By TC Contributor, Jovan Gauthier | Nouveau Vintage
It can be difficult, choosing what to wear for your wedding. If you’re not going for the classic white wedding gown, but want a wedding suit instead, what do you do? Luckily, by going custom, you have a lot more selection available than with off the rack or rentals and can get the made-to-measure fit your special day deserves.
From single breasted to double breasted closure, hacking to patch pockets, your wedding suit does not have to lack personality or be boring. Best of all, unlike renting, you can use it for years to come beyond your wedding for business and social events. For your benefit, we’ve compiled some considerations that go into choosing a wedding suit.
Single breasted suits with a two button front remain the best all-around choice right now. They flatter everyone and work for every situation a suit is needed. But you should also consider a few other styles that will tastefully stand out among the many two button suits likely to be at the wedding reception.
The one button closure is a style that eliminates any vestigial buttons above or below the waist. It thus takes on a somewhat sleeker look. The style was at its most popular in the 1960s, when narrow lapels and trousers were also in fashion. It’s also associated with the traditional fastening for tuxedos. For this reason, it is a wonderful choice for a wedding suit since it is subtly different.
Three button suits are not very popular right now, but they will always be stylish, especially when the suit fits well. You can fasten just the middle button to avoid looking stodgy or buttoned up. If you’re worried about it looking dated, you may prefer the look of three buttons with the lapels rolled to the middle button. The decorative button and buttonhole will add a touch of distinction while giving the longer lapel line of a two button suit. Both this and the two button will be very wearable for most occasions and business beyond getting married.
If you admire the style of the Kingsman movies or want to look even more distinct, a double breasted suit may be exactly what you need. The most traditional choice is six buttons with two to close on one side and two top “show” buttons, as it looks good on everyone. Other numbers of buttons to close or to show are available to match your personality and body type, such as four buttons with two to close on one side and no show buttons. Peak lapels are the best choice for double breasted jackets since they balance well with the higher number of buttons.
For spring and summer weddings, you may also look at buttons themselves to lighten things up a bit along with the fabric. White pearl-look or tan buttons can add some further distinction from typical business suits and look great with the brighter weather during these seasons.
The notched lapel will always be in style. It is the workhorse that goes from the office to the pub without looking out of place. There’s nothing wrong with that, as it gets the job done and will always look stylish. This lapel should always be paired with a single breasted front.
On the other hand, peaked lapels on a single breasted jacket are the way to go if you wish to add a little more 1920s pizzazz for the 2020s. Besides looking more unique, peaks have a heightening and broadening effect which will look good on anyone. The peak lapel has not been considered conservative enough in the office for a few decades, but this is starting to change.
The width of lapels can greatly change the look too. A good middle ground is right around the middle of your shoulder and will always be in fashion. The narrower or wider you go than that, the trendier it will appear.
Besides the style, look at getting a unique lapel buttonhole, or boutonniere, as well. You can match the inner lining of your jacket with the lapel hole thread or even a secondary color of the fabric. We also offer a few styles of Milanese lapel hole, asola lucida, for discerning customers. The Milanese lapel hole is a glossy, handmade buttonhole that can be as subtle or attention-catching as you wish. Whether you want to match the fabric all the way to getting the colors of the Pride Flag, it’s something worth considering.
Lower jacket pockets are often overlooked in choosing a custom suit, but they’re just as important to the overall expression. Horizontal flap pockets at both sides of the hip with a welted breast pocket on the wearer’s left are the standard arrangement on most suits. This is fine, as it attracts little attention and fits in for business or pleasure.
But like anything else discussed in this article, you can add a little more flair with pockets on your special day. Take, for example, the ticket pocket. Originally a detail on country sports coats and suits, they are allegedly named for being able to store train tickets as one traveled. Eventually, it made its way to city suits as a way to add more interest. Typically they are put on the wearer’s right side and aligned with the front edge of the hip pocket, but with custom suits it can be put on the left or even moved in position.
Slanted, or hacking, pockets are another detail that originally came from sports clothing. Their angle makes them easier to reach into than horizontal pockets, so the advantage is obvious. Having trickled down into city suits, they offer not only a more unique appearance but a way to visually define your waist.
For casual suits, consider lower patch pockets instead. You can even make the breast pocket a patch if desired. This will give a more devil-may-care appearance to the jacket.
Trousers are often overlooked in making a suit unique, but they shouldn’t be. There can be just as much creativity involved in designing them.
If you’re comfortable wearing belts, belt loops are the natural choice and standard. But also consider side adjusters. They are a good way to adjust your trouser waist on the fly, since most everyone’s weight fluctuates a bit. They also work well with three-piece suits since they won’t leave a lump from a belt buckle at the bottom.
