Wedding style guide: How to look sharp in a suit

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Wedding Style Guide: How To Look Sharp In A Suit Wedding Style Guide: How To Look Sharp In A Suit
Well-fitting wedding attire is the name of the game
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By Sam Wylie-Harris, PA

Even if you don’t normally pay that much attention to your clothes, you want to look your best if you’re going to a wedding.

After all, it’s a special occasion and you don’t want to let the side down – particularly as everything will be captured on camera.

Most men want a suit that looks stylish, modern and feels comfortable – but how do you actually go about finding this?

“Get the fit right,” is style consultant Daniel Johnson’s top piece advice (daniel-johnson.com).

“Visually a suit should do three things: make your shoulder and chest look as wide as possible, make your waist look as slim as possible, and make your legs look as long as possible.”

Here’s everything you need to know about getting the perfect suit…

The fit

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“Find the bone at the widest point of your shoulder – it’s called the humeral head – this is where the shoulder seam of your suit should sit,” says Johnson. “If the shoulders are too narrow, it’ll visually shrink your chest – too wide and you’ll look like an American football player.”

He says to look for ‘daylight’ between the suit sleeve and the waist. If there’s no gap between your torso and the sleeves of your suit, you’ll risk looking like a big mass of fabric. If daylight can pass between your torso and sleeves, Johnson says: “You’re a whole lot closer to making your waist look trim.”

Oliver Spencer, founder of Favourbrook (favourbrook.com), recommends finding your closest tailor. “The cut and fit [of a suit] is absolutely key,” he says. “If you’re not the perfect off-the-peg size, make sure you get the appropriate alterations.”

The fabric

The right fabric is crucial, especially if you’re wearing the suit all day. “You need something that can move and breathe,” advises Johnson. “My personal favourite is a linen, wool and silk mix.” If you can’t find that, he recommends going for cotton and linen.

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Spencer also suggests opting for linen or linen blend fabric, “Because it’s lightweight, breathable, and has a beautiful natural drape to it that improves the more you wear it”.

Whether you choose a single or double-breasted jacket is up to your personal preference, but Spencer says “the latter is a touch more formal”.

“As far as colour goes, this is where a lot of men come unstuck,” he adds. “Don’t be afraid of pastels – sky blue, tobacco, pink, ivory, olive green, light grey… All of these work really well in linen especially.”

When shopping for linen, Spencer says the best cloths come from Ireland and Belgium. “If you’re opting for a wool suit, look for extra fine merino cloths, which are lightweight and good for the summer.”

The shirt

Johnson favours a white shirt, as it’s “the most versatile colour – a blank canvas”.

For a wedding shirt, he advises going up a size. “You’ll be eating lots, drinking lots and hopefully dancing lots – so you need room to move,” he says. “I made the mistake of having a very close-fitting shirt once at a wedding – never again.”

Spencer is a fan of pastel tones. “Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a crisp white shirt, but a pale pink or sky blue will give you that point of difference,” he says. “A contrast white collar is a nice touch if you want to up the formality.”

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Some weddings can be pretty relaxed and don’t require a tie – in which case, Spencer suggests a linen shirt with a soft roll to the collar.

The waistcoat

If you want to wear a waistcoat, Spencer says silk and linen are excellent breathable fabrics for summer.

“Again, a lot comes down to fit. The cardinal rule is you should never be able to see your shirt peeping out of the bottom of the waistcoat,” he says. “Be especially vigilant with double-breasted styles, as they’re cut square at the waist – so often require a little extra length.”

The tie and pocket square

“Give up on pink,” says Johnson. “It seems like the go-to choice for a wedding is a pink tie – avoid it.”

Instead, Johnson favours a plain tie and a white pocket square, or one with a subtle pattern.

“A good tip here is about scale. If the pattern on a pocket square is very big, then that’s what gets the attention – so keep it small,” he advises.

“If you want to wear a patterned tie, make sure the scale of the pattern on the pocket square is smaller.”

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