There are two schools of thought when it comes to nuptial elegance. The first, less established but becoming increasingly popular, says the groom should wear a tuxedo on his big day. If you go for this option, there’s plenty of space for manoeuvre.
Unlike gala balls which insist upon the wearing of a classic tuxedo, weddings don’t really impose such dress codes. And as a result it’s potentially a rather exciting terrain…
Your tuxedo could very well be in navy blue. It could also be worn with a tie, and not a bow tie. It can be punctuated with a pair of non-patent shoes. With or without a pocket square. After all this is your day, no one is going to reprimand you for bending the rules of classical elegance…
Likewise there’ll be no reproaches if you decide to adapt your outfit as the day goes by. If you’re starting at the town hall, then don’t go all out straight away. Establish the outlines of your elegance. But wait until the religious ceremony, if there is one, to really mark the difference by adding an accessory (why not a button hole flower?), change suede shoes for leather ones, swap a cotton tie for a silk tie, and so on… Later, much later, when the party’s in full swing, you can take all that off and have a more flexible good time. But that’s a whole different chapter.
The second school of thought consists of building around the notion of simplicity. If you chose that camp, opt for a beautiful suit cut from high quality wool. Black is the colour of mourning, and not of love, so chose navy or grey. Light grey is particularly appropriate for a wedding, and much less so for a business context.
Select a jacket with one or two buttons. With a one-button jacket there’s no need for anything else. With a two-button jacket, don’t hesitate to add a waistcoat. This will ensure that even in the heat of the moment you won’t find yourself just in shirt sleeves.
The pocket square, which can form a neat white band on your chest, will also mark out the exceptional nature of the day. Especially if it is a plain weave in silk.
The shirt should be white and immaculate. Don’t bother choosing something with a satin or shiny finish or to perfectly match the dress of your bride-to-be. And then you won’t have to go shopping with a small piece of fabric in your pocket… White will do nicely.
To complete your outfit, you need a tie (much more suited to the occasion than a bow tie), which you can match to the wool of your suit, to avoid any risks. Your outfit will be perfectly clear. Maybe even as clear as your love...
Father of the Bride
You have to accompany your daughter, dressed in the most beautiful dress of her life, up to the altar. Could there be a greater pressure? To meet the expectations placed on you, most notably by your daughter, dress with dignity.
Fulfil your function correctly and at all costs avoid anything too young: an overly fitted suit, a skinny tie or too tapered a trouser.
You are the father, so you shouldn’t be putting yourself in the same place as the groom. If his suit is navy, buy a grey one, a two-button jacket and no waistcoat. Your pocket square ? Linen or cotton. Silk is clearly not off-limits.
If your suit is slate grey, chose a light grey tie. If it is mid-grey, take a dark grey one. A knitted silk tie is a good option. And it works well with a white shirt with pinstripes.
For this occasion you can also show off your favourite and most beautiful cufflinks. After all it isn’t every day you give your daughter’s hand away in marriage.
While the best man’s role might seem to be a simple case of signing the register, his real function is to animate the event and inject it with joy, relaxation, humour and even the odd dirty joke.
From a stylistic point of view, you have a pretty wide range of choices. You could go for colour, patterns or why not even prints.
For you a mismatching outfit is totally acceptable. If the trousers are dark – navy blue for example – a colourful blazer can work. The shirt can also be stripy or spotty. Just like the tie. It’s all about being reasonable and not accumulating extravagances. If the jacket is showy, the shirt and tie should be “calm”. And vice versa. A simple flower in the buttonhole can bring an outfit to life. As can a printed pocket square.
Suede shoes in paler shades are good, even a pair of perfectly white canvas sneakers are possible. But then obviously you’ll have to kiss them goodbye the next day as it’s highly unlikely light coloured shoes will survive the adventures generally experienced by a best man at a wedding. Especially if it’s a good one.
This is less anodyne that it might seem. These days weddings tend to sprawl over two sessions, with the following day revolving around a friendly lunch, consumed with bloodshot eyes and a dodgy stomach but a happy heart. For Part II the best man will be called upon to change his shoes. He’ll need another outfit that means he can ditch the suit. Chinos and a summer polo shirt, a smart pair of jeans and winter cashmere sweater will also fit the bill. In fact the best man can dress like the groom that day, it’s totally acceptable.