Suiting 101: Formal Looks

At a formal affair, you want to ensure that the ensemble not only matches the bride's selection but also takes into account the myriad of possible options available in men's formal dress.

popular black tie looksFor an invitation stating black tie the standard look is a black tuxedo with a matching black bow tie. White jackets should be reserved for when and event is either outdoors or takes place in a tropical climate.

Black tie accessories include: Black bow tie, handkerchief, cummerbund or vest. Dress shirts with french cuffs, cufflinks and studs for your shirt. Traditionally, socks should be kept black and typical shoes are black patent leather.

Fred Astaire (wearing the classic white tie ensemble) and a modern-day look

White tie or full evening dress implies that black tails should be worn, along with a white tie. Pants accompanying a tuxedo jacket should always be black in color and cuff less and the outside seams are embellished with a plain silk stripe, called a braid. In the case of a white tie, an evening waistcoat should be worn in matching white.

White tie accessories include: white cotton pique bow tie, white wing collar shirt with single cuffs (fasten with cufflinks), white cotton pique evening waistcoat, double braids should be on the outside seam of the pants and suspenders are worn. Optional accessories may include: top hat and white gloves.


Morning coat examples

For daytime weddings (before 6pm), another option includes the morning coat. This is a full length, single-breasted cut-away coat paired with gray striped pants. Underneath the jacket, suspenders and a waistcoat are worn. Morning coats are found in either black or gray. At traditional weddings, only the groom and the bride's father may wear gray.

Morning coat accessories include: light grey or off-white vest, wing collar shirt, dark striped pants, ties should be kept to a silver/gray palette (ascots may be worn as well - but should be kept gray in color). The look is finished with black oxford shoes and (optional) gray gloves.

Stay tuned for more segments of Suiting 101 including how to add personal details and accessories to your wedding-day look.

Posted on May 11, 2009 and filed under Fashion + Beauty, Suiting 101, The Groom.