This morning we are going to take a little bit of time to focus on Mr Groom. What’s he been wearing in 2011 and how are things going to shape up for him in 2012?
It is undeniable that the last few years have seen Mr Groom grow from a nervous looking chap who’s only weapon was a number for the nearest formal wear hire on speed dial, to a much more confident character who’s paying more attention to his look, learning the importance of accessorising and even appreciating how he ‘fits’ style-wise within the overall theme of a contemporary wedding.
Now, the comment about the local formal wear hire company may be a bit unfair and I appreciate that actually the majority of couples still choose to hire suits… The good news is that the game is changing here too. Mr Groom can now expect more choice, more style and more individuality from his local formal hire company. If it’s worth its salt, said hire company should be able to kit you out with the exact look you want to rock on W-day. Goodbye and good riddance to the days when your only option was the colour of your cravat.
I’m going to take you through four strong and individual looks for Mr Groom, some are well established and some are still emerging, but Mr Groom has been dabbling with them all, and the proof is contained within these very polka dotted pages…
Look 01: James Bond.
This look is very much on the way up methinks – you can go the whole hog with full tux, shiny black dicky bow and if you really want to stand out a good trick is to dress your groomsmen down a bit or put them in a lighter colour. Just because you’re in a tux it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to match your level of formality.
The ‘James Bond’ Is a very versatile look and one that you can easily dress down if you want to lose a bit of the formality, below is a tux from Reiss dressed up with a bowtie and dressed down with a bootlace tie – it’s interesting how one small accessory can totally change the feel of the suit.
You could dress this look down even further if you mixed a tux jacket with a contrasting coloured, less formal trouser. Allsaints have started selling tux style blazers that would help you accomplish this look – I’ve yet to see it creep in to groom fashion, but I have a feeling it’s on the way.
And if a tux is too much for you but you want to go ultra smart, a gloss suit with colour pop shirt and metallic bowtie might be a good option, as seen in the ensemble above by Pose London. Again this could really put you in the spotlight if you deliberately contrast with your groomsmen.
Look 2: English Garden.
This has been a very popular look for 2011 and I don’t see it going anywhere soon. It’s a really english preppy look that embraces geek chic and some adventurous colour combinations. Here, anything goes – ditch the suit in favour of a blazer and colour contrast slacks. Go for a knitted or heavily textured tie or dicky bow and essential for this look is a classic pair of brown or ox-blood brogues.
The great thing with this look is that you can get it straight off the highstreet (as I am about to prove) and the additional bonus is that you’ll be able to regularly re-wear all of this kit time and time again, making it great value.
Now, personally I can’t fully commit to the liberal colour scheme of the English Garden look, so I have put together a slightly more subdued version.
I would love to see this Allsaints linen jacket (currently under half price by the way) matched with this funky ASOS white shirt. Get preppy geek by adding an Allsaints bowtie and set it off with a simple pair of Chinos from Topman.
Footwear is a crucial part of the English Garden look and I’ve gone for these beautifully detailed paul smith brogues. At £265.00 they are an extravagance, and of course you can get a decent set of brogues for much less than this – but when I saw them I sort of fell in love a bit so they’re staying.
Total price, including the extravagant footwear is £425.00. Throw in say another fiver for a pair of socks and some pants off the market (Calvin Klone anyone?) and you have a WHOLE OUTFIT for a wedding-dress-busting £430.00.
And if I was truly able to commit to a daring colour scheme I would perhaps suggest getting the brogues in blue… If you do, you’ll look sharp and save yourself £20.00
Look 3: Uber Rustic.
Another very popular look this year, it’s casual and it is TWEEDY folks.
Yep, I’m telling you to get some tweed in your life, we want rustic loosely woven fabrics, we want floral shirting and knitted ties and we most definitely want re-enforced fabric elbow patches. Most important of all are the accessories – braces are back big time and for a little bit of rock star glamour, why not throw on a pair of shades (maybe not for the ceremony though eh?)
And if you want to see tweed done as well as it can be then you should check out Holland Esquire, I am seriously considering purchasing this little tweedy number… the multi-coloured buttons are to die for (did I just say that?) Oh well, it’s true.
Look 4: Quirky Classic.
This is an emerging look and one that I think we are going to see more and more of this year because it is both highly accessible and highly adaptable. It’s a slightly more formal look than the last two – but the possibilities for tailoring and tweaking it are almost endless.
The Quirky Classic look relies on a classic two or three piece suit as a base, then it’s all about what you decide to add or takeaway. Maybe lose the Jacket and go for the shirt and waistcoat look or maybe add a hat to give your classic suit a retro and informal twist?
It’s the accessories that will really make this look your own. I’m loving the pocket watch thing that that I have been spotting recently – it’s a very formal accessory but when mixed with an open shirt and scarf suddenly its not formal but it certainly isn’t casual either, it’s a smart look that sits somewhere in the middle. It’s Quirky Classic and it’s ACE, that’s what it is!
Your quirk maybe something as simple as a fun patterned tie, obviously we love polka dots at RMW so when I caught site of this classic suit combined with a quirky polka dot tie I literally had to catch my breath.
I bang on about Reiss a lot, I promise I don’t work for them or anything like that, but they are doing the classic look with utter, utter class at the moment, check out this grey two piece with optional waistcoat – it’s just the perfect balance of classic elegant tailoring with a modern slim cut. I am also very much admiring the quirky classic, suit, shirt, tie and stripy handkerchief combo from POSE London. Both provide the perfect basis on which to build your Quirky Classic look.
So four distinct looks, and I have to say if I had to pick one, I’d be Quirky Classic at the moment – and it’s my hot tip for 2012. In fact, if I don’t see more of this look I’m going to be one seriously disappointed blogger.
I will leave you now with one last thought – this year we were supposed to be seeing double breasted suits slip back into the mainstream (particularly after the Moss/Hince wedding) and I must admit, I was rather hoping they were never going to arrive. I just can’t see myself lusting after the double-breasted look…
That was until I caught a few images in the New York Times Style Magazine report the other day that anticipates the double breasted suits imminent arrival.
I must admit, I think my mind is already changing… and I almost hate to admit that!
What do you people think – It looks like they are firmly on their way from the catwalk to the high street, but is it time for double-breasted suits to re-enter the wedding arena?