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How To Find The Perfect Wedding Suit That Makes You Look Like A Million Bucks

How To Find The Perfect Wedding Suit That Makes You Look Like A Million Bucks

This guide covers suit styles, budget, timeline, fit, renting vs buying, and coordinating with groomsmen for your wedding.-----

Wedding Suits 101 - Finding the Perfect Suit for Your Big Day

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. All eyes will be on you as you wait for your bride at the altar. The pressure to find the perfect wedding suit can feel overwhelming. But with the right information and preparation, you can find a suit that will make you look and feel your best.

In this complete guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about choosing a wedding suit. We'll go over the different styles and formality levels of suits, deciding between renting or buying, creating a budget, timeline for shopping, focusing on fit and other key elements, and coordinating with your groomsmen. By the end, you'll be ready to find and select the ideal suit for your wedding day.

Types of Suits

When shopping for a wedding suit, there are a few main styles to choose from. The type of suit you select should complement the formality of your wedding. The most formal option is a classic black tuxedo, while more casual suits come in a variety of styles, fabrics, and colors.

Tuxedo - A formal black tuxedo with satin lapels is considered the most traditional and formal option for weddings. Tuxedos feature satin or grosgrain lapels, satin trim down the legs, and are usually worn with a bow tie and cummerbund. The classic tux is always a solid black color.

3-Piece Suit - A 3-piece wedding suit consists of a jacket, vest, and pants, giving it a very polished look. The vest can match or contrast the suit. 3-piece suits work for formal or semi-formal weddings.

2-Piece Suit - The versatile 2-piece suit with a jacket and matching pants is suitable for a range of wedding formality levels. Pair with a tie for more formal weddings or wear without for a more relaxed look.

Morning Suit - Also known as a morning coat, the morning suit is a formal option consisting of grey and black striped pants, a white shirt, vest, tie, and long coat with tails. It's usually reserved for very formal daytime weddings.

Tailored/Custom Suit - For the ultimate fit and personal style, consider a bespoke suit tailored specifically to your measurements. You can customize the fabric, lapels, buttons, lining and more. Tailored suits work for any level of wedding formality.

Determining Formality

The formality of your wedding suit should match the formality of the wedding. Here is an overview of typical wedding dress codes and the recommended suits:

White Tie

The most formal wedding dress code. Men should wear a black or midnight blue tailcoat with matching trousers, white pique shirt, white vest, and white bow tie. Top hat is optional. A white tie wedding calls for the most formal morning dress or white tie suit.

Black Tie

A very formal evening event. Men should wear a black tuxedo jacket with matching trousers, white dress shirt, black bow tie, and black shoes. Optional accessories include a cummerbund or waistcoat. This calls for a formal black tuxedo or dinner jacket.

Black Tie Optional/Formal

As formal as black tie but gives men the option to wear a dark suit instead of a tuxedo. Opt for either a tuxedo as you would for black tie, or a dark suit with a tie.

Semi-Formal/Dressy Casual

A suit is still appropriate, but it's not required to be as formal as black tie. Wear slacks, dress shirt, tie, sports jacket or suit. Don't wear a tuxedo.

Casual

No jacket or tie required. Opt for dress pants or chinos with a button-down collared shirt or polo. Avoid shorts or jeans unless specifically told they are okay.

Knowing the formality level will help determine if you should be looking for a formal tuxedo versus a more versatile suit that can be dressed up or down.

Choose the Right Style and Color for Your Body Type and Skin Tone

Selecting the most flattering wedding suit style and color for your body type and skin tone will ensure you look your absolute best on your big day. The style of suit should complement your body shape, while the color should enhance your complexion.

For body type, focus on accentuating your best features and minimizing areas you want to downplay. For example, men with broad shoulders look great in suits with peak lapels, which add width. Meanwhile, men with slender frames can create the illusion of broader shoulders with wide lapels like peaks or shawls.

Similarly, men with longer torsos should choose single-breasted suits to elongate their silhouette.

For skin tone, grooms with warm undertones tend to look best in ivory, tan, or lighter shades of gray. Conversely, olive and dark complexions pair well with bright, saturated colors like navy blue. And for neutral skin tones, charcoal and medium gray are classic options. Stay away from pure white, which can wash out most complexions, or black, which is best left for evening formal weddings.

The most important tip is selecting a style and color you feel confident and comfortable in. When you look good, you'll exude the style and charm of a classic groom on his wedding day.

Rent vs Buy

One of the biggest decisions when choosing your wedding suit is whether to rent or buy it. There are pros and cons to each option. Here are some key things to consider:

Renting pros:

- More cost effective for a one-time event

- Don't have to care for and store the suit yourself long-term

- Ability to get high-end designer brands you may not be able to buy

- Built in replacements/exchanges to ensure perfect fit

Renting cons:

- Less customization and tailoring options

- May still require alterations for truly optimal fit

- Limited selection and availability for sizes and styles

- May not get the exact look or fabric you want

Buying pros:

- Greater customization for ideal fit and personal style

- Own it forever and can rewear for anniversaries or other occasions

- Get the exact fabric, color and details you want

- Try it on repeatedly during tailoring to perfect fit

Buying cons:

- More expensive, especially for high-end suits

- Responsible for long-term care and storage

- Can't exchange if don't like fit or style after purchase

- May still require tailoring and alterations

For more formal weddings, renting often makes the most sense cost-wise. But buying is better if you want full control over styling and can reuse the suit again. Consider your budget, formality level and how custom you want your suit when deciding between renting or buying.

