How to Choose the Best Suits for Your Groomsmen
You've proposed to your dream girl, the wedding date is set, and you've chosen your groomsmen; it means that the biggest decisions are behind you! Now's the time to think about smaller, but still very important, tasks. Your list certainly includes suiting up the groomsmen, right? Well, I'm here to help! Below, you'll find useful advice and answers to the most important questions regarding the groomsmen's attire. They will make choosing the right suits a lot easier.
Groomsmen attire – what you need to know
There are a few important matters you should consider when choosing an outfit for your groomsmen.
When and where is the wedding?
The date and venue of the wedding will have a huge impact on many aspects of the ceremony, including the outfits of the bride, the groom, and their special guests. When choosing suits for your friends, take into account the season, the location, and even the time of day.
For spring and summer weddings, light colours and materials are the best option. However, in the autumn and winter, you'll need to consider the probable weather at that time, so you can make sure everyone will be warm enough. Darker suits made of thicker fabrics are a better choice during these colder months. It is also worth remembering that, at any time, the weather can be changeable. If you're worried about this, go with suits made of versatile materials, like tweed. It's suitable for different weather conditions. A three-piece suit is also a good solution then because the waistcoat serves as an additional layer. And if the weather treats you well, your groomsmen can just lose their vests and have fun!
The wedding venue is also an important factor here. If you're getting married somewhere quite sophisticated or classic, your groomsmen are going to need a formal suit. However, their outfits should be completely different if the wedding is taking place on the beach or in a garden. For a groomsmen's suit to match the more formal occasion, it needs to consist of dark colours, a white shirt and a pocket square. On the other hand, if the wedding is in a more casual setting, then there is no need to wear a tuxedo or even a tie.
Does your wedding have a theme?
Nowadays, couples often choose a specific theme for their wedding. It can be a 'close to nature' party, a traditional ceremony, or something more vintage. If you and your future wife have decided on a theme, then the decorations, menu and guests' outfits really do need to match it; this includes the groomsmen's attire.
What are you going to wear?
That's one of the most important things! Groomsmen are there to support the groom and make sure everything goes well - so their outfits need to show that. If you haven't chosen your suit yet, at least try to specify the style, colour or material so that you know what to look for when choosing the groomsmen's outfits. However, personally, I recommend deciding on the groom's suit first.
Do groomsmen have to wear exactly the same suits as the groom?
Not necessarily. There are three main options you can choose from:
- You and your groomsmen wear the same suits,
- Your suit is different, and they wear the same suits;
- All suits are mismatched, but they have a common colour palette or style.
Search for examples of each of these options online and choose the one you like best. The key here is to match your groomsmen's attire to your outfit and the style of the wedding.
Groomsmen attire is more than just the suit
If you want everything to look perfect (I'm sure your bride wants it!), you must take into account the importance of the shirt, shoes and accessories. You need to choose the whole outfit (not just the suit), and all the elements should match. I recommend addressing every detail. Even the small stuff, such as socks, is important. Good preparation is the best way to avoid stress before the big day!
The date and venue of the wedding have a huge impact on many aspects of the ceremony.
Who should pay for the groomsmen's suits?
Usually, every groomsman pays for his suit. However, it's important to remember that being a wedding guest, especially a best man or groomsman, involves considerable expenses. This could include gifts, a stag party, and sometimes also accommodation and travel costs. Therefore, you should try to avoid creating too much expense for them when buying their suit. Try to find suits that you like and your groomsmen can comfortably afford.
Of course, if your financial situation allows you to do so (and you're happy to do it), you can cover the cost yourself.
Engage your groomsmen
As I mentioned before, the groomsmen's outfits should complement the whole party by matching the groom's suit, the wedding style - and the season. They also need to be comfortable, and it's important that the groomsmen are happy wearing them. Involve your friends in the decision-making process; ask about their preferences, and listen to their opinions. After all, they will be spending the whole day in the suits. They should feel good in them, because then they can fully enjoy the party!
What are the options?
Below, I briefly describe the outfit options that a groom and his groomsmen can choose from. You'll see there's more than just a suit in the men's formal fashion world!
- Tailcoat: This is the most formal of all the outfits listed here. Men should only wear them on special occasions, such as very formal weddings. It consists of a jacket with long pitch and parallel rows of buttons that are never fastened. It should always be black. Be sure to choose a tailcoat when the invitation declares a 'white tie' dress code.
- Tuxedo: Less formal than a tailcoat - but more elegant than a suit. This is worn at a formal evening event and can also be a wedding outfit. A Tuxedo usually comes in black or dark blue. However, an option of a white or cream jacket is acceptable for outdoor (evening) events. When an invitation reads 'black tie', this indicates that a tuxedo would be the best choice.
Three-piece suit: This is the most classic suit, consisting of a jacket, vest and trousers. Out of all the suits available, a three-piece is what you're likely to find in most men's wardrobes. More versatile than a tailcoat and a tuxedo, it combines tradition with a modern look - and is the most popular choice of suit for grooms and groomsmen nowadays. The three-piece works well at both formal and slightly more casual events.
- Two-piece suit: A nice alternative to a three-piece suit is a two-piece (just a jacket and trousers). A slightly less formal option, this is perfect for if the event isn't particularly official, but you still want to look chic.
- Informal attire: This is the last option, and it's the most casual look. If the wedding takes place outside, the requirements for groom and groomsmen attire are not so strict. You can wear informal trousers and pair them with a suit jacket - or vice versa.
Formal wedding attire
A formal wedding requires an appropriate outfit. From the above options, the most appropriate suits are tailcoat, tuxedo or a three-piece. Dark colours are preferable, such as black, blue, charcoal or navy. You should pair the suit with a classic white shirt and add subtle accessories in universal, subdued colours. Do remember to include a bow-tie or tie, and you can also add a pocket square to fully complete the styling.
Casual wedding outfit
Informal weddings are a chance to experiment a little. This style of wedding does not impose strict rules on what your groomsmen or other guests should wear. Such weddings are often small family gatherings or outdoor ceremonies. Light-coloured suits (three-piece or two-piece) made of fabrics suitable for different weather conditions are the best choice. A bit of extravagance is also allowed, but remember that you and the bride are the stars of the show and should be the centre of attention at all times. Groomsmen attire should not take any spotlight from you. In a casual setting, you can also experiment with accessories. An option could be to complete the outfit with suspenders or an original bow-tie.
Once you've had a chance to consider our tips, finding the perfect suit for your groomsmen should be no problem. Try not to get too stressed about the task ahead; just treat it as an opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends. However, if you really don't have the time to physically go out and visit shops, you can order the suits online. I guarantee that they will be just as comfortable, great to look at, and very well-fitted.