A Guide To Finding The Perfect Wedding Suit
What do men need to know before buying a suit for their wedding? What different suit options are there? Are things like material choice important? What else needs to be considered?
A complete guide to finding the perfect wedding suit, this article has been created to inform and support the rookie groom and groomsmen in the process of getting suited up for their big day!
Many brides picture the planning of their wedding like a scene from a romantic comedy. The “surprise” proposal, followed by cake tasting, ring shopping and endless flowing champagne surrounded by layered tulle dresses….. On the other hand, most grooms never picture or dream of their wedding at all…
There is a huge amount of work that goes into planning this once in a lifetime occasion and more often than not the bride takes the running on the key decisions; the venue, the service, the colour scheme, the flowers, the invitations, the dance classes and the list goes on.
Soooo... wouldn't it be nice to confidently call the shots when it comes to your wedding suit, from the initial research to tying your own bowtie on the big day? At Mitchell Ogilvie Tailoring we believe the groom’s attire, like the bride’s gown, should be a statement of your style on the day.
Here we step you through the key considerations for finding the perfect wedding suit. First up what are the main options available in the market today.
Made to measure, how does it work?
Made to measure is definitely the best option to get a well made suit that fits both you and your budget perfectly. It's a growing trend all over the world, but especially here in Australia. While the design and fitting is undertaken in person, most suits are normally constructed overseas, in Italy, Eastern Europe, Japan or China.
At Mitchell Ogilvie Tailoring we help you choose fabric from international mills including Holland & Sherry and Dugdale Bros & Co in the UK, Biella and Loro Piana in Italy. Working with some of the finest cloth available we offer made to measure options to suit everyone.
We produce our made to measure suits and shirts from your specific body measurements creating an individual pattern from which your tailored garments are cut. This process is completely individual for each client. Once the construction is completed overseas the garment arrives in Australia ready for your second fitting. Any final adjustments are completed here in Sydney.
Made to measure is the perfect option for grooms who want to choose from a wide variety of cloth and have a say in the design phase to personalise their garment for the big day. From the size and shape of the lapel to a hand finished button hole, all can be customized to meet your needs. You also get a suit that you will want to wear again many times.
The lead time for made to measure garments can vary greatly, and is normally dictated by the cloth selected. If you select an Italian linen you can expect to wait between 6 and 8 weeks for your first fitting, this is due to both the distance and customs processes. Occasionally cloth can be out of stock and will be replenished within coming weeks, so if you have your heart set on a particular colour or texture its a good idea to be organised and start the process no later than three months from the wedding date.
Pricing is normally dictated by the cloth selection. Starting prices for made to measure suits are around $1,000 each but can be more expensive.
What is “off the rack”?
Off the rack is an industry term used for apparel that is in stock on the shop floor and available for immediate purchase. Traditional department stores have a suiting section with a variety of “off the rack” stock to choose from. While they have seasonal deliveries for summer and winter, most stores carry a stable collection that tends to be quite conservative to appeal to a wide range of customers. If you have a “stock standard” body type this is an option for you.
Here at Mitchell Ogilvie Tailoring we have a small collection of quality off the rack garments available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about our range. Most stores will offer an alterations service for an additional charge e.g. taking up the trouser leg or tapering the sleeve. If you need anything more then one or two minor alterations it is well worth considering the made to measure option.
Bespoke is considered the ultimate in tailoring ... what comes to mind when you picture a “Tailor”.... chalk covered hands, measuring tape over their shoulder, bending over a work bench hand sewing with needle and thread. Yes bespoke tailors do still exist but like many old fashioned trades they are few and far between and unfortunately it is a dying art.
The best place to get a bespoke suit is on Savile Row, London, an area famous for beautiful tailoring. Bespoke suits similar to couture gowns are constructed from scratch using detailed individual body measurements with every aspect hand finished. The tailor will spend between two and four weeks physically working exclusively on the suit. Don’t let that timeline confuse you, most bespoke tailors will have a waiting list and a lead time of up to 12 months. If you have the time and a spare $10,000 or more this might be up your alley!
