Posted by Robert Old on

“It’s the bride’s day. All eyes on the bride.” These are probably the most quoted phrases in any wedding magazine. Remember though, without a bridegroom; there's no wedding. Even more crucial is that, no matter how gorgeous the bride, her starring man wearing an ill-fitting suit will darken her day in the spotlight. Worse still, the memory will be there in glorious photographic technicolour for many embarrassing years to come.

Your bridegroom suit is just as important as the bridal gown, and your fiancé will have pondered long and hard before she finally says ‘yes to the dress’. However, dressing the top man can be tricky. For starters, even the most fashion-conscious guys amongst us aren’t always comfortable in more formal attire.  Also, the bride - the one usually calling the wedding shots - probably keeps her dress a secret from you. A lovely surprise for you on the big day but what a disaster if your suit doesn’t pass muster to complement her dress.

Do some detective work.

Ask your bride-to-be for clues. Is her dress a formal style? Perhaps it has a vintage vibe? Full-on Cinderella? Or has she opted for totally on-trend modern? Is there a colour theme for the wedding – bridesmaids matching the tablecloths matching your pet dog’s bow tie kind of thing?

Once you’ve got that bit of the wedding jigsaw sorted, think about your wedding venue. If it’s a grand stately home or castle, you can pull out the stops and go for a full-on formal three-piece suit. Even a fancy frock coat or tails could work as with Pride and Prejudice’s heartthrob hero Mr Darcy. (But please don’t be tempted to arrive via the lake!)

A smart-casual look is the best choice for a festival theme set in a field or a beach wedding. Consider a two-piece, mix and match combination of trouser and jacket or a smart linen shirt and trousers, especially if it’s a sultry climate.

You can bring the wedding theme into the type of fabric you choose for your suit – a touch of tweed, perhaps waistcoat or jacket,  is an excellent detail for Country Style Weddings.


Timing is everything

The time of the wedding goes a long way to dictating the dress code. Black tie is a classic choice for weddings later in the day (after 4 pm). A tuxedo will work best alongside an evening-style wedding dress.

The other option for late afternoon weddings is lounge suits. This is the kind of look you may wear to a cocktail party and allows more flexibility. It can be a single-breasted or double-breasted, a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit.

Morning suits are the most formal daytime look with tailcoats, waistcoat and striped trousers – think Ascot.

Wherever the wedding, whatever the time, remember these wise words of Sir Edwin Hardy Amies, English fashion designer and Royal Warrant Holder:


We put your questions to Sam and Edward from Robert Old, who've been expertly dressing bridegrooms for decades.

Do I need to match my groomsmen?

No. You’re the star. You come first. Make sure you are suited and booted before considering what the best man and ushers will be wearing. The bride chooses her dress before the bridesmaids because her dress defines the style of her maids. Your suit choice should do the same for your wedding entourage.

If you all dress the same, you run the risk of looking like a well-turned-out England squad or even a struggling second division side! Why not co-ordinate your best man and ushers by being clever with your accessories? Consider How to accessorise your wedding suit by wearing matching pocket squares Silk Pocket Squares & Handkerchiefs | Robert Old and/or ties. Designer Silk Ties for Men | Bow Ties and Neckties | Robert Old. A great idea is for you all to have matching socks to link into the theme. Men's Luxury Socks Online | Men's Designer Socks | Robert Old

Three-piece or two-piece suit?

Three-piece suits give a more formal look and the opportunity to wear a fabulous waistcoat. Think David Beckham – different colour and fabric makes a statement. A weddings day is lengthy, and no doubt you’ll want to remove your jacket at some point. An eye-catching waistcoat is a great way to stand out from the crowd when being swept onto the dancefloor in a sea of plain white shirts.

Consider The Freedom of Mix and Match. Why not put best man and ushers in two-piece suits and you in three-piece with a snazzy waistcoat to make you the alpha male? You could also extend this to Dressing the Father of the Bride – he’s the second most important man in the room (even if he’s paying for the wedding!) As he gives his daughter away, he needs to set a stylish tone, so choosing him a three-piece suit with a different waistcoat to yours gives him status above the rest of the party.

Be careful, though –  there are many Dos and Don'ts of Waistcoat Wearing. Being too over-the-top or wearing it too tight and you risk looking more like Toad of Toad Hall than football’s Gareth “lucky waistcoat” Southgate.

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