The Groom often gets overlooked in planning a wedding day look. Throw on a suit, fix the hair, grab your scotch and you are ready to go, right?
Not so much.
This is your wedding day, and you can have items that are special and meaningful to you as well. Your bride gets “old, borrowed, new and blue” as well as many other accessories and details that are special and significant. Why overlook such attention to detail for yourself? It’s easy to fall into the ‘here’s what I should wear’ mindset and follow along with the conventional checklist. Let’s step out of that mindset, and into one where we shine a spotlight on your style choices.
I’m going to tell you right here, right now – there is something very sexy and attractive about a man that takes the time and care to pay attention to the details of his look. You have dozens of options in this arena, so let’s explore, shall we?
I’ve spoken before about how a groom deserves his own suit, well fitted and designed for him. There are a lot of options with that suit to make it your own. Choose your lining – make it
Choose your lining – make it luxurious, a bit funny, or something nostalgic.
Have your name, your initials, or your wedding date embroidered on the breast pocket.
Find a piece of your father’s suit or tie or your grandfather’s – have it sewn into the lining inside as a patch, or as part of the embroidery above. What better way to carry a little legacy with you on your wedding day?
The Tie or Bowtie:
This is the most obvious place to make a choice that shows off your style. You can have color, pattern, subtle nuances. You don’t have to match anyone else, and you don’t have to have just black or white options either. Tiny elephants, a perplexing mix of golf clubs, or stripes of the alma-matter – the possibilities are endless.
Think about how you want this to look overall – skinny, wide, textured? What kind of knot do you like – a full Windsor? A half? Test it out and see if that will work with your desired choice. Many ties can be special ordered in a longer size if you need it. For bowties – learn how to tie them, practice and be able to execute this yourself on your wedding day without the help of youtube.
You can also add subtle touches to this part of your look with an embroidered or sewn on patch on the inside – with your monogram, your bride’s initials, your wedding date.
Shoes & Socks:
Buy your own shoes. Don’t rent them. Can’t see why? Click over to my previous post about this.
This is an opportunity to invest in some really wonderful dress shoes if you don’t already own a beloved pair. Your bride has spent hours and probably more bills than you’d like to admit on her wedding day shoes – give your feet the same consideration. Happy feet make for a happy groom. And, you can wear them again and again. Think about fun details like two-tone colors, cap-toe, wingtip, loafers – so many possibilities!
If you really want to show off your personality in a unique way – choose boots, tennis shoes, or oxfords.
Socks are a great way to “wink” at your personality and preferences. Use them to express the love of a team, a character, a sport, or add a splash of color only the most observant guest will notice.
Shirts & Cufflinks:
There is one detail that each time I see it, I automatically think higher of the wearer. It’s the monogrammed shirt cuff. Nothing says “I pay attention” more than this small detail. It’s usually in the same color as the shirt itself, and so very subtle – but noticing it feels like noticing a secret. It’s just that extra finishing touch that adds so much to the look and the swagger of the man.
Cufflinks are like subtle gentleman jewelry. There are thousands of options available to you. Commemorate a special interest, invest in your first pair of a fine jewelry version, or wear a borrowed pair. Some ideas I’ve seen and loved:
-A groom who wore the same cufflinks that his brother, father and grandfather had worn on their wedding days – now that’s a sweet legacy. (You can start that with yours for future generations) There was another Groom who wore his deceased grandfather’s cufflinks as a way to feel closer to him that day.
-Another Groom who wore his deceased grandfather’s cufflinks as a way to feel closer to him that day.
-A gifted set of cufflinks that showed maps of the couple’s birthplaces.
-A set of cufflinks made from the seats of the Groom’s favorite stadium.
-A set with the latitude and longitude numbers of the wedding venue engraved on them. Subtle, with a meaning known only to you.
Watches, Bracelets, Tie Bars:
I think my husband’s watch habit started shortly before we got married. Now it takes him longer to choose which watch to wear than it does me with earrings. Each one has a significant meaning and purpose. Which is why this is also a popular wedding gift option too. If your beloved doesn’t know what to get you for this special day – maybe hint at a special timepiece you can cherish and pass down. I’ve watched many a Groom blown away by opening a watch on the wedding day.
Not every man can carry off a bracelet well, but for those who can – they should. Another awesome wedding gift idea, and something that can add a bit of pizazz to any look. Maybe the wedding is when you add this to your everyday look with a special purchase. Or, maybe you do this only for special occasions. But catching a glimpse of a bracelet peeking out from the sleeve is a small thrill.
Tie Bars are seeing a resurgence thanks largely in part to retailer The Tie Bar, who has suggested this is a standard need in your look. These can punctuate your look like nothing else can. Like a cufflink, it’s the polish on the overall look. Again, it’s an opportunity to express your personality or make a statement if you wish.
Pocket Squares, Handkerchiefs, Collar Stays, Belts, & Suspenders:
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve helped a room of men fold their pocket squares. I learned how from this groom, and I’ve added other options to my repertoire since. The point here is; that too often – the pocket square is an after thought. Pick a good one – something that adds to your look instead of just blends in. Learn how to fold it. Even better, since this is largely decorative – have your tailor fold it and sew it to a card for you so that it stays put and perfect all day.
A handkerchief is not a pocket square. They look the same – but this one is meant to be used. Even better, it’s meant to be offered to a weepy Bride or Mom in an act of chivalry. It’s certainly something that hails from a bygone era, but heed the example. My own father still carries a handkerchief with him every day, and it’s one of the most endearing details about him. There has been many a time where I’ve needed to wipe my eyes, and seeing a handkerchief offered up – it’s like a hug. Carry one gentlemen.
If you like a crisp collar, you need collar stays. And here again – they can be a quiet way to add to your look. Get a stamped set, a monogrammed set, or even a fine gold set and add a level of polish and sophistication to the day.
I love a man in suspenders. There’s just something about the look – it says “dressed up”. But a belt works just as well. Choose your materials well, and use this as an opportunity to add surprise to your look if you wish. You’ll be taking that jacket off at some point during the night – why not reveal a set of paisley straps? If you are a cowboy at heart, go ahead and splurge on a good belt buckle and punctuate your belt with it.
No matter what you choose gentlemen – own your look. Educate yourself so you can make choices that make sense for you. Don’t just choose something from a catalog and stumble through dressing that day. It’s your wedding day – you should feel more yourself that day than any other.