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.

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