Groom Suits: Ideas & Inspiration for Groom Outfits
When it comes to choosing groom suits, always default to Giorgio Armani’s quote about style:
“I believe that style is the only real luxury that is really desirable.”
Nowhere is that truer than when choosing a suit for your wedding. But therein lies a challenge – style is in the eye of the beholder, and what is stylish to you may not be stylish to other people. And for some, style doesn’t come naturally, which is why you find yourself looking for inspiration for groom suits right now.
Current trends lean toward textured fabrics, casual wedding suits, and big statement accessories. But here, you’ll get a full breakdown of style choices, helping you choose between a suit and a tuxedo, as well as covering some options based on the theme, time, and types of groom suits available.
Understanding the Basics
Let’s start with the basics – groom suits vs. tuxedos. Each gives off a different vibe, with one being more suited to a formal wedding than the other, but both can be great choices if you match their style to the particulars of your big day.
The Difference Between Groom Suits and Groom Tuxedos
The main difference between groom suits and groom tuxedos lies in tone.
With a tux, you’re setting a more formal tone for your wedding. Tuxedos work best during black-tie weddings, especially those taking place during the evening, whereas a suit is more versatile. It’s not quite accurate to say a suit is only for casual weddings – the right suit can still give off as formal a tone as a tux. But you get more choice on the casual-to-formal spectrum with suits than you do tuxedos.
Color is another differentiating factor, though it’s one that’s becoming more blurred in recent years.
Traditionally, tuxedos are black with a white shirt, again leaning into formality. But more recently, tuxedos have been changing to the point where you’re seeing white tuxes and even stylized tuxedos with patterns. Suits, on the other hand, have always come in a ton of different colors and patterns (i.e., the current trend toward textured fabrics often uses tartan and similar check-like patterns).
Essentials of a Groom Suit
Let’s say you opt for a suit. These are the essentials you need to get right if you’re going to find the perfect wedding suit.
The Wedding Coat – How to Choose the Right One
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right wedding coat, some of which are covered later on. For now, remember two things – don’t overshadow the bride, and make sure the groomsmen’s outfits match the theme of your wedding coat, though not to the point where they’re exactly the same.
Beyond that, your choice often depends on the nature of the wedding.
A single-breasted suit with three buttons is often a good choice for formal weddings, especially in the peak lapel style. Pockets also make the formal look – jetted beats flap every time. The former is a slit in the jacket that sits cleanly against the rest of the coat, with the latter being what it says it is – a pocket with a flap over the top.
Casual weddings give you far more options, even allowing you to buy suits that you might be able to wear to other events or even work.
Accessories That Complement Groom Suits
You could get hundreds of accessory ideas from researching online, with some being more outlandish than others. A 2014 GQ Australia article, for instance, recommends carrying a Swiss army knife as an accessory.
That’s probably a step too far unless carrying a knife somehow matches your theme, but the below accessories are usually good to pair with groom suits:
- Cufflinks – Simple square or circular cufflinks are good ideas, though many grooms opt for something more personal, such as initials. You could even make matching cufflinks the gift in the groomsmen boxes you give to the male side of your wedding party.
- A Watch – Beyond being a timepiece that ensures you’re not late for the ceremony, a nice watch sets off your suit nicely. You don’t necessarily have to match colors here but try not to pick a flashy or oversized watch, especially if you have a slim-fit suit.
- Pocket Square – Contrary to popular belief, your pocket square doesn’t have to match your tie. Marc Darcy recommends matching it to your suit’s color, such as using light earthy tones if you have a tan suit.
Types of Groom Suits
You can break groom suits down into three categories:
- Classic Groom Suits
- Contemporary Suits
- Seasonal Suits
Classic Groom Suits
Evergreen and traditional are the operative words for classic groom suits.
They usually combine a jacket that ends just below the waist with a waistcoat and tie. White shirts are standard, though this can change depending on the suit’s color or the wedding’s theme. But the idea here is that this type of suit never goes out of style.
Colors are usually dark, ranging from full black to deep shades of blue or grey.
Fashion-forward is what you’re aiming for with a more contemporary suit, which usually matches a current trend rather than relying on what’s always worked. What that trend may be varies depending on the season. Flashes of pink have been popular in the past (as highlighted by Martha Stewart), as have patterns and mismatches between the suit jacket and your pants.
