But what kind of accessories might your groomsmen need? Let’s take a look at the different accessories you might consider for your groomsmen—from their heads down to their toes:
What it is: Sunglasses become a major factor when it comes to outdoor weddings. Not only do they serve as a fun and unique accessory, but they block your eyes from the harsh sun—which can be bothersome and harsh in some outdoor spaces.
If you are hosting a summer wedding—or wedding ceremony or reception that’s otherwise outdoors—matching sunglasses can be a great groomsmen accessory. Not only are they helpful at keeping the sun out of your groomsmen’s eyes, they can also add a bit of fun to your wedding party’s attire (and your wedding photos). Consider them the intersection of wedding party style and function. If you haven’t directly asked your groomsmen to bring a pair, they should do so just in case. You all may not end up wearing them (in fact, chances are you won’t), but you’ll want everyone to be prepared in any case. If possible, look for a pair of sunglasses that coordinates well with your wedding day attire and suits your face shape to your liking.
What it is: The necktie we see worn today actually possesses a fascinating bit of history. It, as well as ascots and bow ties, were inspired by the cravat. In fact, its origins date back to the 17th century, during the Thirty Years’ War. Croatian mercenaries hired by the French wore knotted handkerchiefs around their necks as part of their uniform, holding the tops of their jackets together. King Louis XIII was inspired by the choice, which was more practical than stiff collars, and integrated them into military wear. Nowadays, people wear neckties for a similar purpose—to keep the top of your dress shirt neatly together.
Groomsmen ties are one of the most versatile groomsmen accessories out there. There are a ton of different types of neckties; you can go with a traditional black tie, go formal with an ascot, or choose something unexpected such as a shoelace tie. Neckties also give you a lot of options with design. You can add a pop of color by having your groomsmen wear matching ties in one of your wedding colors. Or, if you want more variety, you can have each groomsmen wear a tie in a different color (or different shades of the same color). You can have your groomsmen go with a solid tie, patterned tie, wide tie, thin tie….the possibilities are virtually endless.
What it is: A tie bar, also referred to as a tie clip, is a small accessory that clips a tie to the underlying dress shirt, keeping it from moving and swinging. Functionally, it ensures that your tie hangs straight and stays in place, creating a clean, neat, and uniform appearance.
Most often, these clips are made of metal—think silver and gold. That being said, they come in various materials and looks and can serve as a stylistic piece, as well. Consider different finishes, such as wood and leather. Then, for even more unique options, look into different colors and shapes. We recommend coordinating with your wedding color palette or theme.
What it is: Bow ties, too, were originally inspired by the cravat, even looking more like one in appearance. That said, it’s a common style of necktie used to secure the collar of your groomsmen’s dress shirts. They most often come tied in the standard shoelace tie, also called a bow knot for this very reason. Unlike a necktie, a bow tie is wrapped around one’s collar so that both sides are symmetrical and even before tying.
There are three types of bow tie: The self-tie, the pre-tied bow tie, and the clip-on boat tie. While the latter two are easier to put on, we highly recommend going with a self-tie bow tie for each of your groomsmen. They offer the most put-together appearance, regardless of how casual or formal your celebration will be.
Similar to neckties, bow ties are made in countless sizes, styles, fabrics, colors, and patterns. That said, it’s a particularly popular choice with those who are throwing a classic black tie or rustic themed wedding.
What it is: For the most part, pocket squares are an entirely aesthetic addition to one’s wedding day attire. Simply put, they’re decorative squares of fabric that are placed in the breast pocket of a suit jacket or blazer. At less formal events, one may be placed in the pocket of one’s dress shirt or vest. That being said, they can also be used to dab at tears or sweat.
For a clean look, you can get your groomsmen’s pocket squares in the same fabric as their necktie. However, if you want a bit more interest and contrast, we recommend choosing a different fabric that pairs well with the neck or bow ties. Feel free to mix patterns and solids, too, so long as there’s a visual element that ties them together. For example, a solid blue tie paired with a patterned pocket square with blue accents.
