The modern groom now approaches his wedding day attire as a reflection of his style and personality. While some grooms choose to go much less traditional by wearing casual jeans and dress shirts (even foregoing jackets altogether), the two most classic wedding attire choices for grooms—a suit or a tuxedo—still remain the most popular.
It’s easy to see why: suits and tuxedos work well with the aesthetic and formality of many weddings. The decision to wear a suit, tuxedo, or something less traditional on the big day is often a difficult dilemma for guys, especially now that the relaxation of modern-day wedding etiquette means there are more options than ever. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing wedding day clothing for men, check out our guide to groom’s attire below.
The most important part of choosing your suit is making sure that it’s sized appropriately for your body type. Getting measured by a professional tailor is vitally important to ensuring your wedding suit fits you perfectly and compliments your shape. Even if you’re going with a suit from a big box store instead of a custom clothier, as most people do, a salesperson in any menswear store should know how to take your measurements. From there, the choices about suit vs. tux, individual garments, materials, and cuts will all be easier knowing exactly what sizes you should be shopping for.
At first glance, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the physical appearance of a suit and a tux. Here are the main differences between these two menswear styles:
When choosing between a suit or a tux, focus on which style makes you feel comfortable, fits into your budget, and matches the formality of your wedding.
The price of a groom’s suit or tuxedo really depends on a combination of factors:
Because so many of these pricing factors are circumstantial, it’s best to shop around to compares prices in order to get a true comparison. Be sure to ask about the cost of renting versus buying the suit or tux, and the benefits of each. Also do your due diligence by trying on various styles at staggered price points. This will help you determine what makes you feel your best, and will give you a clue about what you can truly afford to spend.
And, of course, if you opt to forego a suit or a tux for something more informal, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a lower price tag. But, as we mentioned, it’s all relative—bespoke casual looks can cost a pretty penny, too, if you’re buying high-end designer jeans or custom-tailored shirts.
It’s true that suits are an acceptable choice for grooms’ wedding fashion, even if the wedding is formal. However, there are times when a tux is more appropriate than a suit and situations where both are just too stuffy for the occasion. What are those times? How can you tell which is a better fit for your wedding? Here’s some general advice to keep in mind:
If your religious or cultural ceremony requires different formalwear beyond a traditional Western look, you will most likely be seeking out a specialty clothier or tailor who can craft the traditional wedding garments you need. These experts, along with any knowledgeable family and friends you might bring along, can help you select and get fitted for the outfit(s) you’ll wear on your wedding day.
If you are a member of the military, you may wish to come to your wedding in your full military dress. Many branches of the military have various uniforms for different types of ceremonies, each with varying degrees of formality. Choose the most formal uniform or military dress suitable for your rank to wear to your wedding, should you choose to represent your military status.
To stay cool and comfortable in the spring and summer heat, choose a lighter-weight fabric:
For fall and winter weddings, choose from any warm, textured materials commonly used in menswear:
While it might seem that grooms’ attire is pretty straightforward and ho-hum—with your only choice being a suit or a tux—there’s plenty of room to get creative with your look. Interested in injecting extra personality into your wedding ensemble? Play with pattern. Introduce a colorful shirt. Throw on a pair of fun socks—you get the idea. Customized suits are quite the trend, and everyone appreciates both personal touches and attention to detail when it comes to crafting a memorable wedding.Here’s a breakdown of the different menswear elements that typically make up a groom’s wedding day look:
As a general rule, slimmer and shorter jackets are in fashion at the moment. A baggy suit, or a jacket that’s too long, can make you look frumpy — like you’re twelve and trying on your dad’s formalwear.
Customization is easiest to pull off on a groom’s jacket. Whether choosing a funky print for the jacket lining, or choosing a jacket in a bright color or unique fabric like velvet, there are many possibilities here for adding a little flair.
Single- or double-breasted? This term simply refers to the way your suit buttons.
Single-breasted jackets are more popular, as double-breasted jackets tend to look like they come from a very particular period in time—which might be handy if you’re having a retro-themed wedding.
Don’t forget the lapels. There are three main types:
Even though they seem like small details, the type of buttons and cut of pocket that you choose will really affect the overall look of your suit. Don’t neglect these small, but impactful points of tailoring when choosing your wedding suit.
Even if you go classic with the main aspects of your wedding day look, there’s room to personalize on a smaller scale with accessories. Whether it’s a patterned tie or a pair of heirloom cufflinks, these details can add sophistication and let your unique self shine. Here’s a breakdown of accessories to consider adding to your groom’s attire:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of these menswear choices, we understand. There are a lot of details that go into putting together the clothing you’ll wear as a groom on your wedding day. To make the decision-making easier, we suggest your start slowly by consulting experts at local shops and browsing through our collection of Real Weddings to see what other grooms have worn. And remember—there’s no need to stress. This is about having fun and finding attire that makes you feel comfortable and confident. At the end of it all, you’ll look sharp while marrying the love of your life.