Floral and checked shirts are also becoming more popular for new-age groom suits. Simply put – anything that’s outside the norm often fits in this category, though you still have to consider your wedding’s theme when choosing.
Summer, winter, and beach weddings. All have different vibes, and matching your suit to that vibe ensures you don’t look out of place.
For instance, tropical wedding suits made using linen and featuring light colors look great for a beach wedding. They catch the light and airy vibe of the setting perfectly. But wear the same suit as the groom at a winter wedding, and you’re going to clash against the darker tones of the daytime sky. You may also feel like you’re freezing to death.
Sticking with winter weddings, these are the ideal occasions for wearing a tuxedo – especially if there’s snow on the ground. Tuxes are warmer, too, so you won’t end up shivering when you’re saying your vows.
As for summer, go for a similar vibe to a beach wedding, only without the tropical elements. Patterns, for instance, go out the window, but you’re likely still going to wear lighter colors and get a suit made using a breathable fabric, like linen.
Choosing the Right Suit
Now you understand a little more about the types of groom suits available; it’s down to the important business – picking the right suit for your big day.
By Wedding Theme
The wedding’s theme is always a good starting point when choosing a suit.
You saw a little of this in the section about seasonal suits. Building on that, a daytime wedding, especially a spring wedding, will usually have a lighter theme than a winter or evening wedding. Material choices matter here, with linen and cotton often being better for spring than the thick, almost woolly look you might prefer for a winter wedding.
There’s also the theme to consider with the groom’s suit and what the groomsmen wear. You need to match in style, though not match in suits. For instance, if you pick a charcoal or navy suit, then dark suits are your theme across the male wedding party. In the case of charcoal, your groomsmen might wear a different shade or a slightly different style of suit, for example.
By Body Type
“A man in a well-tailored suit will always shine brighter than a guy in an off-the-rack suit.”
Take that advice from luxury clothing and accessories maker Michael Kors to heart when choosing groom suits to fit your body type. Tailoring is often the answer, even if it’s to pull in a sleeve or provide a more flattering look for the more ample gentleman.
On a more general level, the more heavyset man should look toward lighter suit fabrics (eliminating unwanted bulk) and angled cuts. Sharp horizontal cuts are the enemy because they’re unflattering closer to the stomach – think of a horizontal line warping as it goes down. Angular cuts are better, and you’ll often find a simple single-breasted suit does a great job of using angles to direct attention to your face.
Slimmer grooms can get away with slim-fit suits cut to match their bodies. They’re also better served by horizontal lines, which create a nice symmetry running down the suit to accentuate their slimness. You get a more modern fit, even if it’s one that a larger groom wouldn’t feel confident wearing.
The tone you’re trying to set dictates the color you choose.
Black is the evergreen option – it works almost everywhere except tropical wedding settings. It’s the classical look that you simply can’t go wrong with because black perfectly contrasts the white of a bride’s gown. Of course, there are some instances where black doesn’t work. The aforementioned tropical wedding is one. Also, if your bride decides that white isn’t for her, you may need a color that better complements her gown.
Grey is also a good choice, especially if you’re going to incorporate some flashes of pink into your color scheme. It tends to match well with the flowers the bridesmaids carry, for example. Granted, it can feel a little passé (grey was bigger a few years ago than it is now). But combining it with the thicker textures of a tweed suit brings grey back up to date.
Speaking of tweed – it’s great for winter weddings where you want to add a splash of color without going overboard with pastels. You’ll generally get darker and earthier tones with tweed (think tan or textured black), and it’s a great choice for rustic settings.
Finally, the “in” color at the moment is blue. That doesn’t mean navy, by the way. Instead, think deep ocean blue, and you’re closer to the trend. This jazzy option makes the groom stand out more, so make sure your bride is happy with it before you go down the blue road.
Accessorizing the Groom’s Suit
Your suit looks sharp, and you’re happy with your choice. The only problem? It looks a touch spartan, so it could use a few accessories to spruce it up.
Start with your tie.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” Let’s adapt that to say it’s the first serious step in getting your suit ensemble looking sharper, and you’ll see why your tie is so important.
