If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding, you probably have a ton of to-dos piling up on your list. If finding a wedding suit is one of them, it’s a good idea to make it a priority, especially as far as timing goes. But aside from when to start shopping for wedding suits, what else do you need to know? We talked to wedding planners, photographers, and lifestyle experts who shared their tips on everything from fabric choices to suit color palettes. Read on for their advice on how to pick out the best wedding suits!
How soon should you start shopping for a wedding suit?
California wedding planner and owner of Anything But Gray Events, Holly Gray, points out that there is a fine line between purchasing too early and purchasing two late. “When you purchase your suit more than a year in advance of your wedding, the tendency I see in many of my brides, grooms, and brooms, is a change of heart. Styles can change very quickly and with that can come buyers’ remorse,” she says. Not to mention the time you’ll need for potential alterations. Her advice is to start looking for a suit 6-7 months before your wedding. “That way, you already have details nailed down like your date, the season, venue, and color schemes,” she says. “Plus, 6-7 months also gives you the ability to have a custom suit made if you can’t find anything off the rack you love.”
This will also give you ample time to accessorize, which is a great way to make your wedding suit more unique and personalized. Robert Lee Fowler, lifestyle, design and event expert, recommends sticking to what fits your style and taste so you look like “you” on your wedding day. “Some grooms try to over-accessorize and it looks funny in photos,” he says. “You do not need a tie bar, pocket square, boutonnière, belt, colorful socks, suspenders and a hat all together.”
How to choose colors and fabrics for wedding suits
Here, experts share their best tips for how to pick colors and fabrics that will work with the wedding theme and bridal party.
Consider how formal the wedding is
A beach wedding with a casual ceremony usually requires a different dress code than a formal wedding in a ballroom. Not only should you let your venue be your guide, but you should also think about what you want your guests to wear. A black-tie wedding dress code calls for a sleek suit and bow tie, while a casual wedding dress code usually means “business casual” attire (think button-down dress shirts with trousers). You’ll want to be AT LEAST as dressed up as your guests, but ideally more since you’re one of two stars of the show!
Factor in the time of year and weather
When choosing your color and fabric, Veronica Carr, San Diego-based wedding planner and owner of Type A Soiree, advises couples to consider the weather and season. “If you are getting married on a beach in Buzios, you would never want to be caught in a wool suit.” Instead, you want lighter option fabrics for a warm weather destination wedding. (A cotton or linen suit are better suited for heat and humidity).
“Conversely, if you are having a fall wedding in New Hampshire, you will want the extra weight in your suit to keep you warm.” This can factor into your color choices as well. Lighter tones (such as khaki or light gray suits) with pastels are great options for a summer wedding, while a winter wedding might mean a black, charcoal, or even navy velvet suit.
Match the wedding colors in some way
When making your selection, Carr recommends keeping the wedding colors in mind. “It’s a good idea to bring a sample of fabric from a bridesmaid’s dress and use it for comparison for your pocket squares, shirt, tie, socks, or even suspenders,” she says. “These are great ways to tie in the rest of the wedding vibes if you are going with a classic colored suit.”
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Shop with your partner
“While many couples take a traditional approach to wedding attire and do not see each other before the wedding, more and more couples are opting [to shop together] to gain each other’s input,” says Gray. Not sure you want your partner to see your wedding dress? Heading with them to pick out their suit will allow you to share what may or may not go with your dress.
How to accessorize wedding suits
It’s about more than just the suit! Here are tips for how to properly accessorize and wear a suit for your wedding.
You may have purchased your suit right off the rack, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear it as is. Before you start accessorizing you should make sure your suit is properly tailored to fit your body to a T, notes Gray. Tailoring has the ability to make even an inexpensive suit look amazing. It’s all about getting the perfect fit!
Add a boutonnière
“A simple boutonnière that compliments your wedding flowers is the easiest and most tasteful accessory you can wear on your wedding day,” says Fowler. “Share photos with your florist ahead of time and ask them to give you two options for your wedding day just in case one gets damaged or you want to wear one to the ceremony and one to the reception.”
