|Formalwear and Tuxes: The Plunge’s 20 Rules|
You don’t have to be a fashion snob. But you need to follow a few rules and ask yourself, WWJBD: What Would James Bond Do?
Your bride might think it’s a great idea for you to get married in a traditional Scottish Kilt. And the conventional wisdom from wedding-porn is that it’s “your wedding” and that you should choose whatever "formalwear" you please, from a casual navy blazer to a khaki suit to a daring orange tailcoat.
Our take? Chuck all that. Ignore it. Instead, stick to this one guiding principle: WWJBD—What Would James Bond Do? Bond would never tolerate the indignity of getting stuffed in a peach cummerbund; he’d demand simplicity, formality...black.
If you drool over GQ every month (the fashion articles, not the models) and obsess over the latest trends from Milan, go ahead and skip this article and start picking the music for the reception. You’re set. Everyone else? Closely follow The Plunge’s 20 rules on formalwear.
1. Buy the damn thing. Chances are if you’re getting married so are a ton of your friends. The tux will pay for itself in three to four events. Financially, this is the least painful time in your life to fork over hundreds (or thousands) of dollars for the tux; and if your fiancée can spend $3,000 on a dress that she’ll only wear once, why can’t you spend $700 on something you’ll wear repeatedly? Fair’s fair. You might even get someone else to pick up the tab.
2. Don’t rely on a list like this. Don’t rely on any website. And for God’s sake, don’t rely on your own taste. Instead, find someone you trust at the store who will put you in an excellent tux. You know who we’re talking about—the stylish, well-groomed salesman who speaks English as a second language. Rely on this guy.
3. Find a good tailor. Not any random dude from Walma-Suit. Just because you buy the suit somewhere doesn’t mean you need to use their (free) tailor. If you already use someone else for your suits then for God’s sake pay a little extra and take it to them. If not, ask around for recommendations. Chances are your fiancée already has a tailor on her list of contacts.
4. Coordinate with the bride. She’ll “have some thoughts” about how your tuxes will meld into her aesthetic vision. Luckily, by now this rule should be obvious; you can’t wipe your ass without coordinating with bridezilla.
5. Remember your boys. For the past year you’ve been spending Monopoly Money. Even if you’re paying for the wedding, it doesn’t feel like normal cash; it’s coming from a surreal wedding budget. $700 for you is not the same thing as $700 for your groomsmen. It’s fine to splurge on your own tux—recommended, even—but make sure they have an affordable option.
6. Geography matters. If your groomsmen live in other cities, consider using a tux shop with a national presence. Alternatively, you can have your buddy from Shit Flip, Idaho get measured locally and pick his tux up elsewhere. Just keep this in mind.
7. Strike early. Like a trip to the dentist, there’s nothing to be gained by pushing things off. The toothache will only get more painful, not less. Plus, the earlier you get this root canal, the more time you have to recover in case Pothead Chucky (your best man) screws up the order.
8. Never overshadow the bride. This is impossible if you follow our advice—timeless over trendy, black, classic—but it bears repeating... because she will kill you if you look better than her. (Just look at those hideous dresses she picked out for her friends.)
9. A suit can work in a pinch. It can be done. Just make sure that it’s perfectly fitted, matches your groomsmen, and that your tie incorporates the wedding’s color scheme. (Jesus. Did we just say “wedding’s color scheme?” Slap us.)
10. Relax. In the grand scheme of things, no one gives a rat’s ass what you wear. Have you ever heard someone say, “Did you see Rachel’s wedding? I just adored the groom’s lapels!” People notice your bride. They’ll whisper about her dress, swoon over her haircut, gush about her overall beauty. (Or they’ll bitchily snicker about her shortcomings. You’ll never know.) As long as you keep things simple and make sure your clothes fit—not a hard job—you’ve done your job.
11. Don’t mindlessly follow the rules. Look, even 007 knows there are times to follow and times to break the rules. A destination wedding in Hawaii gives you a lot of leeway. But we are not going to be weenies and tell you “either way, it’s your day so you can’t go wrong.” You can go horribly, horribly wrong. On the other hand, no one likes a fashion snob. So take all of this under advisory, but if you feel strongly about wearing a top-hat and tails, fine, “it’s your big day”. Thumb your nose at convention. Remember, in this life you’ll only get married a few times.
Rules 12-20 on the next page...