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WEDDING SEASON READY | GROOM GUIDANCE FROM GQ

While you’re focusing on every detail of your wedding-day look, it’s important that you don’t forget the most important bridal accessory…your groom. He may not spend as much time trying on different styles that flatter his figure, but he should look just as dapper as you are beautiful on the big day.

Black by Vera Wang, exclusively for Men’s Wearhouse, is a collection of two stylish tuxedos, one in classic black, the other in modern charcoal, available for purchase or rental. Once he has a tux selected, make sure he adds his own personal style to his wedding-day look with the right accessories and maybe a pop of color to coordinate with the wedding’s palette.

Does he need some expert styling tips? In a continuation of our “Wedding Season Ready” series, we asked Will Welch, the Style Editor at GQ for his expert advice to ensure that your groom looks his best as he walks down the aisle.

What are some ways a groom can add his own personal style to a classic black tuxedo?

Men are taking more liberties than ever with black tie. Just keep in mind that the tuxedo was designed to be a uniform, so a minor tweak here or break from tradition there goes a long way. With that said, a couple ideas:

Skip the tux shirt with studs and wear a really nice, perfectly pressed white dress shirt instead. Sounds almost too easy, but it’ll give you a super-minimal look that is awesomely subtle. Maybe the dress shirt has French cuffs, and you wear some understated cuff links.

Go with a midnight blue tux instead of a black one. More and more Hollywood dudes are doing this on red carpets, including Ryan Gosling, Matthew “Alright, Alright, Alright” McConaughey, even Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall.

Instead of a solid black bow tie, wear black with white polka dots. Because polka dots are always shorthand for “Let’s party.”

Instead of a black tux jacket, wear a cream dinner jacket. That’ll really set you, as the groom, apart from all the guests in black.

 

Should the groom match or complement the bride’s dress in some way other than formality?

Nope. We can’t ditch every wedding tradition—the details of the bride’s dress should be a secret to the groom. As long as both parties are more or less in the realm of good taste, they’ll look awesome up there together. So there’s no need to coordinate outfits like seventh grade girls. Also, how about this as a new tradition: The groom should keep what he’s wearing to the wedding secret from the bride, too. For equality’s sake. And because if she’s dressing you for your wedding, she’s going to be dressing you for your marriage, too. A man should know how to dress himself.

 

Are groomsmen still wearing ties in the color of the bridesmaid dresses?

These days, anything that carefully orchestrated looks contrived. Unless you have regressive groomsmen who don’t know own anything other than jeans and a pit-stained Lakers T-shirt (it happens), the thing is to give the wedding party dudes basic guidelines and let them be their own stylish selves from there. Let them wear their own tuxes, instead of making them shell out too much cash for ill-fitting, matching rentals. Or here’s an idea that works: I was a groomsman last summer at a casual-leaning outdoor wedding where the groom told us all to wear khaki pants, white dress shirts, and navy blazers—stuff we all already owned. Then he bought us all matching ties. We wore them at the wedding, and they also served as our wedding gifts. All our ties were the same, but otherwise we were wearing our own comfortable, well-fitting clothes. I’m quite confident the photos of the wedding party turned out great without us overly matching each other—or the bridesmaids.

 

We’ll be sharing more tips from Will next week, so stay tuned to Vera Unveiled. For more on groom style and wedding advice, check out GQ.com and pick up the June issue of GQ, on newsstands now.

Will Welch is the Style Editor at GQ, where he has worked since 2007. Previously, he was Deputy Editor at The Fader, an independent music magazine. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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