While the bride and her bridesmaids tend to steal the spotlight on the big day, the groomsmen's attire is just as important when pulling your wedding vision together. This is a monumental day, after all, and dressing to impress is the name of the game. Figuring out how to dress the gents can be tricky, but with the help of men’s fashion expert Barrett Dudley, we’re breaking down all of your groomsmen style questions so your guys can dress with confidence.
Meet the Expert
Barrett Dudley is the host of Club Cool, a male style podcast covering a range of topics, from the latest men's fashion trends to pop culture.
“Groomsmen traditionally wear a suit or a tuxedo that matches or complements what the groom has decided to wear,” says Dudley. Matching with the style and feel of the groom’s look (as well as with the female attendants) will help ensure the entire bridal party is cohesive—especially in photos.
Groomsmen traditionally wear a suit or a tuxedo that matches or complements what the groom has decided to wear.
When selecting your groomsmen's attire, consider your venue and the formality of the event. If your wedding is in the warmer months, daytime, or outdoors, you can utilize lighter-colors, more casual fabrics such as khaki, and suits (or even jackets and slacks) as opposed to tuxes. If your event is in the evening, takes place in a swanky venue, or you want to create a generally elevated and formal affair, go with dark suits or get extra stylish with tuxedoes.
Nowadays, groomsmen have many options for adding to the overall vibe of the day thanks to fun extras like silly socks, trendy ties, and non-traditional footwear such as boots or polished sneakers. The most important things to remember are:
- Everyone dresses to the appropriate level of formality
- The groomsmen attire complements the bridesmaid attire
- The attire doesn't take the spotlight away from the bride or groom
Groomsmen Attire Etiquette
Now, let's answer a few frequently asked questions surrounding groomsmen attire.
Do the groomsmen have to match?
“At the very least, groomsmen should all be dressed in a similar color palette,” advises Dudley. “If you leave the dudes to their own devices, you [could] end up with two guys in navy suits, one in a tux, and the other wearing pinstripes.”
To avoid a look that clashes, select the same style for everyone to buy or rent or set distinct guidelines (such as all black) suits to keep things coordinated.
One popular choice is to have the groom’s look vary slightly from his attendants. “If the groom and groomsmen are all wearing navy suits, maybe the groomsmen wear one specific tie and the groom wears a unique one or if the groomsmen are in black tuxedos, put the groom in midnight blue,” suggests Dudley.
Who pays from groomsmen outfits?
Traditionally, all attendants buy or rent their own wedding day looks. Be up-front with the expected prices and let them be a part of the selection process. If you’d like to let your guys wear their own suits (something they’ll be thrilled about), be sure to give them guidelines (such as a full black or navy suit). Ask them to submit a photo of their outfit a few months before the event, so if someone does need to rent or purchase something, they have time.
“Gift them an item that will create the matching throughline, be it a tie, bow tie, embroidered pocket square, pair of suspenders, cufflinks, or any other small accessory of the sort,” advises Dudley. This is a great way to keep your guys looking sharp while also giving them something to remember the event by.
When should the outfits be ordered?
As soon as you’ve settled on a style, place your rental or purchase orders ASAP to keep things running smooth and stress-free. They should be ordered no later than a couple of months before the big day. While it can be tricky to wrangle a group of guys to order suits, sites like The Black Tux have a solution. Remember: It’s your vision, and your guys are there to help you see it through.