8 groom style dilemmas sorted
Fix your sartorial wedding-day hiccups with the help of our fashion experts
Frederik Willems, head of design at Thomas Pink,
Jeremy Hackett, founder and chairman of Hackett,
Luke Day, fashion director at GQ Style,
Marc Wallace, tailor specialising in handmade suits,
I live in jeans and have never owned or worn a suit. How can I look smart without being uncomfortable, or disappointing my bride?
Jeremy Hackett, founder and chairman of Hackett, says: 'What an admission! To ease you into the idea of wearing a suit, I would choose a blue cotton chambray cloth which, when made up, will appear relaxed but tailored - it's also a great nod to your fixation with denim. If the idea of wearing a tie fills you with trepidation, then coordinate your suit with a crisp white cotton shirt with a collar that sits up well - that way it won't just look as though you've forgotten to wear a tie. You'll be transformed - and, who knows, you may end up dispatching those jeans to the dustbin...'
My ushers are all sorts of shapes and sizes. How can I choose an outfit that suits them all?
Frederik Willems, head of design at Thomas Pink, says: 'I would suggest a classic morning suit. My main focus would be on the shirt-tie combination, as this is where you can create interest and be playful. Try our Linfred shirt (pictured, available in different colour and pattern options), combined with a tie and pocket square. Colour is a man's greatest accessory and is there to complement the bride.'
Our only pageboy is going through a phase of living in his Spiderman outfit, not quite the look my fiancée was thinking of! What can we do?
Jeremy Hackett, founder and chairman of Hackett, says: 'Distract that truculent pageboy by pointing him towards the web (ha!). There he can appreciate that Spiderman is a character of many talents, of which one is how to dress for a wedding. And the only way to save the day is by wearing a little blue blazer with a striped shirt and bow tie (above). You could compromise by giving him a tiny Spiderman badge to wear on his lapel - Spiderman would approve!'
I'm a big guy and admittedly a bit overweight. I don't expect to lose much weight before the wedding. So, what styles of suit are slimming?
Marc Wallace, tailor specialising in handmade suits, says: 'Bear in mind that loose-fitting garments make you look bigger than you are; a well-cut suit will skim your shape and fit your shoulders. The key is to go bespoke. Things to consider are the weight of cloth (heavier-weight ones, such as wool and flannel, are more forgiving), jacket length (a hem line that finishes at the top of the legs is crucial for creating a slimmer silhouette) and the button height at the front of the jacket: too high and it will accentuate your waist, too low and the eye will be drawn to your stomach.'
We're marrying in the Caribbean so I'm stuck as to what to wear - please don't suggest linen!
Luke Day, fashion director at GQ Style, says: 'Sir, linen is the devil's fabric: it creases and wants to stay creased. A cotton blazer from Margaret Howell is great teamed with tennis shoes, or try the Maine collection at Debenhams for chinos and lightweight shirts. Burberry's travel suit is also a chic choice - it's lightweight and has been designed not to crease as much as a standard suit. Pair with a classic Gucci loafer.'
There is no doubt I'm going to party hard at my wedding but would like to remain as smart as possible in all the photographs. How can I achieve this?
Frederik Willems, head of design at Thomas Pink, says: 'Comfort is key, so no tight or ill-fitting clothes. Bring an extra shirt to put on before dinner - Thomas Pink's Extreme Cutaway Slim Fit shirt, which has tailored side panels for a sharp silhouette, is ideal. Then just change your tie.'
My fiancée is a girl's girl and I'm pretty much expecting Barbie to walk up the aisle. I'm no Ken, so what should I wear?
Luke Day, fashion director at GQ Style, says: 'You need her to give you a hint. If a morning suit is too classic and you want some fun, a '70s-style tuxedo from Tom Ford (or, on a budget, from Marks & Spencer) always looks great. White tie is the next level for formality - buy from a Savile Row tailor like Gieves and Hawkes. Think old Hollywood glamour rather than over-the-top fairytale prince.'
I'd like to make my wedding-day outfit extra-special, but still be able to wear it afterwards. What would you suggest?
Marc Wallace, tailor specialising in handmade suits, says: 'To keep the emphasis on the big day, you could add a unique personal lining, a hidden embroidered message, buttonhole detailing, or perhaps a bold tie in a colour that corresponds with your bride's palette. It's possible later on to change the lining, or other detailing, if desired.'
As seen in the May/June 2014 issue of Brides