It is the time of year for wedding preparations, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share images of my friend Oliver’s wedding last year.
He is wearing probably my favourite groomsman’s outfit.
First, the colour. Pale grey is suitably serious – being plain and monotone – that it befits the formality of almost any wedding.
(And remember this is an important event, and therefore to at least some extent serious.)
But, the grey is pale enough that there is no chance it could be mistaken for a business suit. Mid-grey and darker, yes. Pale grey, no.
Second, the style. A double-breasted jacket is slightly unusual, but only slightly.
That means it’s unlikely anyone else will be wearing the same thing; you will feel satisfyingly stylish, and sartorial; and you’ll stand out without resorting to bright colours or a silly waistcoat.
A double-breasted pale-grey suit also stands a slight chance of being worn again – which is understandably a desire for most grooms, given it may be their most expensive piece of tailoring.
You’re unlikely to wear it to the office, but it would be good for any other formal day event.
If you want something more office-suitable, make it a mid-grey, and/or single breasted.
Third, the shirt. Only white will do really, being more formal than blue or any pattern.
But take the opportunity to wear one with double cuffs, so you can have cufflinks. There may even be an old family pair that would bring a sense of tradition.
Fourth, the tie. A small black-and-white check is a traditional pattern for a wedding tie, for formal for similar reasons to the rest of this outfit: it is monotone and discreet.
Styles similar to this are often called a Macclesfield (the British home of silk).
The shoes have to be black oxford – the most formal colour, and the most formal style.
You could get away with a very dark brown, if black shoes are just too office-y, but black suits the refined elegance best.
Plus a white-linen handkerchief.
The only thing I’d personally change from Oliver’s outfit is a smaller boutonniere, inserted through the buttonhole.
But that can be specific to the event: remember, this is no way your day; it is your bride’s. You are merely elegant support, which is another reason a subtle and refined outfit works so well.
The suit, by the way, was made bespoke by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury. Smith Woollens, Gilt Edge range (SW 6114), 8/9 oz pure merino.
Double-breasted jackets are so hard to fit well off the rack, and so are another reason to have one made for a wedding.
This also fits beautifully – snug at the neck and through the top of the back, smooth drape through the chest, and a lovely pitch on the sleeve.
The tie was from Tom Ford, shirt from Eton, and shoes from Foster and Son (ready to wear).
I’d recommend it to grooms everywhere.
Photography: Graham Warrellow
I like everything about the outfit. Fit is very good, too.
If only this post had arrived in January — I’m into my third fitting for my wedding suit, however will take on board the shirt/tie and shoe suggestions. White was always gone to be my choice of shirt colour, but was considering a silk knit tie and a pair of Edward Green Audley monks; would both be considered too informal for the occasion?
It depends on the event and suit obviously, but I would go for a printed or woven silk tie rather than a knit.
And monks could be nice, particularly that style and if in black.
Lovely suit but a shame he is wearing his flower incorrectly.
A very nice looking suit, although I would have perhaps gone a tad longer in the coat.
Do you know if it is W&S Savile Row or Classic?
Thanks for replying, Simon. Woven silk or a silk grenadine may be a good option. The suit is a three-piece in a navy fresco, so I expect a knit silk would be too close in terms of texture to the fabric of the suit.
I like this suit but surely more appropriate for one of the guests? A traditional morning suit or military dress uniform are the only two garments that are correct to match with a bride wearing a white wedding gown, nothing else will do.
I disagree, I have to say. Particularly saying such things are ‘correct’. There are no absolutes of right and wrong here – if there ever was, it was driven by the social expectations of those at the event, and it would be rare to find a wedding these days where this was what they expected.
Rules, as in most areas of clothing, are to be understood and applied with eyes open, rather than followed blindly.
Military dress… perfect as an easy option for the less imaginative and those that don’t want anybody to forget they’re in the military.
I’m a year away from my wedding, so this is helpful to provoke thinking about my outfit.
I bristle a bit though, at your suggestion that it would be the bride’s day, and not the groom’s. While that is certainly what the general culture and wedding magazines try to convince us of, I have never quite understood why that would be the case. As equal partners who choose each other, surely the bride and the groom should have equal say in the wedding arrangements (and from a fashion perspective, equal allowance for that extra bit of flamboyance! )
I take your point Gustav, but I do also think that it’s a nice thing to focus on her. It’s certainly a personal point.
And either way, I would say you should be simple and elegant, not flamboyant.
Not a fan of the morning suit?
Not particularly – I’d prefer a beautifully cut suit, and of course a morning suit is even less likely to be worn again.
The big problem, I find, with a morning suit, is that people generally don’t own one. Even if they do, the chances of their father, father in law, brother, best man, ushers etc. all owning them is relatively slim. So, in order to get to the point of being able to assemble a full bridal party, you are looking at hiring suits for at least some people, and these are invariable awful – made of nylon, cut too big etc. Even if you, as the groom, wish to invest in a morning suit, it doesn’t solve this problem.
The answer is to only specify the dress code as morning coat if you are sure that most of your guests will own one or at least understand what it should consist of (i.e. no frilly cravats with matching waistcoats and pocket squares as many rental shops would have us all believe…) and be able to turn up looking fairly smart in it. IMO it just looks a bit forced if only the bridal party are in them.
as to the question of investing in a morning coat – it’s not much of an INVESTMENT if you are never going to wear it again… but if, as i have said above, you know that most of your guests will be able to rock up in one, then the chances are that you move in circles where you in turn will be invited to weddings stipulating morning dress and it becomes an entirely different kettle of fish.
