On your wedding day, all eyes will be on you. You and your spouse-to-be need to look your best, both as individuals and as a couple.
Shopping for wedding suits or tuxedos can be daunting, especially if you don’t wear formalwear often. Do you need a vest, cummerbund, belt, or suspenders? What does the salesperson mean when they ask “peak or shawl lapel?”
Keep reading to learn the answers to those questions and be ready to choose the perfect wedding tuxedo for you.
Wedding Suit or Wedding Tuxedo?
The first big question you’re probably asking yourself, or that you will be asked when you walk into a formalwear store, is whether you want to wear a suit or a tuxedo. The boundaries between suit and tuxedo are more fluid than they used to be as men’s wedding fashion and formal fashion, in general, has grown more varied and colorful with time.
The one definitive difference between a suit and a tuxedo is satin detailing. Suits are made of one fabric, most often wool or a wool-polyester blend. Tuxedos have satin lapels, satin stripes on each pant leg, and satin-covered buttons.
Consider what your future spouse will be wearing. If they are wearing a formal dress or tuxedo, you might want to wear a tuxedo to match that level of formality. If they are wearing a more casual dress or a suit, you may want to dress down with them.
Ultimately, you should wear whichever style you are most comfortable in. Few occasions in life warrant wearing a tux, so if you want to wear one even though your spouse is dressing down, you should go for it.
Choosing a Style
The next step is choosing the specific style of suit or tuxedo you want to wear for your wedding. Some of the most important factors to consider are the color of your wedding tuxedo or suit and the lapel style.
Choosing a Color
First, you’ll want to choose a color that suits the time of year, the theme of the wedding, and your spouse-to-be’s outfit.
It is hard to go wrong with a black suit for any wedding occasion, especially a more formal or traditional wedding. The most traditional, black-tie outfit would be a black tux with a white or ivory best and a black bowtie.
Other dark neutrals, like navy and charcoal gray, also work well for fall and winter weddings and more formal affairs. Lighter neutrals, like white, light grey, and other blues, work well for spring, summer, and daytime weddings.
If you’d like to make a big statement, a colorful or patterned suit is one way to do that. Burgundies are a good choice for fall or winter, while corals look nice in the spring or summer. Make sure you’re working together with your future spouse on these choices, especially if you decide to go the colorful route!
Choosing a Type of Lapel
You should also think about the type of lapel you want your jacket to have.
Notch lapels look like a sideways “V” is cut out of the lapel. This is the most common, and therefore least formal, lapel style. It is traditionally the only lapel style seen on suits, and still the most common.
You should consider a notch lapel for a more casual wedding or if you’re buying your suit to wear later.
Peak lapels, rather than the notch’s sideways V, have high points that aim toward your shoulders. This is a more elegant look that stands out and is a bit more formal. It is seen more commonly on tuxedos than suits, although it is not uncommon to see a peak lapel on a suit nowadays.
A peak lapel is a good middle ground on the formality scale. It also highlights your face and makes it look more angular.
Shawl lapels are rounded all the way around the shoulders and neck. These are the most traditional tuxedo lapels, and therefore the most formal. You are unlikely to find a shawl lapel on a suit.
Consider a shawl lapel for a very formal wedding or a vintage feel. A shawl lapel will give you a James Bond look. The curved lapel also helps soften any harsh angles in your face.
If your spouse-to-be or groomsmen are also wearing suits or tuxes, you might want to wear the same style in a different color, the same color in a different style, or just change up your accessories. No matter what, it’s your wedding and you want to stand out.
When you choose accessories for the wedding, you should think about the theme as well as what goes well with your suit or tux.
A bow tie is standard with a tux, but you can wear a regular tie if you’d prefer. Just make sure you choose a shirt with a laydown collar rather than a wingtip collar if you’ll be wearing a regular (or “long”) tie.
You should not wear a belt to your wedding. Rental pants will be adjustable and if you get a custom suit it should be tailored to fit you perfectly.
You can choose to wear either a cummerbund or a vest, but not both.
A vest will be more visible when you are wearing your jacket buttoned. If you wear a vest, you can also wear suspenders underneath if you’re worried about not being able to wear a belt.
If you’re wearing a suit, you have the option of choosing a three-piece suit and matching your vest with your jacket. This makes for a sleek, polished look. It’s a nice way to set yourself apart from the groomsmen as well.
If you’re not wearing a three-piece suit, you may want to choose a vest and tie color that matches the wedding theme colors or the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
You’ll also want to find the perfect pocket square to complement your other accessories and the theme of the day. Plain white looks nice for more formal occasions. Matching the color or pattern with the wedding theme is also a great choice here.
You will also want some cuff links for your shirt, and, if you are wearing a tuxedo, studs for your shirt’s buttons. Your cuff links should match your studs, and it looks nice to have some gold or silver in these.
Time to Choose
You should be better informed about how to choose a wedding suit or wedding tuxedo. Now it’s time to start looking for the perfect wedding outfit for you!
If you enjoyed this article, check out our Fashion Styles section for more like it!