What to wear and how to wear it

What to wear and how to wear it

Your wedding is the most important day of your life, so it's important to find the right attire-and the right fit-for the occasion. Let's look at your style and fit options.

The first order of business is to coordinate your apparel with the type of wedding you're planning. Be sure to consider the venue, time of day and season when choosing your menswear and plan accordingly. For example, a formal evening wedding in a classy location might necessitate a black tuxedo, whereas an outdoor, daytime setting might call for something a bit more laid-back with natural tones. The key here is for the couple to decide on the overall vibe or theme of the event and build the appropriate attire from there.

The second order of business is to harmonize your attire with your partner's. More men are paying attention to what they wear for their nuptials these days, but that won't amount to much if your bride- or groom-to-be is sporting an entirely different aesthetic. A tea-length dress isn't going to pair well with a full tuxedo, and a ball gown with a cathedral-length train might look silly next to khakis and rolled-up shirtsleeves. Similarly, same-sex couples should sport similar levels of formality, though they can choose to match exactly or personalize the look with accessories as desired.

After you get the to-be-weds sorted, you'll want to coordinate the attendants. If your wedding includes attendants of both genders, pay attention to complementing styles, fabrics and colors. The couple of honor should stand out among the bridal party, but the formality of all involved should be consistent with the aesthetic of the event.

To Rent or to Buy

If you'll be wearing a tuxedo or suit, you'll have to decide whether to rent or buy the ensemble. Typically, the biggest consideration for renting versus buying is the cost. Renting your outfit can save you anywhere from 10 to 30 percent.

The key factor to think about is whether you will wear it again, especially if you're considering a tux. If you think you will have an opportunity to wear a tuxedo again, you'll probably want to buy the one you wear for your wedding. Typically, an additional $100 (over the cost of the rental) will allow you to purchase a tuxedo. With suits, it's easy to find a reason to re-wear-even if it's only for your anniversary dinner.

Getting the Right Fit

OK gentlemen, everything up to this point has been preparation for this moment. Once you've decided on a style, the most important thing is getting it correctly fitted to your frame. The fit makes the difference between looking confident and looking uncomfortable.

"This is the most important day of a man's life, and he will never be photographed more than on his wedding day," reads a message on the American Commodore Tuxedo website. "It is important that he looks his absolute best because, while the rental may only be for a day, those pictures will last a lifetime. But beyond how he will look, you should also consider how he will feel. He will have enough on his plate already without having to be uncomfortable in an ill-fitting tuxedo or suit."

Start with a tailor or stylist who can measure you correctly and suggest looks that will work with your body type. If you buy a suit off the rack, be sure to take it to a tailor for alterations. It's worth every penny to get it just right.

The shoulders are a dead giveaway when a jacket doesn't fit right. They should not gather, bunch or stand away from the shirt collar in the back or sides. Also be sure that the shoulder seam hits at the correct spot on your shoulder.

Another giveaway to a poorly fitted jacket is the sleeves. When your arms hang loosely at your sides, your shirt cuffs should be exposed about a half an inch. This also will allow you to show off your cufflinks.

Finally, check the fit of the jacket at the front. It shouldn't gather or pull when buttoned, nor should it pull away from your body with tons of room to spare. You should be able to comfortably slip your hand between your shirt and jacket without it being too snug or too loose.

A word about lapels: The jacket lapels should touch the edges of your shirt collar; a gap means the jacket is too big. Also, be sure to match the width of your tie to the width of your lapels. If the jacket is slim-fitting with smaller lapels, then a slim tie is in order. The same is true for the knot on the tie. A wider lapel might call for a full Windsor knot rather than a half Windsor.

When it comes to pants, be sure that they are long enough to "break," or crease, where the hem hits your shoes. Many department stores offer in-house tailoring to hem your pants, but a professional tailor often can provide a more personalized service.

Finish everything off with the right shoes and accessories. Cufflinks, pocket squares and a watch worthy of the event will complete your look and make you feel like the man of the hour.