Hayley Lehmann Photography Blog

What Suits You? Saville Row, off the peg, or hired?

Saturday June 6th 2009

Generally speaking, most men spend considerably less time on their appearance than women, even if it’s their wedding day, but a well-dressed lady deserves an appropriately attired man. For that reason, the groom should wear an elegant and fashionable suit that shows off his personal style and makes a good impression on his wedding day.

There are many types of suits, but the most common ones are:

The Classic Suit
spread 07 300x300 What Suits You?  Saville Row, off the peg, or hired?Austere, three-piece classic dress suits (two-piece is also an option) in pale colors suit any shape or size man, especially in the summer. Vests look elegant in silver-gray tones, but variations are available. The most important part is choosing the right tones to match the suit in terms of shirt, tie or cravat.

Men often select a classic suit when the wedding is a day time rather than an evening affair, when the ceremony is at a registry office, or if it is a second wedding.

Should your groom choose to wear a suit like this one, make sure that the tone of white also matches the tone of white selected for the bride’s dress. Also, beware of getting too close to flowers that stain. We had some retouching to do on this wedding where unfortunately the groom’s suit had come into contact with some lily stamens. But it was worth it, as having both bride & groom dressed in white made for absolutely stunning and unusual photos. You may note from this photograph that the groom did not pursuade his ushers to wear white suits!

The Tuxedo
080831 2069 wilder 200x300 What Suits You?  Saville Row, off the peg, or hired?A tuxedo is an elegant evening jacket. The coat usually has either a turndown or stand-up collar; lapels from the outside are trimmed with sateen or silk. Tuxedo pants have a silk braid coming down the outside stitch. Black is traditional for tuxedos, but a tailored gray, dark-blue, or even white tux can be appropriate.

From our experience as wedding photographers, men seem to be most comfortable in this type of evening suit. It feels dressy yet very familiar. There is no fiddling with tails when sitting down, nor the rush of changing from tails worn for the ceremony into an evening suit for the party. If you have ushers coming from abroad and time is tight, all the men can wear their own black tuxedos and still look coordinated and smart. If a tuxedo is bought rather than hired, it has the added benefit of being usable at black tie functions attended after the wedding is done and dusted!

One wedding we photographed the men had pinned on their button holes incorrectly on their right lapels as they didn’t want to obsure the view of the silk hankie poking out of their breast pockets. We have also seen gentlemen trying to incorrectly thread the flower through a button hole on their lapel. Nowadays, we instruct all our grooms and ushers to wait for us to neatly pin on their corsages.

The Tailcoat
090524 2107 199x300 What Suits You?  Saville Row, off the peg, or hired?A tailcoat is a jacket with pointed laps cut just below the waist in front and has knee-length “tails” in the back.

A tailcoat may be custom-made, rented, or bought in a shop. In any case, it should be acquired well in advance in order to prevent any anxiety or undesirable situations arising from a lack of time. Shopping for the groom’s attire takes a lot of time. You will need to look through many catalogs in order to find a “suitable” suit. We recommend preparing a list of shops and boutiques that you would like to visit when looking for a suit, tuxedo or tailcoat, and accessories for them. The most popular and least expensive method is renting a tuxedo or tailcoat. No matter what you decide, your clothes should look perfect.

At Hayley Lehmann Photography we have seen all kind of things go wrong with mens attire. From seams splitting in embarrasing places, suit sleeves being six inches too short, cravats and waistcoats being missing from items brought home from the hire shop. Boys, if we have one piece of advice….collect your suits early, take them home and try them on straight away. If something is wrong, or something is missing, you will still have time to sort things out.

Top ten tips for grooms:

1. Book early – Ideally grooms should be booking 6 to 8 months in advance for their wedding outfits. This way the groom can ensure that everything is booked in time for outfits to arrive for collection. Some suit choices are naturally more popular than others but booking early will ensure everything being on time so is highly recommended.

2. Go for a fitting in advance – Even if you know your size, it is recommended that grooms and their party get properly sized by going to their hire store for a fitting in advance. Moss Bros Hire offer a fully tailored service where you’ll be measured from head to toe to ensure a perfect fit on the day.

3. Do your research – Make sure the grooms outfit is matching the theme of the bride. Ideally you want the colours to match and not clash and if your brides dress is ultra modern, then grooms may want something more contemporary. It’s often useful if you have a picture from a magazine to bring with you.

4. Saving money – In today’s current climate, every penny counts. At Moss Bros Hire, by booking four or more to be dressed in the wedding party, the groom goes completely free.

5. Button up – When it comes to wearing your outfit, grooms should leave the bottom button of your waistcoat undone and most people rarely do their morning jacket up. It’s something small but will make all the difference.

6. Shirt cuffs – For a truly sartorially smart look, grooms should leave an inch of shirt cuff below the coat sleeve as it balances out the crispness of the shirt at the neckline and contrasts with the dark morning suit.

7. All tied up – If grooms are stuck with how to tie their cravat or tie, don’t worry, ask a member of staff during your fitting to show you exactly how to do it on the day.

8. Collection – After grooms have had their fitting and booked the style, make sure you inform the rest of the party where to collect their suits from. Moss Bros Hire have 120 stores nationwide so there should be a store for everyone!

9. Accessories – If grooms want to add a personal touch to their look, then add some fun cufflinks such as ‘Groom’ mother of pearl, enamel and crystal cufflinks.

10. Shoes – Last but not least, grooms must never forget to polish their shoes on the day, there’s nothing worse than scruffy shoes with a beautiful outfit!

Our thanks for help with the text for this blog posting are to Moss Bros

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