5 Iron-Clad Ways To Dress Your Groomsmen
If you’re a groom and you can’t answer these questions about your groomsmen’s suits, you’re not ready for the wedding. Here are 5 iron-clad ways to make sure the groomsmen attire is on point.
A wedding is a big commitment. To your partner, yes, but also to a set of photos that you’ll save and show your grandkids someday. And there are more people involved in this commitment than just the happy couple. Make sure you hold up your end of the wedding party bargain. Get your groomsmen looking their best with this simple guide.
Here’s how it works. Every guy getting married should answer yes to the following five questions. If you answer yes to one question, skip ahead to the next one. Otherwise, stay put and we’ll help you sort it out. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know to avoid wedding photo disasters and get your groomsmen looking sharp. Let’s dig in.
#1 Do my groomsmen’s suits match each other?
Groom: Royal Blue Custom Suit. Groomsmen: Black Custom Suit.
Black Lapel’s groom and groomsman stylist, Brianne McMillan.
If your answer is no, it’s OK. “Not every wedding party wears the exact same suit,” says Brianne McMillan, lead groom & groomsman stylist at Black Lapel. But she’s quick to add that the groomsmen’s suits should at least all be one shade of a color.
A lot of guys don’t feel qualified to give style advice and so they give vague directions, like telling their groomsmen to wear a gray suit. Then, when the wedding day comes, the groomsmen are outfitted in everything from dark and brooding, charcoal gray to bright and springy, light gray.
“Give your groomsmen a swatch,” McMillan recommends, “so that they can see what fabric you’d like them to wear.”
Of course, there is one caveat for all of the above. McMillan says she’s noticed that a lot of grooms pay for their groomsmen’s suits. If so, then groom’s got total say over the fabric color, fabric type and just about everything else they want.
#2 Do my groomsmen’s accessories match their suits?
Matching your accessories to your suit is not something most guys are good at, so don’t assume that your groomsman will do it well. One solution to this problem is to give them one unifying accent in the form of an accessory, like a tie or cufflinks or a pocket square.
Still, there are plenty of other ways the look can go south. “Shoes are confusing for a lot of guys,” says McMillan. A lot of guys believe the myth that black goes with everything and wear black shoes all the time. “Black shoes can ruin the look of a khaki suit, for instance, so you have to tell the groomsmen to wear brown.”
Other outfit killers include wearing the wrong color belt or funky socks. McMillan recommends that you err on the side of overly specific with the instructions/details, sending out an email that clearly lays out what to wear, what not to wear, and where the groomsmen have some wiggle room. “I’ve had guys come in with a three-page email printed out on what to get for their buddy’s wedding. It seems like overkill, but it makes it so much easier on the groomsmen.”
#3 Is there one unifying part of my groomsmen’s suits?
Groom: Cool Gray Custom 3-Piece Suit. Groomsmen: Cool Gray Custom Suit.
Cap off the outfit with a tie or accessory that you want every groomsman to wear. “No matter what kind of wedding it is, choose one thing to unify all of the groomsmen,” says McMillan, “Otherwise, when you take your wedding photos, it just looks like just a bunch of friends got together.”
The unifying element doesn’t have to be the full suit. It can be something as small as a pocket square or something more visible like a vest. Whatever it is, it should make it clear who’s in the wedding party.
The groom doesn’t have to wear this unifying element, McMillan says. Wedding parties choose things like outfitting the groom in a vest while the groomsmen wear only two-piece suits, or the groomsmen all wear one color of tie and the groom wears another. As long as the groomsmen look coordinated and have something in common, you’re in good shape.
#4 Do my groomsmen match my formality?
Groom and Groomsmen: Black Custom Suit.
We’ve said in these pages before that you, the groom, should be the best dressed man at your own wedding. That still holds up, but it shouldn’t be because you are the most formally dressed man at the wedding. McMillan notes times when the groom wore a tux and the groomsmen were in blazers and slacks.
“You don’t have to be super formal. I’ve seen weddings that looked great where the groomsmen simply wore chinos and all wore matching vests,” says McMillan. “You just need to be sure that one person doesn’t look out of place in the wedding photos. You never want it to look like the groom showed up at the wrong wedding.”
#5 Do my groomsmen know how to wear their suits?
Groom: Royal Blue Custom Suit. Groomsmen: Black Custom Suit.
How to wear a suit may sound like something that can’t be screwed up, but we’ve seen it too many times to let this list end without bringing it up.
If the wedding party is black tie remember, your groomsmen probably don’t wear tuxedos that often and they may not know how they work. If you want them to wear shirts with studs and cufflinks, make sure they understand that they need studs to wear the shirt, it won’t close without studs to hold it. Make sure they know how to properly wear their cufflinks, or tie their bow ties.
“Nothing ruins a wedding photo like one groomsman with his jacket open, with his white shirt calling attention to him, while everybody else’s jacket is closed.”
A particularly attentive photographer will spot this, but don’t leave it up to them. Before the photos, give all your guys a quick primer on how to wear their stuff. The most common offense? Buttoning the bottom button of a suit jacket. Do your groomsmen a favor and catch this before a photo records evidence of this crime, lest he end up an example of what NOT to do on a men’s style website.
Got Questions About Your Groomsmen’s Suits?
At Black Lapel we outfit tons of wedding parties with the finest custom suits money can buy (Check out our Wedding Pinterest Board to see some of them). If you’d like to have us help you kit out you and your groomsmen, visit the Weddings section of this site.
And if you’ve got a question we didn’t ask or answer above, speak now or forever hold your peace. Leave your question in the comments below and we’ll hit you back with an expert answer.
Cool Gray Custom 3-Piece Suit
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