Three Things You Should Know About Men's Formalwear

Etiquette, Grooms

Getting your groom (and his guys!) dressed for the wedding might seem like a less-stressful task than organizing bridesmaids' dresses, hair, and makeup, but there are still a lot of things to coordinate, especially if you're hosting a formal wedding. We found three common groomswear questions and etiquette expert-approved answers that'll help all of your favorite men look like their most suave and dapper selves come your big day.

Can the men in our wedding wear dress oxfords with their tuxedoes?
A heavy everyday business shoe clashes with the elegant style of a tuxedo. Formal shoes are sleeker, lighter; the most traditional formal shoe (perfect with a full-dress tuxedo or white tie) is a black tuxedo pump — a plain slip-on shoe in silk, velvet, dress or patent leather, often with a grosgrain bow; or a suede or quilted slipper. Other formal options: Black slip-ons, lace-ups made of fine leather with a soft matte finish (for a morning suit — or cutaway, stroller, or tuxedo). Or add pizzazz with a black silk handwoven slip-on (available for rent at most men's formalwear stores).

My ushers live in different cities. How can I be sure their formalwear matches?
You can always have them plan a guy's trip (even over the bachelor party weekend) to all get fitted together. If that's not possible, the only guarantee is to order everyone's complete ensemble in one store, or try ordering via the Internet. The groom can choose a formalwear store convenient to the wedding site. After he chooses his formalwear style, the store gives the groom measurement forms to mail, fax or email to his ushers. They then visit a formalwear store in their own area to try on a jacket and be measured (most stores will dot his as a courtesy and a precaution against ending up with incorrectly fitted formalwear). It's not enough to measure chests; some men have muscular biceps, triceps, and thighs.

The groom may be able to secure the entire order with his credit card; later, as each usher comes in for a final fitting, he can pay for his own outfit. Even if an usher will wear his own tuxedo, the shirts and accessories should all be rented, since colors, styles, ties, shirt studs, and cuff links may vary.

Can my groom's outfit distinguish him from his ushers?
Everyone, including your fathers, wears the same type of formalwear. (The only possible exception: The ring bearer, who may fit into a different style of suit or tuxedo that is appropriate to his age.) What can vary, however, are the accessories. Some creative ways to set the groom apart include mixing up patterns, textures, and reversing colors of the vest and tie.

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