The big day is fast approaching. You’ve ordered the flowers, booked the venue and written the invitations. You’re on track for the perfect wedding you and your partner are dreaming of. There’s just one thing left — your wedding suit. But where to begin?
Your wedding suit is probably the most important outfit you will ever wear. You want a suit that makes your partner go weak at the knees when they see you standing at the altar. You want a suit that looks good in all the photos that your expensive wedding photographer is going to be taking — classic and timeless enough to stand up to scrutiny over the passing years. You want a wedding suit that is distinctly you. It’s your big day, after all. With so much pressure, the shopping-for-your-wedding-suit ritual can become stressful, expensive and overwhelming.
Rented or bought, tailored or made-to-measure, colour, cut and design — the list of decisions to make goes on.
If you’re about to embark on the single most important shopping trip of your life, follow our guide to make shopping for your wedding suit as easy as possible.
To Rent or to Buy? That Is the Question
What do all weddings have in common? They’re expensive. However strict your budget and however clear your limits, planning a wedding often means spending the big bucks. With your budget being pulled in a thousand different directions, it’s no surprise that many of us try to save some pennies by renting our wedding suit, rather than buying it. When you rent a suit for the big day, you borrow it from a retailer for a set period of time and then return it after the wedding. Renting is often cheaper than buying a suit and is considered the economical option. A few extra quid in the piggy bank — you’re winning, right? But is a rented suit actually the cheaper option?
Rented suits have a bad reputation for being poorly-fitted and out of date, but, not only that, they can often end up costing a lot more than anticipated. Let’s say you get a little groovy out on the dance floor and you try to replicate your signature move from your school days — not an unrealistic scenario by all standards. Not quite as nimble as you once were, you tear your trousers. Now, you’re going to have to dole out for repairs or even a replacement. There go those extra pennies you saved.
Let’s do the maths: a rented suit equals one day’s wear, but a bought suit equals a lifetime of wear. We may not be mathematicians, but even we can see that there’s clearly more value in buying something you can wear time and time again. It’s a myth that your wedding suit has to be flamboyant and spectacular, so much so that it can only be worn once. Fashion has changed and now your choices of suit are endless. Choose something simple, classic and stylish — a suit that you could easily wear again. It’s an investment. You might be hesitant to fork out for a one-day-only suit, but one that lasts a lifetime is well worth the price.
Get bang for your buck by buying, not renting your wedding suit. But keep it simple and classic so that you can wear it again.
Off-the-Rack or Tailored?
From measurements taken from places you’d rather not have a random man touching to endless “rules” that don’t mean anything to you, modern tailoring can be confusing and off-putting for many men. Better to just nip down to your local high street and pick out a ready-to-wear suit from a chain, right? Not necessarily. Off-the-rack, ready-to-wear suits are not the solution when it comes to picking that all-important wedding day suit.
Think about it, ready-to-wear suits are designed with general measurements in mind. They may be ready to wear, but do they fit right? Almost definitely not. Men come in all shapes and sizes, so the idea that there is a generic one-size-fits-all that will work for a whole range of men is nonsensical. Tailored suits, on the other hand, account for each man’s unique build. So whether you want that perfect silhouette that makes you look taller and slimmer, or want a suit that exaggerates your shape to make you look broader, a tailored suit is the way to go. Not only that, but a tailored suit has a more comfortable fit. Made specifically for your body, you won’t need to worry about being uncomfortable long into the night — after all, you have more important things to enjoy.
Tailoring doesn’t have to be scary, either. If the idea of going to visit a tailor makes you break out in a cold sweat, why not try one of the many affordable online tailors that deliver perfectly fitted suits for a reasonable price? All you need to do is send off your measurements and wait for your suit to be delivered to your door — that’s definitely less stressful than braving the high street at the weekend.
Get a tailored suit for the perfect fit and optimal comfort on your wedding day.
What about Fabric?
What’s the key to a great suit? It’s all in the fabric. A suit is only as good as the fabric it’s made from. Cheap, poor-quality fabrics make for unattractive suits, while good-quality fabrics make for attractive suits. But what fabrics are best for your wedding day suit? A timeless and popular choice is worsted wool. Loved for its versatility, worsted wool suits wear well in most temperatures and have a sharp, dignified look.
For something a little more unique for your big day, try a tweed wedding suit. Once the fabric of choice for the gentry, tweed is making its resurgence and experiencing a bit of a fashion moment. With the likes of David Gandy and Matthew McConaughey rocking sharply tailored tweed suits, you can’t go wrong by following in their footsteps. Steeped in tradition, a tweed suit offers a classic, stylish and alternative look for your wedding day. As with worsted wool, tweed is a breathable fabric, so you’ll stay looking sharp even as the night heats up.
Invest in high-quality fabrics. Most online tailors offer fabric samples so that you can test out what works for you. As a general rule, worsted wool and tweed are both classic, stylish choices.
This last one is an important, yet often overlooked point. Your wedding is your day — well, and your bride’s. The day is a celebration of you and your partner’s love. It’s your one chance to be the peacock. Don’t risk looking like one of the figures on top of the wedding cake. Instead, add your own flourish and flair to your wedding day suit. We’re not necessarily suggesting donning a flamboyant hat, but simple touches can really make a difference. Try adding a fun pair of cufflinks or that watch passed down from your father, or go bold with your choice of tie and pocket-squares. There are endless ways to add some personality to your wedding day look to make sure your look is unquestionably you.
Remember, shopping for your wedding suit doesn’t have to be a chore — it can be fun and it’s your chance to show your creativity. Set a budget, establish what you want and then have fun with it. You’ll probably only ever have to do it once, anyway (or at least, here’s hoping!)
Anthony Horner is the director of Empire Outlet, a luxury menswear company that provides high-quality suits and accessories at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Empire Outlet operates online and serves customers all over the world.