The capricious evolution of formal wear has resulted in strangely incompatible customs for men and women. A well-dressed man is wearing at least three layers of clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket, while a formally-dressed woman most likely has bare shoulders, arms, and ankles. It’s true that there’s a classic elegance to men’s tuxedos, but that elegance comes at the cost of any degree of comfort. When you’re planning your wedding party’s outfits, know you don’t need to limit yourself to the tuxedo. Here are a few alternatives to those layers of rented polyester:
Even if you don’t have a Scottish heritage, the right combination of a kilt with a tux-and-tails can be absolutely stunning. Let your groomsmen experience just how freeing and limiting wearing a skirt can be–your bridesmaids will thank you for providing them with that insight. Your groomsmen can dull any embarrassment they might have with flasks of Scottish whiskey tucked into the sporran, the pouch worn on the front of the kilt.
Shirts and Suspenders
For a more bohemian look, keep a button-down shirt and tie (even a bowtie) but ditch the jacket entirely. The men can wear a less-formal trouser, even a khaki, with a natty pair of suspenders setting off the ensemble. Complete the look with carefully-rolled sleeves for a hint of rugged masculinity that’s miles away from the artificial slickness of a traditional tuxedo.
Jeans and Button-downs
If your wedding theme allows for it, put your groomsmen in (well-fitting!) jeans and cowboy-style snap shirts. 10-gallon hats and boots are optional. Allowing your groomsmen to play out their cowboy fantasies will make for beautiful pictures at a rustic wedding.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, and especially a beach wedding, don’t make your groomsmen walk the sand in a tux jacket and rented patent-leather shoes. Linen is perfect for beachwear–it’s light, airy, but can still look elegant. Consider loose-fitting khaki slacks paired with four-pocket Guayabera-style shirts for a slightly tropical but still formal look. For shoes, consider deck shoes, sandals, or even no shoes at all. What better way to make your vows than under the open sky with your toes dug into the sand?
Suits and Chucks
Bridesmaids frequently wear dresses of different cuts and styles to flatter their different body types, with only the color providing a sense of unity to the look. Yet every groomsman keeps getting shoved into the same tuxedo, whether it’s flattering or not. Pick a color for the groomsmen, whether it’s black, charcoal, even tan, and then let each pick out the suit style that suits them best. Then ditch those patent-leather loafers for good old Chuck Taylor Converse shoes. It’s a great combination of formal and casual, and your groomsmen will look great in suits that actually fit their bodies.
Whether you want your groom to look like James Bond or Paul Bunyan, there are dozens of options for groomsmen beyond the traditional tux-and-bowtie look. With a little research and an open mind, you’re sure to find the perfect look that fits your theme and keeps the men in your bridal party comfortable and happy.
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