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Oct, 25 2023

Should the Groom Dress the Same as the Groomsmen?

Four men in suits sitting on a couch and holding drinks

The attire plays a pivotal role in any wedding. Without a dress code, there’s no telling what the wedding party or guests should wear, which can ruin the theme of the celebration.

A particularly important outfit-related topic is that of the groom: different suit than groomsmen? Why not? No rule prohibits the groom from wearing the same garments as their groomsmen, but they can also choose contrasting clothes.

This article will explore the factors that determine the ideal style. We’ll also take a look at the pros and cons of both fashion choices.

Historical Perspective: A Glimpse Into Traditions

7 men in suits in a line

A central question about wedding attire is this: “After the groom picks a suit, what does a groomsman do?” Does he match the outfit or take an entirely different route?

In many cases, groomsmen emulate the groom’s style, and this isn’t a novelty. The practice dates back to the Middle Ages when the groom and groomsmen wore the same clothes to ward off evil spirits. Matching attire confused any menacing presence, making it impossible for it to identify the newlywed. This way, they were safe from curses, bad luck, and other issues associated with sinister spirits.

Centuries later, some communities maintain a similar belief but for different reasons. Many religions and cultures require the groom and groomsmen to wear matching clothes. Only then can they start the marriage off on the right foot.

Motivation isn’t the only aspect that evolved. The groom and groomsmen’s attire also reached new heights in the 19th century. In medieval times, standard wedding attire featured a tunic shirt, trousers, and breeches. As for the colors, muted nuances of brown and blue led the way.

In the 1800s, grooms and groomsmen put on a so-called morning suit. The name comes from the fact that weddings at the time usually occurred in the morning.

Here’s what a typical morning suit for grooms and groomsmen looked like:

  • Single-breasted morning coat (peaked lapels and no more than two buttons)
  • Waistcoat or vest
  • Stripped pants
  • Tie
  • Gloves
  • Hat

Nowadays, you may also need to consider religion, culture, and your community to make an informed choice. However, there are many other factors that can help you find the right clothing style, most of which are dictated by modern fashion.

The Modern Wedding Style

A man in a navy suit and black tie

If you’re a groom, you want to choose from a variety of groom suits that reflect contemporary designs. The same goes for groomsmen, but what is modern wedding attire all about?

Versatility is one of the best words to describe today’s outfits. Unlike in the olden days, you’re not limited to just one fashion choice when choosing your garments. Instead, you can take multiple routes when expressing your style while adhering to different norms:

  • Two-piece suit
  • Three-piece suit
  • Tuxedo
  • Separate suit jacket or blazer and pants

The last item (separate clothing) is particularly notable and exemplifies the nature of today’s trends. One of which is mixing and matching.

The mix-and-match dress code lets your imagination run wild. You can choose pretty much any outfit that comes to mind as long as it’s relatively formal (after all, this is a wedding). As such, it lends itself to an array of striking patterns (e.g., plaid, polka dots, and checks) and colors (black, white, Navy blue, light blue, light gray).

This brings us to another key ingredient of modern grooms’ and groomsmen’s attire – matching the color palette to the theme of the wedding day. For example, if it’s a tropical celebration, you could wear a jacket or pants with floral ornaments. Vintage weddings call for rustic materials and slightly darker colors. Art Deco is all about elegance, with formality dominating the occasion.

We could go on and on, but you get the basic idea – modern wedding outfits are vastly different from those of the past. And you can use these trends to determine whether or not matching suits are a good idea.

Pros and Cons of Matching Grooms and Groomsmen Attire

Three men in blue suits toasting while standing outside

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of matching grooms’ and groomsmen’s outfits:

Pros

  • Great cohesion since everyone looks the same
  • Easier wedding planning
  • Follows the theme of the wedding

Cons

  • May clash with individual styles
  • Expensive for some
  • Lack of personal touch

Groom and Groomsmen: Attire Options to Consider

Four men in grey suits drinking at a table

A wider range of clothing options are available for grooms and groomsmen:

  • Complete Match – The groom and groomsmen wear the same suit or tuxedo, shoes, belt, neckwear, and boutonnieres.
  • Slight Variations – The groom wears a distinct suit or tuxedo (different color or texture) or a different suit/neckwear.
  • Total Mismatch – The groom wears a completely different outfit from the groomsmen, including the suit/tuxedo, shoes, and accessories.
  • Subtle Details – The groomsmen wear different pins, lapels, and pocket squares, but everything else is identical.

Factors Influencing the Decision

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In our leading men’s suit connoisseur (fashion expert)’ words: “Gentlemen can learn a lot from our lady friends and their arduous wedding preparation. They literally leave nothing to chance.”

The key takeaway is that you should take your time when determining whether to match or contrast the groom’s and groomsmen’s outfits. Consider the following factors to end the debate:

  • Wedding Theme and FormalityBlack-tie events are more formal and call for a complete match. The same goes for indoor weddings.
  • Personal Style – If the styles of the groom and groomsmen are worlds apart, a total mismatch might be best.
  • Bridesmaid Coordination – The groom should match the bride, while the groomsmen and bridesmaids’ looks should be uniform.

Common Attire Questions Addressed

A close up of a bowtie
  • What if the groom wants to stand out? He can wear a striking bow tie or pocket square rather than change the entire suit.
  • Should the groom’s suit/tuxedo match the bridesmaids? No. The groom’s suit should match the bride’s gown. Aligning with the bridesmaids is the groomsmen’s duty.
  • What if the groom and groomsmen have vastly different styles? If that’s the case, they should wear different suits. All that matters is that everyone is comfortable in their attire.
  • Is there a middle ground? Typically, the parties will need to compromise if the groom and groomsmen can’t reach an agreement. However, the wishes of the groom should take precedence.

Case Studies: Real Wedding Examples

The groomsmen and groom in a line

If you’re too busy looking for the perfect groomsmen gift, you want to speed up your search for the right combination. Here are a few real-life examples:

  • Groom in Blue Suit, Groomsmen in Gray Suits – This Columbus Monthly story features the groom in Navy blue accompanied by groomsmen in gray.
  • Groom in Tux, Groomsmen in SuitsThe Knot visualizes this groom in a tux with a bow tie.
  • Groom and Groomsmen in Different Patterns – Here’s another The Knot representation, but this one shows the groom in a navy blue suit and the groomsmen in a white/khaki combination.

Comfort Matters Most

A man in a navy suit with a black lapel

When it comes to grooms and groomsmen’s attire, there are no rules. A variety of combinations are permitted as long as the groom agrees with them. The most important thing is to choose an outfit that’s comfortable and stunning for both parties.

Enter Generation Tux, the leading tuxedo rental platform. We offer gorgeous suits and tuxedos with breathtaking designs and colors. Regardless of the visual effect you wish to achieve at the event, we can make it happen.

FAQs

Three men in tuxedos sitting on a bench

Should the groom match the groomsmen?

It depends. For example, if it’s in line with his personal style, the groom should match the groomsmen.

Does the groom have to match the groomsmen?

No. The groom doesn’t have to match the groomsmen’s attire.

What if the groom wants a different suit than the groomsmen?

The groom can choose any suit he likes because today’s fashion allows it. They can go for different colors, materials, accessories, and other distinguishing features.

Can groomsmen wear tuxes while the groom wears a suit?

In general, no. A tux is more formal than a suit, which isn’t the impression groomsmen want to convey.

What are the current trends for men’s wedding attire?

Current trends for men’s wedding attire feature both formal and less formal versions. Some grooms and groomsmen prefer three-piece suits and tuxedos, whereas others go for two-piece garments or other alternatives.

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