Cufflinks are a subtle way to add themes into your groom’s suit, notes Doyin Fashakin, event planner and owner of Doyin Fash Events. “If you are going with a theme from a certain era, choose cufflinks from that era. Or, find another fun way to bring your theme and/or color in through his cufflinks,” she says. And if the groom does’t already have a pair? Give them to the groom as a gift!
Consider a watch
Wedding photographer and owner of Collin Pierson Photography, Collin Pierson’s number one suggestion for a suit accessory is a quality watch. “Not only can a watch be a lifetime reminder of this special day, but it also can add texture, metallics, even a little ‘bling’ to your wedding attire,” he says. “Watches also make great gifts for your spouse, as they can be engraved, or kept as a family heirloom for generations to come.”
What to know about making wedding suit alterations
As Gray mentioned above, alterations are a great way to tailor the suit to fit you perfectly—and feel a bit more your own. But there are a few things you should know first.
Be realistic about size
When it comes to altering a suit, the most important rule is to choose the size that fits you best—not the size that you want to fit into on your wedding day. “The person who you are marrying loves you for who you are, so get your suit comfortably tailored to fit you just as you are,” says Gray.
Allow for extra time
“Alterations have been notorious for slowing down the wedding preparation process, but this has only worsened [as of late],” warns Fashakin. You not only want to plan to have your alterations done several weeks before your wedding, but you also want to allow room for additional alterations you might not know you need. “It’s always a good idea to double check the sizing before the wedding to ensure [they haven’t] gained or lost weight,” Fashakin adds.
The best places to buy wedding suits
Purchasing a big-ticket item for your wedding day can feel overwhelming, but armed with the right know-how, you can make the choice that is best for you. Here, experts share some of the best places to purchase wedding suits from.
Men’s Wearhouse has long been a popular spot for wedding suits around the country. With 1,450 stores around the U.S., you’ll find just about any type suit you’re looking for. “The suits are discounted and there’s always a nice selection of brands, upscale and lower end as well,” says Fashakin. “It’s never difficult to find a brick-and-mortar store, or you can shop online.”
For those on a budget, Pierson recommends Banana Republic. They offer both online and in-store experiences, and provide Italian fabric suiting and wedding formal attire options. “Lookout for a sale online or in-store, and you can pick up some smart pieces with Italian fabrics that can easily be tailored,” he says.
This online and in-person retailer has a large range of size-inclusive styles as well as colors in tuxedos and suits in both rentals and purchases. Better yet? They all range from $119 and $160, and you can schedule in-person consultations and have them ship rentals directly to your door. “They even offer a tuxedo in a ladies’ cut,” says Gray.
This online retailer has an impressive selection of suits and tuxedos that they can tailor to fit you perfectly, and then deliver straight to your door. It all starts with an online survey that allows them to determine your perfect suit size in just a few questions. From there, you input your email and are introduced to a wide range of options for both rent and purchase. “Generation Tux can ship directly to you and your groomsmen to try it on before the big day,” explains Carr. “Everything can be done completely remotely, and is great for that busy groom who may not have time to stop into a store.”
Nordstrom is a great place to shop online or in-person to find a large assortment of groom’s suits, notes Fashakin. “Although they can be on the pricey side, the quality is excellent, and the company stands behind what they sell. Brands include Armani, BOSS, Peter Millar, and Topman among others.
If you’re open to spending a little more on your wedding-day suit, consider Suit Supply, which is Fowler’s first choice to send his grooms. “They offer a huge range of options when it comes to suits, tuxedos, and separates (blazer and trouser combos),” he says. “The team are mostly experts and will make sure to get the fit right with their in-house tailoring.”
For a wide range of customization and personalization options for suits, tuxedos, and jackets, Gray recommends Indochino. Even though they run a bit pricier than other retailers, “you can literally create the look of your dreams through their online store or in-person locations,” she says. “Colors, patterns, and details galore!”
Want to know more about wedding attire, contracts, music, floral, vows, and more? Get real advice from the best wedding pros in our new wedding guide!