Tuxes, Tails, or Ties? What Men Should Wear at a Wedding
There are so many details to worry about and get just right for a wedding, but a big one often overlooked is, what will the men wear? From the groom and groomsmen to the fathers, it’s often left out of the larger picture—or hardly thought about at all. As a DJ with experience working at hundreds of weddings, I know there’s a lot to think about and coordinate, which is why I asked Anne Hydock, a men’s stylist, for advice. Read the interview to help make sure the men on your big day all look wonderful too.
Thanks for joining us, Anne. Can you tell us a little more about your background? How did you get into men’s fashion and clothing?
Well I’ve always had a passion for fashion. I used to model a long time ago. My daughter is in the fashion industry and used to live in Milan and I was introduced to J. Hilburn through her. I love helping men of all different shapes and sizes get the proper fit. And in the words of ZZ Top, who doesn’t love a sharp-dressed man, right?
‘Imani & Ivan with Anne Hydock, Personal Men’s Stylist for J. Hilburn
Who doesn’t love a sharp-dressed man, right?
Do you have any advice for wedding clothing for a groom and the groomsmen at a wedding?
They need to decide if they’re going to be using suits or tuxedos. Another popular option is a dress shirt, a vest, and pants.
It also depends on the climate and the venue. So if they’re getting married at a beach destination, they may want to go with the vest, dress shirt and trousers because the jacket would be too warm or some grooms will even do the linen suits just because it’s more casual and it’s more fitting.
A lot of the popular colors for suits are blues and grays.
A lot of the popular colors for suits are blues and grays. So any of the navy blues, light blue, if it’s a warmer weather wedding or the charcoal grays, light gray, dark gray that kind of runs the gamut. Those are the most popular choices and they’re very versatile.
Another thing they should consider is if they’re going to be wearing the tux again for business events, award events. A lot of companies host award events. If they’re going to be going to charity events and wearing a tuxedo more than a couple of times, it’s best to invest in a tux. If you rent a tux three times, you’ve already paid for it. So why not go custom and get exactly what you want?
If you rent a tux three times, you’ve already paid for it. So why not go custom and get exactly what you want?
And if they feel they’d get more use out of a suit, then the blues and the grays compliment
so many different types of shirt colors. They could even be paired with jeans or five pockets and and just wear a sport coat out with a pair of jeans, maybe a pocket square, even a polo shirt with it or a dress shirt. They can get a lot of looks that way by mixing and matching.
As far as clothing advice, do you have advice for parents of the brides and grooms, what they might wear with they coordinate or, you know, do they have any considerations on what to wear at a wedding?
Yes, they should be discussing it with the bride and groom. They may want to take the couple with them when they go shopping.
One thing for the men to consider is, again, if the fathers of the bride and groom decide to wear suits or tuxes, they really need to get the input from the bride and the groom so that there’s no surprises on the day of the wedding.
Also for the women, the mothers of the bride and groom, it helps to coordinate. Are they going to go with cocktail length dresses or full length dresses? Full length dresses for continuity look great in the photos.
What ways can men’s suits complement the dresses of the bridesmaids?
Oh, there’s so many different ways. If they decide to go with a vest, either with their suit or with their tux, the back of the vest lining can match the inside of the jacket lining.
And the lining does not need to match the suit or the tux, but could match the bridesmaid dresses. Or another way is the ties that get selected, whether it’s a bow tie or a regular tie. They may want to consider a flower lapel and or a pocket square just to compliment the suit.
I’ve noticed that accessories like that help level up the appearance a little bit. Many guys just go to the department chain stores and let them handle most of the details for the wedding attire. What other directions can people take when it comes to making those sort of choices?
When I have a personal fitting with a client, I take 24 measurements which is more than most stores that might take six to eight. I can save them time, money and convenience because I make house calls or office calls.
