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Attention Bride-Grooms: How To Dress For Your Black-Tie Wedding

We know, we know, grooms don’t have the endless options of a bride when it comes to a wedding suit (which is probably why 'groomzillas' aren't so much a thing), but you can play around with colour, prints and accessories to throw some personality in there. The crucial part is really to ensure a good fit - get that right and whatever your choice of suiting, you’ll look great. Also, go for a matte fabric, not a shiny one. Matte cloth absorbs light rather than reflecting it, which looks way better on the day and photographs well too.

Consider both your bride’s dress and her wishes. Of course, it's bad luck etc so most grooms don't actually see the bride’s gown before the actual ceremony, but you should check with her for a vague idea of the tone of her wedding dress, and if you should stick to the classics, or have freedom to veer from strict tradition.

So what does a Black-Tie dress code mean for you as the groom?

Daytime wedding: Morning Coat.

(Benedict Cumberbatch)

A morning coat is a long jacket that fastens at one point across the midsection and falls into ‘tails’ at the back. Dark grey, black and navy are the general colour options. This style jacket looks better with a closer fit so you can try going down a half size from your usual.  A morning coat is referred to as a ‘body coat’ by tailors, because it’s supposed to fit the body it’s covering, like a glove. A customised or bespoke option is optimal if your wedding budget allows for it, but if you’re planning to hire one, be sure to check it properly from the back. The tails should sit comfortably together, neither crossing over each other or spreading apart, so keep a close eye on this when you’re judging the fit.

(Princes William and Harry)

The trousers you wear with a morning coat should sit high on the waist, and the leg should be long enough for the fabric to break (crease) only once above the shoe. Morning dress is worn with a crisp white shirt with French cuffs, and it should have a raised placket (the panel of material down the middle of the front of the shirt, holding the buttons) too.

Black 'Super 160's' Worsted Wool Suiting

Dark Blue 'Super 130's' Merino Wool

Evening do? Tux time.

(Leonardo DiCaprio)

A tuxedo jacket can be single or double breasted, and has covered buttons and satinised lapels. Larger men are flattered by the streamlining effect of a single-breasted jacket, whilst double breasting is good on slimmer builds who want to look broader – make sure the cut tapers in at the waist though, because a baggy double breasted jacket is def not a good look.

(Daniel Craig in Skyfall)

When it comes to lapels, the traditional peak lapel (like Leonardo's, above) suits just about every body type. A modern trend is the shawl lapel (eg Daniel Craig, pictured, in the latest Bond movies), which is best on men with a large chest like Craig’s, as the shape balances the wearer’s big chest with their waist.

Tuxedo trousers are held up with braces rather than a belt, and have a satin or a grosgrain stripe down the sides. A tux is worn with a cuffed white dress shirt with a turndown collar, and ties need not apply – only a bow tie will do. Finally, in the modern world, a cummerbund is negotiable. Lose it if you want to.

Plain Black Pure Wool Suiting

Burgundy & Black Metallic Brocade

Dark Navy Blue Cotton Velvet

Colour-wise, classic blacks and blues/navies are still most popular for tuxes, but anything goes nowadays, really. A contrast dinner jacket is a nice option if you want some flair, where the lapels are a completely different colour to the rest of the jacket. You could also go with velvet, which is very in at the moment. You may even decide to have a completely custom-made jacket made for the day, highly personalised to your style, in which case, you can choose any fabric, pattern and colour you want. Anything is acceptable, as long as the fit and style of a proper tuxedo are adhered to.

Check out our Suiting and Men's Tuxedo ranges online. We have the largest men's suiting department in the UK, with the finest cloth from all over the world.

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