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Published on July 7th, 2010 | by Staggered

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Mens Wedding Suits – The Basic Options

Let’s go right back to the basics and look at the sort of suit options that you’ll be confronted with when choosing a look for the wedding. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that these are the only wedding suits you can wear – they’re not (check these alternatives to wedding suits). They do however account for the majority of grooms, so read up and enjoy the cheesy pictures we’ve tried to find to illustrate each style…

Tailcoat

Evening tailcoat - Fred Astaire jokes mandatory

Left – morning tailcoat. Right – evening tailcoat.

This tailcoat is in essence, a long coat with the front removed for easy urinal access (this may not be historically accurate, we’re guessing, if you want facts wiki it), and is the principal jacket associated with white tie dress.

There are two variations on the tailcoat – the morning, and the evening. There’s one big difference between the two, and that’s buttons. Where as the morning edition has two simple buttons holding the sweeping material together, possibly for lounging around ye olde style, the evening dress version has a series of buttons and is cut straight across the middle.

The tailcoat options are not ideal for fat blokes because the way the jackets fall tends to expose the stomach area and if you’re sporting a paunch, these will highlight the fact.

You could reasonably expect to wear a top hat with either. Cane/looking like a tanned, cheesy bloke from Peep Show optional.

Prince Edward Jacket

If you don’t fancy dragging a tail coat around behind you, the Prince Edward jacket has a more modern feel, a three-quarter length jacket with a much less cluttered, single-breasted appearance at the front.

The disadvantage is that it’s woefully unsuited for short blokes, because it will just look like you’re dressed in a hugely over-sized normal suit jacket.

Frock Coat

Occasionally alternatively known as a Prince Albert, which of course is also slang for something else entirely, the frock coat is popular at weddings with a Victorian feel and typically drops to the wearer’s knee-level.

Traditionally, they must not be worn past 7PM, but traditionally they were also worn by the Russian military, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be dividing the church seating into ‘blocs’.

One thing that people don’t often realise is that depending on the cloth they’re cut from some frock coats are really heavy and will leave you wanting to get rid of it as soon as possible. For this reason they make a spectacularly bad choice for a wedding at the peak of summer.

Dinner Suit

These days, the dinner jacket/tuxedo/tux/penguin suit is the key component of ‘black tie’ events. Such is the popularity of this look, we’re entering a mine field here in terms of identifying what is, and isn’t a dinner jacket nowadays. Typically, they’re single-breasted, you’ll almost always match it with a white shirt, and it will have minimal buttons which generally remain undone. Don’t ask why they’re there, the answer is too terrifying for you to comprehend.

The obvious thing is that the tuxedo is an American wedding tradition for men, but that doesn’t mean you can’t opt for it at your wedding, plus you can make loads of Bond gags.

Prince Charlie Jacket

Usually accompanied with a kilt, to the degree that we reckon it might look bloody daft without, this jacket of Scottish heritage is low and short cut for grooms who a) love to tease or b) have Celtic heritage. It’s a specific little number that’s also accompanied by brogues and a dash of heather in the pocket to complete the full Highlands wanderer look.

The Lounge Suit

And yes, the trainers are optional, but more on that in a second. The lounge suit is your normal run-of-the-mill everyday suit. There are literally millions of combinations of suit based on whether you want single-breasted, double-breasted; what type of fabric you opt for; the particular fit you want…it’s  nearly endless.

The lounge suit is still viewed by some as being a bit dress down for a wedding, but that’s probably the view of traditionalists who are looking at the above fancier options. The key is to choose what you think suits you best and you feel the best in. Whatever you’re wearing don’t forget that the choice of suit is really just the beginning. After that you’ve got shoes to think of, shirts, ties, pocket squares, watches and don’t even get us started on the politics of socks…

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Staggered is the world’s leading publisher for grooms, best men and fathers of the bride. Across websites, emails and magazines we help over 73,000 men every month.



5 Responses to Mens Wedding Suits – The Basic Options

  1. Great suggestions, I love the Price William!

  2. Aimee Dunne says:

    As a planner I’ve been asked quite a lot for advice from grooms on suits so this is quite useful to point them to here!

  3. Hans Brouwer says:

    Can anyone tell me who the manufacturer of the grey frock coat is or from which store it comes ?

  4. Claire says:

    Or you have your normal, smart, slimline suit from Ted Baker or Paul Smith… if you wear a suit to work every day, or fancy getting something you can wear again, then please remember there are more options. Why not a trendy designer suit you can wear again? Especially if your bride is getting a more contemporary dress – sometimes the prince Albert (really?!) looks a bit silly. (both kinds.)

  5. iamstaggered says:

    It’s a very good point, I think the only reason I didn’t add it initially is because I was looking at the “traditional” options but it’s worth adding it in, I reckon. Thanks Clur x

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