As we prepare for another summer wedding season, brides and grooms everywhere are beginning to tick off their final checklist items.
The bride likely squared away the wedding dress decision well in advance — perhaps with something she’s been dead set on since she was a little girl. And while the hoopla escalates around her attire, the groom and the groomsmen can end up making last-minute decisions about what they’ll wear, which usually means a beeline for the tuxedo rental shop where they will walk away with ill-fitting, uninspired getups.
Luckily, this scenario is becoming less common due to a growing crop of more style savvy grooms and groomsmen. “The rule of having to rent a sad, poorly fit tuxedo is out the window, and grooms and groomsmen are investing in great-looking suits,” said Dan May, style director of the online men’s shopping emporium, Mr. Porter (www.mrporter.com).
Tatiana Byron, founder of the Wedding Salon (www.weddingsalon.com) luxury bridal showcase, agrees. “Grooms are starting to live more by the motto of ‘even grooms get married, too,’” she said. “Because of this new focus on grooms’ style, we’re seeing a lot of custom-made tuxedos and tailored suits.” If renting is still the best choice for you, there are new, sleeker options available, such as the Black by Vera Wang collection for Men’s Wearhouse featuring modern, tailored two-button notch-lapel tuxes in black and gray.
One thing is for certain: Rules on groom and groomsmen dressing aren’t so black and white anymore — literally. There are plenty of ways to spruce up any generic suit or tuxedo, and incorporating color is just one that’s keeping men on trend this summer.
Women tend to love black because it’s slimming, but good luck finding a bride who wants to sport a simple little black dress on her big day. So if the bride is bedecked in some shade of white, why not have the groom follow suit?
Casual summer nuptials are the perfect fit for a white linen suit from Richard James, May said, highlighting just one of the many colors today’s grooms can choose. “Tuxedos have become a bit more diversified and we’ve been seeing some great play with the lapels and in colors like midnight blue, navy and white,” he said.
Khaki is a fashion-forward option for a beachy occasion. And a dapper blue suit, like the one actor Josh Lucas chose for his recent Central Park wedding, can be a stylishly understated choice for just about any wedding. Expect to see grooms donning some pastels this summer, too.
PLAY UP ACCESSORIES
As far as accessories go, Keith Paugh of Venice-based Launderette (www.dresslaunderette.com) feels that a bow tie is the “rare alternative accessory in menswear.” As we approach the height of the summer wedding season, expect to see bow ties in “lighter, less traditional chambrays and linens” on grooms and groomsmen. And while experts are predicting a gingham bow tie trend this year, along with other bright colors and patterns, Paugh said: “There is nothing more striking than simple hues in rich, interesting textures.”
Mr. Porter’s May has conceived of some hip accessories for grooms and groomsmen this season: a silk-jacquard scarf instead of a bow-tie, Dolce & Gabbana gold-plated onyx cuff links and silk knots in the wedding’s color palette from Charvet. He sees a growing trend toward grooms and their groomsmen sporting the same suit, but “offsetting their roles with a different tie or color of dress shirt.”
In the battle of tuxedo vs. suit, tie vs. bow tie, black vs. color, print vs. texture and beyond, there is no definitive winner. Trends come and go. Still, the groom and his men are taking liberties to add a fashion-forward and personalized punch to their regalia this season in both bold and subtle ways.
“It’s safe to say we still can rely on our traditional groom — classic black tux, white tuxedo shirt, black tie, black lace-ups, socks and cuffs,” May said. “But there’s plenty of opportunity to buck tradition and get creative with convention.”
Of course, attire for men will still largely depend on how bold they want to go. Or, more importantly, how bold the bride will let them go.
—Allison Kornberg Walch
Custom Publishing Writer