The Ultimate Wedding Attire Guide for Grooms: Suiting Up on Your Big Day

Groom tying dress shoes

There are few events more important in a man’s life than the day he gets married. So of course, you’ll need to look your best. But where does a groom start when choosing wedding attire? There are so many factors, so many options, and, it seems, so many unspoken rules about wedding day attire. We’re going to break all of these down for you, to make suiting up on your big day a breeze.

Wedding party posing on stairs

First Step of Wedding Attire: Tux or Suit?

There are two standard clothing options for grooms on their big day: the suit and the tuxedo, and which one you choose depends on a large number of factors. Is it an evening wedding or a day wedding? Summer or winter? A more formal affair or more casual?

The most important factor is the dress code of the wedding itself. Are you tying the knot in a black-tie evening affair? Or is this a more relaxed wedding, maybe taking place during the day? What are your partner’s wedding party wearing? Bridesmaids in cocktail dresses typically call for a more relaxed suit, while floor-length gowns call for a tux.

And what exactly is a tuxedo, anyway?

There are two elements that are almost always found in tuxedos: satin detailing, and a shawl lapel. The satin details are often found on the lapel, the buttons, and in a stripe down the side of the trousers. The shawl lapel differs from peak and notch lapels in that it is one continuous panel that drapes in a curve up the chest, over the shoulders, and around the neck, rather than the sharp edges and separate pieces found in peak and notch lapels.

Posing in jacket near window

HARTTER | MANLY’s Tuxedo, The Hawkeye, is an example of a classic tuxedo. The Hawkeye is available for purchase, rental, or customization.

A Suit Means Options

If your wedding dress code doesn’t call for a tuxedo, then you’ll most likely be wearing a suit. This presents its own challenge, as suits come in all shapes, fabrics, colors, and patterns. In this case, you will want to consider more than just the general dress code. You’ll want to consider the time of day, the time of year, the weather, the attire of the wedding parties, and of course, thoughts your partner may have about your wedding attire.

The Color

For most weddings in most situations, a more neutral color in your suit, royal-blue or light gray, is perfect, and you can add color and patterns in your tie, shirt, or pocket square. You’ll want to wait on picking up these aspects of your suit until you and your partner have determined your wedding colors. You don’t have to match exactly, but it’s wise to stick with the same general color scheme for consistency. Here at HARTTER MANLY, we can match the suit accents like the buttonhole stitch and lining to bridesmaid dresses, to keep the whole wedding party looking cohesive.

The Location

If your wedding is on the beach and/or in the Summer, you can typically rock a look that’s a bit more casual. We see a lot of white button-downs, khakis, and linens. Whether or not you want a two-piece or a three-piece suit depends on event formality. A more formal wedding is an appropriate time to wear a vest with your suit.

The Wedding Party

While some still prefer to have the groom’s suit match the groomsmen perfectly, there has been more deviation from this norm in recent years. Grooms are standing out from their groomsmen by wearing different colors, styles, or details. You will want your party to look organized and put-together on your big day. We recommend not doing too much to stand out from your groomsmen. Instead, use smaller details to identify yourself as the groom at your wedding. A vest is a great way to stand out, and you can use a slightly different shade of the same color as your suit. We usually recommend going slightly lighter for the vest. A unique tie, bowtie, pocket square, or boutonniere can make you stand out as the groom without being too loud.

HARTTER | MANLY shoes beauty shot

Accessorize the Right Way

Accessories will take your wedding look to the next level, but there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The only accessory you absolutely need is obviously your shoes. You’d look pretty silly without those, but picking the wrong shoes can make you look just as out of place. Our dress shoe collection is the perfect match for your wedding look.

The Right Shoes For Your Wedding Attire

The most commonly worn shoes by grooms on their big day are the Oxfords. But you can’t just throw on any old pair. Your shoes should coordinate with your suit, and there are some general rules that can guide your choice in footwear. For a black or dark gray suit, your best bet is a pair of black leather OxfordsIf you’re wearing a navy suit, or another lighter color, brown Oxfords are a great choice. Not only that, but brown oxfords are a little more modern than the traditional black. Want to really stand out? Try a pair of two-toned Oxfords, patent leather, or even a single or double monk strap. Each of those options add a touch of pizzazz.

Accessories to Complement Your Wedding Attire

For watches or other metal accessories, you want them to be the same color or material as the others. Typically, they should all match your ring. For example, if you’ve got the traditional gold ring, you’ll want a gold casing for your watch. Also, if you want to add cufflinks or a tie-bar, they should be gold too. The same goes for leather goods. If your watch comes with a leather band, you’ll want to make sure it matches your shoes and belt.

Wedding day accessories

Looking great on your big day doesn’t have to be a complicated process. The most important thing is making sure you’re comfortable and you feel good, and your look goes with the rest of the wedding party. You can design your dream suit with our 10,000+ customization options so that you look exactly how you want. Starting this year, we also offer suit rentals so you can look great without breaking the bank. 

We’ve got two of our top selling suit available for rent. Our royal-blue peak lapel suit, The Charlotte Spirit, and our stunning black tuxedo, The Hawkeye are both available. These are great wedding options, whether you’re going Black Tie or want to go a bit more bold. We’ve given you some basic tips here, but remember: it is your big day. Make your look your own for a wedding you’ll never forget. Want more pointers/tips for your wedding day? Book a free appointment with our style experts.

Love these tips? Want more?

Book now for a free discovery call with our style experts. We’ll work with you to create a look that is uniquely yours.


Ezra Lambert

Ezra Lambert is a barber and freelance writer. In addition to his work in men’s grooming and lifestyle, he has also written numerous fiction pieces: two screenplays and a YA novel. He lives in San Diego, CA, with his dog, Toni. 

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