Best dressed grooms - The suit & Boutonnieres

As the engagement ring is placed on the finger girls start thinking about their wedding dress for the special day!  So often the man in your life is left to his own devices selecting a suit for himself and his bestmen.  Whilst there are some very capable and very fashion conscious men out there a large majority don't seem to put enough emphasis on wearing a well fitted suit and so often badly fitted suits, hired from rental companies, are worn and they definitely don't hit the mark.


It is well worth your while to see a consultant when choosing a suit for your wedding.  It should be considered an investment for your wardrobe and you may as well get it right.  I was happy to take my son to Rozanne, Moi Styling to pick out a suit (not for his wedding!) and whilst there we chatted about suits, weddings and some of the bad suit etiquette we see at various weddings we are involved with.


Here are some pointers :


1.  Suit jackets -  the bottom button on a suit, if a 2 or 3 buttoned jacket, should always be left undone.  This facilitates the fit of the jacket and doesn't restrict movement.  If you have a 3 buttoned jacket you have the option of only buttoning the top button but you may button the top two. On a lot of photographs only the bottom button is buttoned and this causes the jacket to "bulge" around the midriff and makes the jacket look ill fit.

2.  The placing of the boutonniere  (see notes on boutonniere below)

3.  The length of pants.  A good tip is to stand on a table without shoes.  Tuck the hem of the pants up so that they are just touching the floor.  This should be the perfect length and just right when you put on your shoes.  Of course the width of your pants and the type of shoe you are wearing also needs to be taken into consideration.

4.  Length of jacket arm sleeve.


The boutonniere has a long history.  A lot of grooms/bestmen are opting for not wearing boutonnieres or are adopting funky ideas instead.  Whilst I have no problem with these ideas eg. badges, rosettes they still need to be properly placed on the lapel of the jacket.  Very often because it is a badge or rosette it is placed on the pocket or above the pocket and, quite frankly, it just looks wrong!  I really did not think I would need to point out that the stem of the boutonniere should be placed down.  A ladies corsage is pinned with the flowers down!!


The boutonniere is worn on the left lapel of a man's suit jacket.  A good jacket has a sturdy buttonhole that should support the weight of the boutonniere.  It sometimes has a latch to keep the stems in place but if not the stem would have been bound and finished attractively by your florist making it easy for you to pin onto the lapel. 


Tradition was that the groom's boutonniere should be slightly different to those worn by the bestmen and, of course, the choice of flower/flowers should be the same as those used in the bridal bouquet.


I like small compact boutonnieres and do not like some of the overdone corsage, small posy type of boutonnieres as I find that they can look somewhat overwhelming.


Navy blue suits in various shades, light through to dark navy, are trending for weddings.  Understandably, one cannot expect each of your bestmen to buy the same suit but do watch out for ending up with an array of different navy blues.   Unfortunately, whilst the eye is quite forgiving photographs really pick up the differentiation and it is just something, I think, you should be aware of.  It is for this reason that perhaps the groom buys himself a good suit and the bestmen hire their suits.  When hiring be specific about fitting and there is no reason why they should not see that the length of the pants is correct as well as the length of the jacket sleeve.


Your suit jacket should end above the top of your wrist bone.  Your shirt sleeve should end at the base of your hand and when fitted some of the shirt cuff will show.  When not fitted properly long jacket sleeves result in you looking sloppy whilst showing too much cuff makes your jacket look as if it is too short for you. 


Growing up my mother always used to say "don't let your clothes wear you, wear your clothes" and, even though I am a woman, I believe the same applies to men.  Men who wear and take ownership of the suit they are wearing, attending to the most flattering cut and tailoring, always look masculine and in control.  They look confident, debonair and handsome.  Most women cannot resist a good looking man in a suit (even better in a dress suit)!


Shape up guys and dolls and don't leave the fitting or buying of suits to the last minute.  Ask your bestmen to take the matter seriously after all you all want to look dashing.  If you feel you are unable to pull it off yourself ask for help.  As mentioned, Rozanne from www.moistyling.co.za  will be able to do a great job of dressing you for your wedding.  She does not charge for a consultation and you will be surpised at the well priced suits she is able to obtain for you.


Good luck. 


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