I agree, you either moves in circles where morning coats at weddings are the norm, or you do not. In the former case, it is indeed not much of an investment. I own two morning coats in different weights and a light grey morning suit, to continue the theme in this article, and they all get worn often enough to justify their existence. I bought the first one for £50 secondhand and had it adjusted: it is a 1930s bespoke morning coat made by Connock and Lockie. Hardly a big investment either, and rather better than a hired outfit. There is one problem with morning dress at weddings, however, and that is the inconsistency of wearing top hats. If the groom does not wear a top hat, it seems bad form to upstage him. With lounge suits at weddings, the problem does not arise. I like this groom’s db suit, but I agree with Simon about the boutonniere, and the flower would look better held behind the lapel in a loop.
Couple of things – this post really shows how photos can be deceptive regarding colour on a screen. On the cover of your post the suit looks almost airforce blue on my screen yet the same photo in the body of the post shows quite clearly that the suit is light grey. I also thought that the grooms watch ( looks like a Rolex datejust ? ) was suitable for the occasion i.e. as a opposed to a large divers watch with coloured strap which I saw recently. Great post – its always good to see people wearing bespoke clothes in real situations.
Hi Simon. What is your view about morning wear for a wedding? I really like the cloth used in this suit. Can I ask, what would be the minimum weight you would suggest for morning wear? Obviously you have to find a balance between the coat hanging properly and remaining structured in the tail, against the fact that it is three piece and usually worn in the summer. I would be very interested in your opinion.
A morning coat can be lovely, but I would suggest having it made – and that can be costly, for something that would rarely be worn again.
I would suggest going for around 11oz if you can. If not, then 8/9 ounce as here.
What about a black tuxedo?
Anywhere outside the US, never… it’s an evening outfit and shouldn’t be worn to a day event.
But for those in the US where it’s accepted, sure that would be nice. Tuxedo styling and etiquette of course a discussion for a separate post.
The rule I always heard (here in the US) is that one dresses for the end of the event, not the beginning. So if an event begins in the afternoon but finishes in the evening, then a tuxedo would be appropriate.
I would suggest considering dressing appropriately for the service, rather than anything else. If the reception is in the evening you could even consider changing clothes (two outfits for the price of one!)
The “Tuxedo” is standard wear at a wedding in the US, and will often be seen in the morning if the event is timed then.
Of course tuxedo it is also an Americanism; dinner jacket is its proper name.
Well, that’s the British English name for it. But since we’re talking about what we all seem to be regarding as an American tradition, its surely not wrong (if it ever could be wrong) to call it by the American name. I’m not sure that “proper” comes in to it – its not like it is an exclusively English form of dress.
Wrong. Born in England, exported to the USA, where it changed its name to that of the place where it became a popular form of dress.
But then again its called a Smoking by the French…….
@Reuven that’s very interesting to hear and I guess I’d never really thought of it that way before. All of the formal weddings I’ve been to in the States started late afternoon / early evening so a tux doesn’t feel too unusual then. I can’t help thinking it would look very strange to be in black tie at 11am in an English church though…
Yes, it’s a good point. When I heard that principle, I was imagining a wedding that began in late afternoon and finished in the evening – so evening wear was appropriate. Wearing a tux for a morning ceremony would be a bit odd, even if the event lasted through the evening.
Love the site and all that, but I want to call you out on this. A bit further up the page you say “there are no absolutes of right and wrong here”, but saying “never” to a tuxedo at a wedding is exactly that.
Morning suit, military dress, a black tuxedo or a suit, it is your wedding so wear what you want to wear.
(Full disclosure – I wore a tuxedo.)
Good point Ben, I shouldn’t have said ‘never’.
Each to there own I’d say. If you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s wedding then you should have the courtesy and good grace to partake in their vision of their Big Day. I’ve been to a wedding where black tie was requested for a English summer daytime event set in a field, and followed by jazz & cocktails in a marquee with nods to a speakeasy. A unusual perhaps, and of course not everyone’s cup of tea, but it represented the couples interests perfectly, and as such felt wholly appropriate as well as being memorable and good fun.
I married in Canada, where a Tuxedo for the groom and other men in the wedding party is also common. For many men it will be the only time they ever get to wear one.
If I were to do it again (Heaven forbid) a suit like this one would be a much better choice.
“remember, this is no way your day; it is your bride’s.”
Honestly Simon, how could you say such a thing in this day and age? Surely outdated rhetoric.
My Fiance is the love of my life and we’ve been together for 14 years; we are preparing for OUR wedding next year.
Our relationship has always been equal why would our wedding day be any different?
Thanks Martin. I don’t think it’s worth getting into a discussion of social mores here, and it’s also obviously a very personal point.
I must say, I was mildly amused by you cropping the bride out of most of the photos, after saying that it’s her big day!
Ha! Yes well she wouldn’t necessarily want so many pictures of herself, on what is a menswear blog
I agree with Simon … after all marriage is an invention for the benefit of women, it traps men into being monogamous with one women who will take half your assets if you leave her or she finds someone better. Therefore it’s only right you should recognise that it’s her day to celebrate.
Ps Simon I hope you don’t delete my comment, I want to save as many style forumites as I possibly can.
My God! To you & G. (see above): the reason is you’ve to be a gentleman! Period.
What about wearing morning dress? How does one wear morning dress uniquely and interestingly?
An interesting area, but definitely one to discuss separately if that’s ok.
Yes please, but would love some input soon! Will be getting married in a year, so will need to think about commissioning in 6 months!!
I stand by my earlier comment! I am looking to get my first ever savile row (most likely Anderson and Shepard) for morning dress. Any tips if that is a good choice for the style, or how to buy / wear it! Would be highly appreciated!!
Great choice, youll be well looked after. Just have a look at images of morning dress in advance so you can answer questions about style and so on
With the pale grey colouring, would this be acceptable for a business environment?
I ask as I recently had a single breasted fresco suit made in a similar mid/pale grey colour and have thought before that it’s a bit “wedding-y”.
If wearing to work on a warm day, would toning down the formality in, say, a coloured (or striped / patterned) shirt and textured tie help lose the assumption that I’m off to a wedding with my briefcase?!
