Keep it simple or play it cool. For grooms of all ages and styles, there are plenty of traditional and on-trend ways to make a statement without overshadowing the bride.

Keep it simple or play it cool. For grooms of all ages and styles, there are plenty of traditional and on-trend ways to make a statement without overshadowing the bride.

Listen up, grooms. When it comes to wedding-day attire, you and your groomsmen are no longer confined to traditional black-and-white garb. In fact, many grooms are stepping out in color and style to reflect trends in women’s bridal wear. Though the bride and her gown are the focal points of the ceremony and wedding photos, the groom and his groomsmen can add their own unique touches to make subtle statements.

Find the perfect fit

When choosing a tuxedo or suit, Aaron Roberts of Romanoff’s Classic Tuxedo suggests that grooms start the process at least three months prior to the big day.

To prepare for the fitting, grooms should bring a few pieces of key information to the shop: the date and time of the wedding, colors and an invitation. It’s customary for the style of the tux to echo the formality of the wedding and the bride’s gown. If the ceremony is outdoors and the bridesmaids are wearing casual tea-length dresses, the groom and groomsmen may opt for a casual gray suit or forgo the jacket for a popular vest-and-necktie combo. Formal evening weddings with floor-length bridesmaids’ gowns call for full tuxedos with black or white bowties, says Roberts.

Grooms should also consider the fit of the tux. Athletic cuts are best suited for men with broad shoulders and smaller waists, while a modern cut will fit closer to the body. The trendier slim fit is in high demand for grooms of all ages and features a shorter coat that fits snug to the body and flat-front pants that are slim through the thighs, knees and ankles. When buttoned, a well-tailored jacket should not bulge in the front and should be fitted through the shoulders, with sleeves that come just to the knuckles.

Depending on the store, grooms and groomsmen will come in for a final fitting during the week prior to the event. Experts at the shop will ensure everything still fits; if further alterations are required, the shop will have enough time to complete them in-house or order a different size.

Accessorize with color

Color is in. Gray, navy blue and even brown suits are popular options for more casual autumn weddings, says Heather Boyer from American Commodore Tuxedo. Grooms and groomsmen can take cues from the bride’s bouquet and bridesmaids’ dresses by incorporating complementary pops of color into bowties, neckties, vests or suspenders. While black and white are customary colors for formal evening weddings, afternoon or outdoor ceremonies allow playful colors to take center stage.

For their carnival-themed wedding in April 2012, groom Trent Beers chose a casual teal gingham shirt under a brown tweed vest with a bright yellow bowtie to match bride Kim Byce’s yellow bouquet and hairpiece. The groomsmen wore red neckties and suspenders to add to the laid-back feel of the day.

Make it your own

Now more than ever, grooms are choosing to set themselves apart from their groomsmen by adding personal touches. At Men’s Wearhouse, Dave Land says they make a point to separate the groom from the rest of the party. For a casual wedding, the groomsmen may wear matching neckties and vests, while the groom wears the same thing in a different color. For a more formal ceremony, some grooms opt for an all-white tuxedo while his groomsmen wear black. Colorful pocket squares, patterned neckties or even playful socks and custom studs and cufflinks can set the groom apart from his groomsmen. Land has seen grooms make a statement with black and white wing-tip shoes, custom Chuck Taylors and Adidas sneakers.

At the Ritzy Rose, husband and wife team Jen and Jason Diehl make vintage brooch bouquets for brides and unique alternatives for the groom’s boutonniere. “Most guys aren’t excited to put a flower on their lapel,” Jen Diehl says. The Diehls scour flea markets and estate sales for vintage accessories that Jason incorporates into handmade boutonnieres. For the outdoorsmen, there’s an empty shotgun shell with a flower coming out of it, and for the musician, a guitar pick and vintage volume dial paired with a sparkly brooch. Car enthusiasts will appreciate the spark-plug boutonniere, and sports fans will love the football charms.


Tux-Shopping Quick Tips

Tux shopping doesn’t have to be a hassle if you keep these tips in mind.

Bring the bride: Or have an idea of what she’s looking for in a tuxedo or suit. A groom’s tux or suit should match his bride’s dress in style and formality.

Consider colors: Knowing the colors of the bride’s gown and bridesmaids dresses can help in choosing complementary bowties, vests, cummerbunds and other accessories.

Get measured: Whether you’re a groom or groomsmen, measurements need to be given to the shop so the tux or suit can be tailored accordingly. Have an out-of-town groomsman stop by his local shop for a courtesy measurement. He can then call in his measurements.

Try it on: From athletic to super-slim fits, tuxes come in a variety of styles. The one that looks great on the mannequin might not suit your body type well, so try on several styles before making your final decision.