On one of the biggest days of your life, everything needs to be perfect. Although there is no doubt that fashion shouldn’t overshadow the importance of the day with friends and family, it’s obvious we want to look our absolute best.

Getting it right can be tough. How do we find something that makes the groom stand out yet is still elegant? How do we find something timeless but still unique? As tailors, we know what works best for each dress code and work timelessly to make the process hassle free from start to finish. In saying this, I think it’s important each client understands what is options are available to them for each type of wedding.

If we logically step out the process, we leave no opportunity for you to look anything but your very best. Read on as a we dive into each common dress code and the considerations of each.

The two underlying components to consider when choosing your wedding suit is the dress code (or theme) as well as what your bride to be will be wearing. Once you know whether your wedding will be white tie, black tie, conventional or themed, we can begin discussing the different types of suits that will appropriately be at your disposal.

White Tie

White tie is also known as ‘ full evening dress’ or informally, as ‘tails’. White tie is the most formal of dress codes and was very common before the Second World War as depicted in historical films and mediaNowadays the white tie dress code is very rare and reserved for the grandest occasions including state dinners and specific social events. Nonetheless it is still important to understand the highest formality of dress in the Western society in order to consider whether it is of interest to you.

For gentlemen, the strict rules of white tie command a black single-breasted dress coat with tails. white cotton pique shirt with detachable wing-collare, white cotton bow tie and a white waist coat that finishes just below the belt line.

Notable Points of White Tie:

  • Only a peak lapel is to be worn and should be covered in grosgrain or silk
  • The bow tie is to be hand tied in a ‘semi-butterfly or batwing’ bow
  • The vest must be long enough to completely cover the waist of the trousers, but short enough to not hang out beneath the front of the coat.

The Specifics:

  • Item
  • Jacket
  • Shirt
  • Shoes
  • Dress Code Specific Items
  • Accessories
  • Type
  • Dress Coat
  • White Marcella Dress Shirt
  • Pumps or oxfords
  • White Marcella waist coat
  • Bow Tie
  • Specifics
  • Black or midnight blue with tails and peak lapel
  • White pique cotton
    – Detachable wing collar
    – Double cuffs
    – Mother of pearl studs to close the shirt instead of buttons
  • – Black patent leather
    – Bows instead of laces
    – Black socks
  • Single or double breasted
  • White cotton

Black Tie

Nowadays the dinner suit or an outfit with smoking jacket is referred to as “black tie”. Worn in the evening after 6 p.m., black tie is the most suitable choice for evening formal wear at a wedding.

Notable Points of Black Tie:

  • If wearing a single-breasted jacket with  cummerbund always wear a shawl lapel and with a vest always wear a peaked lapel. Neither should be worn with a double-breasted jacket
  • Both black and midnight blue are appropriate for the suit, however the bow tie should always be black and shirt always white
  • Lapels, cummberunds and bow tie should generally all be in silk
  • Do not wear a pre-tied bow tie, a belt, or flap pockets

The Specifics:

  • Item
  • Jacket
  • Shirt
  • Shoes
  • Dress Code Specific Items
  • Accessories
  • Type
  • Dinner Jacket
  • Evening Shirt
  • Oxfords or Opera Pumps
  • Cummerbund or waist coat
  • White pocket square
  • Specifics
  • Black or midnight blue woole fabric
    – Single or double breasted
    – Peak or shawl lapel in silk
    – No vents
  • White pique shirt with bib
    – Wide spread collar
    – Black studs worn instead of buttons
    – French cuffs
  • Black patent leather or Calfskin
    – Black socks
  • Cummebrund should be in black or burgundy silk
    – A cummerbund and waistcoast should never be worn together

Conventional

A conventional wedding suit should be considered if you are looking to re-wear your suit past your wedding day. A three-piece suit is a safe and timeless option for any elegant groom and also provides a simple code for your guests to follow.

Notable Points of Conventional wear:

  • Steer clear of suit patterns such as windowpanes and pinstripes as these will significantly reduce the formality
  • Don’t wear a black suit – save this for evening wear (black tie)
  • Celebatory colours such as navy, light grey, cream or pastels should be considered
  • Lapels, cummberunds and bow tie should generally all be in silk

The Specifics:

  • Item
  • Jacket
  • Shirt
  • Shoes
  • Dress Code Specific Items
  • Accessories
  • Type
  • Single or double-breasted
  • Dress Shirt
  • Loafer or oxford
  • Addition of vest if opting for three piece suit
  • Pocket square and Boutounniere
  • Specifics
  • Celebratory colours such as blue, light grey and cream
  • White shirt with spread collar
  • Black or brown leather

Themed – Beach, Country, etc.

If you brave the themed wedding, think about communicating an authentic look, steering away from childish and cliche themes, and focusing on colours, textures and materials that match the theme.

Beach/Island Wedding

A beach wedding commands a light and airy feel, and thus your outfit should coincide. A classic look could include a light blue, gray or pastel jacket in linen and with a peak lapel. This jacket should then be coupled with a pair of white trousers and a local flower boutonniere in a bright color. Given shoe choice would be a loafer or espadrille, a cuff should be added to the trousers. This will also assist should you have shoes off on the sand.

When dealing with light and textured fabrics such as linen, fitted clothing is key, as baggy clothing will look sloppy for a beach wedding.

Country Wedding

Like we discussed with a beach wedding, its important to consider simple components that represent the country and country style. These would include things such as leather, wool and dark colours. A classic outfit as an example could be a brown tweed suit with waistcoat and brown leather brogues.

Themed weddings are a great alternative to a traditional wedding, though it must be noted to err on the side of caution. Although we will be able to nail your outfit, it still leaves an ambiguous and loose dress code for wedding guests to follow. Given the lack of strict dress code, it makes it difficult to break down exactly what should be worn. If you are looking to undertake a themed wedding, it may be best to book a meeting in our showroom and we can work through each aspect.

If you have any questions or want to chat about how we can help make your wedding special, please get in contact. We specialise in providing wedding party consultations and our Sydney showroom has an extensive range of Italian fabrics, ties and pocket squares. Our bespoke and made to measure service in Sydney works around your schedule.

Miles Wharton – Founder – The Bespoke Corner

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