6 Fashion Rules for Grooms
As the groom, all eyes will be on you (and your partner) on your wedding day, so of course you want to look your best. Need help figuring out what to wear? Don't worry—we've got you covered. Follow our rules below to look stylish when you say "I do."
Rule 1: Your suit or tux should fit the formality.
photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography
At the most basic level, your attire should be appropriate for your venue and match with the overall vibe of the wedding. If your wedding is in the daytime or outdoors, you can wear something a bit more casual (think: lighter-colored suits made of fabrics like seersucker or khaki). If it's an evening affair in a ballroom or swanky hotel, go with either a dark, well-tailored suit or a tux. Want to get even more formal? White tie (a black tailcoat, white shirt and white bow tie) is the ultimate in formalwear and ideal for an extra-luxe venue.
Rule 2: Your attire should coordinate with your partner’s.
photo by Lisa Hessel Photography
Another fairly obvious one, but it has to be said: Remember, your wedding is your first opportunity to show off your style as a couple, so make it a joint effort. While you may not know exactly what your partner is wearing, you'll want to be sure your styles work together. So if her dress is a bedazzled ball gown, you won't want to wear a lightweight linen suit—a classic black tux is more like it. Other combos that work: a rustic lace gown paired with a tailored tan suit, or a streamlined city-chic gown with a slim-cut gray suit.
Rule 3: Your body type should dictate the suit.
The key to looking sharp is dressing for your body type. If you’re tall and slim, most tuxedos and suits will look good on your frame. To add bulk, try a double-breasted suit, which will make you look broader. To slim down, try a fitted suit with a little bit of a nip in the waist to give the impression of a leaner silhouette. Skip lighter-colored suits since darker hues are slimming. And to elongate the body (and add some height), go for a two or three-button jacket with a low button stance.
Rule 4: The fit should be perfect.
Even the most expensive tux on the rack will look and feel awful if it doesn't fit right. You should be able to move around easily—do lots of twists, turns and arm raises to make sure there's plenty of mobility to show off your dancing skills. Regardless of whether you’re rentingor buying, most shops will custom tailor the purchase. Here are a few basic tailoring rules:
The jacket sleeve hem should fall at the wristbone with about one-fourth to one half inch of the shirt cuff showing below.
The bottom hem of the jacket should cover the butt and the vent shouldn't pull open. If it does, that means it's too tight.
The collar should lay flat on the back and sides of the neck without any gaps or bulges.
Pants should fit comfortably when standing and sitting and break across the top of the shoes so they cover the top one-third.
A bow tie should fit snugly around the collar.
Rule 5: Your look should coordinate with your attendants.
Traditionally, the groomsmen wear attire that's the same as or similar to that of the groom, but it's up to you. Even if you aren't planning for all the men in your wedding party to wear the exact same suit or tux, it's important that their outfits match in style and feel with yours. (It will look a little bit off if you’re up there in a tux while your buddies are wearing casual khaki suits.) Matching doesn't just end with the guys either—your whole wedding party should have a cohesive style. To achieve this, aim to pair your groomsmen style to that of the bridesmaids—for instance, if the bridesmaids are rocking a vintage vibe, the guys can don retro three-piece suits.
Rule 6: Your accessories should set you apart.
photo by Lisa Hessel Photograph
Now that everyone is matching and coordinated, it's time to pick your extras. To achieve a totally unique look, it's all in the details. Spice things up and wear a special boutonniere or a bow tie, vest, necktie, cummerbund or cuff links in a different color or style. If your wedding palette has two colors, you can wear one of the shades while the rest of the guys wear the other. For a luxe affair, have the groomsmen each wear a tux with a black bow tie and black vest, while you don a white tie and white vest. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your outfit. Musical? Add a treble clef to your boutonniere. More of a sci-fi nerd? Find a cool pair of Star Wars–inspired cuff links.
No clue what kind of wedding day outfit you want to wear? Start by finding your wedding day style by taking our Style Quiz. Once you know what you want your day to look like, finding your suit will be so much easier.