Compared to finding the perfect wedding gown, selecting attire for a groom might seem super simple. (They just have to find a suit or tuxedo that fits well, right?) Though it doesn't sound hard, shopping for a great day-of outfit can actually be pretty complicated, especially for grooms who are notoriously indecisive.
As the groom, there's a lot to consider when it comes to your wedding day fashions. Between choosing the style, color, formality, budget, and fit of your overall look, it can feel a little overwhelming if you're unsure of what to wear. Plus, since you'll want to buy an outfit that's truly special, the pressure to find the perfect getup might make shopping nearly impossible.
To help ease this stress, though, we spoke with two experts on how to choose the right groom's attire if you're an indecisive person. Here's everything you should know to help make this process a little less intimidating and a little more fun.
Meet the Expert
- Grant Alexander is a Chicago-based personal stylist who helps people look and feel their best for any phase of life or event.
- Erika Cartledge is a personal stylist, and founder and CEO of Your Chic Is Showing. She helps clients elevate their personal style and feel more confident.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Suit or Tuxedo
The number one thing to keep in mind when shopping for wedding attire is your style preferences. It's your day so you should wear what works best for you, whether that's a tuxedo, a colorful suit, or something else. That said, there are a few factors to take into consideration, and the dress code is probably the most important place to start. "If the wedding is black-tie optional, welcomed, or required, you should be in a tuxedo," says Grant Alexander, Chicago-based personal stylist. "If it's cocktail, semi-formal, or any other less-than-formal attire, you can opt for a suit instead."
The weather and season are also essential to your decision-making. Alexander notes that a standard black, blue, or other colored tuxedo is a year-round garment that will work for any climate, season, or location. "Velvet jackets are an option best suited for the autumn and winter months," he adds. "Light-colored fabrics, as well as lightweight fabrics such as linen, work best in spring and summer and warmer climates (think warm, beachfront weddings)."
Additionally, and as weird as it might sound, you'll want to think about your normal body temperature. "Let's be real, you should consider how much you sweat. There, I said it," Alexander notes. "Don't be ashamed, and don't feel bad about that factoring into your outfit. We're here to tell you that the vast majority of guys and our clients privately voice their concerns over sweating on their wedding day." He suggests adding a vest or waistcoat to a suit or tux, as they will help disguise any sweat marks and keep you looking put together if you decide to take your jacket off.
Want to keep things simple? "Pick a medium-weight, year-round fabric and it should work no matter the season or weather," Alexander advises.
How to Prepare for Your Shopping Experience
Before you head into your appointment, you need to make a list of your likes and dislikes. If you feel clueless, Alexander suggests thinking about a wedding you went to in the past, one where you liked how the groom looked. "It gives us a starting point," he says. "We ask to see pictures and talk them through the details to try and figure out what they liked, so we can recreate or find that." If you also have specific photos of a look from a magazine or online, make sure you bring them along.
Don't sift through too many images, though. Personal stylist Erika Cartledge notes that giving yourself fewer choices might make the process feel less overwhelming. "Having too many options actually leads to analysis paralysis and a groom can't make a decision," she shares. "So, instead, find two to three styles you like, communicate that before you start to try options, and ask to see fewer choices that are more aligned with your style."
How to Narrow Down Your Wedding Attire Options
If you get into a situation where you end up having too many options, trying to pick one can be really tough. Luckily, there are ways to push past this and land on an outfit that's perfect for you.
First, be practical about your decision by really considering both your personal style and your wedding aesthetic. "For example, if you're having an afternoon garden wedding in April, there is zero point at looking at white-tie tuxedo options or overly formal attire," Cartledge notes. Therefore, if you're considering a super formal tuxedo and your nuptials call for you to be casual, opt for something that aligns with your wedding's theme instead.
Thinking about your budget is also important. Even if you absolutely love an option, you may regret splurging in the long run, especially if it's way over what you wanted to spend. Try to only look at wedding attire that fits within your designated price range.
If you really can't decide, Alexander recommends a game of "This or That". "You put two options next to each other and you have one second to answer which one you'd pick," he explains. "The winner moves on until there's one left. By forcing a quick decision, you have to choose based on your gut. The gut is almost always right and this game makes quick work of decision-making."
Who to Bring to Your Shopping Appointment
You can always shop alone, but it's more fun (and can sometimes be more helpful) to bring at least one person along. However, it's important to remember that the people you bring matter as they can influence your final decision. What's more, if your partner wants final approval or veto power, Alexander recommends bringing them to your appointment. If not, he suggests a close friend. "They'll give you honest feedback and provide a comfortable sounding board to help make the decision," he says.
Cartledge further suggests bringing someone who will respect your boundaries, and help you stick to them, in case the shopping attendant (or another friend or family member) is pushy. "Bring someone who will make the whole process feel more comfortable and less stressful," she shares.
Lastly, feel free to invite a parent. "If you do choose or need to bring a parent with you, ask them to provide constructive feedback on the looks you choose to try on," Alexander says. "Don't let them put you in something you don't like."