Yes, potentially. A striped shirt, knit tie and perhaps suede loafers would be best to avoid that suggestion
The FOTB is not too shabbily dressed either.
I find the perceived formality of the DB suit to be somewhat confusing.
In theory they are supposed to be less formal than a standard SB jacket, but they are so rarely seen these days (particularly on younger men) that they instantly convey the sense that one is ‘dressing up’ for the occasion.
Today they are pretty much always more formal than an SB. The only useful exception is black tie.
It’s similar with boots, no? Originally balmoral boots would have been considered far more formal than shoes. These days boots are perceived as less formal, due to their uncommonness
The formality of a suit has generally been about how much of the shirt is covered up, so in theory a DB is more formal than a single breast, but less so than a three piece suit.
Thank you soooo much for this very instructive and lovely post!!! I’ve seen almost all your posts, and that means including posts that I had thought to be great. But this one is the greatest so far, really!
I would like to thank Oliver, presumably a regular PS reader, for having allowed these nice pics be posted to illustrate the subject of this post! This is really kind! A great service to many folks well beyond PS readers, mind you!
Now a question to you, Simon: how could, say, a friend attending such a wedding choose his own outfit to suitably match the sharpness of Oliver’s?
Thanks again for this post!
Good question, John.
As a guest of a wedding, it’s essential to understand from the organisers (bride’s family, bride and groom, or other) what is appropriate. You are absolutely not there to stand out, and therefore you don’t want to be too smart (eg morning coat when no one else is wearing one…) or too informal (no tie when everyone else is wearing a tie, perhaps).
Once that is understood, you just need to play accordingly. So in this case a similarly simple and elegant suit, with tie and probably handkerchief, would have been best. But you could play a little around the edges – eg dark-brown shoes, or a checked suit in a sombre colour, etc.
I was at a country wedding last year where the dress code was suits. I had taken a blue linen and a black/white houndstooth suit and as the weather was wet I chose the houndstooth. I was surprised that nearly all the other guests wore dark suits almost city suits. There was one morning coat.
Is it just me, or is this suit a lot more drapey than the ones they did for you?
No, it’s pretty much the same. Oliver does have a much bigger chest than me though!
Really nice outfit and a very nice balance between something special enough to feel like a wedding outfit while being versatile enough to wear again. To all the commenters who insist a morning coat is the only option, can you really justify the cost of getting one made bespoke?Unless you’re a regular on the Ascot circuit and/or have an unusually high number of friends who insist on very formal weddings (or are just very wealthy, which I guess you probably are if you fall into the first two groups!) I imagine the answer is probably no. Given that, wouldn’t you rather have a bespoke suit than a RTW morning coat?
Would also be very interested to see what you wore to the wedding Simon (assuming you were a guest…)
Would a navy suit look to business-y?
I quite like it at a wedding, but yes it has that risk
The three pockets with flaps, especially the change pocket have to me taken this down a level. On a double two only, and flawless would have been perfect. Jacket a little too short too. Does the right lapel have a button hole too?
It’s called a ticket pocket, and is standard issue on a DB if you choose to have one. Suspect no as buttonhole is worn wrong.
There is a button hole but as the rose was large it didn’t look right. I too would have selected a smaller rose and worn it through the button hole but the florist didn’t understand the definition of a small rose! Thank you for all your nice comments, it was a pleasure to wear on a very special day.
This is a very nice wedding suit! I appreciate that he is wearing black shoes, too. Black shoes have become unfashionable in the US, and people here would somehow consider them wrong with a pale grey suit (or really anything). The last wedding I attended had the groom and all of the groomsmen in mid-grey suits with satin trim (urgh) with mid-brown shoes. It was better than the get-ups I saw two wedding parties wearing for photography this weekend. One was dressed in a waiter’s uniform of black waistcoats and trousers (no jacket) and the other was in grey trousers and clip-on braces with nothing over the shirt. Americans somehow think they need to wear these kinds of things for their weddings without considering the formality of the occasion or how ridiculous they may look.
I definitely agree that this is a very good choice for a wedding outfit.
I personally don’t like morning dress as it is too much like a period costume for me and as you would wear a morning dress very seldom it would be pretty bad investment for a bespoke order and if it is not bespoke, chances are, that it will fit bad and at the end of the day you would be poorly dressed on your wedding day.
Black tie is also a bad choice as it does not look so nice under the bright sun light. I would switch to black tie in the evening.
So this pale grey db suit is really a very good choice – looks good and it is practical.
I personally don’t feel that grey suits me so in my particular case I would wear a blue double breasted suit for my wedding one day in the future.
I am a fan of morning dress. Yes having it made bespoke may seem like an extravagance but there are other events such as Ascot where it can be worn. Tailors such as Graham Browne could make one at a reasonable price. I would also suggest that as it is not frequently worn, it would last a lifetime.
Simon, I echo the above comment that it would be really interesting for you to do a piece on morning dress. It is something that can look incredibly elegant if done well, or awful if done badly. Particularly pertinent at the moment as we enter the racing/wedding season.
even if we ignore the monetary aspect and imagine, that you have the budget to wear Savile Row bespoke morning dress on your wedding,
i still don’t like it. 🙂
I think the problem with this is that Ascot is basically the only other event it can be worn at (rather than an example) and unless you get invited to weddings regularly where everyone is invited to wear morning dress (in my circles, very rare indeed) that leaves you only with weddings where you form part of the bridal party.
Often as not, there will be a (perhaps loose) colour theme on such occasions which your bespoke coat might not fit and so must be left at home.
Of course, there is the Pippa Middleton model where everyone is sufficiently wealthy that you can request morning dress is worn by all and have that rather nice collage of complimentary but slightly different coats and tasteful waistcoats which you see on such occasions where everyone owns a bespoke (or inherited) morning suit… but in the real world I fear you are just inviting most of your guests to hire a morning suit from Moss Bros, at considerable expense for an ill fitting 80% nylon monstrosity!
