Tux Talk 2013-14

By: Linda K. Pfenning

One of the easiest decisions you’ll have to make in planning your wedding is selecting a tux. It’s hard to go wrong with a classic look that has represented the epitome of debonair for more than 100 years. Believe it or not, if you compare the tuxedo your father wore at his wedding to those available today, you’ll probably only notice slight variations – unless dad’s happened to be baby blue and made of polyester. If you ask the experts at the International Formalwear Society, in recent years, the most popular tuxedo rented for weddings has been the single-breasted notch lapel tux – proving that a classic never goes out of style. However, if you want to shake things up a bit with a less traditional tuxedo style, let us offer you some options. Here are the basics on everything from ties and vests to buttons and shoes, along with how to select the style that’s best for your groom.
Eisenhower Photography
Neckwear Notes
When it comes to deciding what the men in your wedding party will wear around their necks, you can go with either a traditional or trendy look. While the classic bat-wing bow tie will never go out of style, today there are many additional options for grooms who dare to think outside the box.
The four-in-hand, one of the most popular styles, resembles a standard business tie. When paired with a full-backed vest in a subtle, matching pattern, this tie is one of the top choices for today’s groom.
If your groom isn’t a tie kind-of-guy and he’s not willing to wear one even for this special occasion, you can always opt for a tux shirt with a band collar. With this style, no tie is worn and the collar is actually fastened with a stud that coordinates with the button covers on the front of the shirt.Vest Adventure
While cummerbunds were the epitome of style in the 80s, today’s stylish grooms will most likely be outfitted in a full-backed vest. Now available in a vast array of colors and patterns, a full vest helps the groom and his attendants achieve a classic, more polished look even when the serious partying begins and the jackets come off at the reception. Also, while cummerbunds can enhance the appearance of extra weight to a man’s midsection, vests present a more streamlined appearance – making this option the best choice for a groom who’s self-conscious about a little extra weight around his midsection or his lack of six-pack abs. 

Jacket Jargon
Often the key to a flattering tux depends entirely on the jacket. Selecting the right style can lengthen the torso, minimize the waist, and even create the appearance of broader shoulders. The single breasted jacket with a shawl lapel is the most commonly worn style because it provides the perfect look for short and tall men with a more stocky appearance. However, the same jacket with a notched lapel creates the appearance of broader shoulders for a short, thin groom.
Double-breasted jackets are a perfect choice for thin men. With its two rows of buttons at the midsection, this jacket draws the eyes to this area and presents the illusion of girth. The shoulders of a double-breasted jacket can also be padded a little to enhance the appearance of broad shoulders, while maintaining the look of a fit and trim waistline.
Eisenhower Photography
The Basics in Black & White
Determining the color of your groom’s tuxedo is a decision the two of you should make together. You’ll want to consider the time of day you’re getting married along with the formality of your celebration. For an afternoon wedding, the standard look is a gray tux with a stroller coat, a variation of the traditional morning coat. A popular option for casual affairs closer to evening is a white dinner jacket with black tie and pants – think Humphrey Bogart in the movie Casablanca. Formal evening affairs call for the classic look of the traditional black tuxedo.
If you want to include a little bit of your personal style in your formal attire, go for it. If you or the groom is of Scottish descent, why not honor that heritage by wearing a kilt in your family’s tartan pattern? Decked out in the family plaid, the groom and his groomsmen will bring a bit of ethnic flair to any affair – even the most traditional and formal celebrations.
Once you’ve learned the basics of finding the perfect tux, you need to get busy and finalize the details. Overall, the most important thing to remember in men’s formalwear is fit. Therefore, it’s important that your groom be measured by a formalwear professional. His attendants will also need to be fitted by a professional – even though they may be located all across the country. If they visit any tux shop in their area, a formalwear professional will be happy to measure them. And finally, don’t forget to tie it all together with matching shoes and socks. All of the groomsmen’s socks should be the same color as their shoes. Shoes may be rented in a range of sizes from your formalwear shop, and can vary in style from the traditional classic black wingtip, to a more modern slip-on version with a patent shine.

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