Throughout the history of the Western wedding tradition, bridesmaids have worn dresses in a variety of colors and styles while groomsmen are stuck wearing a tux and a bowtie that matches the wedding colors. Since the bridesmaids also get to carry flowers while the groomsmen don’t get anything to do with their hands, we hardly think it’s a fair arrangement. When you’re planning your wedding, consider letting your groomsmen go beyond the tux and tie into something more comfortable and less conventional. Here are a few suggestions, from most conservative to most likely to raise some eyebrows.
Khakis and Sweater Vests
If your groom is an incurable preppy, your groomsmen can look quite dashing in khakis and sweater vests, with solid-color button-down long sleeve shirts underneath. It’s the perfect outfit for reminding everyone that you went to an Ivy League school, or for simply pretending you went to an Ivy League school. Bonus points if all of the sweater vests are either Ralph Lauren or Izod, but not a mixture of the two.
Suspenders and Bowlers
You know what people don’t wear often enough anymore? Hats – fancy hats, we mean, like fedoras and bowler hats. You can give your groomsmen a classy, classic look with black bowler hats and black suspenders. Or you could go for white suspenders, white pants, a white shirt, and a black bowler hat and they can look like they’re cosplaying A Clockwork Orange.
Okay, for a certain segment of the population, kilts aren’t a real head-turner of a clothing option. But that segment of the population is comprised only of “people who are actively in Scotland and of Scottish heritage.” If you put your groomsmen in kilts and you’re a German-Italian family, you may alarm some of your relatives. But your groomsmen will look classy and be comfy.
Sweaters and Sneakers
Keep the fancy slacks, but let your groomsmen breathe a little in light sweaters and comfortable sneakers. They’ll appreciate not having to rent godawful patent leather shoes that would have given them blisters halfway through the reception, and they’ll look stunning for a more casual wedding.
White T-shirts and Denim
Speaking of casual weddings, we’re starting to see more and more pictures of groomsmen and grooms in white undershirts and denim pants. It makes sense for a 1950’s theme, but for a modern wedding the level of informality might be too high. Still, there’s nothing that brings out the basic manliness of a man like blue jeans and a white T-shirt, especially if you’re planning to buy wedding sparklers online for all of your groomsmen to use during the ceremony.
We’ve seen a few wedding shots with the groomsmen in shorts, and about that, we can only say, “no.” No, I don’t think so. Not even if your ceremony is in the middle of the desert and it’s 150 degrees outside. There are a few things you don’t need to see on your wedding day, and your groomsmen’s hairy calves are at the top of the list. So cover up, grin and bear it.
When you’re planning your groomsmen’s outfits and listening to them grumble about wearing tuxes, give them a pleasant surprise and go with one of the above options. You’ll have comfier, happier groomsmen, and none of them will be mistaken for a waiter later on in the reception.