The suit (or tuxedo) may make the man, but the pieces that complete his look can make the big day.
Off the Cuff
A crisp, white shirt always is a smart choice for the groom’s shirt, says Tessa Woolf, editor of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom. “I say to stick to bright white, especially if he will be wearing a colorful tie. Cream or ivory shirts look dingy to me.”
That said, color is also cool – think a powder blue shirt with a dapper white or khaki linen suit, a darker cobalt hue with navy, or a soft lavender or pink with gray. And don’t be afraid of stripes, checks and tiny floral flair. “Patterns are definitely appropriate for grooms or groomsmen, especially in shirts and ties,” says Julie Rath, a men’s image and style consultant and founder of New York-based Rath & Co. Men’s Style Consulting. If you select a patterned shirt, opt for a solid-color tie; or if you really want to combine patterns within a look, make sure the two you pair up are of different proportions to one another.
Woolf is a fan of grooms and groomsmen wearing ties or bow ties and pocket squares that match the wedding colors and/or bridesmaids, as it creates continuity throughout the event. “But they don’t always need to be a solid hue or exact color match,” she says. “I love a patterned tie or pocket square (stripes, checks, subtle plaids) that feature tones within the palette.”
As for shoes, it’s a no-brainer that black is best for a black tuxedo, but Rath has these rules for suits in other tones: For navy and medium-gray, you can wear black or brown; for charcoal, it’s black; for brown, it’s brown; and for white, it’s dark brown or black.
If the groom wants to wear beloved cowboy boots or sneakers, just make sure this footwear truly represents his personality (it isn’t just a gimmick) and suits the formality and setting of the wedding.
Woolf notes that the same advice goes for outfitting the groom and groomsmen in showy accessories like funky socks, fedoras and sunglasses. “Choose one or two fun elements, like a bow tie and crazy socks,” she says. “You still want to look like you’re dressed for a wedding, not a costume party.”
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