Suited to You: A Guide to Picking the Right Groomswear

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Sure, your style and the style of your wedding is ultimately up to the bride. However, there will be times when your partner actively seeks your opinion and one of those times should be regarding groomswear. Red alert! This is your time to shine, buddy. Don’t screw it up.

No, this is not a trick questions, but you should still err on the side of caution. Before you can nail down exactly what you want to wear on your big day (because, yes, it’s your day, too), you have to know your style. Unless you have a lot of experience with formal menswear, there’s a good chance you really don’t know what to go with. And that’s fine! Just make sure you’re prepared before your partner comes calling.

To aid you in this massive decision, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to narrow down your style to pick the groomswear that’s best for you.

Groom in blue suit outside

Your Style

First and foremost is to think about your own personal style. Are you a “shorts and t-shirt” kind of guy? Or do you like to look nice no matter the occasion? Or something in between?

Knowing your own style will help when you’re trying to determine the style of menswear you choose for your wedding. If you are ultra-casual in just about every situation and comfort is number one on your list, then you will probably prefer a suit over a tux. On the other hand, if chic is your middle name, then the sharp lines of a tuxedo are right up your alley.

Of course, you absolutely do not have to stick to the same-old, same-old. If you want to try something new, this is the perfect time. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to try out different looks.

Groom and groomsmen in navy suits toasting

Wedding Style

So, you know what you like, but what about your partner? What are they imagining for this day? Too afraid to ask? That’s okay. Think about the details you’ve already locked down. The venue being the most important. Where’s everything going down? Huge cathedral? Quiet garden? Elegant ballroom? Industrial loft?

The venue can play a big part in the style of your wedding. The nicer the venue, the nicer you want to look. Of course, that doesn’t mean everything, but it’s a pretty good indicator.

Another one would be the bride’s dress. You more than likely won’t see it until the day of the wedding, but go ahead and ask the bride what style of dress she’s wearing. Romantic? Simple? The fabric alone can tell you a lot. Satin? Pretty elegant. Lace? Ask what kind. Delicate lace is more formal and big lace is more casual.

The last factor we’re going to discuss is season. Season plays more of a role than you may realize when it comes to wedding style. Different colors work better with different times of year and if you’re going with a non-standard suit, different fabrics are better for different temperatures, as well.

Still don’t know what we’re talking about? You may need to enlist her help. But, simply put, if she implies that her dress is very formal and you’re having a black tie affair, that means you’re wearing a tux. If her style is bohemian, then a casual suit will work just fine. And don’t think by casual we mean boring. Suits of just about any color are still great options for a wedding.

Bride and groom in gray suit holding hands

Narrowing Down the List

So now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can start making cuts.

The first step is suit or tuxedo. Not sure what the main differences are? We have this handy guide that tells you exactly what kind of look you’re going to get with each.

The second step is color (yes, even with a tuxedo). Your main colors are going to be black, blues, and grays. Each has its benefit and for a clearer picture, see our gallery.

Black will by far be the classiest look you can go for, with the tuxedos being a step above a suit. Blues and grays have so many choices that they can be formal or casual. A midnight blue tuxedo has a little more flair than a black tuxedo, while a navy suit is a standard for menswear. An iron gray suit looks great in fall, while cement gray is perfect for spring.

Groom in black tuxedo getting ready

The Details

Here’s where you really get to show off your style. Your partner probably has in mind exactly what style or color suit they want to see you in the day of, but you can probably talk them into having free range over all the parts and pieces.

First order of business, two-piece or three-piece suit? With a suit, this means vest or no vest and with a tux, you can pick a vest, cummerbund or neither. Weather may again play a part here. If you’re going to be outside during a warm month, then your best option is to go no vest for the sake of coolness. Cummerbunds are more traditional than a vest, but we wouldn’t suggest wearing one if you’re on the hefty side—a vest is better in this case.

Second order of business, long tie or bow tie? Both ties work in pretty much any circumstance, so it’s really whatever your preference is. Traditionally, bowties are worn with tuxes to show off the shirt studs, but you can opt for a long tie if you prefer. You can also have some style fun with your tie. Check with your partner first, but the world is your oyster, as long as its within the color palette. You can wear a solid tie featuring pretty much any color from the palette or a polished pattern that features the same colors, too. Or by all means, go floral!

Groom and groomsmen in blue suit with leis for Hawaiian wedding

The rest of the details is all your flair. Now, before we get too far into this, keep in mind that you don’t need to go overboard. Pick a few things that really show off your style personality and leave the rest for another occasion.

  • Cufflinks: Cufflinks generally are worn with a tuxedo instead of a suit and they add just a little something extra to the cuffs of your shirt. You can have simple, elegant cufflinks or you can opt for something more you. Whether that’s something that’s personalized with your initials or a message to mark the occasion or something that’s even more out there, like funky pattern, special fun shape or an homage to your favorite comic book character.
  • Tie bar: Again, tie bars can be any of a number of normal or fun designs and they add just a little bit of extra something-something to your tie. Just remember that your tie bar needs to match your tie in width.
  • Lapel pins: Lapel pins are worn in place of a boutonniere and can, therefore, be something flower-like or something out of left field. If you’re going with something crazy, though, do keep in mind your look and style you’re going for. You don’t want to completely throw off the vibe.
  • Pocket squares: There are no rules on whether or not you have to wear a pocket square, but we think they add just add another level of polish to your look. Pro tip: Don’t match your pocket square to your tie. And in case you need some more convincing on the benefits of a pocket square, check out this post.
Bride and groom in blue suit posing in front of bookstore

There is a lot that goes into choosing and pulling off your wedding day attire. Need some more tips and style inspiration? Here’s some of our favorite advice from our style experts:

Suit vs. Tuxedo: the Ultimate Guide
The Ultimate Guide to Wearing a Tuxedo
Suit Rules: A Guy’s Guide to the Perfect Photos

With Generation Tux’s low-stress process you’ll barely have to think twice about looking great for your wedding. Still not convinced? Groom’s can test drive your look months in advance, so you know you’re getting exactly what you want. See what we have to offer to make your union extraordinary.

Featured photo by First Loved Photo

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