In Style: Getting ready for the (hopeful) return of wedding season

We all know it’s a strange time to plan a wedding, but love keeps burning and the show can hopefully soon go on. While varying restrictions remain in place for large gatherings, Covid-19 cases are continuing to trend downward and vaccinations are ramping up.

As many weddings are being planned in the year ahead, I am still hearing a lot of the same questions from grooms. Some things never change.

How far in advance should the groom have his outfit set and ready to go?

It’s a tired trope: The groom and groomsmen run around at the last minute to secure their wedding attire. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead when prepping your outfit for the big day. I would recommend starting the ordering process six months before your wedding.

However, I understand some folks work to make significant weight changes for their wedding. If this is the case, I suggest you order your outfit for the big day three months ahead. Anything else is cutting it too close for comfort, and you don’t need to add more stress to this event.

Should the groom wear the same thing as his groomsmen?

The groom’s outfit should never look exactly the same as those of the groomsmen. Every groom should have some differentiating factor in his look — he’s one of the stars of the day, after all.

The fun part is that each groom gets to decide how to differentiate himself. He can wear a different color or style of jacket than the groomsmen. He can change the style of his tie or the color of his shirt — this is a choose-his-own-adventure situation, and he can get creative in how he dresses.

I recently worked with Tyler Boykin, vice president of brokerage at JLL in Baltimore, on this decision. He wanted to be distinguished from his groomsmen, so to differentiate his attire we picked a darker-color jacket.

If you are wearing a tuxedo, do you have to wear patent leather shoes?

Traditionally this is the proper shoe to pair with a tuxedo, though these days the rules have loosened. If you don’t want to wear patent leather, some alternatives are a black Oxford shoe with a textured material, or a velvet slip-on. You could also go with a black dress shoe and get it treated by a shoeshine. They have a special coated shine that can make shoes appear shiny, with the look of patent leather.

Do all tuxedo pants have a satin stripe?

Another traditional feature of the tuxedo outfit is slacks with a satin stripe down the sides, though this, too, has been modified for modern times. If you like the satin stripe, go for it. But many modern tux pants are made without this element. Satin stripe or not, be sure that your tuxedo pants don’t feature belt loops. They should instead have waist adjusters and a way to attach suspenders.

What type of shirt should I wear?

At any formal event, wear a shirt with French cuffs, which feature an extra amount of fabric on the end of the sleeve to be folded up and fastened together with cufflinks. In most cases, I also recommend that the groom wear a white dress shirt.

Hopefully, these tips are helpful in your wedding planning. Do write to me with any further questions, and stay tuned for more men’s fashion advice.

Judah Estreicher is the CEO of JBD Clothiers in Baltimore. He can be reached at [email protected].


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