ON their big day, all eyes will certainly be on the bride ... but the groom should be distinctive too. Tradition might dictate the groom, his best man and ushers all dress in a similar fashion, but it’s important that, sartorially, the groom still has an edge.
Obviously, the more formal the event, the more strict the dress codes. Interestingly, the United States is having an increasing influence on weddings here and one key element UK grooms are following is the tuxedo or ‘black tie’ dress code.
Wearing a slightly different jacket to the best man and ushers is a subtle way of ensuring the groom stands out, such as a single-breasted jacket while the rest of the party wear doublebreasted. However, if you do go down the black tie route, the groom could wear a white dinner jacket while the rest of the male party wear traditional black.
Waistcoats are a popular element of the suit and grooms can pick one a different colour from that of the best men. If it’s black tie and black waistcoat for the groom, then the other men could have a colour that matches the bridesmaid dresses.
As photographs will be taken all day, it’s important for the groom to give some thought to their overall body shape and height before deciding what style of suit or kilt to wear.
Tall lean grooms can wear just about anything, from contemporary styles such as single-breasted four-button jackets, to a more classic, double-breasted tuxedo with broad shoulders. However, if they want to look bulkier, opt for the latter, as it will pad out the chest and fill out the torso. Check the jacket fits correctly, with the hemline covering the bottom. The vent at the back or sides shouldn’t pull open, and the collar should lie flat on the neck without any bulges.
If the groom is quite muscular, then go for a smooth, plain look without fuss. A shawl collar (more rounded than a peak collar) will create an elegant line and less bulky look. Avoid double-breasted jackets and pleated shirts, which add volume, and choose a tailored shirt which slims the waist.
Grooms with a large waist could wear a waistcoat rather than cummerbund. Black has a slimming effect, so the classic tuxedo or dark formal suit is a good choice. White or light coloured suits, morning suits, and tails will not be particularly flattering.
Short and slim men should avoid styles that look too big on their frame. Steer clear of double-breasted jackets. Instead, go for a two- or three-button jacket with a low-button stance (it elongates the body), paired with classic or pleated trousers. To look a bit broader, ask the tailor for extra shoulder padding.
Short and broad figures should stick with a single-breasted jacket. Go for a classic two- or one-button jacket with a low-button stance and a shawl collar, which will keep the look streamlined and slim.
Of course, the kilt remains a popular option here, and there are dress, casual and formal types of tartans, jackets and waistcoats that can be worn.
David Capaldi, of specialist supplier Macgregor and MacDuff, has three shops in Glasgow and one in Prestwick.
“We supply kilt hire for grooms, their best men, and boys from as young as toddler age,” he says. “We also specialise in kilt-making so all our outfits are made to measure in Scotland.
“This year we’ve seen grooms buying their kilts in more unusual or newer tartans, although the traditional ones will never go out of style. A strong, contemporary look is very big this season, with grooms favouring chocolate brown and pink pinstripe.
“Burgundy tones are also selling well, and the well known Hunting Macgregor tartan, with its deep rich burgundy and solid white line, is also strong.”
Hiring full Highland regalia is popular because buying a kilt can be a major outlay. However, at the Macgregor and MacDuff shop on Dumbarton Road, in Glasgow, jackets, waistcoats, kilts and accessories are available for half their usual price from a complete exhire range.
Whatever the outfit, with a bit of thought and some careful planning, it’s not just the bride who will look her best.