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February 2009

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Made to Parade
Written By: 
Shandon Fowler

Fashion your groom into style with these pointers


Ah, fashion. The concept is more foreign to your typical groom than an oyster roast is to a Kansan. For most men, “looking good” can be as simple as venturing out in public sans toilet paper stanching facial razor nicks. We’re just not naturally made to parade. But don’t fret, brides: as stylistically inept as your groom may be, deep down he harbors a secret James Bond fantasy. Play to this weakness, and you’ll find yourself with your own dashing man at the altar. Dress the Part On the Southern shore, a wool suit can land your guy in the emergency room with heatstroke. So skip the disasters and opt for appropriate attire. Here are some helpful hints. Dapper Don: Black- or white-tie tuxes with patent-leather shoes will make him an instant classic. Lowcountry Gent: Seersucker suits and bowties with semi-casual leather shoes (such as Bucks) are prime gear for outdoor weddings. Military Man: His dress blues will make you swoon; refer to the uniform manual issued by his branch of the military for dress codes. Shore Thing: Linen shirts and cotton slacks (like khakis) with matching loafers, sandals, or bare feet best suit the beach. Suited Up: Semi-formal suits or charcoal tuxes and dress shoes help even the most casual fellow clean up. Shop the Costco Way Like anything bought in bulk, suits cost less when bought by the closetful. Have your groom coordinate all of his groomsmen’s rentals or suit purchases to save substantially on the ticket price for each. Play to his Strengths Sadly, it’s not true that everyone looks stellar in just any suit or tux. Different body types demand different styles, so if you force your man into a formal event, be sure his tailor or salesperson educates him on what particular styles suit him best. For example, single- or double-buttoned, single-breasted jackets and pleated pants work better for husky and/or short men. Tall, athletic men can accentuate their builds with flat-front slacks and multi-buttoned or double-breasted jackets. As for other variables, defer to what accentuates his positives. Nice eyes? Wear a tie that complements the color. Round belly? Steer clear of a cummerbund. Grooming tips The average man doesn’t care whether he’s wearing a bowtie or a Windsor knot: seize the opportunity by simply telling your fiancé what he will wear. Help him pick a style that will complement—but not detract (or worse, clash)—with your gown. Skip the prints so your fiancé and his groomsmen can stand together without looking like extras from The Sopranos. If he’s getting ready on his own, make sure he presses his suit, shirt, and slacks after he takes them out of the suitcase. Know the Code Don’t just school your groom alone—be sure to indicate your wedding’s dress code on your invitations, too. Here’s an overview of the trickiest designations. Casual: Watch out, ’cause anything goes. Semi-Casual, before 4 p.m.: Somewhere between suits and jeans. Semi-Formal Day Dress, 4 p.m. or earlier: Refers to most standard single- or double-breasted suits with a turndown collar and tie. Morning Dress, 7 p.m. or earlier: Typically, non-black tie/white tie formal wear, (such as a gray suit) with a tie or cravat and formal accessories. Black Tie (aka, Semi-Formal Evening Dress), 4 p.m. or later: Commonly misidentified as “full evening dress.” Men wear a black tie and jacket with all other formal accessories. White Tie (aka Full Evening Dress), 6 p.m. or later: The pinnacle of Gatsby-esque style; men wear a white bowtie, black jacket with tails, black pants and black patent-leather shoes.




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