Wedding attire

Wedding attire

Prepare your wedding with an expert! - This is how the perfect groom dresses!

Read our tips that every groom-to-be will find useful!

The wedding season is fast approaching and to make sure you look your best, we asked our style specialist, London-trained tailor, Simon Skottowe, about the right wedding attire for both grooms and guests.
‘In the old days, weddings were held in a church, synagogue or temple, followed by a reception in a hotel, suite or at home. Nowadays things have become much more varied, and as a result it is a little more difficult to choose the " proper" outfit.’

With his design training Simon suggests that, ‘ If the wedding is going to have a cohesive look it needs a defined style. Whether it be formal, Hollywood, rustic or more individualistic some framework into which all aspects must fit is very useful. Understanding this is the first step in creating the right look for the groom-to-be. He needs to be in harmony with the bride and the location, while at the same time outshining the other men in the room. The time of year and venue should also be taken into consideration, indoors, with air conditioning or outdoors in 35 degrees? Having a clear concept also helps the guests know how dress without eclipsing the groom; after all, it is his day to shine. It's like when a guest goes to a wedding in white dress. Massive faux pas! Only the bride should wear white.

And speaking of which, it's helpful to have an idea of the bride's dress without actually seeing it. There is nothing worse for a groom than being too subdued and looking more like a chauffeur than the most important man at the event.’

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of the attire, grooms are advised to organise their grooming arrangements accordingly. Ideally, have your hair cut a week before the ceremony and your beard and facial hair trimmed three days before. You should have a manicure a few days before, and if you want a facial to make your face even more radiant, be sure to do it a week before.

Returning to the grooms outfit Simon takes us through the various styles.
‘The most formal option for the groom would be morning dress. This ensemble consists of a morning coat, a colourful waistcoat and striped trousers. The morning coat is a long single breasted jacket with a single button at the waist. The skirt section gradually curves from the waist seam into a tail at the back, with two decorative buttons at the top of the centre vents at the waist seam. The lapels must be peak and not notch, as the coat is worn only as a formal dress. It is still traditionally worn for weddings in the UK, Austria and Germany, and occasionally in Italy. This look is typically seen in aristocratic circles, where, unless military uniforms are worn, it is worn by both the groom and guests. It is not a popular look in Hungary, although in my opinion it would definitely be suitable to wear this classic attire at a grand, historic setting, such as St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest. Within this very formal outfit there are also several style options, for example, you can wear all three pieces in the same colour, or the so-called stroller suit with it’s shorter jacket. These concepts need to be handled with care as sartorial faux pas abound.’

If full morning dress is not to your liking other, less classic options are available.
‘The modern formal option is the tuxedo suit. An option more appropriate for ceremonies performed later in the day or inside. There are various versions from the classic one-button peak lapel front jacket to three-piece with waistcoat and double breasted styles. It has become more and more acceptable to wear dark blue dinner suits at black tie events, which can be a particularly good option for contemporary wedding attire. It is also a nice investment for your wardrobe, as it can be used for black tie events later on.’

‘The classic lounge suit - the suit as we know it today - is probably the most popular choice among grooms these days. It is already within most men's comfort zone and also is useful after the wedding for work or special occasions. There are many ways to style up the good-old two-piece to make it a bit more festive. Some of these options work better than others. Adding a matching waistcoat can be an elegant idea, as it projects a „dressed up" feel, and with the right choice of fabric can be worn in most settings. For example light to mid grey works well in the city while cream looks dashing on the beach. Wearing a classic navy blazer or a sport jacket and trouser combination can be also a solution, if you are aiming for a more casual look. A rural, or waterside setting, would be the right environment for this chic but relaxed style.’

Simon has some strong preferences when it comes to shirts.
‘Shirts should be crisp and white. While off white can be a good idea for the wedding dress, it's not sharp enough to wear with your suit. Insist on the whitest of whites, even when your lady would like to match your shirt with her dress.
Ideally with French cuffs and good collar to support some elegant neckwear.
Morning dress and black tie should be worn with a turn down collar, not just more appropriate but looks better than wing collars. As a groom it's always a good idea to get at least two shirts. Accidents can always happen and it just feels great to change into something fresh in the evening.’

One of Simon’s favourite mottos, ‘The devil’s in the details.’
So don’t forget about the accessories! ‘ They are just as important to get right as the suit, and a great way to add a personal touch to an otherwise fairly well defined outfit. With more formal looks it's worth following the guidelines for shirt and tie combinations;
for example wearing a hand knotted bow tie with a tuxedo. If you opt for a lounge suit a carefully chosen tie can make a difference for an otherwise simple ensemble, elevating it with silk twill, or giving it a more casual twist with a beautiful shantung. If you are opting for a more relaxed look, rules can be broken more easily, but don't go overboard. Watches and cufflinks can be something that really personalises the outfit. The metals should be of the same colour, for subtle and stylish coordination.
Boutonnières are a wonderful touch to add, make sure to ask only for a simple flower instead a full blown bouquet.

You might be surprised but there is a type of shoe which works with most of the outfits we have discussed. A pair of black calf leather oxford shoes is the right choice with a morning coat or a tuxedo and it is the best companion to most of the suited ensembles. If rustic is the calling card of the wedding, brown calf or suede might be a better choice. As a rule of thumb, select shoes at least one shade darker than your trousers. Try to wear them a couple of times before the wedding, your feet will be grateful and you can dance all night.

And finally, a piece of advice that will always stand the test of time; don't leave the preparations to the last minute. Having a suit or a pair of shoes made would take at least a month, while finding the right accessories sometimes presents its own challenges. If you choose to have something made, give the craftsmen adequate time as wedding preparations can be stressful not only for the people getting married! Start defining the style of the big day early on. There’s masses of inspiration from wedding magazines to old films like The Great Gatsby. The possibilities are endless.

A final word of advice from our expert, ‘Keep it chic, keep it simple and keep it personal.’