In the wedding space, there is lots and lots of talk of wedding dresses. If you’re just starting planning now, you’ve probably already skimmed over dozens of articles extolling the virtues of various wedding dress necklines, how to “dress best for your body,” and a bunch of other stuff that assumes ladies are the only people showing up to a wedding wearing clothes. But when it comes to suits… the wedding industry is basically like, “We’re sure you’ll figure it out!” And I’ve been to enough weddings to know that’s not always the case (lots of groomsmen googling “How to tie a bowtie” in the woods with crappy cell reception is all I’m saying). So this year we’re excited to be partnering with Generation Tux, to share tips and advice on how to rock a suit like it’s 2016 and not the junior prom. If you haven’t heard of them yet, Generation Tux rents modern suits and tuxedos for under $100 while handling all your wedding party coordination so you don’t have to. And since they are committed to making sure your suit or tux fits like a glove, we figured we’d kick off our suit style series with four essential things you should know about suits and how they should fit:
1. The difference between a suit and a tuxedo: I’m totally guilty of thinking the word “tuxedo” and picturing a morning coat or a white tie affair. But the difference between a suit and a tuxedo is actually a lot more subtle than that. Tuxedos generally have satin lapels, satin or cloth covered buttons, and satin piping along the side of the pant leg, where suit detailing matches the rest of the suit. Also hot tip: tuxedo pants don’t typically have belt loops, as the expectation is that you’ll wear suspenders with them, so keep that in mind if you’re the kind of person who wears a belt for function instead of fashion.
2. The cardinal rule of buttons: The standard classic suit features a two-button suit jacket. Despite having two buttons, you’re only ever supposed to button the top one, never the bottom, even if you’re standing. (I know, I know. But why is it there, you ask? Beats me. Maybe in case you lose one? Maybe for show? Just to keep you guessing? The world is a confusing place.) If you’re tall or have a long torso, a three-button jacket might work for you. In which case the rules adjust accordingly: always button the middle button, never button the bottom button, and sometimes button the top one.
3. The One About the Break: The trouser break refers to how much creasing happens above your shoe. See this photo from my eighth grade formal above? Notice how all of the pants are kind of… real wrinkly at the bottom? That’s because they’re unhemmed, and you don’t want that. If you’re interested in the full story on the different (dapper) choices for pant breaks, check this article out. But in short, different folks have different tastes when it comes to pant breaks, but if you don’t have a preference, keep in mind that no break is a very modern fashion forward look, a slight break is standard these days, and a deep break tends to make your pants look more old fashioned (or ill-fitting). (We’re not even going to discuss the not-hemming-your-pants-option, since you don’t even have to go down that path with Generation Tux.)
Though there is an exception to this rule: a cropped pant or deep break can look fashion-forward on the person with a strong sense of personal style (a la Wiz Khalifa or Jill Soloway at this year’s Golden Globes).
4. How to Tie a Tie: It’s probably a sign of our casual dress times that at almost every wedding I ever photographed, at least one member of the wedding party was tasked with finding a YouTube video of how to tie a tie (and your odds increase by about a thousand if bowties are involved). So let’s just save everyone the trouble, and I’ll link them below (you can also check out the Generation Tux blog for tons more how-to videos on everything from cufflinks to pocket squares):
How To Tie a Bow Tie
How to Tie a Windsor Knot
Have more questions about suit style? We’ll be bringing more content to you throughout the year, so leave them here in the comments.
This post was sponsored by Generation Tux. Founded by George Zimmer (yup, the guy from the commercials), Generation Tux is a new destination for online suit and tuxedo rentals and they are totally hitting the mark. Generation Tux’s styles are modern and the prices are affordable ($95 for a suit or tuxedo rental, or $150 for the whole outfit including shirt, shoes and accessories.) Plus, Generation Tux will coordinate your wedding party so you don’t have to. Click here to see their full line of suit and tuxedo rentals.