Weddings where morning dress is worn are not so uncommon in the UK and if you are a normal shape a RTW coat may easily fit you. I have both a RTW and bespoke morning coat and have had plenty of use from them over the years even without going to Ascot for some time.
Not sure where you’re from but in London I wear morning dress on weekdays till 6 whereupon I change into a lounge suit or if going to a formal event dinner jacket. Personally I like old world style and couldn’t give a hoot what the general public makes of it, the jeans and hoody clad publics opinion means very little to me. There is nothing more elegant and refined that a morning coat hristo!
When you say “silly waistcoat,” does this mean that you feel any waistcoat is silly, or just those tacky odd waistcoats?
Odd waistcoats surely not tacky? A lovely pale blue linen waistcoat with morning dress is just marv
Not necessarily, no. But unfortunately often in garish colours with fancy details
Hace you ever worn your double breasted prince of WAles suit in a wedding?
Kind regards from Spain
Not at a wedding, no, but it might be nice. Like my Henry Poole suit (look it up)
I’ve also been fascinated by morning dress at weddings, simply because it’s something that does not exist in the US. It wasn’t always so – in the early 20th century morning dress was found in the US – but nowadays I’d guess that even white tie would be more common.
It was still the norm for US presidents to be inaugurated in morning dress until the beginning of the 1980s, the first inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1981 I think being the last occasion.
Yes, you’re right about that! Though Ford and Carter wore regular suits, it was somewhat common for presidents to wear morning dress at inauguration. I believe Reagan technically wore a stroller suit though, not a morning coat.
I got married in a very similar suit in 1976 and the photos still look good to this day.
In forty years time the bride and groom will look back with pride knowing they got it absolutely right.
The only small detail I would have changed would be to drop the ticket pocket.
For me, it never looks quite right on a DB – I’d appreciate Simon’s view on this. That said, it is literally a small thing – they all look great.
Hi Simon, I’m due to tie the knot next summer and have started thinking about what to wear… at the risk of appearing too nonchalant I really wanted to shoot for something Neopolitan (I’ve never had anything commissioned in that style before but find I’m moving towards much softer lines generally e.g. I seem to live in a boglioli jacket these days). Is there anyone you can recommend who visits (or is based in) London in the £1.5-2k bracket for a two-piece? Solito seems to start around £2.5k – if it really is the best around that price point then I can probably stretch to it but just interested to know if you’d recommend anyone else who would cut a similar style at a slightly lower cost. Also any English tailors I should look at who would do a softer style? I’ve seen e.g. Graham Browne claim to be able to make a Neopolitan style jacket – am I right to be a bit dubious? Really grateful for any thoughts.
I wouldn’t say Solito are the best – more the cheapest for that style of make. And I’m afraid there isn’t really anybody bespoke at that price point.
I’d certainly recommend Whitcomb & Shaftesbury for something softer than most British tailoring, but it won’t be Neapolitan by any means. And yes, I wouldn’t have that style from GB.
Anglo-Italian (opening today!) might be a good shout for a handmade Neapolitan made to measure.
Whats this Anglo-Italian place all about? Anything more concrete we can google for ?
It’s the new venture by Jake Grantham and Alex Pirounis, both ex-Armoury. Opening on a side street of Marlebone High Street tomorrow, offering RTW and MTM Neapolitan tailoring alongside several other things.
That sounds interesting. Can you remember which street………there are a few.
57 Weymouth Street. I hesitate to say that all are welcome, as I don’t know that to be the case.
from your comment does it mean you need to book?
I don’t know. I was just invited but don’t know if it’s friends, press or public. I have asked though
Any idea how Anglo Italian MTM would compare against P Johnson?
Very well. Not too dissimilar make, but much better cut (slightly low buttoning point, extended shoulder, smoothly curving lapel) and style
+1 for morning dress at weddings, if that is your preference. I see no issue with the core wedding party wearing proper morning dress (not hire), whilst extended guests wear suits. Well made morning coats last decades and can be matched with changing trousers and waistcoats over the years. Finally on morning dress, I disagree that the only other use is Ascot… don’t forget Epsom!
At the same time I very much like the groom’s suit in this case. Have just picked up my first finished suit from W&S, also double breasted but in navy, and had first fitting of a tropical-weight single breasted in dark grey that already looks superb, and is destined for use as best man at another wedding, this one in Tuscany in August!
I agree. I would go further and say there’s nothing wrong with even the core wedding party wearing a variety of different things. There’s no need for everyone to wear a matching uniform, even if you see that at many weddings (especially in the US). A mixture of morning dress and well cut lounge suits looks perfectly fine – and, to my mind, is preferable to forcing some people to rent.
Hi Simon, Greetings from the antipodes. I’m considering a navy suit for a wedding in a few months time and I noticed the comments about the potential for it to look a little too ‘business-y’. Are there some ways to avoid that a little? Would you stick with a white shirt, grey tie, plain pocket square, black shoes? Or is there some scope to alter any of those a little?
This will be a relaxed garden wedding with a fairly relaxed dress standard given what passes for sartorial elegance in New Zealand.
Yes, there is that risk. How about a mid-grey suit rather than navy? Much less likely to look business-y
Hi Simon, Yes I’d considered a mid grey suit but wonder if I’d get much further wear out of it. I was wondering if there’s some way of alleviating the serious business look of the navy version? Perhaps I should add that this would be my first suit.
You could certainly add dark-brown shoes rather than black, and a pale tie would much less business-like.
But a mid-grey suit would still be useful going forward.
Hi Simon, Thanks for the replies. At the age of 50 I’m not sure how much going forward there is. As I said we have very relaxed dress codes here and I work in the creative & education fields so there’s not a tremendous call for wearing a suit. I guess I’m battling between the mid grey and navy in terms of the day itself and wearing the suit occasionally after that. I suppose that tie, shoes, pocket square are really the only place to dress the suit up or down a little. Kind regards, John.
