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Tips for Avoiding Fashion Disasters

Michael Perry, a married man and author of “The Groom’s Survival Manual,” offers fashion advice for grooms:

1) The most important consideration, Perry says, is to “make sure your bride loves the formal wear you’ve chosen. Don’t pick something out and spring it on her at the wedding.”

A lot of men, he says, have never had a fashion opinion in their lives. But when they’re asked an opinion for the wedding, “the testosterone kicks in, and they have to assert an opinion.” There’s nothing unmanly, he says, about letting the bride take the fashion lead. At the very least, you can make the selection of formal wear together.

2) Although skeptical of the fashion experts, Perry acknowledges their value. The best resource in selecting fashion, he says, “is that huge stack of bridal magazines your bride-to-be acquired within an hour of your popping the question. Sit with her and flip through the photographs and ads and pick out one or two top contenders.”

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3) Make sure out-of-town groomsmen are measured by a professional in their hometown, Perry warns, citing the potential for sizing disasters if a member of the wedding party (or his mom) does it himself.

“Then coordinate (the formal wear) through one shop. That way you’re sure everyone will have the same details, the same designers, the same accessories.”

4) Be sure about who’s paying for what, Perry says. Tell your groomsmen they’re paying for the rentals, unless the groom is--which is rare.

5) Take the time to do a test-fitting. “People think they’ll just pick the formal wear up on the day of wedding. I advise them to go in two days before for a test fitting. Especially in the high-traffic months--June, July, August--the formal wear people make mistakes, and you can wind up looking like David Byrne on that ‘Stop Making Sense’ film.”

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6) Finally, as far as the fashion etiquette goes, Perry says, “learn it, then do whatever you want. People break all the rules. They’re still just as married even though they may have worn evening wear at a morning wedding. The rules are no longer inscribed in stone.”


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