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Oct, 13 2023

Groomsmen Attire: Find the Right Fit for Your Crew

Four men in suits sitting on a couch with drinks

So, you’ve made the often difficult decision of choosing your groomsmen and asked them to stand by you on your big day. So, what’s next? Now, you must ensure they all look dapper when the wedding comes, perfectly matching your outfit, the bridesmaids, and the wedding theme. In other words, all that’s left is to choose the right groomsmen attire.

Looking for the perfect outfit?

Let’s face it – your lovely bride and her bridesmaids will likely steal the spotlight. But make a few right choices, and the compliments will keep pouring in for you and your crew as well.

Keep reading to learn how to transform your groomsmen into an unforgettable ensemble that complements your wedding scene.

Introduction to Groomsmen Attire

Four groomsmen sitting on a stone railing and having drinks

Like bridesmaids, groomsmen are primarily a part of the wedding to support the happy couple and celebrate their love. But of course, they should also look great while doing it! That’s where carefully selected groomsmen attire comes into play.

Coordinating your groomsmen can take your wedding to the next level, creating an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive atmosphere and some fantastic photo opportunities. But perhaps more importantly, matching with your groomsmen is the perfect visual representation of your close bond, solidifying the significance of friendship and shared joy on your special day.

Evolution of Groomsmen Attire

Brides and grooms have always paid special attention to their wedding clothes (and the clothes of those attending the event). As surprising as it might sound, the concept of groomsmen attire dates back to medieval times. Though at the time, this was done for a more practical reason – to confuse the evil spirits.

Be that as it may, the tradition of the groom and groomsmen matching carried on. In the 19th century, for instance, the groom and his groomsmen would typically wear matching morning suits. At first, these were their “regular” suits, but the 20th century saw the wedding party starting to rent wedding attire for the big day.

The hiring part hasn’t changed much, as many groomsmen still rely on tuxedo rental for weddings. But the wedding attire part certainly did, with grooms and groomsmen getting bolder and making sure their suits genuinely stood out.

That’s why a shift away from the traditional dark suits in 2023 isn’t surprising. Wearing matching suits in a more modern color, like forest green, adds individuality and vibrancy to the event while preserving the essence of togetherness.

Formal vs. Casual Groomsmen Attire

The wedding dress code is one of the primary considerations in choosing the perfect groomsmen attire. Matching the groomsmen’s suits to this code is the first step you should take as a groom.

Let’s break down wedding dress codes into two rough categories – formal and casual.

As the name suggests, formal wedding attire calls for a certain level of formality. For the groom and groomsmen, this means wearing a classic tuxedo or a wedding suit. The color of the suit will depend on the wedding’s time and venue. Darker colors are typically reserved for winter and evening weddings taking place indoors. In contrast, light-colored wedding suits are perfect for more formal summer weddings outdoors.

The casual wedding attire also has a pretty self-explanatory name. Of course, don’t take the “casual” part too literally and choose something like flip-flops and shorts. This dress code is all about feeling comfortable and relaxed and typically involves garments like neutral shirts or button-ups, blazers, and well-fitted trousers. This attire works great for beach, garden, rustic, and Bohemian weddings.

Attire for Formal Weddings

If you and your partner are set on having a formal wedding, your groomsmen should dress the part. Modern wedding suits will always be a good choice for a formal wedding. However, something more formal, like a black-tie wedding, calls for a tuxedo.

Unlike suits, tuxedos are associated with a stricter list of requirements. For instance, they should always be black (though you might get away with some other dark colors) and outfitted with a tuxedo shirt and trousers, a classic bow tie, and a number of formal accessories (e.g., a pocket square, cufflinks, and studs).

Casual Groomsmen Attire

If looking straight out of a Bond movie doesn’t appeal to your crew, you might go for casual groomsmen attire. This type of attire works beautifully with outdoor events, especially rustic and beach weddings.

To nail the casual dress code, put your groomsmen in a more casual suit of lighter color (tan, grey, etc.). Add some personality through accessories and top the outfit off with comfortable loafers.

If this is still too formal for your vision, ditch the jacket altogether and opt for a suspenders-vest duo over a dress shirt. To make the outfit even less formal, swap the dress pants with a pair of chinos and get the party started.