So instead of a man or a bridal couple going around to several different stores on a fact-finding mission, getting measured, trying to figure out what colors to wear, they can see and touch and feel the fabric. Once they can narrow down the fabric colors that I offer and I do the fitting, it can take about an hour from start to finish and to place the order per person.
Another reason is the quality or lack thereof of the suiting materials at the men’s stores. And they may not be 100% wool. Check to see what the fabric content is. If it’s polyester, it’s not going to breathe. So you’re going to bake in that jacket, especially if the wedding is in a warmer climate.
All of our suits are 100% wool. They’re made from the best mills in Italy. And we keep our costs down because we don’t have a lot of the high overhead charges that the department stores or our competitors have and we also offer personalization options.
All of our suits are 100% wool…If it’s polyester, it’s not going to breathe. So you’re going to bake in that jacket, especially if the wedding is in a warmer climate.
I have a number of different button colors for the suits and tuxes, as well as the shirts and the thread that goes in the shirt. The colors and buttons don’t have to be white, and neither does the thread.
So on a shirt, you can go with contrast fabric in the collar, on the inside collar, inside cuffs. Maybe you want a monogram on the cuff. And if anyone’s planning on getting a monogram, I suggest they get it done on the left cuff because it’s less invasive when you go to shake a person’s hand. And there’s also an option to select the type of pocket. There are the hacking pockets that are slanted or a smaller ticket pocket from the old train conductor days.
All to say, it’s made to fit you. Everything is 100% fit and satisfaction guaranteed.
If a man has gained weight or lost weight, which has happened in the five weeks it takes to produce, then we return the suit at our expense and remake the garment and we do that for the shirts as well as in addition to the custom jeans, whatever they happen to be ordering.
I love that you will actually go to the people. It’s a real timesaver and it’s so customizable. You’re not waiting in line.
A lot of the suits you’ll see in the stores, the men’s stores do not have the lining stitched to the jacket. It’s fused using this manufacturer’s glue to glue the lining to the canvas and the jacket. Why would you want glue in your clothing?
And think about when you get a dry cleaned. After several cleanings, the glue will dissipate, and you’ll start to see puckering on the outside right here of the jacket.
So, yes, you get what you pay for. There’s always other options out there, less expensive options. In the long run, if it doesn’t last you very long because of the poor quality. It’s fast fashion, you’re just throwing money away, whereas a good quality suit will last you a very long time when taken care of properly.
You are so right on the glued versus canvased. I had a suit that I really liked, but it turned out it was cheaply made because it got these little bubble-looking things in it. I had to get rid of it and replace it. When I replaced it, I bought a better suit.
Many men don’t really like to dress up. Why? Why should they do so for a wedding?
Because it’s the right thing to do. First impressions are lasting ones and you don’t want to be THAT person at the wedding or be a meme.
First impressions are lasting ones and you don’t want to be THAT person at the wedding or be a meme.
Oh Yes! It’s a long story, but I ended up wearing a soccer shirt to an event that I should have been more formally dressed for. My wife, to this day, still gives me a hard time about it. So I was THAT guy.
So for a guy, what’s your general advice to have when dressing for a wedding?
Oh, the proper fit. Fit is king!
Many men tend to procrastinate and they’ll wait till the last minute to look for a suit or a tux. I had this happen when I worked at the department store. A lot of men would come in. They had a wedding the next day or a funeral, and they were facing limited inventory and what’s available to them and their sizes. Also oftentimes the suits weren’t on sale, so they had to pay full price. Then they had to get it altered and pay a rush fee.
A lot of people will say, “I don’t wear suits anymore.” Well, there are still weddings and funerals, interviews. So it’s good to be ready and be prepared and to plan ahead.
Fit is king!
This is true. Is it a good idea to put on that suit a month or so in advance just to find out if you still have a similar body you had the last time you wore it?
Yes. Does it need altering? Does it need dry cleaning?
And if the man wears the pants much lower because of a belly, then the pants are going to have a real droopy seat in the back because the rise is going to be lower longer because the pants sit farther down on your body. So that’s something to think about.
