“When the wedding march sounds the resolute approach, the clock no longer ticks, it tolls the hour. The figures in the aisle are no longer individuals, they symbolize the human race.”
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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“I don’t know nothing about no marriages or nothing. I ain’t even never been to a wedding.”
– Mike Epps
Most men fall somewhere in between these two quotes. We can agree with Ms. Lindbergh who respects the reverence and cultural significance that weddings represent, but Mr. Epps tends to hit a little closer to home. Relating to both quotes leaves men in a bad spot. It’s a spot that recognizes that weddings are important events that should be treated with care and attention, but leaves you scratching your potentially balding head wondering how to make that happen. Luckily there’s help.
What you wear on your wedding day plays a surprisingly important role. If your wedding tuxedo doesn’t fit well, match well, or work well for any reason, you’ll notice. It can make a guy feel self conscious and frustrated. And really, that’s no way to feel on your wedding day. A nicely matched and well fitted tuxedo gives you the confidence to forget about what you’re wearing, secure in the knowledge that you look awesome, and enjoy the day.
Formal wear is all about honoring a special occasion and making good memories even better. Below are some considerations and recommendations that we feel will help you make the best of a great situation.
The fact is, not all men are built the same way. What’s more, not all men like the same kind of fit. Tuxedos actually come in three different cuts, each that fit differently:
Classic Fit: This is the most traditional tuxedo fit. The cut is full, usually leaving a little room to breathe. It’s big enough for any body type and a very classic, time-tested option.
Modern Fit: Most tuxedo styles made nowadays are made with a modern cut. It’s a trimmer cut than the Classic Fit, but still has enough room to accommodate all body types. The jacket pulls a little more around the ribs, and the armholes are higher for improved range of motion and ease. For most guys, the modern fit tuxedos strike a good balance.
Slim Fit: These are even trimmer than Modern Fit tuxedos. They pull even more around the rib cage and fit closer to the body all around. These are the closest option the rental world has to a tailored tuxedo, which is great since the more fitted style is very popular. They are also the best option for anyone who is thin and often has difficulty finding something that doesn’t look bulky.
Once you’ve figured out which of the three cuts suit your tastes and body type, the next (and arguably most important step) is determining your sizes. The bad news is that sizing formal wear can be a little tricky. The good news is that the helpful formal wear specialists at your local vendor can do this for you. But it’s never a bad idea to double check your measurements. If you have the option, ask about trying on a few coats as well so you can see first hand which size fits you best. But make sure to note which cut your try-on jacket is. If you try on a classic cut jacket but order a slim fit jacket, it will fit a little differently.
To help you double check your own sizes, follow this helpful Step-by-Step Sizing Guide.
4 Commonly Asked Wedding Questions:
1. Tuxedo or Suit: Which to wear?
You can wear a suit to a wedding, but if you have the option we highly recommend going with a tuxedo. Whether you regularly wear a suit or not, suits are appropriate attire for regular everyday socializing and office work. While you can certainly look great in a suit, so can everyone else in your wedding. The garment itself doesn’t indicate or commemorate a special occasion. For your wedding day, you should wear something that sets yourself and the day apart from the rest.
The point of dressing up for your wedding isn’t simply to look your best. That’s a big part of it, but it’s also to commemorate your marriage in an ensemble that’s designed for that very purpose. This is a special day that deserves a special dress code. A tuxedo says “I have come to share this moment with you. I would look out of place anywhere but here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
2. What’s the difference between a Prom Tuxedo and a Wedding Tuxedo?
There are lots of different kinds of weddings. Proms are also aesthetically very diverse occasions, so there are lots of tuxedos that work for both. But there are some that, traditionally, don’t. The reason behind it has to do with the messages the two occasions promote.
Weddings often carry religious overtones that lend an air of reverence to the occasion. But even more common is the driving idea that weddings mark the transition from man to husband. Before a wedding, a man lives for himself. After a wedding, a man lives for his family. Therefor a marrying man’s tuxedo often adheres to the time tested principles of formal tradition that also connect him with a tradition larger than himself.
By contrast, a prom marks the beginning of a boy’s journey into adulthood. Prom tuxedos serve to show that the boy is ready for adulthood, but also reflect his personality and celebrate the boyhood he’s leaving behind.
3. Should I wear a long tie or a bow tie?
Short Answer – Bow Tie. If you want to be formal, you need a bow tie. It’s really going to be your best look anyhow.
Longer Answer – While you can wear a bow tie with a suit, long ties are more popular. While you can wear a long tie with a tuxedo, bow ties are correct.
The problem with long ties paired with tuxedos is that they tend to make your tuxedo look more like a suit. They also functionally undermine many of the principles of formal tradition that promote your best look.
As mentioned by The Black Tie Guy in his blog post, one of the strongest elements of Black Tie attire is the starkly contrasted white “V” of the shirt against the black buttoned jacket. The wider top of the “V” accentuates and broadens the shoulders, while the narrow bottom creates the illusion of a thinner waist. The bow tie is integral in this illusion, as it draws attention to the wearer’s face. A long tie, however, dissects the formal “V” into smaller and more obscure sections that just don’t have the same effect. Long ties also direct attention away from the face and towards the naval.
When ‘dressing down’ became popular in the 90’s, long ties became popular options with tuxedos. But that trend has changed and bow ties are once again the preferred and always accepted formal neck wear option.
4. Should the groomsmen accessory colors match the women?
For the men in a wedding party that aren’t getting married, we feel either option is appropriate. Most people can agree that, while the bridesmaids and groomsmen in a wedding party are there for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest functions they serve is to stand there and look pretty. Because a big reason for the groomsmen being there is purely aesthetic, we feel that either color or monochrome accessories work equally well, being a matter of preference, not correctness.
On the other hand, the groom in a wedding represents more than just moral support and aesthetics, so we feel his attire should reflect something more. The groom’s tuxedo should subtly convey two things.
1.) He and his bride are a pair. The bride will likely be in all white and if she isn’t wearing colors, neither should the groom. A white wedding gown and black tuxedos with white, silver, or black accessories is always a classic and beautiful look.
2.) The star of the show is the bride. Wearing bright colors or anything else that grabs attention for the groom also detracts for the attention the bride should be getting. Wearing monochrome accessories, especially white to match the bride, lets the groom look his best while also letting him step to the side and let his bride really shine in the spotlight. This places the man in a very important and chivalrous role. For a formal wedding, the emphasis should always be placed on the bride. Poetically put, the bride is the painting and the groom is the canvas.
There are several types of weddings out there, each with a generally different formal standard. Below we’ve selected a few of our favorite picks for a few of the most common types of weddings. We’ve also included a few suit alternatives as well for less formal wedding venues or for people with allergies to satin.
Formal Wedding Picks:
Garden Wedding Picks:
Destination Wedding Picks:
Wedding Suit Picks:
Hopefully this guide helped you savvy up before the big day and provided you a plan and some options to make sure you look your very best. At times, especially with every other detail trying to get managed at the same time, tuxedos can seem like a trivial detail. And compared to the significance of getting married, they really are. But our goal is to make sure your big day feels as special and happy as it should. Getting the tuxedo right goes a surprisingly long way towards enjoying the rest of your day with confidence. Get happy. Get dressed. Get married. In that order.
If you’re interested in seeing more styles, check out our Entire Tuxedo Catalog!
Find a local formal vendor in your area that can rent you these styles by using our Store Locator!
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