While it may seem the fashion (or anti-fashion) for a modern groom to pay scant attention to himself on his wedding day, the event shouldn’t necessarily revolve around a white dress, diamond rings and canapés.
Let’s declare an end to the proud but misguided tradition of men getting ready for their nuptials 15 minutes before the car arrives while the bride-to-be has been planning details for months. I’m not suggesting man-manicures and hair rehearsals, just a flirtation with one’s inner metrosexual for the big day. If you channel Daniel Craig’s Bond and the Ocean’s Eleven lads for inspiration, you can’t go wrong.
At a time when the average wedding budget hovers around S$27,000 (and higher in the US, UK and Australia), modern grooms have every reason to look their sharpest. Here are 10 tips for those gents about to take the plunge.
1. As outdoor ceremonies on beaches and in gardens become increasingly popular, fashion choices for grooms are opening up. Heavy wool suits are out of place on the beach, so save them for evening or winter weddings. For the daytime, choose cooler fabrics like lightweight wool, cotton or linen, and colours such as cream, beige, khaki or light grey. Stick to single-breasted as double-breasted suits are a bit passé.
2. Traditionally, tuxedos aren’t worn until after 5pm, so if you want a formal day look, get fitted for a black, navy or dark grey suit. There are some excellent lightweight wools out there. Not only will it look smart, but you can probably wear it later to work – and don’t men love clothes that multitask!
3. The fit of the suit must be spot-on. This cannot be overemphasised. As all men are not created equal, so too their suits require personal attention. Shoulder pads, chest fit, jacket length, arm length relative to shirt sleeve, leg length (with that absolutely necessary “kick”), jacket vents – all of these features will flatter the wearer when the suit is a well-fit tailor-made or designer number. Ready-to-wear high-end designers of note include Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss. Tailors are best found by personal recommendation. Always try the suit on again one week prior to the wedding in case any late alterations need to be made. The cut of the moment is slim-fitting, but your tailor should work with your body type for the best look.
4. You can’t beat a crisp white shirt, with one modest button left open if the look is going to be casual and tie-less. Other colours for the modern groom include pale pink (yes, real men do wear pink) and lavender. If ties are to be worn, go for solid colours rather than patterns. Metallics look great. Leave the blue shirt and striped tie for the boardroom. This is a party! If it will be hot and humid, consider a second shirt for you and your groomsmen to change into.
5. Shirts may have regular cuffs or French cuffs. If the latter, invest in a pair of classy cufflinks. This is not the time for novelty. (In fact, I am almost humourless when it comes to an elegant wedding.) Stylish, understated and expensive is the look to aim for. Family heirloom cufflinks are a great option, as are the selections from Paul Smith (for the modern groom), Tiffany & Co (for classic silver), Dunhill (follow in the footsteps of Jude Law, their celebrity face) and Cartier (for old-fashioned class and glamour).
6. Go for polished leather shoes in either black or brown, sleek, modern and unfussy. For the beach, barefoot is best.
7. Sunglasses have a place in the modern wedding, but only in an outdoor setting. Now is not the time for sports glasses. Opt for classic styles like wire-rimmed, wraparounds and aviators. Think Prada, Ray Ban and Gucci. Take them off for your photos.
8. Most modern grooms choose to wear a wedding ring. Avoid stones, signet-style rings and anything too elaborate. The classic gold band remains popular, though many are steering towards wide, square-edged and masculine rings made from titanium or, the darling of the moment, tungsten, which is scratch-proof.
9. Up the ante with your personal grooming regime. Remind yourself of the hours your bride-to-be will spend on her appearance and don’t look like you’ve just stepped off the 19th hole. Get a haircut a week before the wedding to avoid that back-to-school look. Exfoliate your face the day before and get rid of any unwanted hair. After your shave and shower, use a small amount of hair product so you don’t look fluffy. Splash on a little (expensive) cologne or aftershave.
10. Finally, try your whole ensemble on in front of the mirror before the big day to get a sense of how you’ll look. Just trying on parts won’t ring any intuitive warning bells. If in doubt, ask your most stylish mate for an opinion – or check out the male style bible, www.gq.com
That’s what’s hot. Here’s what’s definitely not...
• Untraditional collars like Mandarin or Nehru collars
• Matrix-style knee-length coats
• Anything too themed
• Anything remotely medieval or Celtic like velvet,
lace-up shirts or ruffles
• Novelty waistcoats or ties
• Bowties in general, unless black with a tuxedo
(dinner suit) or white with tails
• Anything burgundy or emerald green
• Jeans, cargo pants, flip-flops, man sandals, gold necklaces, ponytails, long goatees, immodest visible chest hair
Tailor-made wedding suits are available at Sam Custom’s Tailors, Far East Plaza, 02-55.
Call (+65) 6333 8936. www.samscustomtailors.com.sg.
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