Just hire it….
Renting a suit these days is viewed as quite old fashioned. However it’s still an option for last minute weddings or those on a tight budget. If you are looking for a suit hire company our recommendation is to do a quick google search of local companies and thoroughly check the reviews from past customers. Then choose the one with the best reviews and the largest selection available. The extended range will give you a larger variety of styles, sizing and fit. Keep in mind hire suits are not normally altered for the individual, so they will never be a perfect fit, however, this is an option for those on a very tight budget or timeframe.
Once you have considered your budget and timeframe you can decide the path you want to take; made to measure, off the rack, bespoke or hire. The next step is to decide on the look you want to achieve. This will be dictated by several elements which should be considered with the bride.
The dress code for the wedding?
Black tie, formal, cocktail, smart casual, casual…make sure the style of your suits sets the tone of the wedding. It’s your big day so you can afford to take a few risks and stand out from the crowd.
The bridal gown?
White, ivory, natural, champagne… the list goes on. If you are considering a lighter colour cloth, like light grey or even an ivory dinner jacket it is important to match in with the bridal gown. This can look extremely elegant but cloth choice is everything!
The bridesmaid gowns?
The groomsmen should compliment the bridesmaids, for example if they are wearing black dresses, we would not recommend navy suits. You need to think of the big picture and decide what will look best together.
The colour theme for the wedding?
If you are having a dominant colour theme, bold reds, soft blues, metallics this is a good opportunity for the ties or suits to compliment the colour theme.
Are you getting married in winter, and can afford to wear a thicker fabric like velvet? Or in summer when you would benefit from a natural and breathable fabric such as linen or cotton?
What “suits” you?
Have a look at your complexion, the shape of your face and decide, what colours and styles will best compliment you personally? If you have a square, triangular or diamond shaped face, a shawl lapel would be perfect to soften your bone structure. If you have blue eyes, a navy suit may bring them out.
Once you have the above questions answered, start to put down your ideas on paper in words or pictures so you can communicate them to your bride and groomsmen and ensure you are all on the same page. Visualising is sometimes the biggest challenge, so pinterest, searching instagram hashtags and google images with key words, is a great tool to put together some options before you hit the shops or book a consultation.
Cloth and patten?
Cloth and cloth design are the final components to consider, once you have decided on the colour of your suit you can consider the cloth and the design or texture.
Linen is a great cloth to consider if you are planning a summer wedding. It’s a natural fibre made from the flax plant, it breathes well and is 2-3 times stronger than cotton so is less likely to split on the dance floor! Being a natural fiber linen crushes easily and this is the beauty of the fabric, it has character which should be embraced. If you are planning a more casual wedding at the beach or in Bali or Greece in front of the ocean or outside, linen is the perfect option.
If you love the look and feel of linen but are worried about the suit looking crushed in photos, there are plenty of linen, silk or wool blends that give you the look of linen but reduce the potential for crushing substantially.
Wool is the most traditional suiting fabric, again being a natural fibre it breathes well, and depending on the construction and weight will mostly hold its shape well and drape beautifully.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric. It does not breathe as well as natural fibers, but requires less work to produce a suit so is generally a less expensive option.
Other options to consider are cotton, silk or velvet. Cotton is a great option for a more casual look. Silk and velvet are both natural fabrics perfect for dinner jackets and black tie events.
The final consideration is the design or pattern of the fabric and there are many options to choose from check, embossed, tartan, herringbone, houndstooth, the list goes on. This is a personal thing and whatever pattern or design stands out to you and suits your personality is likely to be the best choice. You have to love your suit after all!
So there you have it, your guide to finding the perfect wedding suit. If you still have unanswered questions or would like some advise on what would suit you personally we are here to help. Click on the button below and get in touch, we would love to point you in the right direction.