Choosing A Wedding Suit: A How To Guide

Why Is Choosing A Suit For A Wedding So Hard?

Choosing a suit for your big day can be a daunting task. Will your significant other approve? What style do you choose? Please God let the tailoring be ok! 

Yes, when it comes to wedding suit shopping, questions (and fears) abound. 

And that’s never been truer than today. While for the better part of 100 years, Western mens’ wedding attire varied on the one theme, oscillating from morning suits to tuxedos, today there’s a lot more scope to choose from.

For the sartorially inclined this carte blanche represents an opportunity to flex your fashion muscle but for the less experienced it’s quite the opposite. From relaxed linen suiting through to black-tie, the options can feel dizzying. 

Thankfully, that’s where we come in. From picking the right style, to finding the right fit and dressing appropriately for the season, this is our step by step guide to help you choose the perfect suit. 

So, how do you choose a wedding suit?

The holy trinity of wedding suit choice is location, season and theme. 

Think of these as the foundations upon which everything else is built. A true North as you navigate the sometimes murky waters of wedding dressing. 

With these on hand, our team of expert fitters will be able to guide you through the fundamentals, providing advice along the way. With wedding experience ranging from far-flung cattle station shindigs to overseas soirees on the French riviera, they have expertise and know-how to ensure you don’t put a foot astray.

The Season

So, let’s start with the basics.

Your wedding day isn’t just about looking good. It’s also about ensuring you’re not a sweaty mess before the ceremony begins and (equally importantly) that you’re comfortable busting a move on the dancefloor after the main event. 

With this in mind, dressing for the season is essential. 

If you’re getting married in warmer climates, think about lighter fabrics like cotton or silk and linen blends. Looser weaves that enable extra air flow to the body will also work to your advantage. In addition, consider the construction of your jacket. Traditionally, fully canvassed jackets won’t possess as much ventilation as their half-canvas or unlined counterparts. 

For weddings where the mercury is likely to dip, opt for darker fabrics in luxurious, heavier cloths like cashmere and wool that help maintain body heat and keep out chilly air. 

The Wedding Style

Broadly speaking, there are three main camps that weddings fall into - formal, cocktail and casual. 

For formal, a tuxedo is always going to be a safe bet (and provided you’ve got ‘black tie’ on the invites, you’ll almost certainly fit in with the rest of your wedding party). Whether you opt for an inky navy or a black, the penguin suit is a timeless piece that you’re bound to wear again and again. 

On the other end of the spectrum, more casual weddings (think beach or perhaps farm based events) give you more flexibility to play. Whether you opt for a taupe linen suit with sneakers or a bolder windowpane check suit with RMs, you really have the opportunity to call the shots and make this look distinctly you. 

Finally, between the two - the dress code that strikes fear into even the steeliest of folk - is cocktail. Loosely understood at the best of times, cocktail attire runs the gamut from open necked shirts and sportcoats with chinos to lounge suits and ties. 

For your big day, we advise erring on the slightly more formal side with a suit in navy or charcoal. However, that’s no reason to feel constrained - instead, consider upping the ante with bolder styles of neck tie and kerchief.

The Fit

Never is fit more important than on your wedding day - after all, in theory, it only happens once so it pays to get it right. 

A well tailored jacket and trousers will broaden your shoulders, slim down your waist and elongate the legs. In contrast, a poorly fitted suit can (and will) look like a sack. 

When analysing fit, there are a couple of key things to look out for..

Shoulders: The foundation of a good fit. The shoulder seam should align where your shoulder finishes and your arm begins. 

Torso: You should be able to do up your top button. Depending on personal preference, it’s fine to have a small ‘break’ or crease in the fabric, provided it’s comfortable and you can still move. Being able to slip a hand inside the breast of your jacket is a good test. 

Jacket Length: At all costs, avoid the Donald Duck effect. This occurs when the jacket finishes mid-glute, therefore flaring out and ruining the line of your suit. Instead, your jacket should hit at the base of your glutes, making for a more streamlined silhouette

Trouser hem length: Hemlines are a personal style decision but if in doubt, we recommend having them tailored to the shoes you’ll be wearing on the day. 

Of course, if you have any concern regarding the fit, our team of expert fitters are on hand to provide counsel and steer you in the right (and most flattering) direction.

The Accessories

So, you’ve got your suit and shirt sorted. Accessories are the natural next step and a great way to bring a sense of personal style to any wedding ensemble. 

The best place to start with accessories is considering the style of suit you’ve selected. 

Tuxedo: With a dinner suit, most people will stick with the classics of a black satin bow tie and an ivory or white pocket square. For those creating their own riff on tradition, an ivory or even a velvet bow tie in luxurious colours like burgundy or bottle green can be excellent additions to this otherwise traditional look. Shoe wise, look to classic patent leather dinner shoes or even a velvet smoking slipper to top off your look. 

Lounge suit: For cocktail to formal events, we advise a necktie but it’s completely up to you how muted (or indeed, how loud) you’d like to make it. For those looking for guidance, think about what colours compliment your suit and skin shade. Navy suits pair wonderfully with warmer colours while a charcoal suit with a pale blue tie is a tried and tested duo. Pair lounge suits with a pair of polished brogues or business shoes. 

Casual suit: With more relaxed suiting, the addition of a silk kerchief is an easy way to elevate your look while still keeping to theme. Depending on your personal style, you could also look to add a lapel pin for added panache. Pair with loafers, sneakers or even a suede espadrille. 

In addition to the above, it also pays to consider any florals. If you’re doing a boutonniere, think about discussing colour themes with your florist so you can compliment the arrangement.

So, before you say ‘I do’...

Remember, your big day needs to be reflective of you and your style. Before deciding on your outfit, think about what’s going to make you and your fiance/e happiest (and of course, what you’re going to have the most fun in.)

After that, it’s simply a matter of aligning your ensemble to theme, season and your own body. 

And of course, if that proves confounding, our team of tailors are on hand with advice (and a stiff drink should you need it.) 

For more information about Oscar Hunt weddings, click here.