When compared to the eye-catching statement that is the wedding gown, the groom’s attire might falter in comparison. Enter the tuxedo! Timeless, clean-cut, and offering a sleek debonair sense of style, this choice of suit stands out among the rest as the great stalwart among groom’s fashion. Here, Amelia Mansell discusses the ins and outs of choosing a tuxedo with Angelo Salerno, director of Mens Suit Warehouse. From the lapels to the classic bowtie, to the fit that maketh the man, read on to uncover how grooms can achieve their showstopping ‘James Bond’ moment that just might tear attention away from the bride.
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
Holding its own among the ranks of suits, the tuxedo remains a timeless choice for all wedding celebrations. This sleek and classic look embodies the phrase that while fashion fades, style endures. But as Salerno affirms from his years of experience: “Even the most expensive tuxedo won’t look the part if the fit is not right.” Every groom wants to look their best on their big day, especially when it is being immortalised in wedding photos, so before you get too caught up in the details and design features of your tuxedo, it is best to iron out the preliminary stages of the process that ensure you will have the perfect fit to give you the ‘James Bond’ aesthetic and confidence.
Allowing two to three months before your wedding is a healthy time frame to begin organising your wedding tuxedo. This leaves adequate time to select the perfect brand, cut and fit and have any necessary alterations made. The best course of action as you begin the process is to determine your budget early, and with this, find the brand that suits both you and your aesthetic for the day. “From here we work with each party member to get the right fit happening, before finishing off the looks with any final touches and organising alterations,” the director explains.
The final fitting is generally organised three to four weeks before the wedding, to check the alterations and the final fit, ensuring the groom and his party will all be “sharp and well-tailored for the big day”. And rest assured, for any brides who are concerned about their groom going rogue – at Salerno’s estimation, 70 per cent of bridal parties are involved in the selection process, ensuring the fit and style of the tuxedo complete the aesthetic mission.
THE SECRET TO THE SUIT
With the fit of the suit staked out, next come the classic details and accessories that create the iconic tuxedo look, while still allowing every groom the opportunity to establish his unique style. The bowtie is a small yet essential piece to the overall ‘James Bond’-worthy tuxedo. This “must-have finishing touch” is a great way to ensure the grooms attire is a cut above that of his groomsmen. Having the groomsmen wear standard ties while the groom distinguishes himself with a classy bowtie is a great way for the groom to make his ‘James Bond’ statement, particularly if the grooms party are all decked out in similar killer looks. Alternatively, if bowties are the theme of the day, the groom’s tuxedo could be the solo stand-out with satin lapels and a matching satin bowtie to complete the striking, timeless look.
A descendant of the gentleman’s handkerchief, the pocket square remains a classic accessory in all wedding suits – although still a mystery too many grooms as they prepare on their big day. Salerno recommends keeping it “clean and classic, using a white pocket square that matches with a white formal shirt underneath”. “Style it simply, in a straight-line finish,” he affirms. Although seemingly small and unassuming, this accessory can have wonderful power in enhancing the style of the tuxedo, with a white or black pocket square capturing the sleek, classic look, while a coloured option can allow you to complement the wedding colours for a harmonious aesthetic.
There is little way you can go wrong with a classic, white formal shirt when choosing the details of your tuxedo. For a little more intrigue, the groom can have contrasting black buttons on a white formal shirt, while the groomsmen wear plan white shirts. Or go dark and dangerous with Salerno coining a “black shirt underneath a black tuxedo” as another great option.
For those grooms who have their heart set on a showstopping tuxedo, but are also planning a summer wedding, finding pure wool alternatives that are breathable can be the best way to ensure your comfort, especially for outdoor weddings. Salerno suggests opting for a linen suit or sport-coat if you’re wanting something with lighter layers. “You can still achieve a great classic look without going for the formal James Bond tuxedo. Keep the colour palette classic, a lighter coloured jacket with darker suit trousers or chinos. Finish the look with a classic bow tie in linen fabrics.”
BOLD. BE BOLD.
From the cut to the traditional black and white colouring, to the ever-important fit – the tuxedo has endured the ages untarnished and flexible enough to fit modern and personalised aesthetics. As with all your wedding choices, you want to be able “to look back on your wedding photos in ten years’ time and still love your wedding look” despite the passing trends. “In a classic tuxedo you’ll never look out of date,” Salerno says.
But don’t be afraid to go bold and shake up the traditional mindset surrounding the tuxedo. “Creative black-tie options are becoming more popular,” Salerno comments. Grooms are beginning to incorporate more colour into their wedding tuxedos, with shades of blue as an emerging trend to add an essence of freshness and an element of personalisation to the classic look. This blue or even white jacket can then be paired with a white dress shirt, matching blue or black trousers to keep the sleek, sophisticated style we know and love.
A velvet tuxedo jacket, in trusty black or a statement colour, is another option if you’re on a mission for a unique tuxedo. This combination of texture and colour will ensure “the groom really stands out against the groomsmen who keep to classic colours”.
Like love and fine wine, the tuxedo has only gotten better with time. A classic look that bypasses trending fashion to stand in the hallowed halls of style, this is a suit that will allow any groom to have his bold and confident ‘James Bond’ moment and equal his bride-to-be’s chosen gown. And if the help of Salerno and his team at Mens Suit Warehouse is anything to go by, you are sure to find the statement look you’ve been searching for.
Image courtesy of Mens Suit Warehouse.