Also make sure that your groomsmen’s pocket squares aren’t too big in size, which can be bulky and create bulges in your jacket or vest.
What it is: A boutonniere is a floral accessory made up of one of several flowers or pieces of greenery. They’re typically worn on the lapel of a tuxedo or suit jacket on special occasion or at a formal event, such as a wedding.
This groomsmen accessory may be the most talked about when it comes to weddings, considering the popularity of floral decor. Much like bridesmaids carry bridesmaids bouquets, groomsmen will often be provided with a floral boutonniere to wear. These usually coordinate with each other, as well as the wedding color scheme. That said, you aren’t limited to the traditional single flower. Consider asking for greenery and other fun elements to dress up your tux, such as fruit and pins.
What it is: Suspenders are another accessory that have a place in interesting clothing history. Originally, in 18th century France, these took shape in the form of strips of ribbon. These were attached to the backs of one’s trousers and used to secure them in place, functioning as an undergarment. Now they are functional, providing additional support to your attire, as well as stylish.
If you’re keeping things simple and your groomsmen aren’t wearing a suit jacket, suspenders can create a visually cohesive look for your wedding party—and can also dress up a more casual groomsmen look.
What it is: Cufflinks are a piece of jewelry that are used to secure dress shirt cuffs. They’re often used as a more formal and stylized substitute for buttons, which are usually already sewn into one’s dress shirt.
Personalized cufflinks also make for great personalized groomsmen gifts. So, if you’re not sure what to get your groomsmen as a thank you gift for playing such an important role in your big day, cufflinks are a great way to check both “wedding party gift” and “groomsmen accessory” off your wedding checklist.
What it is: Watches are most often worn to weddings as a piece of jewelry. They’re classic, dapper, and add a nice element to a groomsmen’s wedding day ensemble. While they’re functional for telling the time, doing so is often considered rude. Therefore, they’re kept and used, instead, as stylish pieces.
A wristwatch can be a sleek, stylish, and sophisticated groomsmen accessory—but they can also be expensive, so, unless your groomsmen all happen to have the same watch, either choose a wrist watch that’s on the affordable side or cover the cost and give the watches as a groomsmen (or best man) gifts.
What it is: Socks are an essential groomsmen accessory. A nice, clean pair of dress socks not only contributes to a put-together and coordinated appearance, but will keep your feet protected and feeling good throughout celebrating.
Similar to neckties, there are a ton of sock options for your wedding party. If you want to keep things more traditional, you can stick with a classic black, brown, or navy dress sock. If you want to keep things streamlined, you can choose socks that match your groomsmen’s neckties and/or reflect your wedding colors. If you want to have fun with it, you can have everyone choose a bright color or a bold print.
Just make sure that the socks you and your wedding party choose are comfortable, sweat-resistant, and go well with the next groomsmen accessory, which is...
What it is: The type of shoe you and your groomsmen wear to your wedding comes entirely down to the formality, location, and theme of your celebration. In any case, a groomsmen’s shoes should be both practical (making traversing terrain easy) and aesthetic.
Traditionally, groomsmen wear dress shoes in black or brown. But, there’s no need to be traditional if that doesn’t vibe with your wedding style. If you want to keep things more casual or sporty, matching sneakers can be a great option. You can have your groomsmen buy their own shoes, you can buy your groomsmen their shoes as a gift, or (if you’re going for more traditional dress shoes) you can have them rent shoes for the day.
From head to toe, formal to casual, and everything in between, there are a huge variety of accessories that your groomsmen can rock on your wedding day. Just remember, there are no rules for groomsmen attire. Ultimately, you have to choose the accessories that feel right for you (as the groom), your groomsmen, and your wedding style. And, now that you know the different groomsmen accessories that are available, all that’s left to do is get out there and get choosing.