The Formal Wedding - a complete guide to groom style

The formal wedding is the grandest of occasions and as a groom it's your duty to look your very best. However, since the only option is morning dress, the details are very often last until the last minute, or worse are not given much consideration at all. After all, how hard can it be to get morning dress correct?! Well it's a valid question, because there are only a few subjective parts when it comes to a groom's morning suit. The bride, on the other hand, has an entirely different set of decisions to make with regards to her dress, as evidenced by the fact that there is an entire complex industry devoted to bridal, but very little advice and options out there for the groom. 

But if you've been following Favourbrook for a while then you'll know that we're huge advocates of drilling down to the details of groomswear and morning dress. While it's difficult to look bad in a morning suit ensemble, it takes some knowledge and good decisions to look really good. Hopefully, this article will go some way to closing the gap...

The morning suit

The questions the groom needs to ask himself with regards to the morning suit are as such: black coat and cashmere stripe trousers; black coat and grey houndstooth trousers; or matching two-piece (or three-piece) charcoal or navy morning suit. Those are ultimately the three starting points for any groom. The most traditional format is the black morning coat and cashmere stripe trousers (they're not actually made from cashmere - the name actually refers to the pattern of the stripe).

BLACK HAMPTON BARATHEA WOOL MORNING COAT

BLACK HAMPTON
BARATHEA WOOL
MORNING COAT

GREY WESTMINSTER STRIPE WOOL HIGH WAISTED FLAT FRONT TROUSER

GREY WESTMINSTER
STRIPE WOOL FLAT
FRONT TROUSER

BLACK HOUNDSTOOTH WOOL HIGH WAISTED FLAT FRONT TROUSER

BLACK HOUNDSTOOTH
WOOL FLAT FRONT
TROUSER

Swapping the trousers for a grey houndstooth variety offers a lighter look that may be preferable in high summer or weddings on the continent. The more contemporary option would be the matching two/three-piece morning suit, which we would recommend in either charcoal or navy. Ever so slightly less formal, but exquisite nonetheless.

CHARCOAL MERINO WOOL MORNING COAT

CHARCOAL MERINO
WOOL MORNING COAT

CHARCOAL WELLINGTON WOOL FLAT FRONT TROUSER

CHARCOAL WELLINGTON
WOOL FLAT FRONT
TROUSER

DUKES DOVE GREY DOUBLE BREASTED WAISTCOAT

DUKES DOVE GREY
DOUBLE BREASTED
WAISTCOAT

The groom's waistcoat

A number of variables may factor into the groom's waistcoat, some of which may be out of his hands! An eagle-eyed bride or wedding planner for example, may have chosen a certain floral scheme that jars with various colours. In floral arrangements of white and lilac, one doesn't want to be wearing a vibrant orange or yellow waistcoat for example - softer pastel tones more in keeping with the fauna would be recommended so as to not spoil the treasured photos of the day!

Then there's the question of single or double-breasted waistcoat. In most cases the double-breasted waistcoat comes across as the more formal style and the sweep of its shawl collar is certainly very sophisticated. That said, for more portly body types, the square finish can be anything but flattering. Single-breasted styles, with their neat uniform row of buttons can be splendid too and tend to hold pattern more effectively than the DB.

CORAL CULCROSS LINEN DOUBLE BREASTED 8 BUTTON SHAWL LAPEL WAISTCOAT

CORAL CULCROSS LINEN
DOUBLE BREASTED
WAISTCOAT

CREAM BELVOIR COTTON SINGLE BREASTED 6 BUTTON WAISTCOAT

CREAM BELVOIR COTTON
SINGLE BREASTED
WAISTCOAT

ROSE BOTANICS SILK SINGLE BREASTED 6 BUTTON WAISTCOAT

ROSE BOTANICS SILK
SINGLE BREASTED
WAISTCOAT

Speaking of which, pattern or plain is largely a matter of personal choice. A sophisticated floral pattern waistcoat will work perfectly for some but will be too much for others so it is best to try on in store. A geometric pattern is a good choice as it maintains a degree of formal uniformity. With plain styles, strong colours can be very effective since one only ever sees a slither of them beneath the morning coat, while more muted pastels are a safer approach.

The tie and pocket square

Similarly, the tie and pocket square are largely down to personal preference but there are some hard and fast rules that we would advise adhering to. Matching both to the waistcoat is not something we would generally recommend simply because you lose much of the impact and interest each one can deliver. Homogenising the trio seems to be missing a trick.

 NAVY BEES SILK TIE

NAVY BEES SILK TIE

WINDSOR SILVER SILK TIE

WINDSOR SILVER SILK TIE

NAVY BRIMSTONE SILK WOOL POCKET SQUARE

NAVY BRIMSTONE SILK
POCKET SQUARE

Instead, one could try working with a broader palette of complementary colours - so if you're waistcoat is pink for example, try a red polka-dot tie and a white or cream pocket square. Or if the waistcoat is a neutral tone such as a light grey, then you can adopt a contrast colour for the tie, such as navy or pale green, and omit the pocket square entirely. Again, the best course of action is to drop into Favourbrook's Pall Mall store and run through a gamut of different configurations to find one that suits you.

The party change

MARINE VELVET COTTON DINNER JACKET

MARINE VELVET
COTTON DINNER JACKET

MIDNIGHT HAMPTON BARATHEA WOOL DINNER JACKET

MIDNIGHT HAMPTON
BARATHEA WOOL
DINNER JACKET

NAVY PETERSHAM LINEN EMBROIDERED DINNER JACKET

NAVY PETERSHAM
LINEN EMBROIDERED
DINNER JACKET

At some point just before the evening's proceedings, you may wish to change out of your morning suit and into eveningwear, typically black tie. Classic black tie needs no introduction but for a wedding one may wish for something altogether more flamboyant and memorable. At Favourbrook, we have a host of different dinner jacket styles, from the ornately embroidered to sophisticated velvet options that are both fun and elegant. Given that you'll only be married once (allegedly), you may as well make it an evening to remember!

 

Click here to shop Favourbrook's curation for grooms