Over the years, many traditions have evolved surrounding a bride’s selection of her wedding dress: Brides often involve family and friends in the quest for a one-of-a-kind custom-made gown, which is then promptly hidden away, saved for a dramatic reveal at the ceremony in front of the groom and the guests. Not everyone adheres to such rituals, of course, but for those who do, they can hold special meaning.
There are fewer established traditions surrounding clothing for grooms. If you’re like many men, you’ll pull your best formal suit out of the back of your closet a few weeks before your wedding day and make sure it still fits, or you’ll peruse the racks at a department store in search of something in your size. Or maybe you’ll rent a tuxedo, or borrow one from a friend who shares your jacket size.
If this describes you, it’s time to raise your game. Your wedding is a day for your clothes to help you stand apart from the crowd and make you feel well-dressed, confident, and singular. If you’ve never experienced the particular joys of custom-made clothing, your wedding suit is a fantastic place to start. Wearing a suit or tuxedo made just for you, defined by your personal style and sewn to your precise measurements, will emphasize the importance of the day.
When Building Your Own Wedding Suit, Start Early
Ordering a custom-made suit is a longer and more involved process than grabbing something off the rack. Here at Knot Standard, for example, it’ll take around four to six weeks to construct your suit. If that seems long, this may give you some perspective: Experts recommend brides begin the dress-purchasing process nine to twelve months before the big day. While you won’t need quite that much time, we do recommend you start as early as you can. Ninety days before the ceremony is a good minimum figure, though more is always better.
Coordinate with Your Partner
The custom suiting experience is ideal for weddings, as the high level of control you have over every element of your outfit will allow you to flawlessly coordinate with your bride and your groomsmen. As you select the individual elements that will eventually comprise your custom wedding suit, keep one guiding rule in mind: Don’t overshadow the bride. While your suit should hold much of the same significance to you as the wedding dress does to her, you don’t want to pull all the attention to yourself. Your outfits should complement one another, much in the same way you complement one another in life.
Custom may dictate that the groom not see the bridal gown until the wedding, but there’s no reciprocal tradition regarding the groom’s attire. If it works for both of you, consider bringing your partner to your initial consultation with your custom clothier of choice. To make sure your wedding day presents the two of you as a cohesive partnership instead of as mismatched individuals, involve your partner in the suit-choosing process as much as possible.
Evening Wear Is a Perennial Favorite
Very few weddings are entirely daytime affairs. Even ones that start during the day will often stretch into the evening and beyond, which is worth remembering as you select colors. Dark, rich tones always work well for evening wear, as they convey a sense of sophistication, though crisp white and cream also work especially well at weddings.
Fashion rules used to dictate that tuxedos were never to be worn during the daytime. In recent years, the rules have been relaxed to accommodate tuxedos at afternoon weddings. With a handful of key exceptions—a beachfront wedding where the bride goes barefoot, say, or a civil ceremony at City Hall on a weekday afternoon—a tuxedo is almost always an appropriate choice for wedding attire. If you want to go this route, eschew the rental options and embrace the world of custom-made clothing; the difference in fit and quality, plus the ability to customize your attire however you wish, makes custom suiting the best path for formal wear.
“Casual” Is Not a Synonym for “Careless”
If your wedding is being held outdoors, and particularly if the ceremony is taking place at an unconventional location—on a farm, or at a theme park, or on a rocky beach on a blustery fall day—you and your partner will, for reasons of practicality, probably opt for a less formal dress code. This doesn’t mean your attire doesn’t matter; it simply means you’ll need to dress in a manner that’s both appropriate for the environment and special enough to do justice to the occasion. For an outdoor wedding in a sweltering tropical climate, maybe that means donning a lightweight yet stylish linen suit; for a ceremony on a windswept Scottish moor, a tweed jacket will keep you looking wedding-appropriate while hiking across a peat bog. When you’re building your own wedding suit with the aid of a custom clothier, you’ll be able to strike the perfect balance between practicality and style with every element of your ensemble.
Your Suit Should Grab Attention, Not Scream for It
The best wedding suits stand out because of a combination of style and fit. Wild patterns and vivid color combinations risk making your outfit look more like a costume than a suit for a formal occasion, so be judicious in your choices. Feel free to use colors and patterns in a daring manner, if it suits your personality and style, but choose them deliberately and keep the setting and circumstances firmly in mind. A stylish and well-constructed plaid suit in a striking color combination would shine at the right event, but before committing to that choice for your wedding, make sure the colors and pattern coordinate with your partner’s attire, your preselected wedding colors, and the level of formality of the venue. A suit that makes a splash on a red carpet might look out of place when you’re standing at the altar in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Accessorize Strategically and Thoughtfully
As with every element of your wedding ensemble, choose your accessories deliberately and with careful consideration. Knots are symbolic of the wedding bond, so consider adding a pair of knot-shaped cufflinks, perhaps in elegant silver and gold. Pocket squares offer the perfect opportunity to add a sophisticated pop of vibrant color, particularly if the rest of your wedding attire skews traditional. If you’re not wearing a tuxedo, you’ll need to choose the perfect necktie to coordinate with your wedding suit; aim for one in silk or another tastefully luxurious fabric, and learn how to tie a flawless full Windsor knot. If you opt for a tux, a silk self-tie bow tie is always a classic choice.
The Custom Suit Process
Every custom clothier has their own manner of operation, but some aspects of the experience will be consistent from company to company. Here at Knot Standard, you’ll be introduced to your personal stylist at your initial consultation, who will become your trusted and knowledgeable guide throughout the entire process. They’ll present you with all of your options in terms of fabric, pattern, color, cut, and fit and lend their expertise to help you through every decision. Your comprehensive measurements will be taken via state-of-the-art technology; these measurements will eventually be used to create your individual suit pattern.
A custom wedding suit gives you control over personalized details from patterns and linings to stitching and buttonholes. Every piece of your garment will be laser cut to your measurements from a single piece of your chosen fabric. Once the garment is made, your stylist will schedule a fitting, at which any final alterations and adjustments may be completed.
At Knot Standard, we’re experienced at working closely with grooms to design and create custom suits for weddings. If a wedding looms in your future, visit one of our showrooms to meet with a stylist, who can answer all your questions and help you build the wedding suit that works best for you.