Navigating Groomsmen Attire FAQs

A man in a suit walking out of a record store

Check out some of the most commonly asked questions about the coordination between the groom and the groomsmen and groomsmen attire in general, and make the selection process smoother and stress-free.

How to Coordinate Groom and Groomsmen Attire

As a rule of thumb, the groomsmen attire should match or complement what the groom is wearing without overshadowing it. In other words, the groom should still stand out as a focal point.

But how do you go about matching the groom and the groomsmen?

Well, there are a few ways to do it. You can go for the same color palette or the same pattern. Or you can be more subtle and only match the style and the feel of the groom’s look. This way, the groomsmen will create visual interest without compromising the overall harmony of the wedding. Grooms who want everyone to stick to the same color scheme can infuse a bit of individuality through different-colored boutonnieres, bow ties, or pocket squares.

Groomsmen Attire Questions and Answers

Get all your facts about groomsmen attire straight with this series of questions and answers.

What Color Scheme Should the Groomsmen Attire Follow?

The groomsmen attire should follow the overall wedding color scheme. For outdoor, daylight, and summer weddings, this typically involves lighter colors. In contrast, indoor, evening, and winter weddings call for darker colors.

How Can Groomsmen Save Money on the Wedding Attire?

Groomsmen can save money on their wedding attire by renting instead of buying. Online services like Generation Tux offer an excellent selection of suits and tuxedos for rent that won’t break the bank.

Should Groomsmen Match the Bridesmaids?

The groomsmen don’t necessarily need to match the bridesmaids. However, you should find a way to tie the outfits of these two groups together to achieve a perfect-picture wedding.

Should the Father of the Groom Match the Groomsmen?

Sure, the groom is the most important part of the (male) wedding party. But what about his father? Should the father of the groom match the groomsmen?

The father of the groom shouldn’t match the groomsmen to a tee. However, his outfit should complement what they (and his son) are wearing in some way.

Should the Best Man Match the Groomsmen?

Although the best man doesn’t necessarily have to match the groomsmen, he usually does. However, he also typically has a distinguishing detail (e.g., a personalized lapel pin) that sets him apart.

Styling Groomsmen Attire

 A man in a grayish brown suit and dusty blue bowtie

There’s much more to the groomsmen attire than just picking up a few suits of the same style. Carefully styling this attire can make all the difference, making your wedding a visually stunning event.

Matching Groomsmen Attire to the Wedding Theme

There are three factors to keep in mind when choosing the perfect groomsmen attire – the color, fabric, and style. All of these factors are directly influenced by the wedding theme. How?

Need to nail that color match? We got you.

Well, let’s take a rustic wedding as an example. Such a wedding theme calls for earthy tones, lighter and more breathable fabrics, and a more relaxed and casual dress code. A glamorous wedding, on the other hand, calls for more formal attire like tuxedos, dark colors, and more opulent fabrics like silk and velvet.

Keep the wedding theme in mind every step of the way, and you’ll make all the right choices regarding the groomsmen attire.

Accessorizing Groomsmen Attire

If the groom’s and the groomsmen’s attire doesn’t entirely match, you can use accessories to create a cohesive look. Make these accessories the same color, and you’ll effortlessly weave everyone together:

  • Suspenders (for a more casual wedding)
  • Bow ties (or neckties)
  • Pocket squares
  • Boutonnieres
  • Socks
  • Cufflinks

Similarly, you can use accessories to add a bit of personality to matching suits. There’s nothing like a floral tie or novelty socks to break the monotony.

Groomsmen Outfit Ideas for 2023

Three men in suits posing on a rocky beach

Looking for trendy and stylish groomsmen outfits for 2023? We’ve got you covered! Check out these ideas, and you’ll have the perfect fit for your crew in no time.