This looks great. I am getting married next December but have been researching the perfect suit for some time. I would quite like to use a bolder material and wondered if this is something they would offer. This will be my first bespoke offering and wondered if it would be okay to ask them to produce a double breasted waistcoat or if this wouldn’t be in keeping with their “house style”? I would love to hear your thoughts as this is all quite new to me and want it to be perfect for the wedding.
Both a bolder material and DB waistcoat would be fine. I’d recommend against anything too strong if you want to re-use the suit in the future though
As a long time (somewhat addicted reader!) may I say your blog is tremendous?
A non- simple question – what are the relative merits of a Dege & Skinner MTM at around £950 inc vat versus the W&S classic bespoke? I ask because I have just checked the W&S website and see that the price of W&S seems significantly more the articles/comments here suggest – around £1700 inc vat for the basic model. That makes W&S very expensive, doesn’t it?
Not at all – you’re comparing a true bespoke suit, all hand made taking hours and hours of work, with a largely machine made suit. The Dege MTM offering is nice, but other than a similar design doesnt have much to do with Savile Row tailoring
Thank you Simon for this inspiring website !
I was wondering what type of collar I should wear with a double-breasted suit (and tie)..
I noticed that you like spread collar shirts but I am personally fond of snap-tab collars, which I think is so elegant and very unusual here in France.
Would it look good with a double-breasted ? Does it depend also on my physical appearance ?
If it does, I am…quite like you ! (Thin, bearded and almost bald -sorry !)
Thanks for you advice.
That type of collar can look nice with a DB, yes. It might also make your face look a touch longer. But the biggest difference will be that it is just a little showy or dandyish, even anachronistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear it, but be very aware of that
Brilliant website and info that you provide! I’ve learnt so much in the last week or so browsing through this.
I’m looking for my own wedding suit and have decided on bespoke as opposed to M2M (mostly thanks to this site) however budget wise I’m not in a position to go crazy.
I was v interested in your comments on the Whitcomb & Shaftesbury classic bespoke as a great way to keep costs down yet still providing a quality product. Are there any other Tailors who you would also recommend or in this ball park do you still feel that they’re the best value?
Really pleased to hear it!
No, not really, the Whitcomb model is rather unique so there isn’t anywhere else that offers value in the same way
Simon, I’m attending a country wedding in Gloucestershire between Christmas & New Year. Given the location & more relaxed time of year, I’m considering wearing a navy corduroy suit with a wool or knitted tie or a tweed jacket with either cords or grey flannels. I considered a tweed suit but would prefer more versatile dress given that l live on the Equator & would like to be able to wear the pieces separately (in more temperate climates). Equally, it is entirely impractical to have something made due to the local unavailability of appropriate fabrics. I’m also uncertain of local tailors’ ability to work with the material. I would welcome your opinion on the choice of outfit & also on decent off-the peg retailers (Cordings or Walker Slater, for example). Thanks very much for your help.
That sleeve pitch is indeed lovely!
On the topic of wedding outfits, what is your opinion on Tommy Shelby’s wedding outfit in Peaky Blinders? I love the bespoke suits they made for him, but a mid-blue flannel with a navy grenadine tie strikes me as an odd choice for a wedding suit — especially since the show is otherwise very historically accurate, at least to my knowledge (of course the non-bespoke suits really detract from it, some lapels are hideous).
Yes I wasn’t a big fan of it – mid-blue is a popular colour for wedding suits these days, I guess as it seems sufficiently different from a business navy. But a lighter grey would have been much nicer
Just after a bit of advice. My wedding is this year in November in the late afternoon. I live in Australia – which means it is rather warm that time of year.
I was just wondering if you could provide any sartorial advice regarding the suitability of wearing dinner suits, and potentially a white jacket.
Thanks in advance.
Dinner suits are really for the evening, and look best in that environment. However, they have been a tradition for weddings in the US for a while now, and it’s hard to push back against social norms like that, even if they don’t make much logical sense.
It sounds like your wedding might extend into the evening quite quickly anyway though, which is good. And a white jacket is a really nice option – originally for warm-weather events such as these – and will look better in the sun.
I’m assuming that given you’ll be in the Australian summer in November, the sun will be setting quite late, so a white jacket will bridge quite nicely from one to the other.
The only thing about the white jacket is that it will be a little less useful in the future. If you go to black tie events generally, a normal black dinner jacket would be more versatile and less likely to stand out. This jacket may end up being a little like your wife’s wedding dress – never worn again. But you might be ok with that.
In terms of heat generally, the dinner suit should be fine, white jacket or not. Just get it in a lightweight wool, or even a mohair mix.
I have a wedding in Marbella at the height of summer. I’m torn between fresco vs 12oz linen. Which do you think would be cooler. I’d get the linen unlined if that makes a difference and the choice would be navy.
Linen might be a touch cooler, but I wouldn’t get navy linen. It’s not a great colour for it. If it must be navy, then go for fresco
Can I ask, why the aversion to navy linen? Any other colour for a linen suit you could recommend? Perhaps the grey linen you’re having made? Can I ask, who did you get the cloth from? It’s a cracking shade of grey.
It’s a little personal, but I find navy linen just ends up looking like a faded/old business suit. Linen is better in warmer colours generally – more earthy ones like greens and browns.
If you were going to get something dark, I’d suggest dark grey. Mine is a green/grey, which might not be what you want, but it is nice. It’s from Scabal
Thanks for clarifying. Any idea where I can source a heavier linen in dark grey? Everywhere seems to offer 10oz.
No, sorry. It’s rare among the Irish linens (the heavier ones, generally). The most we’ve done is this bunch guide here.
Sorry, another question. Do you think 10oz is a little too light for a linen suit. I know in the past you’ve said a weightier cloth holds it’s shape better.
