You’ve picked out your stunning, modest gown (the one that will make his jaw drop and knees weak). It’s SO perfectly you. Your bridesmaids are each fitted out with an amazing dress that suits each beautiful woman. And all of you have probably gone through hours of being jabbed with pins while a seamstress makes the fit just perfect.
And then, into this lovely vision of customization enter…all of the guys, shoehorned into a rented tux and shoes. Yikes. Feels like we’re back on Sesame Street, right? “Which one of these is not like the other?”
Luckily, while rented formal wear for men still predominates (sigh), there are so many great options out there for your guys to be just as nattily attired as your ladies that it’s almost a crime not to explore letting your guys have a look that’s all their own. And being dapper is just something that all men should have more than a passing familiarity with.
For a basic primer on men’s attire, there are so many great options out there, including Martha, of course, and a favorite of mine for comprehensive information on formal options, The Black Tie Guide (which even includes historical notes). And if you’re looking for lots of lovely photos of men’s attire options on real men, check out this post on Southern Weddings, because let’s face it, if there’s anyone who knows dapper, it’s Southerners (although a few of us further up the East Coast have a pretty good handle on it too, if I do say so myself)
Jos. A. Bank has a wonderful article on tuxes, with practical advice for modern men who may not have much experience in wearing formal dress. And, they address my own personal pet peeve of long ties with tuxes. Just…don’t. Really. Your children and your older self will thank me when they look at the photos in twenty years. Remember powder blue suits with ruffled shirts? They were “cool” too at one time. Repeat after me: Classic. Is. Always. Appropriate. *stepping off soapbox*
If your guys want to buy their tuxes (that’s what ours did), prices range from about the same as a tux rental (although you’re going to be sacrificing some quality, that may be okay if the guys don’t plan to wear them that often) to please-hold-this-while-I-pass-out expensive (we’re talking custom-made, highest quality out there). Unless you regularly hobnob with society’s leading lights, you can probably skip the last option.
So once the guys have their own, custom-fitted tuxes or suits, you can’t just put any old thing under them, right?
First, let’s talk about shirts. You could, of course, do the shirt-in-a-box routine, but how much more fun would it be to have custom shirts to go with those snazzy new suits or tuxes?
J. Hilburn is a Dallas clothing store that caters to men who don’t like to go shopping (sound familiar?). Luckily for guys in the rest of the country, they’ve just launched an online store where men can buy custom shirts (hello imported Italian fabrics) for reasonable prices.
How great is that?
But with a great shirt, you must, of course, have a great cufflink. You can find cufflinks in any style, at any price range. One fun new option is the cool ceramic cufflinks from Paloma’s Nest.
Finally, ties. Bow ties, of course, if you’re going the classic route (see rant above); there’s nothing better than a basic black bow tie. Just please don’t make it the cheap “satin” kind — this is worth finding a bow tie your man will be proud to wear again (bonus points if it’s of the self-tie variety).
If your guys are wearing suits, I still vote for a bow tie. Again, it’s all about the dapper. Vineyard Vines has some lovely fun options, and they’ll even create a custom tie just for your wedding!
Wouldn’t this be a fun tie for a summer wedding? Subtle enough to look like a shaded blue paisley or some such from a distance, but when you get up close…hello fishies!!
So what about you? What are your dapper guys going to be sporting on your wedding day?