From the Mailbag: Outfitting the Groom for a Summer Wedding in the Woods
Above suit: Banana Republic Modern Italian Cotton 2-Button Suit - $380.00
I’m getting married this summer and am wondering if you’d be willing to offer up any suggestions for some non-tux groom and or groomsman wear. It’ll be an outside wedding, it might get hot, and it’s not super formal but I’d still like to look sharp. I’m about 6’1 190 average build. The wedding’s in a small old logging town and there may be some turn of the century vintage logging style themes present elsewhere.
Thanks for any/all advice or time you’re willing to give.
Wow, well, first let me say that I’m flattered. Asking for an opinion on sweater fabrics or the best way to spend an Indochino Groupon is one thing, but someone asking for a take on what to wear on his wedding day is another. Pressure’s on. Eli… you sure you don’t want me to just send you, say, a creme brulee set? 90% of the wedding registries I’ve ever seen has one of those on there. Which also makes me wonder why I’ve never had creme brulee outside of a restaurant. You think the odds would dictate otherwise.
You deserve to be comfortable on your wedding day, and Summer + Outdoors can = major trouble. Even though you’ll be surrounded by an awesomely rough backdrop, buffalo plaid flannel or just wool in general is taking a huge risk. And that risk is heatstroke. You should be at ease that day. I hate to punt on this one, but I think a well tailored cotton khaki suit like this 2-button version from Banana Republic is the way to go.
The fabric is sourced from Italy and it’s nothing short of incredible. The fit is much more trim than you’d expect from BR (but not so trim it wouldn’t fit a 6’1″ 190lbs frame), and the shoulder pads aren’t obtrusive. It’s actually a bit darker in person than the fitting room photos show. And since it’s a GAP inc product, wait for a sale and it could end up 20%, maybe 30% or even 40% off. Again, the fabric is seriously something. Once your wife-to-be walks down the aisle and lays a hand on your jacket sleeve, she won’t want to let go for the rest of the day.
Buck the usual blue tie/brown shoes accompaniment and pair it with a bright white shirt and black tie. Knit even. Black shoes too. Most guys don’t think black goes with khaki but it absolutely does, and it’ll make you look like the groom. If you really want to embrace the entire woodsy lumberjack vibe, maybe (again, maybe) go with a chambray shirt. That’ll drop it quite a bit on the formal/casual scale, so maybe that’s an option for your groomsmen. If you really want a vintage look, there’s always this chambray club collar (think rounded corners) shirt from Rugby.
If Khaki just isn’t your thing, there are a few affordable darker cotton suits out there like this silk cotton blend from Express. Yeah it sounds weird to be wearing Express on your wedding day, but with one of their many online coupons, it’ll end up at around $286. It also looks remarkably good and you won’t completely melt in it.
Finish it all off with a slick but unobtrusive watch, take your time shaving that morning, and go easy on the hair product. You don’t want your dome to be a melting mess on your wedding day. Keep your knees flexed during the ceremony (remind your groomsmen too) because if you lock em’ you’ll pass out even if it’s only a little bit warm. No matter how well tailored the suit, it doesn’t look good on an unconscious dude sprawled out on the ground.
I saw it happen live once. It was maybe 75 degrees that day. One of the groomsmen locked his knees, passed out, and bit it just as the officiant was delivering the “you may now kiss the bride” line. They were on grass, but he hit his head hard enough that he got a concussion and had to be ushered off to the hospital. Whoops.
Best of luck, and remember that above all else… this is her day, and this is your day. Everyone in attendance should be beyond thrilled to help make that happen. All the best to you Eli, let us know how it goes after the nuptials, and we’ll celebrate you and your new bride here at the Dappered home offices with a round of creme brullee. As long as I can find that set we got for our wedding.
Thoughts? Other wedding day suggestions or tips for Eli? Leave it all in the comments section below.