Style According to Simon

Wedding Attire

The wedding season is soon approaching and, in order to look your best, we collected all the important tricks and traditions about appropriate wedding attire for grooms and guests alike.

Once upon a time weddings meant a church, synagogue or temple followed by a reception in a hotel, a party suite or at home. Nowadays things have become much more varied and consequently a bit trickier to, “Get right”.

 

Gergely is wearing a bespoke Prince of Wales patterned three piece suit.

Each wedding needs to have a clear style: formal, Hollywood, rustic or whatever but some frame into which all aspects need to fit. Understanding this is the first step in creating a successful look for a prospective groom. He needs to compliment the bride and at the same time out dress all the other men in the room.  Time of year and location also needs to be considered, inside with air conditioning or outside in 35 degrees? By the way guests, dress up and look nice but never out dress the groom. It is after all, his day to shine. It’s like a lady wearing white to a wedding. No! Only the bride should wear white. And while we are on the subject it is helpful to have an idea about the bride’s dress without actually seeing it. There is nothing worse for a groom, then being too low-key and appearing to be the chauffeur rather than the most important man at the event.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of dress, grooms please organise your grooming prep properly. Ideally get a haircut a week before the ceremony and trim your beard and facial hair three days before. Maybe a manicure a couple of days before and if you want to have a facial, to give that extra glow, a week before is a must.

 

Philipp opted for classic black tie for his wedding party in Ibiza.

The most formal option for a groom would be morning dress. This ensemble consists of a morning coat, coloured waistcoat and striped trouser. The morning coat is a single-breasted jacket, with a single button at the waist, and curving away gradually into a pair of tails behind, topped by two ornamental buttons on the waist seam. The lapels should be peak, not notch, since the coat was only ever worn as formalwear. It is still traditionally worn at weddings in the UK, Austria, and Germany and occasionally in Italy. This look is mostly seen in aristocratic circles (Harry and Meghan) and should be worn both by the groom and the guests. It is not a preferred look in Hungary, although in my opinion it should be certainly considered to be worn along a classic gown in a grandiose, historical setting like the Szent István Bazilika in Budapest. Within this very formal combination there are various styling options, like wearing all three pieces in the same colour or the so called stroller suit, with its shorter jacket. These concepts need to be handled with care as sartorial faux pas abound.

The modern formal option is the tuxedo suit or smoking.  An option best reserved for ceremonies performed later on the day or inside. There are various versions from the classic one button peak lapel front jacket to three piece with waistcoat and double breasted styles. It has become more and more acceptable to wear dark blue dinner suits at black tie events, which can be a particularly good option for contemporary wedding attire.  It is also a nice investment for your wardrobe, as it can be used for black tie events later on.

The classic lounge suit (the suit as we know it today) is probably the most popular choice among grooms in Hungary.  It is already inside most men’s comfort zone and also is useful after the wedding for work or special occasions. There are many ways to style up the good old two piece to make it a bit more festive. Some of these options work better than others. Adding a matching waistcoat can be an elegant idea, as it projects a „dressed up” feel, and with the right choice of fabric can be worn in most settings. For example light to mid grey works well in the city while cream looks dashing on the beach.  Wearing a classic navy blazer or a sport jacket and trouser combination can be also a solution, if opting for a more casual look. A rural, or waterside setting, would be the right environment for this chic but relaxed style.

 

Sándor's choice, an understated dark blue two piece suit, is always an elegant option.

Shirts should be crisp and white. While off white can be a good idea for the wedding dress, it’s not sharp enough to wear with your suit. Insist on the whitest of whites, even when your lady seems stubborn about matching your shirt with her dress. Ideally with French cuffs and good collar to support some elegant neckwear. Morning dress and black tie should be worn with a turn down collar, not just more appropriate but looks better than wing collars. As a groom it’s always a good idea to get at least two shirts. Accidents can always happen and it’s just feels great to change into something fresh in the evening.

Don’t overlook the accessories! They are just as important to get right as the suit, and a great way to add personal flare to an otherwise fairly well defined outfit. With more formal looks it’s worth following the guidelines for shirt and tie combinations; for example wearing a hand knotted bow tie with a tuxedo. If you opt for a lounge suit a carefully chosen tie can make an otherwise simply ensemble. If you are opting for a more casual look, rules can be broken more readily, but don’t go overboard. Watches, cufflinks and pendants are nice to add something personal and special to the outfit.  The metals should be of the same colour, for subtle and stylish coordination. Boutonnières are a wonderful touch to add, make sure to ask only for a simple flower instead a full blown bouquet. Please forget the matching waistcoat/cravat combination worn with a wing collared shirt. It’s anachronistic and trying too hard in the same time.

You might be surprised but there is a type of shoe which works with most of the outfits we have discussed. A pair of black calf leather oxford shoes is the right choice with a morning coat or a tuxedo and it is the best companion to most of the suited ensembles. If rustic is the calling card of the wedding, brown calf or suede might be a better choice. As a rule of thumb, select shoes at least one shade darker than your trousers. Try to wear them a couple of times before the wedding, your feet will be grateful and no reason to stop dancing.

Don’t leave preparation to the last minute. Having a suit or a pair of shoes made would take at least a month, while finding the right accessories sometimes presents its own challenges. If you choose to have something made, please give the craftsmen adequate time as wedding preparations can be stressful not only for the people getting married. To get some ideas about the right style of dress, watching old movies presents a great source of inspiration from the Great Gatsby to the rakish looks of Marcello Mastroianni.