His sense of style may not be on the list of reasons you’re marrying him, but don’t worry —that’s where you and the rules come in.
Rule 1: His suit or tux should fit the formality.
At the most basic level, his attire should be appropriate for your venue and fit with the overall vibe of the wedding. If your wedding is in the daytime or outdoors, it can be a bit more casual (think: lighter-colored suits made of fabrics like seersucker or khaki). If it’s an evening affair in a ballroom or swanky hotel, go with either a dark, well-tailored suit or for black-tie attire (a tux). Need to step it up one more notch? Suited for an extra-luxe venue, white-tie is the ultimate in formalwear. This means a black tailcoat, white shirt and white bow tie.
Rule 2: His attire should coordinate with yours.
Another fairly obvious one, but it has to be said: Your wedding is your first opportunity to show off your couple style, so make it a joint effort. While you may not actually want to try on the gown in front of him and compare styles before the wedding, you’ll want to be sure your styles work together. So if your dress is a bedazzled ball gown, you won’t want him wearing a lightweight linen suit; you’ll want him in a classic black tux. Other combos that work: a rustic lace gown paired with a tailored tan suit, or a streamlined city-chic gown with a slim-cut gray suit.
Rule 3: His body type should dictate the suit.
The key to looking sharp is dressing for your body type. If he’s tall and thin, lucky you: Most tuxedos and suits will look good on his frame. To add bulk, try a double-breasted suit, which will make him look broader. To slim down, try a fitted suit with a little bit of a nip in the waist to give the impression of a leaner silhouette. Skip lighter-colored suits since darker hues are slimming. Shorter grooms should look for a two- or three-button jacket with a low-button stance to elongate the body.
Rule 4: His fit should be perfect.
Even the most expensive tux on the rack will look and feel awful if it doesn’t fit right. He should be able to move around easily. Have him do lots of twists, turns and arm raises to make sure there’s plenty of mobility. Regardless of whether he’s renting or buying, most shops will custom tailor the purchase. Here are a few basic tailoring rules:
• The jacket sleeve hem should fall at the wrist bone with about one-fourth to one half inch of the shirt cuff showing below.
• The bottom hem of the jacket should cover the butt and the vent shouldn’t pull open. If it does, that means it’s too tight.
• The collar should lie flat on the back and sides of the neck without any gaps or bulges.
• Pants should fit comfortably when standing and sitting and break across the top of the shoes so that they cover the top one-third.
• A bow tie should fit snugly around the collar.
Rule 5: His look should match your bridal party.
Traditionally, the groomsmen wear attire that’s the same as or similar to that of the groom, but it’s up to you and your guy. Even if you aren’t planning for all the men in your bridal party to show up in the same suit or tux, it’s important that their outfits match in style and feel (it will look a little bit off if your fiance is up there in a tux while his buddies are wearing casual khaki suits). Matching doesn’t just end with the guys either; you’ll want your whole party to have a cohesive style. To achieve this, aim to pair your groom and groomsmen style to that of the bridesmaids —for instance, if the bridesmaids are rocking a vintage vibe, the guys can don retro three-piece suits.
Rule 6: His accessories should set him apart.
Now that everyone is matching and coordinated, it’s time to pick your groom’s extras so he can stand out from the crowd. To achieve a totally unique look, it’s all in the details. Spice things up and have your guy wear a special boutonniere or a bow tie, vest, tie, cummerbund or cuff links in a different color or style. If your wedding palette has two colors, he can wear one of the shades while the rest of the guys wear the other. For a luxe affair, have the groomsmen each wear a tux with a black bow tie and black vest, while your groom dons the fancy version with a white tie and white vest. Also, encourage your groom to inject his personality into his outfit and show off that special something you fell in love with. If he’s musical, add a treble clef to his boutonniere; if he’s a lovable sci-fi nerd, gift him with Star Wars cuff links.