What Should a Fashionable Groom Wear? 10 wedding day style tips for the man of the hour

Whenever you hear the phrase “wedding fashion,” it goes without saying that you may immediately conjure up thoughts of wedding dresses. With so much of the focus placed on bridal attire, it’s understandable that the groom’s style decisions may feel less important, or altogether neglected. However, there has never been a better or more exciting time to get creative with your groom style.

Today more than ever, grooms (and wedding designers) are thinking outside of the box and experimenting with unconventional colors, textures, and elements to make groom suiting a unique and exciting experience. Gone are the days of slim pickings when it comes to acceptable outfits to wear when you say “I do,” but with so many options and directions to go, modern day groom suiting can be daunting. Here are 10 style tips to make your wedding day ensemble dapper (because if you’re going to be standing next to a woman in a $7,000 dress, you might as well look good too).

1. How to Stand Out

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Source: The Youngrens

Don’t spend too much time worrying about matching your groomsmen (or even your fiancé, for that matter). Yes, your looks should complement each other, and there should be elements of each of your looks that play into the other’s, but that’s not to say you should be carbon copies of one another, either. When it comes to you and your groomsmen, your outfit should be easily and noticeably distinguishable from the rest. You can achieve this by choosing different accessories, a different suit color, or even by subtly varying the outfit (say, you wear a suit jacket but your best men rock suspenders instead). When it comes to your fiancé, both of your looks should emphasize your individual tastes, but you can easily incorporate complementary elements, like matching the colors of your accessories or jacket to her bouquet, for example.

2. Think Beyond Black and White

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Source: Emma Case Photography, Allure Men Accessories

A black tux with a crisp white shirt is standard groom fare. But these days, the suiting and color options are endless. When choosing the foundation of your look, consider alternative colors, suit separates, and other directions beyond your basic black and white. If you do opt for a suit though, go for the 3-piece. You’ll have a suit jacket when you walk down the aisle, but at the end of the day when you want to take the jacket off and dance, you’ll still look put together and sleek with a matching vest in tow.

3. Go Bespoke or Find a Tailor

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Fit is key, no matter how much you switch up the actual components of your outfit. If you’re getting a suit off the racks, be sure to pay your tailor a visit so that he can customize the best and most flattering fit for your build. If you can afford to spend a little more, and if you’re planning to buy a suit that you will wear well beyond your wedding day, you may also want to consider opting for made-to-measure, or even bespoke, as either option will lend you a superior fit and maximum comfort that off-the-rack simply can’t beat.

4. Consider a Vest

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Source: Michelle Lindsell Photography

If you’re going to have a themed, outdoor, small, or vintage wedding, you could also consider an entirely different alternative to the traditional suit: going jacketless. This look can be achieved in several different ways. You can try out a vest and rolled-up sleeves for a rustic, vintage aesthetic. Or, go for some classic suspenders—the kind with buttons—for you and your groomsmen for a more casual, 20’s-inspired look. You could also do without any extras and simply don a tucked in button-up; just make sure that the level of formality (or lack thereof) of your ensemble is in line with the vibe of the wedding, as well as the venue.

5. Embrace Pattern

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Source: KT Merry Photography, Haley Sheffield Photography

Patterns don’t have to be off limits, as long as you make sure you’re choosing them tastefully and not going overboard. If you’re leaning towards a solid suit, consider injecting some personality into your look with a patterned shirt. If you’re considering a patterned suit, try something classic like chalk stripes. Regardless of where you incorporate pattern, offset your look from the rest of the groomsmen’s by having them wear solid variations. 

6. Elevate Your Neckwear

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Source: Rebecca Goddard Photography

Just because your wedding color is burgundy, or seafoam green, or cerulean, or, well, you get the picture, doesn’t mean you’re limited to solid-colored, one-note neckwear. Consider patterned or textured neckwear that falls into the color scheme of your wedding. Patterned or textured ties are an easy way to elevate your look from traditional to unique. As you consider alternatives to traditional colors, you should also consider alternatives to the standard necktie shape. While the tie may be some men’s preference, others may find that a skinny tie, bow tie, ascot, or even a tie-free ensemble is more fitting. It all comes down to your personal taste.

7. Inject Personality with Accessories

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Source: Park Road Photography

An easy way to distinguish yourself from your groomsmen is to choose fun, unique accessories beyond your neckwear to spruce up your overall ensemble. Consider your socks, pocket squares, watch, and even your shoelaces all as opportunities to get creative. If you’re going with a pocket square, make sure it contrasts—not matches—your neckwear. If you like eye-catching footwear, consider a pair of socks or shoelaces that either reestablishes the theme or highlights who you are.

8. Go Bold with a Boutonniere

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Boutonnieres are a classy and traditional, but totally optional, accessory. These elusive accessories are reserved for formal occasions, as they are most commonly made with fresh flowers. If you choose to go the route of a boutonniere on your big day and want to avoid looking dated or frumpy, keep other accessories to a minimum and skip the pocket square. Go for smaller flowers, leaves/vines, or even a non-flora-based variation to make it more modern and sleek. Going the non-floral route opens up a whole world of opportunity for you (and your fiancé) to get creative. Incorporate a personal message, a nod to your wedding theme, or a symbol of something special into your boutonniere and wear it proudly.

9. Classic with Modern Flair

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Source: Bryce Covey Photography, Dorothy Gautreaux Photography

You may find that certain elements of traditional groom attire are your preference, while certain modern details are also appealing to you too. Don’t feel like you have to skew 100% toward one or the other. It’s your wedding day, and your outfit, so mix things up as you see fit. If you are drawn to the look of a suit and black bow tie, but like the idea of incorporating your wedding color, do so by choosing a colorful suit or a bold pair of socks. If you like the look of a vest and bow tie but want to give it a modern flair, try achieving the silhouette with unorthodox patterns and colors, like gingham and stripes.

10. Consider the Season

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Source: Jen Huang Photography | Julia and Gil Photography

If you’re at a loss for how to customize your look, one of the easiest considerations to make is looking to the season. If your wedding takes place in the fall or winter, get playful with textures and rich colors. A tweed suit, knit tie, or velvet blazer could serve as great cold weather pieces. If you’re getting hitched in the spring, look into pastels and a suit that’s good for all seasons, like cotton or a cotton blend. If summer is the season for you and your fiancé, consider short-sleeve shirts, vests (or no vest/jacket whatsoever), and breathable fabrics in lighter colors.

 

How are you planning to be a dapper groom on your wedding day? Whether it be with intriguing accessories, a bold color, or a nontraditional suit, enjoy your big day and stand tall. You and your fiancé look like a million bucks (but hopefully, you didn’t spend a million bucks. In that case, stand tall, and good luck with the bill).