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Groom's Suit Tips

A guide to looking good and feeling comfortable in the right groom's suit

By Mickey Lambert

Wedding magazines always focus on the bride's dress, but make sure you don't forget to think about the groom's suit as well! After all, an uncomfortable man in an ill-fitting ensemble doesn't make for happy memories, or good wedding pictures. Guest author Mickey Lambert speaks man-to-man about getting the groom's suit to fit well, be comfortable, and of course, be properly accessorized.

A groom's suit doesn't have to make you look like a penguin anymore. With new designers, new cuts, and new looks, guys can look both classy and unique on their wedding day. Here's some hints and tips for looking great on the greatest day of your life.

MAKE SURE IT FITS.

Do you really want to remember your wedding day as the one where you split your pants doing the Electric Slide? I didn't think so. To avoid this embarrassing scenario, make sure you try on everything a week before the wedding, to see if it still fits. That way, in case you're sporting a new pair of highwaters or you feel like you're wearing a straitjacket, there's plenty of time for last-minute alterations.

Another part of ensuring a good fit is getting it right the first time. Make sure you get measured for your waist size, inseam (the length between the crotch of your pants and the bottom of the leg), and jacket size. Make sure that you are measured around the upper arms and thighs as well, especially if you are a beefy or muscular guy.

More fit facts:

  • Your suit jacket should fit well and give you a full range of motion, both buttoned and unbuttoned. Remember that you will be dancing, hugging, and shaking hands. Make sure you are not constricted.

  • You should be able to fit one finger between the collar of your shirt and your neck, but no more than that. The shirt cuffs should not ride up when you stretch your arms. If you are wearing a button-cuff shirt, the cuffs should break exactly at the wrist; if it's a French-cuff shirt, the cuffs should break about 1/2 inch further.

  • Your vest should button comfortably and hit just below the waistband of your pants. If you are wearing a vest to a summer wedding, make sure it has a full back, so that you are still looking good when the jackets inevitably come off.

  • Pants should break over the instep, about 1/3 of the way down the shoe.

DRESS RIGHT FOR YOUR BODY TYPE.

You want to look dashing and debonair in your duds, not like a kid getting swallowed up in his dad's sportcoat. If you're a shorter guy, stick to single-breasted jackets – double-breasted jackets will give you that drowning-in-fabric look and make you appear smaller. If you're bigger around the middle, wear a lower-buttoning jacket rather than one with a higher placket. It will give you the long silhouette you're looking for.

STAY COMFORTABLE.

While this is a formal occasion, you need not spend your honeymoon nursing the blisters from your shoes, or spend a July wedding sweltering under heavy wool. Make sure you can walk around in your shoes, and pick a fabric for your wedding suit that matches the season and the climate. If you're a guy who sweats easily, consider getting a second shirt to change into halfway through the day. That way, you'll stay looking crisp and cool.

KEEP IT TASTEFUL.

Today's formally dressed man shies away from the frills in favor of a more tailored, classic look. You're going for Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember, not Tom Hanks in Big. With that said, you have plenty of opportunities to express yourself in your choice of suit. Depending on the level of formality and time of day of your wedding, you have a wide range of options. If you're having a formal daytime wedding, you may want to forego the standard tux for a dapper morning suit, with a cutaway jacket, gray pinstripe trousers, and an ascot. Or, if you're getting married in the summer, you could opt for a white dinner jacket instead of a standard black jacket. Let your formalwear dealer know what season and time of day you'll be getting married, and they'll likely offer you more choices than you even knew you had.

Continue reading on Page 2: The Accessories Make the Groom

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