Normally your wedding budget will determine whether you hire or buy your wedding suits. There are several arguments for both, but let me try and steer you in a direction or two.
If the groom decides to buy a whizz-bang suit this is all well and good, but what about the other guys? The groomsmen and elders all need to tie in somehow, so before buying ‘the one’ think about how to combine the other outfits. Do you buy a black suit because all of your pals have a black suit? No, why limit yourself? Do you let everyone wear their own suits assuming that they have one and then you buy matching ties for all? An idea, yes, but you will find that 50% of the suits don’t go with the tie… grrrr. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the shirts and shoes.
Buying a Wedding Suit
All too often I am presented with a fantastic bit of kit bought from a select outlet (i.e. expensive), but no formal wear store in the land will be able to coordinate with it due to the colour, style or general vibe. I am asked to suggest a waistcoat, a typical wedding waistcoat to turn this suit into a wedding suit. This is tricky because fabrics, shapes and styles do not often mix well.
So, if you buy, what will you buy? If you are not a suit wearer for work then buying a suit will seem enough. However, what type of suit do you buy to distinguish yourself from a guest at your wedding? This is the tricky bit as there isn’t a specific ‘standard’ suit style that fits the bill. I would say choose a 3-piece suit. This is a jacket and trouser with a matching waistcoat. A guest at a wedding will probably not have a waistcoat. Also, think about the quality; buying a top notch, full blown designer suit may help you stand out.
Hiring a Wedding Suit
As you will have read, the buying idea can be fraught with problems, and this is where hiring outfits comes in. Any decent menswear store should have encountered the issues listed in this article and drawn up plans to combat them. In other words, when said formal wear store introduces a new range of suits, waistcoats or whatever, they should consider the wedding group scenario.
As an example, when I introduce a new tail suit, I always have a waistcoat to match the tails made up and a lounge suit to complement the range. If I introduce a new waistcoat pattern with colour, I always have a plain colour to coordinate so the groom can choose a pattern for instance with the groomsmen coordinating by way of colour as well as pattern.
In summary, if you are trying to create a group look without pounding the streets, there are decent formal wear stores who have thought about this and will be the answer to your prayers. Going down the buying route is an option, but just think about the finer details before spending that all important wedding budget.
Guest post by Stephen Bishop
Image from Jess Yarwood Photography