It does, yes, and if I had the choice I would always go for a heavier one. But I recently commissioned a green/black linen suit in 10oz because the same colour wasn’t available in a heavier one.
Hi Simon. Do you think a mid grey flannel DB would be appropriate for a groom?
Absolutely, that would look lovely.
It’s a great looking suit for the occasion!
All things keeping to plan and I’ll be in the same boat shortly, but thought to take a slightly different tack for the suit. I chose a dark navy flannel and cashmere cloth in 13oz from Loro Piana. Navy for formality befitting the occasion and flannel for texture and a subtle difference which I hope will distinguish it from a business suit. Currently intend to wear black loafers (but open to brown subject to below Q).
I’d greatly appreciate your views on a shirt and tie ensemble that will further distance the outfit from London City and introduce some informality and interest (it’s not a formal wedding). Holding below out to be shot down as too obvious, and also to invite suggestion:
– shirt: very light blue end on end / twill
– tie: had thought rust/orange grenadine or a brown
Suit itself should be striking enough in its cut and cloth. To that end, am tempted by subtle and understated – a crisp white shirt, shiny dark blue silk tie (contrast with flannel) and white pocket square is an alluring fallback in this regard.
Cheers and keep up the great content!
Hey Will. Suit sounds nice. For the shirt/tie, the first combination sounds a lot more casual – but perhaps go for a bright summer tie if that’s the look you want? Yellow or orange silk, perhaps, or brown but with a bright floral print?
If you want something formal like the second option, personally I think a grey woven tie as traditionally worn at weddings would be the most chic.
Also a blue shirt and gold or silver tie is a favourite formal combination of mine:
Great post and helpful tips. I will be getting married this summer in the US and the venue will be a fairly casual bar/restaurant with outdoor space (it’ll be hot!). I am looking for something even less formal than the above and also cooler. The options I am considering are (all SB):
Dark green linen
Mid to light grey fresco/crispaire
Just lighter than Navy fresco/ Crispaire
Light Brownish-grey fresco/crispaire
I’d like the suit to feel unique to the occasion (not too business suit-like and have some uniqueness beyond a typical suit) while also being versatile enough to get future wears. Anything from the above standout as a no-go or a better option than the others? Or do you have a different recommendation (i.e. a wool/silk/linen blend fabric, another color to consider, or a different weave)?
I think these are good options Daniel, and personally I’d pick between the mid- to light-grey crispaire or the brownish-grey, with the choice being determined by which you think would be most unique to the occasion. I’d imagine you’d wear both again in the future
Simon, If you were to go with a navy suit for a wedding, would you go with a standard navy or a dark navy? With the former, I mean that it would be obvious it was navy. ie not midnight
Standard navy probably. It’s more likely you’d get further use out of it in the future too.
Great looking suit. I presume the cloth is a sharkskin/pick and pick btw ? It’s incredibly versatile !
My 13oz wedding suit currently in construction for what was a January wedding might not be so perfect for what will likely now be a June or July wedding! The current one is a DB and not-quite-as-mid grey as in this article. Do I add another suit to my order and go for something lighter?
Hard to know Matthew. If you think you can commission something else and still wear it afterwards, then maybe. You certainly wouldn’t want two suits though that are both ‘wedding’ suits and won’t get much other use
hi simon, i have a ceremony booked for june but the date is still within the current uk restrictions. as such, only 6 people can attend so since i am forced to have such a small ceremony, do you think a navy solaro suit will be OK?
Congratulations. I’m not sure how the size of the ceremony is related to the suit? Can you clarify?
Generally, I’m not a fan of navy solaro. It’s still a business colour, but you don’t have the attraction of the colour mix in solaro either.
My thinking is since it can only accommodate 6 people in total, I have the flexibility to play around since its a really small ceremony. I’m also planning to host something bigger with all families and friends at a later date and I’m planning to look more ‘traditional’ then…
A navy solaro is quite unusual but still formal enough hence my question but I am also looking into a khaki green cotton suit.
From your experience and knowledge , which one would look good in a ceremony of just 6 people, groom and bride included.
I hope I’ve clarified my reasoning for you.
To be honest Pat, I would dress the same in both – I guess for me it’s the seriousness of the occasion rather than the number of people, but that’s personal I guess.
Given you’re going to have two outfits, I think the big question is more important than ever: what are you most likely to wear again in the future?
Hi Simon, thanks for your great insight into this topic. Light grey DB is something I would not have thought of but looks fantastic. I am getting married next June in the south of France and am looking for something slightly lighter.
I am thinking a beige/stone linen suit, white shirt, textured tie and dark brown suede tassel loafers (C&J Cavendish). Slightly less formal than the level you would recommend, but then I think that’s the south of France aspect – if I were getting married in the UK I would likely be wearing a morning suit.
For the suit, I am thinking unlined (so I can make the most of linen’s breathability), natural shoulders, single breasted, and probably a relatively midweight or even heavier linen so long as it is open weaved enough to be breathable.
What are your thoughts on that? Would you additionally have any recommendations on a London tailor to make such a suit? I think Steed and Graham Browne appear to be the best in my price range (under GBP 1500) but would be open to any more Italian-influenced recommendations.
Thanks kindly, Sam
I think that sounds nice Sam. The formality of the suit is really up to you and the bride I think – and if this fits that’s great. Personally I’d make it a touch smarter with a dark silk tie with a simple geometrical motif, and leather loafers rather than suede. But neither of those things affect the choice of suit.
For makers, yes if you want bespoke those are probably the options – no Italian bespoke is going to be that price.
Have the linen half lined – the extra lack of lining won’t make much difference, and it will sit better.
Thank you very much Simon, appreciate the tips. I’ll take a look at alternative ties and I have a pair of dark brown leather cavendish loafers too which I can use instead – I have the fortune to be able to compare both.