Interesting waistband treatments are available, including wide waistbands with extended tabs and the ghurka style with overlapping buckles and straps in the front. These can help add some panache if you need to remove your jacket at some point in the night.
Flat front has become the default these days and lends a more minimal look. Pleats are nothing to be afraid of, however. When made custom, pleats are just as flattering and also give you more ease for sitting down and moving around. They’re also coming back around again in fashion. Cuffs have become popular again too. Besides looking nice, they help the trouser legs drape better in light fabrics.
We’ve discussed various details that can go into one’s very own, custom wedding suit. But the biggest factor in how casual or formal a suit appears will be its fabric.
Linen is a great fabric for more informal or casual weddings during warm weather. Its breathability has made it the default choice when weather gets hotter for centuries. It’s almost always plain-woven, but can be found in herringbone and twill weaves too. At the same time, it does wrinkle a lot and one should be comfortable with that possibility. That, and the “slubby” appearance, makes it less suited for the most formal of weddings. Cotton will be slightly less breathable, but also resist wrinkles slightly more. While poplin and twill are classics, seersucker is a fantastic, unique looking cotton fabric that will breathe quite well. All these fabrics look great with patch pockets and swelled edges.
That isn’t to say one should dismiss wool fabrics entirely during spring and summer. Tropical wool, high twist wool and wool/mohair blends will also perform quite well when the weather’s warm due to their open weave and lightness. They will also look more formal if that is the goal of your wedding dress code.
This is by no means exhaustive. There are also various blends of cotton, wool, and silk for spring and summer which will drape well. We definitely suggest looking at and feeling fabrics for yourself to see if it works for your needs.
Also important with the fabric is how the garment is lined. You can go with full lining, partial lining, or completely unlined. The less lining you have, the less structured your jacket will look — but that can work well with casual suits worn sans tie. Partial lining can be the best of both worlds, taking out lining in the back of the jacket while keeping the shoulders and sleeves lined for ease of movement.
Next to fabric, color will make the second biggest impact to how formal or casual your suit looks. Generally, the lighter the color, the more playful it will appear.
Our fabrics, besides being extensive in the fiber and weave selection, also have just about every color you could think of. If you want your suit to be appropriate for business after the wedding, navy and charcoal will work perfectly. But many of our customers have chosen colors to match or compliment their surroundings. In the high desert, khaki, rose, and green are all popular choices. French blue goes very well with the red rocks of the southwest. Again, your choices are limited only by your imagination.
There are few more things to consider when putting together your wedding outfit.
Ties don’t necessarily have to match your wedding colors exactly, but they can pick them up in a different shade. For example, if lavender is one of the colors you can wear a purple tie. If it’s a casual summer wedding, with a casual summer suit, you can leave off your tie entirely to beat the heat. This is a popular look for beach destination weddings since it goes well with the surroundings. Knitted ties also work very well with sportier suits and are light and airy for the summer.
Whether or not you wear a tie, pocket squares should definitely be on your mind. They’re a great way to add a pop of flair or color. Look for pocket squares that pick up secondary colors in your tie or suit fabric. Silk squares puffed out of the breast pocket are a timeless choice. Otherwise, you can just go with a simple fold of white linen for almost anything.
Belts should always match the shoes in color and not be too wide for the belt loops. Braces (or suspenders) are a good choice for three-piece suits, since they hang from the shoulder and won’t leave a distracting bulge or flash of metal buckle underneath the vest. Buttons can easily be added to the inside of the waistband for them to fasten to. There are many choices of colour and pattern out there to show a bit of personality with braces.
Keep your shoes well-polished and make sure they match the formality of what you’re wearing. Tan moccasin boots will not look good with a more formal suit, but a pair of dark brown punch caps will. On the flip side, you wouldn’t wear black cap toes with a tan cotton suit either.
Vests add a bit more formality to a suit. It may seem counter-intuitive to wear one when it’s warm out, but it gives the option of dressing your suit up and down when you wear it beyond your wedding. It can also help you still look dressed if needing to remove your jacket at some point during the reception. Just remember to keep it (and your tie) on for your first dance photos.
Shirts are pretty straightforward. The easiest way to go is with a solid white, cream, or pastel color. Choose a good collar for your face, a medium spread being the safest bet. Keep in mind that button cuffs are the better choice with more casual suits, but French cuffs will need cuff links (which we do offer in the shop) to work.
With all this in mind, our Personal Clothiers are experts when it comes to bringing your dream wedding life. Whether it’s navigating the 15,000 fabric options, working with a strict budget, or finding the perfect style to match your wedding and personality, we’re here to help. Schedule a fitting when you’re ready to start the process. We can’t wait to meet you.