Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 9th 2008

Kristen, one of the leading ladies and champagne connoisseur from wedding mega blog Aisledash is joining Polka Dot Groom today with some great advice on choosing the right tuxedo for the wedding.


Photo by Infinity Studios

Compared to shopping for a bridal gown, choosing the guys’ tuxedos might seem like a piece of cake. However, while there aren’t quite as many options regarding formalwear for the men, it’s not all black and white. In fact, sometimes it’s chocolate, khaki, or ivory, and then there are the accessories … it’s enough to get confusing, if you let it.

Not every wedding is formal enough to require tuxedos, but a majority of brides and grooms opt to dress their wedding party in them. But who all needs one, and what are the rules for matching?
Of course, the groom needs a tux, and one thing he should consider is the color of his bride’s gown. If she’s wearing ivory, whether pale or deep, a white shirt on the groom has the possibility of making her gown look dingy.

The groom will often wear either a white or ivory vest and tie, or he may go with black — he generally doesn’t go with a color, but that doesn’t mean he can’t. If anyone is in a colored vest, it tends to be the groomsmen, who may match the bridesmaids’ gowns or another color incorporated into the wedding.

It’s a good idea for the fathers to wear black accessories for one big reason – Mom. If she has trouble finding a dress, or finds a new one at the last minute, you definitely don’t want Dad in a green vest that clashes with her pink gown – they’ll look like they’re attending two separate events!

Another thing that occasionally comes up with the fathers is that they might own their own tuxedo, which often isn’t a problem. He might want to consider renting accessories to complement the rest of the wedding party so that he doesn’t stand out too much, but as long as everyone is in a black tux, it shouldn’t be a problem.
When it comes to matching the groomsmen’s vests to the bridesmaids’ gowns, there is no right answer. Some couples (or brides) love the look, while others find it tacky. If you’re straddling the fence, think about the color you’re considering and how many people will be in it. A bright pink on six bridesmaids and six groomsmen can be a little overwhelming – after all, you want your guests to look at you, right?


Photo by Chris+Lynn Photographers

If you’re looking to save a little money, start with the accessories. Shoes add quite a bit to the cost, so if the groom or any of the groomsmen have black dress shoes, there’s no reason they can’t wear those. Additionally, if you’re going to have the guys wear boutonnieres, they don’t really need pocket squares. There are always fabric upgrades available, so if you want to save some money, stick with the basic shirts and simple black tuxes.
Another way to save some cash could be by ordering all your tuxes in the same place. See if there are standard regional deals, like a free tuxedo after six have been ordered, or a discount if you order it from the same shop from which the bride bought her gown. And don’t be afraid to ask a shop to match a competitor if you’d prefer to do business with them.

Men’s fashion doesn’t experience the same type of rapid, seasonal change as women’s fashion – it’s much more gradual. Still, there are a few trends that are highly popular now, although just as with bridesmaids’ dresses, not all styles are suitable for all body types.
You need to understand the body types you’re working with. The multiple buttons on a jacket for a guy with a big belly is like a large busted woman wearing a button-up blouse — there’s going to be unflattering gaping.

The three-button jacket has lost ground, but there is still a lot of excitement about the two-button. And the one-button, while not quite as trendy, is even easier to wear, which makes it a great option for the fathers. There’s nothing wrong with the fathers wearing a more traditional style than the groomsmen.
Another trend that’s just booming is the chocolate brown tuxedo – it’s really flattering next to an ivory or gold dress, and it looks fabulous on men of all skin tones. There’s only one hiccup – make sure you can also order brown shoes. Brown shoes also work well with a khaki-colored tux, which is another trend coming into play. I’m seeing khaki tuxes used a lot for slightly less formal weddings, as well as in destination weddings.

Finally, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time. During peak wedding season (which in the States corresponds with high school Prom season), certain styles become available only at a premium, and if you wait too long, you could have trouble finding just what you want. Pick it up and try it on as early as possible to avoid any possible problems on your big day, and then just sit back and look good!

Kristen Seymour is a freelance writer and one wedding blog Aisledash contributors. You can currently find her writing about fashion at StyleList, fitness at That’s Fit, beauty advice at BeautyHacks, and your favorite celebrities doing good things at both ChatterBox and Tonic News Network. She writes about whatever else comes to mind at Jeez-o-petes.