It’s no secret that brides and grooms want to look their absolute best on their wedding day, but crash diets, drastic appearance changes, and excessive workout regimens are unpredictable, unhealthy, and place unnecessary pressure on already stressed-out couples. Planning a wedding is unsurprisingly taxing on the mind and body and it’s important to take moments of self-care and reflection, not torture yourself even more in the process.
That said, all brides and grooms want to feel good about their overall look and, in particular, the way their body feels and presents itself in an expensive garment. It is, after all, a moment to take center stage in front of family and friends and showcase the happiest, most carefree, and stylish versions of you and your partner.
For a quick and easy boost in confidence, women have relied on shapewear to not only accentuate their best features, but also smooth out skin so that form-fitting dresses can zip up with ease and hug curves like a glove. In fact, shapewear is so effective that it has recently captured the attention of men who have also opted for compression fabrics to achieve a slimming effect under tailored tuxedos and tighter dress shirts.
“People sometimes forget that for grooms, it’s also the biggest day of their lives,” says Jay Amin, founder of menswear brand Amin Standard. “I always encourage grooms to invest in themselves just as much as they invest in the production of their wedding. Looking at photos years down the road, they’ll be glad that they did.”
As men’s shapewear continues to increase in popularity, we rounded up three of the best options for grooms and groomsmen to consider, as well as tips and tricks in selecting a product that works for you.
Shapewear for Men 101
While shapewear is nothing novel (it actually dates back to ancient Greece and Rome), its use with men may be a foreign concept for many grooms. “It’s not just the ladies who want to keep everything looking tight on their big day,” reminds Amin, who offers three hard and fast rules when wearing any type of shapewear garment.
- Be cognizant of the color under your dress shirt. “The outline will be noticeable if it’s too dark, so aim for something that matches the color of your skin. Also, you should lean towards a thicker, whiter fabric for your shirt to hide anything underneath it.”
- Keep length and style in mind. “Make sure you’re able to tuck in your button-down without the shapewear riding up or making the area look even more bulky.”
- Try it out before the wedding. “Wear your shapewear to any tuxedo fitting to ensure you get accurate measurements. You don’t want your test drive to be when it matters most!”
The Best Shapewear for Men
Men’s shapewear has evolved beyond a simple compression t-shirt or tank top. There are now a bevy of options like high-waisted shorts, bodysuits, and even girdles to tighten the waistline and highlight larger muscle groups underneath your suit or tux.
Here are three popular ideas to take into consideration if you’re looking for a little extra assistance.
A Sculpting Crewneck
Spanx boasts an entire line of men’s shapewear with tanks, boxer-briefs, and socks, but the beloved company’s Sculpt Cotton Crew Neck is perfect for a discreet, under-the-tux smooth and lift that will flatten pesky muffin tops while perking up pecs.
Slimming Boxer Briefs
Not only does a sweatproof design tuck in the belly and provide better posture, but the Rounderbum Slim Fit & Lift Boxer Brief also gives the booty a lift with hidden bands designed to enhance a man’s profile in all the right ways.
A Compression Tank
Say “I do” to Leo Crew Neck Seamless Compression Tank's ultra-thin seams that flawlessly support any article of clothing that is worn over it. It also contains a breathable mesh so that you don’t feel entirely constricted as you boogie down on the dance floor, as well as added back support so that you can literally carry the weight of an epic wedding on your shoulders.
If shapewear just isn’t the answer for you, there are a few simple ways to achieve a more trim and compact appearance in formalwear. But do keep in mind that suits are naturally very slimming and flattering, thanks to their monochromatic colors and textures.
- Avoid pleated pants. These can come across as wide and boxy.
- Consider a pinstripe suit. The skinny lines can help to elongate your body.
- Embrace the slim fit suit. Baggy clothes make you look bigger, whereas a slim fit accentuates the natural lines of your body.
- Ditch any bold patterns. A floral jacket may seem like a fun and different approach, but sometimes the louder the print, the more it brings attention to areas you’re trying to camouflage.
“Also, never underestimate the power of a good tailor,” adds Amin. “Making sure the garment fits in all areas, especially the waist, is essential and only an experienced outfitter can achieve these GQ-worthy results.”