Outfit Ideas for Different Wedding Themes

As we’ve already established, the wedding theme is crucial when choosing groomsmen attire. Here are some stylish ideas for the most common wedding themes:

  • A beach wedding: Neutral colors look great in a beach wedding. So why settle for only one or two? Select a few neutral colors that complement the overall theme and mix and match the groomsmen’s outfits based on them.
  • A rustic wedding: Put the “rust” into “rustic” by choosing matching rust or orange pants for the groomsmen. Pair them with a green tie, and you’ve got yourself a captivating color scheme that looks modern yet captures the rustic charm perfectly.
  • A traditional wedding: Not every aspect of a traditional wedding has to be traditional. Ditch the standard black suits and go for a fresher choice. Pastels and icy grey hues will look stunning in the spring, while deeply saturated colors like purple and green will wow the wedding guests in the fall or winter.
  • A black-tie wedding: Sure, black tie has some pretty strict rules. But hey, it’s your wedding, and you can break all the rules you want! Instead of the classic black tuxedo jacket, go for a white double-breasted dinner jacket (like Paul Mescal at the 2023 Oscars) and make your wedding an aesthetically pleasing white affair.

Seasonal Outfit Ideas

When your wedding is taking place will also have a huge impact on your outfit choices. But regardless of the season and the venue, your groomsmen can find a way to stand out.

  • A warmer season/outdoor wedding: Don’t stray away too much from breathable and lightweight fabrics like linen. But put a nice twist on these classics by incorporating floral patterns and pastel colors in the groomsmen attire.
  • A colder season/indoor wedding: Adding a pop of color to an otherwise dark and monochromatic look is all the rage now. Let’s say you’ve chosen all black for your groomsmen attire. Add a bow tie and a pocket square in a bold color, like turquoise green, and instantly add a modern touch to a classic look.

Real Wedding Groomsmen Attire Examples

7 men in suits standing in a line

Enough with the theory; let’s see how stylish groomsmen attire examples look in practice. Check out this fantastic article from Martha Stewart with 29 inspiring examples of groomsmen attire.

Pay special attention the following examples:

  • #9 Feathers and Geodes. In this dreamy Bohemian wedding (shot by The Moody Romantic), the groomsmen set away the classic necktie and swapped it with an eye-catching feathered tassel.
  • #10 Burgundy Boys. Are you tired of the same old black suits and tuxedos? If so, swap them out with some striking colors. Go a step further and use more than one color, like the fine gentlemen captured by Kristina Lorraine.
  • #14 Shades of Khaki. For a casual outdoor wedding, ditch the suit and choose earth-toned shorts and khakis. Add an unusual boutonniere like the wedding party shot by Lara Hotz Photography, and you’ll integrate the beauty of nature into your groomsmen’s attire.

Lessons From Real Wedding Attire

You should take a few lessons from the real-life wedding examples showcased above, as well as many others you’ll see while browsing the internet:

  • Your outfit will always work if you use a complementary color scheme. In our example, the rust trousers and the green necktie are a match made in heaven!
  • You can always put a unique twist on any outfit, no matter how classic it might be. The leafy boutonnieres above look like something plucked a minute before the ceremony started, adding an authentic and unusual touch to the entire fit.
  • You can always subvert the expectations. If everyone is expecting a classic color like black or grey, go for something rich and visually appealing, like burgundy.

Groomsmen Attire: Everything You Need to Know

Man in a midnight blue tuxedo with a black bowtie

When all is said and done, there are three basic principles you should remember when choosing the groomsmen attire:

  • No one should upstage the groom (or the bride!).
  • Everyone should match the overall level of formality (consult the wedding theme and the dress code).
  • The groomsmen attire should look cohesive, regardless of how that cohesion is achieved (the color scheme, accessories, etc.)

Get these right, and you’ll avoid common mistakes regarding the groomsmen attire.

Groomsmen Attire Checklist

For a formal wedding, the groomsmen should wear a tuxedo consisting of the following elements:

  • A tuxedo jacket
  • A tuxedo shirt
  • Tuxedo trousers
  • A waistcoat
  • A classic bow tie
  • Matching or contrasting accessories (cufflinks, pocket squares, boutonnieres, studs, etc.)

For a more casual wedding, the groomsmen attire checklist looks as follows:

  • A suit jacket or a blazer (optional)
  • A dress shirt or a button-up
  • Dress trousers or a pair of chinos
  • A necktie (optional)
  • A vest (optional)
  • Matching or contrasting accessories (socks, suspenders, tie bars, watches, etc.)

Last-Minute Tips for Groomsmen Attire

Like with everything wedding-related, communication is key. So, make sure to communicate every step of the way, from the color and style choice to the final fitting. Other than that, just make sure you feel comfortable in your attire. After all, you’re expected to be the life of the party!

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