Good Groom-ing

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Choosing a suit in a different color from your groomsmen is a sure way to stand out. Joanna Sue Photography

What you wear to your wedding isn’t really about you, guys.

By Larry Lindner / Newport Wedding 2021

Once the man at the formal-wear shop began putting together the colors Jessica Williams picked for her fiancé’s wedding attire, she started tearing up. “He chose just the right tie color to match the matron of honor’s dress,” she marvels.

In other words, what you wear to your wedding isn’t really about you, guys. On some level, you’re just a bridal accessory. “Tuxedo or suit” goes into the same category as “string of pearls or heirloom pendant.” Your betrothed will be calling the shots — or at least having significant input.

Those who rent or sell tuxedos and suits readily acknowledge that that’s the way things are. “Many times the groom comes in by himself,” says Dan Harris, owner of Carl Anthony Tuxedo in Cranston. “I recommend that he brings the bride back. You always want to get her stamp of approval.”

Says Aldo Segama, owner of three Aldo’s House of Formals and the man who deftly pulled together Williams’ color preferences, “If I can see what the bride is wearing, it will give me a sense of whether I can get away with a suit or if the groom needs a tux. If you’re doing an evening wedding at Rosecliff mansion and there are candles everywhere, the bridesmaids’ dresses are all floor length and the bridal gown is all lace or with appliqué, a suit is not going to cut it.

“Not that we could never get away with a suit for a fancy affair,” Segama adds. “We could do a dark navy. It just comes down to how impactful the wedding gown is.”

One way or another, says Roger Gross of Franklin Rogers Ltd. in Providence, “today’s brides are very much involved.”

Consider blues other than navy for your wedding day attire. Laura Ink Photography. Suit by Aldo’s House of Formals

So what are local brides (with the help of their fiancés) choosing these days? “There are two different kinds of looks in Newport,” notes Harris. “One is the formal event: classic black tuxedo, black bow tie. And then there’s the other Newport look: suits, or khaki pants and a navy blazer.”

But within those categories, a number of trends are emerging.

Blues are in. “Navy seems to be coming into play a lot,” says Segama. Even navy tuxedos have seen a surge of late, including for weddings that are not all-out formal. Many different shades of blue are popular for suits, he says, from French blue to dust blue to cobalt.

Jessica Williams and Segama chose a dust blue suit for her groom, Brandon Sweeney. While he is a ginger, his groomsmen all have dark hair and he felt the blue complemented everyone’s coloring. “It looked good on all of us,” he says.

Grays are popular now, too. Deep greens like hunter and spruce green seemed primed to make an appearance in groomswear, “but the pandemic has kind of stalled it,” notes Gross.

“It could start to trend in the next season or two,” adds Harris. Segama, too, has received inquiries about using the color, but he senses it’s too fashion-forward. “It might be something cool to see in your photos for four to five years,” he says, “but when you hit the 10-year mark, you’re going to be like, ‘What the hell did I do?’ You wouldn’t necessarily feel that way about the blues.”

The silhouette’s the thing. All the clothiers note that form-fitting is in. “A lot of grooms want a skinny silhouette,” says Segama. Gross agrees. “The young guys want tightness,” he says. “They want the pants shorter, tapered down.” But the menswear stylists all say that if members of your wedding party are shaped more like manicotti than spaghetti, they can fit the bigger guys in the same style, but with more room so that no one stands out in the wrong way.

Long tie or bow tie? For an ultra-formal affair, you’re definitely looking at a tuxedo with a bow tie. Suits and tuxedos for less-formal weddings often use regular ties, although bow ties are popular these days for tuxedos worn at more casual events, too. Many times the groom’s tie will be a bit different from the groomsmen’s. Brandon Sweeney’s tie, for instance, had a striped detail, while his groomsmen’s ties were solid. Sometimes the groom wears a bow tie while the other men wear long ones.

Textured fabric adds a subtle update to a classic black tuxedo with a peak collar and a bow tie. Photo by Stephanie LaMont, Yours Truly Media

It’s all in the details. Peak collars are where it’s at these days. Shawl collars are out of fashion — notch collars, too, to some degree. So are cummerbunds. “We haven’t ordered a cummerbund for a wedding for, like, three years,” says Gross.

But suspenders are very much in vogue. “One wedding, each groomsman wore different-color suspenders,” Gross says.

A colorful pocket square in a solid, polka dot or floral pattern adds flair as well, notes Segama. For both tuxes and suits, it’s a bolder choice than the traditional white pocket square.

If the shoe color fits … here are your choices: black or brown. Classic black is the color for a black tuxedo, of course, and Segama says that these days, some grooms are sporting velvet loafers. Guys wearing blue or gray have the option of choosing a brown shoe, he says. A cognac color has become really popular with all the variations on blue and gray, Harris notes.


Get funky with your socks, or choose something that’s meaningful
for you and your groomsmen. Photo by Move Mountains Co.

Socks carry the funk. It seems that hosiery is where grooms get to make their statement. Go crazy, guys. A lot of grooms choose superhero socks or those with the logo of their favorite sports team, or socks with funky colors. “One groom and his groomsmen were all in a football club together, so they wanted football socks,” Gross says.

In a small percentage of weddings, adds Harris, if the men go with a short pants leg and loafers with exposed ankles as part of that slim-fit look, they’ll go sockless. “But that’s more on New York runways,” he comments. “It hasn’t resonated fully.”

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