Tatyana, founder & tailor of TNWS supplier Artefact London, shares some of the questions frequently asked by grooms when weighing up different attire choices for their big day.
Is a three piece suit a good idea for a summer wedding? Would I be too warm?
I see three piece suits are making a big return, with a waistcoat adding quite some debonair to the look. Realistically, on a warm summer day you will feel rather uncomfortable wearing another layer under your jacket. However, I would still recommend including the waistcoat. The reason being not to wear the two in tandem, but rather so that you can swap the jacket for a waistcoat when it gets too warm, but you still want to keep your look formal. This way the groom can have three different looks on the day: waistcoat & jacket, just jacket, waistcoat only.
What shall I wear to a beach wedding? Can I wear a wool suit?
You can absolutely wear a suit made of wool to a beach wedding. Ask your tailor for a lightweight wool below 250gr in weight; a cotton or silk lining on the inside would be ideal to keep you cool. With beach weddings it is always best to go for light colours such as light grey & beige; light blue & sage would work great for more colourful & relaxed atmospheres. Don’t go for dark colours as they absorb all wavelengths of light and convert them into heat increasing your body temperature. Light colours reflect all wavelengths of light, so the light is not converted into heat and your body temperature is not affected.
Can I wear a linen suit?
Linen has got a beautiful texture about it, but it creases easily. Another important trait of linen is that when you sweat and stretch the fabric, it starts to sag. Linen will not regain its formal shape until you wash it, whereas wool & cotton for example will ‘bounce back’ to its shape when you stretch it. Wool has much better crease resistance than linen & cotton. I still love linen though and it works great for beach weddings! I would say yes to a linen jacket, but no to linen trousers for the above mentioned reasons. With linen I would make the fit of the jacket that tiny bit looser than on a wool jacket so that the garment does not stretch and loose its shape with your movement. Pair your linen jacket with lightweight cotton trousers of contrasting colour.
Are narrow lapels a suitable look for the wedding suit?
Lapel width should be proportionate to the width of your shoulders. Wider shoulders require a slightly wider lapel to keep balanced proportions. Ask your tailor what would be the best lapel width for your body for a balanced look. Same goes to the length of the jacket, ask your tailor to get the right visual balance. A jacket that is just 2cm longer than necessary can visually cut your legs short, but you will not be able to shorten it as the pockets become too close to the bottom of the jacket. Overall narrow lapels are in fashion, but I do not anticipate this will continue for long, they remind me of office suits a lot. I would say steer clear of the narrow lapel look for your wedding.
Should I go double or single breasted on the jacket?
Just like three piece suits, double breasted jackets are making a return. And I absolutely love the look. Bear in mind that one must always keep his double breasted jacket closed, unlike the single breasted jacket which you can unbutton. Consider if it would work in the climate where you are having the wedding. Many people think double breasted can make you look shorter and visually add weight. That may have been the case in the past when double breasted jackets had a boxier shape to them. If you get your DB jacket tailor made with a degree of weight suppression and in the right length for your torso vs legs you can actually visually shed pounds off. Some double-breasted jackets have six or eight external buttons, which is more traditional, while others have two or four, which is more flattering if you’re on the shorter side. No matter how many buttons your jacket has, always leave the bottom button unfastened, just like a single-breasted suit—but button the bottom interior button, so the jacket stays closed and lays flat. A double-breasted suit jacket is typically a bit longer in order to create space for the bigger lapel and the button motif.
How much is reasonable to spend on a wedding suit?
How much did the bride spend on the dress? Yes, sure, the day is all about the bride. The groom should not try to steal her thunder, but I believe the groom must keep up! And unlike the wedding dress the wedding suit can be worn to other special occasions. So how much to spend after all? I would say at least double of what you would spend on a usual business suit. It is a very special day after all.