I was so excited that finding a suit for my groom was not on my ‘to-do’ list. I mean, yes, I wanted to approve the color of the suit, shirt and tie, but the rest was up to my fiance. Please keep in mind that Casey told me a few months ago, “If Carhartt stops making jeans, I will not be wearing pants!” Does this give you a sense of my partner in crime on this task?
Our first decision was between a suit and a tux. Casey’s goal is to have the most affordable option. It is important to him that his guys are happy with the decision. Some of his groomsmen could benefit from an extra suit and some had no need for one at all.
Tip #1: Research Your Options
Research all of your menswear options before you decide or fall in love with something. Ask retailers about sales, coupons and other promotions and all the items included so you will know the bottom line price for your groomsmen.
Casey had been a groomsman in a friend’s weddings where they bought the suits and were gifted the shirts and ties. He loved this idea. The only issue was the suit he bought was more of a summer suit and not quite what we were looking for.
Tip #2: Consider Convenience
The good thing about having groomsmen buy the suits instead of renting is that you don’t need to worry about picking them up right before the event and delivering them back to the vendor the next day to avoid a late charge. The other great thing is that they can be tailored to fit them a lot nicer than a rental can.
We went to the Joseph A Banks store first. They have a seasonal promotion where you can buy one suit and get three free. This would make our first option $200 for the jacket and pants. We went to Men’s Warehouse and they couldn’t match the price with anything competitive that would fit all the groomsmen, but they did let us know that their most inclusive rental package was about $220. The salesmen let us know that the guys would only have to show up with clean underwear! Plus I had received several $40 coupons.
Tip #3: Get the Right Fit
Check with potential retailers about sizing. We have one groomsman that is 6’ 8” and one that is a power lifter. Make sure if you buy a suit that the retailer will let a guy with a larger top half than bottom half order two different suit parts so they do not need to have excessive alterations.
Tip #4: Ask About Alterations
Ask about alternations ahead of time. If you are renting, make sure that they do not look like they used double-sided tape. If you are buying, ask if the suit includes tailoring. If they don’t have an in-house tailor, ask if you can get some references. You would hate to make such a big investment only to have someone ruin it with shoddy alterations.
We headed to a well-reviewed local store, Georges. They sold a ‘wedding suit,’ which offered a suit coat and pants for $179. It also included alterations (for the life of the suit!) AND they would alter the suits the week of the wedding for out of town groomsmen.
Tip #5: Understand Your Options
Ask someone who knows suits to check your options with you. Casey has a friend that used to own a suit store. He can tell you your inseam just by looking at you! Even someone who wears suits regularly could help. The same goes with tailoring. If you have a friend or family member who wears suits daily, they may have a good recommendation for a tailor.
One of my biggest issues with Casey renting a tux was that the last rental tux I saw him in looked like he had a load in his pants. The salesman explained that tux pants are supposed to come right below the belly button, which is significantly higher than Casey wears his pants. They recommended suspenders to hold the pants in the correct place. Make sure your man is ok with suspenders or ask if there is another option. The extra roomy bum is never a good look!
Casey and I also discussed wearing a vest. He made a great point. He wants a vest so that he can feel comfortable taking off his coat. He said he will feel more dressed up and will not feel like he needs to keep his jacket on the whole day and night. I was glad he thought of that because I felt like he would look that much more handsome and the vest would stand out in photographs.
Tip #6: Know Lead Time
Check with your suit or tux vendors about lead time. You need to know how long it will take to order the menswear, so you don’t wait too long and have to scramble at the last minute. Honestly, I am preparing myself for the groom and his groomsmen to be naked, as we still do not have a decision. I am told that suits do not take nearly as long as a bridal gown or your standard bridesmaids dresses, but I know my luck!
At this point we do not have any suits ordered. I am being reassured that it is only a formality at this point. It sounds so silly, but I am obsessed with crossing things off my list and this seems like a big one!
Did you want to have a say in the suits/tuxes or did you let your man handle that? Is it a double standard that we get to see their suit and they don’t get to see our dress?