A Fistful of Style’s Complete Guide to Not Looking Like an Idiot as a Groomsman
I was recently the best man and “wardrobe guy” for the groomsmen at my cousin’s wedding. Of course being a #menswear blogger I had numerous opinions on the subject. The following is my complete guide to making sure you don’t make the groomsmen look like schlubs on a very important day.
I think there’s 3 main points to dressing a wedding party with a couple caveats.
The wedding was non-traditional. It featured a reading from Substitute Senate Bill No. 899. The first dance was a rick-roll where the wedding party rushed the dance floor.
All of which is to say a wedding is an important day, but how formal a day it is depends on the people involved. Tuxedos or morning dress can be wildly out of place at a wedding, remember that.
The wedding was outdoors at a campground on a lake. We were camping prior to, the outfit had to travel with us and then not look silly outdoors. It also had to jibe with the bridesmaids, who were wearing simple dresses in blue and orange, not bridesmaids gowns.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a row of guys in tuxes standing on grass in bright sunlight with trees all around, it looks… incongruous. Think about where the wedding is happening, it matters.
It might be strange for the flag barer for maximilism to advise keeping it simple, but it’s a wedding. There aren’t many opportunities left in the modern age to “dress up” as it were. The beauty of formal wear is its simplicity, and even if you aren’t wearing traditionally “formal” attire, that same simplicity should be what you aim for.
It’s not your day. Nobody really cares about what the groomsmen wear as long as they look similar and don’t outdress the bridal party. If the bride insists on something, and the groom agrees? You do that.
Don’t sweat it too much. One of the groomsmen showed up in a silver/black repp striped tie. Know who noticed? Me and him, nobody else gave it a second thought.
Don’t rent (if you can avoid it). Seriously, it’s a big day, wear big boy clothes that you own. It’s always baffled me that on one of the most important days of their lives men choose (or are forced) to wear someone else’s clothes, what more important time is there to look like yourself?
The groom wore navy suit with a wedding tie*, white french cuff shirt and black captoe oxfords (bought second hand). This had the advantage of leaving him with a basic navy suit and black captoe shoes he can wear the rest of his life instead of flushing $150+ on a rental tux and crap shoes. Total outlay, with tailoring was less than $400.
The groomsmen wore navy blazers (single or double breasted) and gray trousers (any shade) with black lace up shoes (not wingtips), white shirts and wedding ties (except for the one groomsman who didn’t wear one). This had the advantage of everyone owning their clothes. If they didn’t have something? I feel absolutely no shame making a man in his late 20’s buy a navy blazer or gray trousers if he didn’t own them already, I mean, how much more basic can you get?
The wedding colors were blue and orange, we were wearing blue blazers so an orange boutonniere gave the final touch. We didn’t have to match perfectly, we all looked comfortable, and everyone left with all their clothes instead of having to coordinate returning them to the nearest Mens Warehouse (which was probably 30 or 40 miles away).
All in all? A beautiful, highly successful day from all angles.
*Ed Note: The tie, though very skinny was inherited from his younger brother who was taken from us a few years back, we don’t get to choose what people leave us and wearing that tie meant more than “looking better” with a gorgeously knotted and draped Kent Wang, just before anyone feels the need to comment.
10 Notes/ Hide
- dmyardley likes this
- evolvingstyle said: Can I add that although it’s not the groomsman’s day, it not NOT the groom’s day. I’ve seen several times that it’s ‘the bride’s day.’ How many men who wanted to be involved in planning the wedding have felt pressure not to because of this?
- evolvingstyle likes this
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- jordanthefrightener likes this
- m0ym0y said: dude was shining
- m0ym0y likes this
- tangodancingphdcandidate said: I’ve always found the rented tuxes and the matchy matchy colors (bridesmaid dresses matching groomsmen vests and ties) look cartoonish. Your guys’ party looks put together, with every person showing a little bit of their personality. it’s awesome!
- afistfulofstyle posted this