Budget

When budgeting for your wedding suit, it's helpful to know the average costs for both renting and purchasing. According to Wedding Wire, the average cost to rent a tuxedo in the U.S. ranges from $100 to $199. Rental costs can vary based on the level of formality, with more formal tuxedos at the higher end. Websites like Generation Tux report an average rental cost around $200. This covers the jacket, pants, shirt, tie/bow tie, and any accessories.

If purchasing a new suit, expect to spend $300-$1,000 or more depending on the fabric and quality. Many grooms budget $500-$700 for a purchased suit they can wear again. Custom-tailored suits will be at the higher end of this range. According to Reddit users, $1000 is pretty standard for a quality wedding suit you'll re-wear.

When setting your suit budget, factor in extra costs like tailoring, accessories, and shoes. Allow wiggle room for groomsmen looks if coordinating attire. Prioritize spending on proper fit and items visible in photos like jackets and pants. Allocate less budget to hidden elements like shirts or undershirts.

Timeline - When to Start Shopping

In general, you should start shopping for your wedding suit about 2-4 months before your wedding date. However, the specific timeline depends on whether you decide to rent or purchase your suit.

For rentals, most experts recommend booking your rental 1-2 months in advance. Rental companies like Men's Wearhouse typically only need a few weeks lead time once you have been fitted and selected your tuxedo style. The advantage of renting is you can wait until the last minute to get sized and fitted.

If buying a custom-made suit, you will need more lead time - ideally 4-6 months in advance - to allow for measuring, fabric selection, multiple fittings, and tailoring. Made-to-measure suits from places like Indochino also require 2-3 months for production and shipping after you complete your design and measurements.

For off-the-rack suit purchases, aim for 2-3 months before your wedding date. This allows time to browse options, get alterations, and handle any tailoring needed to get the right fit. Don't wait until the last minute though, as it may require visits to multiple stores to find the right suit.

The earlier you start, the more flexibility and options you'll have. And you'll avoid the stress of rushed shipping or last-minute alterations. But 2-3 months out is usually the sweet spot for beginning your search if renting or buying an off-the-rack suit.

Key Elements to Evaluate

When selecting your wedding suit, pay close attention to the key elements that contribute to the perfect fit, style, and appearance for your big day:

Fit

A properly fitted suit should contour your body without being too tight or restrictive. It's crucial to have an expert tailor take accurate measurements and perform multiple fittings as the suit is adjusted. The jacket shoulders should align with your natural shoulder line, the sleeves should end right at your wrist bone, and the pants should drape cleanly without bunching at the ankles. Leave enough room to breathe comfortably when buttoned.

Fabric

Wedding suit fabrics range from casual linens and cottons to luxurious wools and cashmeres. Lightweight tropical wool and breathable super 100s wool are ideal for warm weather weddings, while heavier fabrics like tweed or flannel work for cooler temperatures. The fabric's texture and sheen will also impact the formality of the suit.

Lapels

Lapel styles like peak, notch, and shawl each convey different aesthetics. Notch lapels are the most traditional and formal. Peak lapels make a stylish, modern statement. Shawl lapels have a vintage vibe. The lapel's width and thickness also affect the suit's formality - thinner lapels suit more casual suits while wide lapels complement formal looks.

Buttons

The number of jacket buttons ranges from one to four, with two- and three-button styles being most traditional. The fabric-covered buttons should match or complement your suit color. If your jacket has an extra interior button under the lapel, take care not to button it - this is only for hanging unattended.

Accessories

Ties, belts, cufflinks, and other accessories should coordinate with your suit while allowing you to showcase some personal flair. Add pops of color and personality while maintaining a polished, elegant aesthetic.

Choosing the Right Accessories

Accessories like shoes, belts, ties, and cufflinks are an important part of pulling together your wedding day look. Selecting complementary accessories shows attention to detail and gives your suit a polished finish.

For shoes, go with traditional black oxfords or lace-ups. Make sure they are shined and in good condition. Opt for leather over synthetics. If your suit is a more casual linen or seersucker, brown leather shoes can work too.

Choose a leather belt in black or brown to match your shoes. The belt width should coordinate with your lapel width. Go with a simple buckle that complements your look rather than something flashy or novelty.

When selecting a tie, match the formality to your suit style. Bow ties pair well with tuxedos, while long neckties suit three-piece and tailored suits. Ties in silk, grenadine, or knit fabrics give an elevated look. Keep the tie a solid color or subtle pattern.

Engraved or knot cufflinks in silver, gold or black finish make a nice finishing touch. You can opt for a personal monogram or wedding date engraving for a special personalized touch. Cufflinks aren’t essential, but do complete the formal wedding look.

Aim for cohesion among the accessory pieces. Well-chosen accessories demonstrate attention to detail and give a polished look on your big day.

Tips for Groomsmen Attire Coordination