Some men’s pants will flare because they’ve gained weight in their hips. The pockets will flare out. They’re supposed to lay flat.
And then also, some men have a collar roll in the jacket. You’ll see when they put on the jacket.
There’s a roll below the collar. That’s due to posture.
Or there’s the back roll because it’s too tight at the upper back between the arms.
A suit jacket can be taken out a half an inch at all three seams to get an extra quarter inch of width on a suit or tux jacket. You can get two inches in the waistband of the pants, in or out. For all of this, there are all these little tricks the seamstresses and tailors can do to make the clothes fit like they’re supposed to.
No matter what your body type, a good tailor or seamstress to make you can your clothes look good by making it fit your body right.
I wanted to ask if you had any advice on how to dress based on your skin tone and hair color. I’ve heard that sometimes certain colors go better with certain skin tones and hair color, eye color, that type of thing.
There’s a lot of truth to that: the color analysis. There are great articles online as well as visuals on the color analysis and the four different seasons: winter, spring, summer, autumn. It’s good to know what season you are so you can stay away from colors that don’t compliment your looks.
For example, I had a client that wanted to get a gray suit and he had very dull gray hair, a very pasty, pale complexion, and beautiful blue eyes. I said, “Are you really stuck on gray or would you consider blue? I think the gray would make you look washed out, even if you had a different color shirt. But you’ve got blue, beautiful blue eyes. How about blue?” He liked that idea and went with that.
It’s good to know what season you are so you can stay away from colors that don’t compliment your looks.
Nice. Are there fashion mistakes that a man can make at a wedding?
Anne: If they decide to get an off-the-rack suit, there is a suit drop of six inches. For example, somebody wears a size 46 chest in a suit. The jacket will be a 46, but the pants will be 40 inches a six inch drop. Now, not everybody has a waist or hips that coincide with those measurements. That’s why alterations have come into play. But, sometimes alterations cannot be made on an off-the-rack suit.
Also, the bottom button of a suit jacket or a tux jacket should never be buttoned unless it’s only a one button jacket. Same thing with the vest.
the bottom button of a suit jacket or a tux jacket should never be buttoned unless it’s only a one button jacket. Same thing with the vest.
When a man’s wearing a suit, are there any accessories that can really enhance the outfit? I know you’ve alluded to a couple of, but are there any accessories that you’d recommend that if they want to be a just more than a guy in a suit?
Sure. A tie for one or a tie clip. If they’re not going to wear a tie, then a pocket square always looks great or complements the sport coat. And also, if they decide to go with the contrast fabric in the collar and sleeves. That’s another way to add a little bit of splash.
If they’re not going to wear a tie, then a pocket square always looks great or complements the sport coat.
There are different pins that they could wear. The flower lapels are popular. I’ve even seen some with natural flowers. Those look very nice. You could decide to add different colored buttons, different color thread in the buttons to make it pop.
Thanks so much for talking to us, Anne.
Every once in a while, I’m getting ready for a wedding and think, “Hmm, what would Anne say I should wear here?” So I appreciate your advice and your expertise.
I’m getting ready for a wedding and think, “Hmm, what would Anne say I should wear here?”
Thank you to Imani for filming!
About Anne Hydock:
Anne Hydock is a personal menswear stylist for J. Hilburn Her background is in law firms,
hospitality, commercial real estate, multimedia trade shows and the fashion industries. She is a preferred vendor for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Ohio Society of CPAs, as well as a preferred vendor for various wedding venues and country clubs in northeast Ohio.
She makes office and house calls in Ohio, Chicago and others upon request. Virtual appointments in the U.S. J.Hilburn offers custom, casual and golf wear from the most-respected mills in Italy ~ without the traditional markups. Jeans to tuxedos. No brick & mortar stores equal savings for you!
Linkedin: @Anne Hydock
Graphic about what mens what color mens should wear based on skin tone is from Real Men Real Style