Written by Steph Payne
As we come into prom and wedding season all eyes are usually on the girls - but that’s no excuse for the guys not to make an effort too! We've got quick tips for choosing your formal or wedding suit.
Also known as formal day dress, this look consists of a morning coat with long tails, a waistcoat and formal trousers. Generally, only requested for members of a wedding party or very formal occasions, morning dress is very traditional and often overlooked in favour of the more cost-effective three-piece suit, so unless he’s a member of the royal family, it’s probably more budget friendly to hire one instead of buying. A styling tip from the experts - the morning coat should fit snug to the contours of the body. “If it fits really well, that’s really the main thing that will make it look stylish,” says Davide Taub, head cutter at Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes. Avoiding plain black and choosing a high waisted trouser fit also helps this look really stand out in formal photos and makes the longer jacket look less boxy. One more thing to note - morning dress is for daytime events only. If you’re heading out after 6pm, the dress code switches to black tie.
The most formal of evening dress codes, black tie for men means it is tuxedo time - very James Bond-esque! First introduced by royalty in the mid-1800s, the tuxedo saw its heyday in the stylish 1930s and is gaining popularity again thanks to period tv dramas like Downton Abbey and Mad Men, and of course, James Bond. The tuxedo is great for adding vintage glamour to your event, but as with morning dress, it’s almost certainly cheaper to hire one unless he needs to wear one regularly. There’s plenty of scope to add unique character as many tuxedos now come in exciting materials, and even patterns! Velvet, silk, paisley, embroidered - you name it, it’s out there. For wider body shapes a peak lapel works best as they point out to the sides balancing the body! For thinner or taller guys, the elegant shawl lapel (smooth and rounded) will add some curve and sweeping shape. Unsure - then the classic notch lapel will suit pretty much anyone.
2/3 piece suit
A step down from black tie in terms of formality, a classic suit is a man’s wardrobe staple. Consisting of a shorter suit jacket with trousers in a matching fabric, the two-piece upgrades to a three piece by adding a waistcoat in a matching or contrasting material. In classic grey or navy, the two piece is the most versatile choice for a man’s formal attire. He’ll be going from prom, to office, to wedding with ease simply by adding a waistcoat, and if desired, a dress shirt and bow tie. Choosing a well-fitting design in a classic colour helps get the best cost per wear. In terms of fabric, wool mixes are hardwearing and warm enough in the winter, while still being breathable for summer events. There are plenty of price options available, but if he’s not likely to wear a waistcoat often, he may want to consider buying a two-piece and hiring a waistcoat as and when needed.