As southern belles we are often a little bossy. And our wedding day is no different. It is not enough for us to pick out our dress and our bridesmaids dress, we often pick out our groom’s attire as well. Speaking as a bride who forced/convinced my husband to wear a blue velvet tuxedo, I know this story to be very true. While you are looking to style your groom, here are some tips from Donnell Baldwin, Co-Founder of Mr. Baldwin Style, Professional Menswear Stylist and author of GROOMS: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Day Apparel for Every Budget.
SHOES. Gentleman, shoes speak louder than words. If dressing to impress is important to you, please be warned that shoes are often the first thing a woman checks out. Wear something timeless and classic or at least wear a very gently worn pair. Your wedding day is not the time to rely on your rusty dusty church shoes.
SUIT/TUXEDO COLOR. A true southern gentleman strives to be appropriate. This notion applies to our color choices in suiting and tuxedos as well. Be careful not to choose a vibrant red tuxedo jacket as it may be too alarming for a wedding day and may take all of the attention away from your beautiful bride-to-be. Be certain that you are appropriately dressed for the occasion by considering your wedding theme and the formality of your bride’s gown. You should be the perfect complement to your bride, not the shining star. The goal is to shine together!
MASTERING THE DETAILS. It’s all in the details, men. The little things count so make sure your look fits well, shoes are buffed and shined, your skin is well-groomed and there is not a hair out of place. This is your special day, so dot your I’s and cross your T’s. It’s okay to take a little extra time to ensure a flawless execution. Your southern belle expects to be wowed and vowed. The “Head-to-Toe Check Before the Ceremony” in the soon-to-be-released GROOMS is a helpful tool so there are no style slip-ups.
BRACES. We are not talking about braces for your teeth. This is a menswear term used to describe suspenders. Braces that clip on to your trousers tend to look a bit juvenile. Instead, consult a great tailor to add buttons to the interior waistband, making your look more sophisticated and proper – as a gentleman should be. Also, if your trousers have been tailored impeccably well, there is no need to wear a belt. If your trousers come with belt loops, think about having them removed for a much cleaner look. One last thing – never wear braces and a belt. Choose either or, but never both.
POCKETS. Just like a belt (or belt loops), you must be mindful of your pockets. We gentleman have a tendency to overload our pockets with our stuff — cell phone, wallet, gum, mints, money clip, tissues, and the list goes on. To avoid unsightly bulges showing up in your wedding photos, be sure to keep your trouser pockets empty. Instead, utilize your interior pockets in your jacket or blazer for storage.
POCKET WATCH. Consider wearing a pocket watch to add an interesting gentlemanly detail to your look. Pocket watches are unexpected, timeless and very dapper. By wearing the typical wristwatch, you might be inclined to glance at it throughout the night. Leave the schedule up to your wedding planner or your best man and let them be the time management police. Your job is to simply have fun with your beautiful wife and dance the night away with friends and family.
FIT. We cannot stress this point enough. It is imperative that your wedding look be tailored to your body. Many of us southern gents want a bespoke look without paying that bespoke price. Buying off the rack is fine, but that can’t be where you stop. Pay a visit to the most skillful tailor for tweaks on the jacket and trousers. As the renowned menswear designer, Tom Ford would say, “dressing well is a form of good manners…” Having good manners is standard for a southern gentleman.
BOUTONNIÈRE. With all of the beautiful flowers found in the southern region, the tendency for most floral designers is to make a statement by creating a floral boutonniere that is bold and large. Our suggestion is that you refrain from wearing a large bouquet of flowers on your lapel. Maintain a classic appearance by wearing a more subtle boutonniere, pulling in small elements of your wedding theme and colors. Gentleman, make sure your boutonniere is placed on the left-hand side of your lapel – never on the right side. Most suit jackets have a button hole on the left side of the lapel which is designed for the placement of a floral boutonniere or lapel pin.
BOW TIES. Gentleman, if you do not know how to tie a bow tie, now is the time to learn. There are plenty of instructional YouTube videos that will teach you well. Wearing a pre-tied bow tie is like wearing a clip-on necktie, which should have been nixed after grade school. Take the time to learn how to properly tie a bow tie if you plan to embrace this classic neckwear option. It looks better and it shows that you are a true gentleman of style!