Well groomed

The Herald Business - - The Groom - Louise Halkett

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.

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