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Choosing a tux might just be the easiest wedding-related decision you’ll make. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with a suit that has changed so modestly in the past 120 years. In fact, if you compare today’s tuxedo with the one your father wore at his wedding, you’ll likely see only slight variations (provided dad didn’t wear a ruffled shirt). According to the International Formalwear Society, the most popular tuxedo rental in the past few years has been the single-breasted notch lapel tuxedo, a classic look that never goes out of style. Searching for your own take on the traditional tux? From ties and vests to buttons and shoes, here’s the straight talk on your options, along with styles that best suit your groom’s silhouette.

Eisenhower Photography

TIE ONE ON
When it comes to ties there’s standard, and then there’s spectacular. While the classic bow tie will always be a perennial favorite, there are other options for grooms who choose to venture outside the norm.

When it comes to ties there’s standard, and then there’s spectacular. While the classic bow tie will always be a perennial favorite, there are other options for grooms who choose to venture outside the norm.

One of the most popular styles, the four-in-hand, is similar to a standard business tie.  Paired with a matching full-backed vest in a subtle pattern, a four-in-hand is the top choice for grooms today.

Worn most often with a stroller jacket in a formal, daytime wedding, the ascot is a loosely knotted tie that is similar in appearance to a scarf. If your groom is a little bit country, a bolo tie is the only way to go. Also called a string tie, the bolo is a simple black cord with finished ends and a decorative clasp. Add his favorite boots and a Stetson and you’ve got a stellar combination.

Finally, if a tie just isn’t something your groom can see himself wearing on any occasion, there’s always a tuxedo shirt with a band collar. No tie is worn with this style; the collar is fastened instead with a stud that matches the button covers on the front of the shirt.

VESTED INTEREST
Cummerbunds may have reigned supreme in the 80s, but the full-backed vest is the way to go for today’s savvy grooms. Available in a variety of patterns and colors, a full vest gives grooms and their attendants a finished, more polished look even when they remove their jackets for some serious party time at the reception. And while cummerbunds add the appearance of weight to the midsection of a man’s body, the vest gives a sleeker appearance, making it the best option for a man who’s less than content about his abs (or lack thereof).

JACKET REQUIRED
The key to a flattering tuxedo often lies in the jacket. The right one can whittle the waist, lengthen the torso, or add the appearance of broader shoulders. The most common jacket is single breasted with a shawl lapel. This look is perfect for both short and tall men with more of a stocky or husky appearance. The same jacket with a notched lapel would flatter a short, thin groom because the notch in the lapel gives the appearance of broader shoulders.

A double-breasted jacket is great for thinner men because the eyes are drawn to the two rows of buttons at the midsection and gives the illusion of girth. With a double-breasted jacket, the shoulders can also be padded a bit to give the wearer the appearance of broader shoulders while still retaining the look of his trim waistline.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BLACK & WHITE
The color of your groom’s tuxedo is up to the two of you. Take into account the formality of your celebration, along with the time of day. If you’re planning an afternoon ceremony, a gray tuxedo with a stroller jacket is the standard look. A more casual celebration closer to evening might call for a white dinner jacket with black trousers and tie. A formal evening affair warrants the classic black tuxedo. Keep in mind, however, that traditions are just that and the two of you should choose the style and color that you want, no matter the time of day or the formality of the occasion.

Now that you’re versed in the basics of tux talk, it’s time to get out there and finalize the details. The most important detail in men’s formal wear is fit, that’s why it’s essential that your groom be fitted by a formal wear professional.  The same goes for his attendants; though they may be scattered across the country, each should be measured by a professional.

Finally, complete the formal look with matching socks and shoes. The guys’ socks should either be the same color as their shoes, or show some personality and match the colors in your wedding,, which make for some great photo ops. Nowadays men are choosing less formal shoes and also showing personality with matching “Chucks” or “Toms.” But if needed, formal shoes can be rented from your formalwear company. Styles vary from slip-on versions with a parade shine to mock wingtips in classic black.