He’s the groom. He gets to wear what he wants
Even if the last word you’d use to describe your fiancé is “clotheshorse,” chances are he’s secretly psyched to pull out all the stops on his wedding day. For most men, that means a sharp suit or tux tailored to perfection, a high-quality dress shirt that fits just so, a polished pair of kicks and maybe even a cool new set of cufflinks. But all too often, the chance for self-expression is missing from the timeworn groom’s uniform. While a guy can—and should—look to established rules of dress to guide his choices, he shouldn’t be afraid to flout them and show off a little personality. With a huge selection of brands and styles to choose from, Men’s Wearhouse makes it a snap to put together a one-of-a-kind look that will give your guy his chance to shine. Below, the most commonly cited formalwear fashion rules that every groom should consider myths—not mandates.
Myth No. 1: You have to spend a million to look like a million. Of course, you don’t want your fiancé to show up in a rumpled, ill-fitting suit he borrowed from his old roommate, but you also wouldn’t want to see him spend so much there’s nothing left over for your Parisian honeymoon. The middle ground, of course, is a tuxedo or suit rental, which is more economical if you're not going to wear it more than once a year. The cost of a new tux or suit varies wildly—they can start around $500 and go way up from there—but a rental will only set you back about $200, on average. Even better news: Long gone are the days when a rental meant a boxy shape and limited color choices. Now guys can customize fit, neckwear, lapel styles and more. The result is a sharper, slimmer and more personal look—at a price tag that still allows for all the wine, cheese and baguettes you want on said honeymoon. Bon voyage!
Myth No. 2: You shouldn’t wear sneakers with a suit.
To which we say: Why not? Sneakers, besides being the most comfortable of shoes, can be super-stylish too, and as more grooms embrace them, the more common they’ve become for wedding wear. They’re also an easy way to inject personality and a little fun into his getup. If your wedding is on the more laid-back and casual side, a trainers-clad groom is right on the money. (And if you’re having a more formal ceremony, he can always change into his sneaks for the reception.) A word to the men: Don’t just throw on your ratty old running shoes and call it a day; the sneakers you choose, like the suit or tux you pair them with, should be clean and tidy.
Myth No. 3: Black tie equals a black tux with a bow tie.
Remember prom, when every boy showed up in his formal-dance best: black jacket with a shawl collar, black pants with a satin stripe, and a one-color bow tie with matching vest? When you’re 17, you don’t know better. Grown-up grooms have no excuse. These days, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a suit and tuxedo, as the most telltale features of the latter—satin-faced lapels, satin buttons and a satin side-stripe down the pant leg—have become ever more subtle. And though the satin bow tie might be etched in your imagination as the definitive tux-worthy accessory, there’s no real reason why a long necktie shouldn’t be worn if that’s what the groom prefers. All that said, it’s getting easier, and more acceptable, to bend the rules when it comes to a black-tie event. A gray, blue or even white tux all work for a formal wedding, and your fiancé shouldn’t feel limited to the traditional black-and-white look, no matter the time of day or night.
Myth No. 4: You shouldn’t wear brown with black or black with navy.
The old rule: Pair brown shoes with navy suits, and black shoes with black pants. The new rule: Mix it up! And remember, it’s all about contrast. A lighter brown, like chestnut or camel, will positively pop against an ebony suit, while marking the groom as a bit of a style rebel—in a good way. Shiny black shoes against a navy suit look sleek and modern (even menswear bible GQ is on board with this myth-busting move).
Myth No. 5: Bigger guys shouldn’t wear slim-fitting clothes.
As far as fashion faux pas go, it’s an understandable one: the idea that the bigger you are, the more fabric you need to camouflage your shape. The unfortunate reality, though, is all that fabric only serves to make you actually appear larger than you really are. Contrary to what you might think, slim or modern fit suits are often flattering on a wide range of body types, even with a rental. For the slimmest silhouette, a well-cut suit jacket will make a man’s rounder, softer edges appear more angular and sharp. If your fiancé buys his suit or tux, a professional tailor can alter it to contour his specific proportions, resulting in a streamlined look with the most flattering fit.
Myth No. 6: Black-tie attire shouldn’t be worn before 6 p.m.
With respect to Emily Post, the decree that a formal event isn’t, in fact, formal if held during daylight hours is a fussy distinction that seems to be going the way of the ascot. As you’ve no doubt heard many times during wedding planning, it’s your day and you’re allowed to do things your way. Just because your ceremony will be in the afternoon, doesn’t mean you can’t up the formality level. As mentioned above, the distinction between a suit and a tuxedo can be hard to suss out for most people anyway, and chances are, the bride will be in a floor-length gown whatever the hour—a marker of formality if there ever was one.
Myth No. 7: Sock color must match pants color.
That might have been true when he was a little kid and his mom dressed him in his Sunday best, but for the modern man, almost nothing makes a sartorial statement quite like a pair of flashy socks. Sporting a favorite team’s logo, wearing fun patterns like stripes or polka dots, or even forgoing socks altogether (with the right shoes, of course) are all acceptable, playful ways to stand out from the suit-wearing crowd.