Though senior prom may have been the last time you donned a
tux, you´ll need to improve upon your high-school fashion
sense for your wedding tuxedo. What´s more, the rules traditionally
state that the groom and his henchmen all wear similar outfits,
so it´s important to set yourself apart to help guests
identify you as the guy who just locked lips with the bride
at the altar.
First, learn the basic tenets of tuxedo wearing. The codes
of conduct are stricter, the more formal the event. If you and
yours are opting for an ultra-formal affair, your team will
wear virtually the same togs, so being singular becomes a tougher
task. The more casual the celebration, the more leeway you´ll
have. But regardless of the sartorial dictates of your wedding,
you can still shine for your nuptials -- even if you and the
fellas will be garbed in similar attire. We polled the pros
for the following four solutions.
Subtle differences in your jacket from those of your groomsmen
are a surefire way to make your mark. For a less than ultra-formal
wedding, such as a daytime affair, if you dress in a cutaway
coat, your boys can wear stroller coats instead. If you select
a double-breasted jacket, put your men in a single-breasted
cut, suggests Colin Cowie, wedding expert and author of For
the Groom. Likewise, put yourself in a one-button tuxedo jacket and
have the groomsmen sport a three-button tuxedo jacket, or, if your
tux has a satin lapel, the boys´ could be plain. Another
option: wear a white dinner jacket, and put the groomsmen in
traditional black tuxes (or vice versa).
A FANCIER FLOWER
A unique boutonniere, a "mini-corsage" worn on the
jacket lapel, is the easiest way to help guests single you out.
If your wedding will be very formal, run with this option. The
groom can distinguish himself in several ways according to Jen
Stone, owner of New York´s StoneKelly Events and Florals.
The most popular boutonnieres are made of the same flower (such
as stephanotis) for the groom and his groomsmen, but the groom´s
would include a berry or herbal accent, such as rosemary, oregano,
or mint. Another alternative would be to select a different
but very similar blossom: wear a lily of the valley boutonniere,
and have your men sport stephanotis. It´s a good idea
to keep the flowers in the same color family for a consistent
look, advises Peter Krask, a floral designer and owner of Peter
M. Krask Design in New York. He suggests the groom adorn himself
with a 2- or 3-blossom boutonniere and the groomsmen wear a
single bloom of the identical flower. Krask also proposes the
groom wear a fully open blossom while the groomsmen don buds
of the same flower.
THE TELLTALE TIE
Boost your "all about me" factor by wearing a different
colored tie or bow tie than the gang. For instance, if you wear
a silver tie and matching vest, the groomsmen could sport a
vest and tie combo that complements or matches the bridesmaid
dresses. Grooms can go one step further and wear a different
type of neckwear from the guys. If you choose a bow tie, the
groomsmen could wear neckties with a Windsor knot, which has
a triangle-shaped knot, larger than your standard, everyday
four-in-hand. Or, if you plan to wear an ascot, select a matching
necktie for your men.
VARIETY IN THE VEST
Vests are another element of the tux with which grooms can experiment.
Pick a vest that´s a different color from your groomsmen,
but be sure to match patterns if you´re mixing colors.
If you choose a black tie and black vest, you could put the
groomsmen in a color that matches the bridesmaid dresses. Or,
set yourself apart in a black cummerbund and put the guys in vests.
The Knot 2004