I think I might be using the above example of your friend’s suit with regards to the fit, as he has a similarly stocky/broad shouldered build and the suit complements that very well. I realise it’s partly the double breast, but I think the other proportions contribute to that well too.
I think they do, you’re right Sam
Beautiful wedding suit. If you were to use the light grey DB again as a wedding guest or for a similar occasion, how would you dress it to avoid looking like you’re masquerading as groom? Presumably by changing the tie, perhaps to a pale blue or yellow? And would you wear this suit with anything other than a plain white shirt?
Yes exactly, I’d change the tie to a colour like that, or even just a dark navy with a small pattern.
I’d wear white to a wedding, but in general I’d wear other colours with it, yes. Certainly a pink or a blue/white stripe
Hello, Thanks for the informative post. I am getting married this fall and am planning on wearing a navy suit, white shirt, black shoes. My fiance’s dress is off-white to ivory and I’m wondering if that should play a factor in selecting my white shirt. Should it be a bit off-white as well or is that just going to look dirty or tired? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.
I wouldn’t try and match like that Jacob, no. Just concentrate on looking elegant and a suitable foil to how good she’ll look. Matching in ways like this often looks a bit cheap.
Very much appreciate the response.
Our wedding is next July in Ireland and I was wondering what attire we should go for? The ceremony is at 2 and the reception is in the evening. We wanted to do black tie for the reception but I doubt our guests, especially as many will be flying in, will want to change attire (even more so with the pub selection nearby). Do you think it will be better to tone down the formality for the reception so people can wear the same clothes through and not be uncomfortable at either? What level of formality do you think would be best? As an aside, I love the above suit, it looks fantastic.
A lot of this is personal, in that it’s a question of what for you makes the day feel special. The clothes should reflect the level of formality you want in that regard.
If you don’t want people to change, then I’d imagine the best thing is going to be toning down the formality of the reception, yes. Go for a dress code of suit and tie, or at least jacket and tie. Dinner jackets always look odd to me for an afternoon event – they do everywhere except the US.
Thank you! Your excellent article convinced me to go for a DB in pale grey. My wedding is in one month and I’m very satisfied of the result, although I think I should have chosen a paler grey…
NB: I will wear black shoes and the trousers will be slightly shortened
Nice. I can see what you mean about a paler grey, but it will still look good with black shoes
Thank you Simon!
Hello Simon, we’re about to have an autumn wedding next year and as much as I like this pale grey suit, I’m afraid it won’t fit in an October setting, being, well, pale. I wonder if you agree and what you’d suggest instead – a darker grey perhaps? Thank you.
I don’t think the colour matters that much, but you could go a little darker, say a mid-grey flannel? That would be lovely, chic and still celebratory
The key is just not to go so dark that it looks like an office suit
Such as your Sexton DB flannel?
Yes, though no darker than that. Ideally even a touch lighter
Hi Simon. I’m getting married a few days before Christmas, and was wondering whether a mid-grey flannel three-piece would work. It’s a rural location, so I wonder if black oxfords, white shirt etc might feel a bit ‘city’ for the occasion. What do you think?
I can see that fear – I’d discuss it with your bride and consider what others will be wearing. It would be the kind of thing one would have worn to a formal day event in a rural town, eg to church or on easter sunday, so not necessarily that out of place really, but it depends what others will wear
I almost wondered about a nice tweed jacket with tailored trousers! Thanks for the reply.
Long time follower of your guidance and articles. Transformed by wardrobe over the past 10 years or so. It’s been my dream since first subscribing to purchase my first bespoke suit for my wedding.
I Intended to go Whitecomb & Shatfesbury for this DB or one similar to your RAF blue. Unfortunately pandemic stuck, meaning the wedding was postponed by 2 years, and like a lot of people our finances tightened. So I gave up that dream and intended to go with one of my existing RTW suits.
Annoyingly, while we’re now in a much better situation, we are only 3 weeks until the wedding. I find myself in a interesting position, someone who carefully picks out clothing well in advance, yet for something so important, I’m in a similar spot to the average high street shopper…!
With all that said, I wondered if you had any thoughts or recommendations on a super speedy M2M or decent RTW option?
I’m afraid I don’t Chris, sorry! It’s not really my area of expertise.
Perhaps try Anglo-Italian? They should be able to quickly alter something RTW perhaps
Thanks, Simon. Might be a little too casual based on their website, but will take a look in store, it’s an excellent suggestion.
Huntsman have one – though I wonder how much I am overpaying for their new marketing budget – any thoughts?!
Yes, hard to know. If you get a chance to see anything like that in person, this post is a decent guide on the quality side
Reading this convinced me of getting a light grey suit for my wedding. Considering that I live in a really hot place, I’m probably choosing a summer fabric like a fresco, crispaire or fox air. But I have two questions for you, Simon, and I hope you will answer.
Do you think these light grey melange from fox brothers is a bit too much for a wedding? (as, it has a bit to much beige in it, being not that grey?): https://www.themerchantfox.co.uk/collections/fox-air/products/light-grey-melange-plain-weave
Second question: I know you said black oxfords are better, but do you think a really nice brown derbies like C&J Hardwick ou EG Dover would work? As the formality of the event, It will be a really small wedding and during the day. Nothing fancy.
Yes I do think that has rather too much beige in it – sorry. Nothing wrong with it, but not the formal grey look I was describing here.
On shoes, yes I do really think oxfords are better. It is a smart event, and derbies really aren’t. Not that suitable for a suit and tie.
Thanks for the answer! One last question:
Would you consider something like that to be “pale grey” and appropriate for a wedding? https://www.supplyandadvise.com/products/ring-jacket-traveller-wool-suit-grey-pindot?variant=31359887474731
Yes that looks nice
I got engaged just earlier this year and have naturally started to spend an excessive amount of time thinking about my wedding day outfit.
