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How to Choose the Groom’s Attire – A Guide

Groom getting ready for the wedding day

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When it comes to weddings, the bride’s attire gets most of the attention. While men may not spend much time dreaming about their wedding day and what they’re going wear, as that day approaches, most guys realize that they do care how they are going to look.

So how do you choose and prepare your groom’s attire, especially if you haven’t given it any thought up until now? Here’s a look at the type of suits and how to choose the right accessories to go with your suit.

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What are the main types of groom suits and tuxedos?

The biggest decision you’re going to have to make is whether you’re going with a suit or a tuxedo. Thankfully, it’s not that complicated of a choice as they are quite different. The simpler way to look at it is that tuxedos are for more formal and suits are less so and some suits can be outright casual.

Groom wearing tuxedo


Groom wearing casual suit


So, if your partner is going with a more formal look or if you’ve decided together that this is what you’re going for – get a tux. If, on the other hand, you want something trendier or even casual – a nice suit can work perfectly.

Types of Tuxedos

As with suits, there are three main types of tuxes to choose from:

  • Formal
  • Traditional
  • Timeless

The key here is not so much which type you choose but how you wear it, how well it matches with the bride’s dress and the venue’s style, and what accessories you’re using.

A traditional tux can stand out a bit too much at a more contemporary-style wedding but both a formal and a timeless tux can work very well in these situations. Tuxes are great for inner-city weddings, for winter weddings or for any other formal venue.

Traditionally, if you’re wearing a tux you wouldn’t wear a belt, instead opting for suspenders and you’ll likely feel much more comfortable with a tux’s suspenders during the reception than you would with a belt. Also, you’ll ideally wear a tux with a bowtie as you wouldn’t want to hide its buttons.

Types of Suits

There are three main types of suits you might want to look into:

  • Trendy
  • Versatile
  • Casual

All three of these types can work very well with any not-so-formal wedding and can also be accessorized to suit the venue and colors of the wedding – collared shirt, belt, vest, a patterned tie, and much more. If you’re doing a summer wedding or a morning wedding, a nice, snappy suit can be your best choice.

Rent or Buy?

The next big question is whether you should rent or buy your tux/suit. This is largely up to you, your budget, and your needs for such formal wear after the wedding. Chances are you won’t use a tux very often so renting a tux is usually preferred by most people. Suits, on the other hand, find more applications at most people’s work or social events, so you might want to buy your suit, especially if you’ve found it at a good price.

Aside from the budgetary concerns, another reason to consider renting is if you want you and your groomsmen to match in style. Many people love it when the groom and his best men all match in style and in color – it makes for some great pictures and clips too.

The Color Matters

Groom getting ready for the wedding day

Speaking of color, that’s another thing that trips a lot of people up but it’s actually quite simple – whether you’re going with a tux or a suit, black and darker colors are for formal style venues, and all other colors are for more laid back styles. The point to note is that the colors match with the bride’s dress and with the venue’s style.

White Shirts Are the Way to Go

Groom wearing white shirt for wedding day

Regardless of the color of your tux or suit, the shirt should almost always be white unless you have something particular in mind. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • White shirts make everything look good. Any color and any style of tux or suit will look good with a white shirt.
  • It’s one less choice to bother with. If you want to go with anything other than white, you’re going to have to try and test how well this color shirt goes with that color suit, then change the shirt color when you try another suit, and so on, and so forth. Going with a white shirt renders all these worries pointless.
  • Additionally, white shirts hide perspiration better than pastel and cream color shirts which is quite important when the night gets longer and you’re all sweaty from all the dancing.

Matching the bride’s dress and the venue style

Groom wearing matching suit to bride's dress

We referred to this above, but it bears its own mention – whatever you choose, make sure it matches with the bride’s style and the style of the venue.

This isn’t to say that you should let her lead or that you should just conform to whatever the reception style is – it just means that all three of these things or at least your suit and her dress should be chosen with consideration to one another.

After all, this is the first day of your married life so being a good match is kind of important. And it makes for amazing wedding photos.

The footwear is the unsung hero of any wedding reception

Footwear for groom

We’ve talked about suits and tuxes but there’s one part of the groom’s attire that’s just as important – the shoes. The shoes need to not only work well with the rest of your outfit visually but they also need to be comfortable to walk in for hours, and even comfortable enough to dance in for a large part of the night.

True, you can switch to dance shoes when you want to get on the dance floor, but for most people, that’s too much bother. So, unless you want to start your married life with sore feet – pick some comfy shoes!

Style- and color-wise, wedding shoes are easy to pick. Black shoes are pretty much always the best option as they go great with any color outfit. Shiny shoes are typically for more formal events while wingtips and brogues are for more informal or black tie events.

Brown shoes, on the other hand, are less dressy. Dark brown can work well with a dark suit but anything lighter won’t work well for a wedding.

What types of accessories or jewelry will work well with the groom’s suit?

Couple at their wedding day

Last but not least, any suit or tux will instantly be elevated with the right accessories. Here’s a quick list of what you might want to consider:

  1. Vests/Waistcoats. A cool way to turn a 2-piece suit into a 3-piece suit, vests are also great for hiding your sweat when you decide to take off your coat on the dancefloor.
  2. Dress shirts. These are available in multiple colors although we’d advice in favor of white again. Aside from that, a nice dress shirt can be either plain or pleated with various types of collars and cuffs – the fancier, the better, especially if you’re going with a tux.
  3. Belts. An important part of any suit but not for tuxedos. Belts should usually match the color of your shoes.
  4. Suspenders. The alternative to belts when you’re wearing a tux, suspenders are very classy and fun, and they are also very comfortable when dancing.
  5. Cufflinks. Essentially jewelry for your dress shirt’s cuffs, traditionally cufflinks should match your shirt’s studs if you’re wearing a tux or be as whacky and eye-catching as you want if you’re wearing a suit.
  6. Cummerbunds. This tuxedo accessory cover the groom’s waist and typically aren’t worn with long ties. It makes for a very formal look.
  7. Socks. This is a cool way to spice things up. Because socks are typically invisible underneath the pants, they can be as whacky as you want without ruining your look for the photos and for the reception. While dancing, however, most people will get a glimpse or two of your socks and that could be quite fun depending on your choice.
  8. Ties. Whether we’re talking about a long tie or a bow tie, the styles and options here are nearly countless. Tuxes are typically worn with bow ties but aside from that there are very few rules that you’ll need to keep in mind. Matching your tie with the colors of the wedding will create a cohesive look.
  9. Pocket squares. This simple yet effective way to color coordinate your attire is much more than just decoration. You can rest assured that the handkerchief will come in handy as the night gets longer. In fact, it’s often smart to have spares stashed away somewhere.