounts if an entire wedding party hires matching outfits.

  • Morning suit — most wedding used to be in the morning, and these suits are still preferred by most grooms. This is s combination of dress coat — usually grey — top hats, contrasting trousers, a wing collar shirt, a coloured waistcoat and a cravat
  •  Black tie - usually worn for an afternoon do. It consists of a black dinner jacket, tapered trousers, braces, a cotton or silk shirt and a cummerbund
  • White tie - the most formal option, it includes a black coat with silk facings, dress trousers, a white waistcoat, dress shirt and tie. You must leave some white cuff showing just below the sleeve and the waistcoat should just cover the waistband of the trousers
  • Frock coat - this offers many colours and styles including thick brocade coats with intricate velvet detail
  • Kilt - a popular option for Celts

Not all weddings are formal — if this is the case a smart suit is perfectly acceptable. Accessorise with cufflinks and good quality shoes and finish off your look with a manicure, facial and haircut.

The article above was published by the B&G magazine in one of the last year's issues.  For more interesting facts and information about local wedding industry suppliers visit Archant website and look out for the latest B&G issues on the shelves of the supermarkets, news agents and Archant local stalls!


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