Being drawn to a sharp DB navy suit as the look of choice, i do wonder about its life after the big day. Our ceremony will likely be daytime and generally leaning towards a casual & intimate vibe.
As i hope i will find plenty opportunity to wear the suit again afterwards, the idea of traditional plain trouser hems for formal occasions causes me some trouble. I very much prefer cuffed trousers on all my suits, especially for DBs, for that casual look.
Now i am wondering, would one get away with having cuffed trousers for a town hall ceremony?
One absolutely would, but if you’re concerned about it, perhaps have plain bottoms and ask the tailor to leave enough inlay inside to turn them into turn-ups later. Or even, but enough cloth and attach a turn-up later. The fact it’s attached inside is something no one would notice unless they folded it down or looked inside
Ah, didn’t know it’s possible to hide enough cloth inside the leg for a turn-up later on!
Also noted on cuffs not being a big faux pas.
Many thanks for putting me a little at ease 🙂
I’m getting married this July, in Mallorca. Which London based tailors would you recommend speaking with to help with a MTM or bespoke suit ? Thanks
Nice to hear from you. Any of the bespoke or MTM tailors we have covered on PS could help with a summer wedding suit. Which one you go for depends on a few things, most obviously style – whether you prefer the sharper, squarer silhouette of a Huntsman, the drapier Anderson & Sheppard or a really soft Neapolitan – and then budget.
In terms of style, the best place to start is probably the Guide to Tailors’ Styles, where I have shot all the tailors and their styles. Please do ask further questions there and here when you have them.
Interesting and thought provoking, thanks Simon. I’m getting a bespoke suit made for my wedding, though going for a single breast and slightly darker grey. Not charcoal, but not mid-grey either. I’m about to finalise the cloth and am between a 10-11oz smith woollens, a 9-11oz fresco, and a 8-9oz fresco lite. The wedding will take place in July in Tuscany and it’s expected to be warm (31c highs / 16c lows), so firstly want to consider climate. Then secondly a point you made in the past about leaning towards heavier weight, I understand the suit will drape better. I have cloth samples, but it’s hard to picture an entire suit made up!
Other details, a pinpoint oxford button-less button down in either white, or light blue. French cuffs to wear family cufflinks. And an end and end tie, in either black and antique white (if going for the white shirt) or navy and antique white (for the light blue). I know the classic would be a white shirt and the black and white tie, but considering a touch of colour.
Any and all thoughts welcome, particularly interested in opinions on the suit cloth.
That sounds lovely Cedric.
I’d go for the Fresco probably, as it will do well in that weather but drape better and wear better in the long term in that slightly heavier weight.
I’d also go for the white shirt – almost the most important thing I think, being a wedding and you want to be smart – rather than blue. And therefore the black and white tie. Perhaps consider a small, subtle boutonniere for a bit of colour
Hi Simon! I am getting married in Sicily end of June 🌞 and am looking to get a suit made. I am considering Taillour; as bespoke or potentially some made to measure options.
I’m set on Double Breasted, but not on cloth or colour. I need something light obviously, I’m thinking max 250gr. And struggling to make my mind up 😂 some thoughts:
– Navy seersucker: I initially liked this idea but scared it will be too informal for wedding suit. Creasing and potential lack of structure.
– Fresco: Not a fan of the “rough” texture. Doesn’t strike me as extremely formal? Thoughts?
– Linen: too wrinkly for wedding suit I feel.
– Navy chalk stripe (light stripes): Perhaps too banker style for a summer wedding?
– Solaro: love the funky fabric, as an Italian 😊 however a bit too informal and mermaid iridescence for a wedding.
I work in creative industry so don’t wear suit for work, and wanted to avoid the “typical” navy / grey suit.
Am potentially considering a lighter coloured suit. Maybe Taupe / Light brown (not too light as I’m not a fan). Or a light pin striped Navy suit…. but am quite undecided to be perfectly honest with you! hehe
Any recommendations you may have in terms of cloths or colours to consider?
Also, if I go down the made to measure route, any reccomendations here in London? Keen to avoid the likes of Cad & The Dandy or Hackett for example…
THANKS A BUNCH!
No worries, happy to help!
Based on what you’ve said, I reckon you should go for a Fresco-like cloth, but not so scratchy. Say a Holland & Sherry Crispaire or a Drapers Ascot. Both would be sharp but not like a business suit, and there’s a big range of colours.
Or, I like the taupe/light brown option. Still smart if it’s a muted colour, with a white shirt and dark tie. Solaro would be lovely, or a tan gabardine (sharp with a little bit of silkiness) or a cotton (maybe a little informal for a groom potentially).
For MTM in London my first recommendation would be Anglo-Italian, and then probably Drake’s.
Shout if you have any more questions at all!
Thanks Simon! I am starting to veer into the tan, light brown, taupe spectrum as I feel it would work well in Sicilian Summer, on a double breasted suit. Now I need to find the right colour and fabric… The fabric is going to be the key here as looking for something super light, soft, but that doesn’t crease too much. hehe.
Thanks for the help!
That will be a tough balance to find, yes. I’d suggest maybe a wool gabardine or another fine worsted, as linen and cotton would maybe crease too much for you, and high-twist wools be too coarse
Dear Simon, do you still consider this the perfect wedding suit? What would be alternatives in 2023 (I am planning to commission something soon).
Yes I do Bart. Lots of possible alternatives though depending on how smart or casual the event will be. Look around the Wedding section of the website too, lots of other outfits and suggestions in there, and good Q&A in the comments always
Thank you. If you were to have such a suit made for your wedding today, which address would you choose?
You mean which tailor? It depends a lot on style – I’d personally go for something like Anderson & Sheppard that would be distinctive and formal but not too unusual, but it does depend on your taste. There’s a guide to different tailors’ styles here if you haven’t see that
Thank you for your guidance. Much appreciated. May I bother you with another question? Which buttons would you choose here? Dark brown, dull?