Start with the basics – tie or bow tie? The latter works best for formal weddings (perfect for pairing with a tux), whereas regular ties are more versatile and work with almost any type of suit. Assuming you go with a tie, there are two rules to follow:
- Your tie should always be darker than your shirt, ensuring it stands out against your chest and showing that you’ve put effort into choosing the tie rather than throwing on the first one you find.
- Match the tone, but not necessarily the color of your suit. For example, a navy tie is a good pairing with a royal blue suit. Both have blue tones, but the contrasting colors within those tones ensure the tie looks good without taking too much attention away from your jacket.
From there, add accessories as you feel comfortable. As mentioned previously, cufflinks and pocket squares are great choices because they’re subtle and don’t distract from the suit itself. The same goes for a tie bar – match it to the color of your cufflinks, and you create some nice style cohesion.
Finally – shoes.
Practicality, tone, and color are your three concerns here. You’re going to be on your feet all day (or it’ll feel like that, at least), so choose shoes that are fit for the job. For example, suede looks stylish but is not a great choice for an outdoor wedding. Or, a beach wedding may be the right place to try informal shoes, though not quite veering into sneaker territory.
As for tone, the style of the shoe has to match the event’s tone. Wearing canvas shoes is great for a beach wedding but completely out of place for a formal occasion. Conversely, rocking up in classic Oxfords looks strange in a tropical setting.
As for color, match the shoes to your belt and ensure they look good against your pants. Black and brown are the most common colors, with lighter shades of brown being good if you choose a grey or similarly light-colored suit.
Customizing Your Suit
You’re almost done. Your last step is to touch up the suit so it’s ready for the big day.
A visit to a local tailor is usually a good start, especially if you bought your suit off-the-rack. A few tweaks can turn a suit that doesn’t quite match your body type into one that fits perfectly - no bulges or weird lines.
Adding a few personal touches can also be a nice little finishing touch to groom suits. Attention to detail is less important than wearing something that has sentimental meaning to you or your family. For instance, a watch that your father or grandfather wore could be a great nod to the male role models in your life, especially if those role models aren’t here for the ceremony.
Renting vs. Buying: A Convenient Option
You have one last decision before you’re wedding-ready – rent or buy.
Buying your wedding suit gives you full ownership. You can tailor the suit to match your theme, and you get an heirloom that you can keep (and perhaps even reuse) as a symbol of your happy marriage.
But buying suits cost money – a lot of money, with prices stretching into the four figures if you opt for a tux or a more expensive suit. Given that the average cost of a wedding can be anywhere between $16,000 and $43,000 (depending on where you live), anything you can do to save a little money goes a long way.
That’s when renting groom suits becomes a better option.
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars, you can rent a suit for a fraction of the price. This approach also gives you access to a greater selection of wedding suits, with major brands becoming more accessible because you no longer have to buy.
Generation Tux is a great example of a company that rents out groom suits, as well as providing groomsmen tuxedo rentals. With over 25 options in its lineup, you’ll find a suit or tux that matches your wedding’s theme. You get free shipping, too, and its “Home Try-On” service helps you get the best fit possible even though you’re renting online.
So, if you’re looking for a stylish and hassle-free way to don a designer groom suit without the hefty price tag, Generation Tux is the answer. Explore the collection at Generation Tux and experience convenience like never before.
Care and Maintenance
Let’s wrap things up with some quick tips about keeping your suit in top shape, both before and after the big day:
- Keep the suit in a breathable garment bag and avoid folding. You don’t want a massive horizontal crease running across the pants or base of the suit jacket that you have to buff out.
- Don’t use plastic bags for storage because they’re moisture traps that can discolor your suit.
- Hang your suit jacket on a wider hanger so it keeps its shape.
- Cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight are the three golden rules for ensuring the suit maintains its color long after the wedding bells ring.
Find the Perfect Groom Suits
Though you’ve received a lot of advice in this article, there’s one factor that trumps all others when choosing between groom suits – how you feel.
Confidence and comfort are your priorities, with your suit accentuating those feelings rather than forcing you to feel uncomfortable in clothes that don’t align with who you are. It’s about balance. Using the advice about matching themes and colors here helps you choose a suit that’s practical, befitting of the occasion, and confidence-imbuing.