How to Plan Your Wedding Look: A Groom’s Guide

If you take a look at guides for how to plan your wedding, you’ll find language oriented mostly towards the bride to be. Naturally, a groom is always expected to participate, but wedding planning is all about picking your battles. The key is to know when to have an opinion, when to help and when to walk away… It’s easy to lose perspective, it’s easy to get confused, and it’s easy to get lured into debates, fights or even teary meltdowns that make no sense.

The good news is that there are many parts of wedding planning where a groom is most definitely needed to offer input and effort, and they are usually described as “the big three” (the date, venue and guest list). Yet, the clothing a groom and his party wears is also something you’ll have to understand as you consider how to plan your wedding.

In fact, your wedding look is something that you definitely want to put some serious thought into as you will be looking at those photos for years to come. Additionally, as you start to find answers about how to plan your wedding, you also have to consider day itself – the realities of a full day and evening in whatever clothes you choose. Would you prefer to feel like yourself or feel uncomfortable and fussy in a suit that doesn’t seem to suit your personal style? Many grooms defer almost entirely to their bride when it comes to this, but if you want a successful wedding day, a good place to begin is to have some definite ideas of what you will, or won’t, want to wear on “the big day”.

So, this means that “step one” of how to plan your wedding is to start making a few plans on your own and well ahead of the moment when you sit down together to make choices.

The First Steps

Experts will tell you to pick a team of groomsmen as early as you can as they can be a lot of help with the various tasks that are all part of wedding planning. Once the team is in place, or plans for gathering a team are created, you can then think more about issues like the date, the venue, the guest list, the ring, your vows and that wedding look.

Chances are, your bride to be has a lot of ideas about her gown and those of her bridesmaids. Relationship dynamics are always unique, and you may find it wiser to defer where colours are concerned. But, knowing that colours are going to be an issue is an important factor. Form an opinion ahead of time, even ask your bride to be about her initial thoughts.

If you want to know how to plan your wedding look as effectively as possible, having already thought about the issue will go a long way towards an easier process. The issues you need to think about include:

  • Colors of garments like suits, shirts, vests, cummerbunds, ties, socks, and accessories
  • Style and cut of suit – do you want a morning suit, tails, a black-tie look or even a lounge suit with a waistcoat? Long before the two of you sit down to talk about this issue, you may want to have assembled a few images or ideas about the look you really want
  • Details – Have you thought about the collar and cuff styles, the width of the lapels, if you will use pocket squares, width of the belt, double or single vents, sock styles…there are many things to know, and you’ll win a lot of points with your bride if you have assembled ideas ahead of time
  • Tailoring – When will everyone get fitted and tailored for their clothes? Take charge here and follow through on every item

If you want to know how to plan your wedding, and your wedding look, a good word of advice is to think ahead. Read a few “groom’s guides” to wedding planning and know which issues should be “do not touch” and which “roll up sleeves and help!” Your wedding garments are an area you can really show interest and support and take one item from your bride’s “to do” list.


Men’s Guide to Dressing for Date Night at a Concert

What to wear on a date is always a big question. You want to convey your sense of style, your personality and yet you also need to be appropriate for whatever sort of venue your date occurs. Whether it is a dinner and movie thing, a day out on the town or anywhere else, wearing the right garments on a date lets you feel confident, comfortable and authentic. So, what if you are a many dressing for a date at a concert? What sort of concert outfits are most appropriate?

As you might guess, that is really going to depend on the venue. So, let’s start right at the top, and look at what to wear on a date to a formal concert such as a symphony or opera.

A Black Tie Date


As we all know, concert outfits for such settings are going to be at the most formal end of the spectrum. It is up to you to know, and alert your date to the fact, if a concert is a black tie affair. If it is, keep in mind that a very smart, black suit can work wonders for a date of this kind. Be sure you keep things clean and simple, with a thin lapel and fitted look being the most contemporary and stylish. Put some thought into the shoes chosen, as these can let you express personal style, along with accessories like a pocket square, watch, cuff links and even your tie.

An Outdoor Concert

Though you will find a long list of casual outdoor venues, you also find some more formal options. Think of places like the famous Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Here, there are world renown classical musicians playing to crowds of well-heeled audiences throughout the summer months.

What to wear on a date to an upscale outdoor concert? Fortunately, such events are the ideal time for those casual suits. Think linen trousers, seersucker or linen sports coats, paler or even pastel hues in shirts and accessories, and trendier foot ware. If the outdoor concert is more of the music festival variety, you need to consider the realities of getting dirty.

In that event, the concert outfits most appropriate would include deep blue denim, sturdy khakis, a trendy button up or printed shirt and a casual jacket. Your shoes will need to be able to stand up to the rigors of the setting, and that could mean loafers or even premium sneakers in a solid color.

Arena Shows

One of the most common concert venues you might find yourself with a date is the arena. Whether it is a pop, country, techno or other sort of performance, the oversized stadiums are not an excuse to go too casual. What to wear on a date in an arena? Well, instead of thinking concert outfits for this one, think “club” outfits. What would you usually wear to a club? This is the direction to head when choosing what to wear on a date to an arena.

Many call these kinds of concert outfits “elevated casual” because they learn towards fitted, dark jeans or less casual trousers with a stylish top like a fitted t-shirt (without any logos or graphics) or a button up in a nice cut. Boat shoes, loafers or casual shoes work well here, and a sports coat or fashion jacket is a good call.

And what to wear on a date to a smaller venue? There are many smaller spots that offer up a variety of musical styles and many have table seating close to the performance space. This is an ideal spot for a date, and the concert outfits appropriate here are the same as those for arena shows and even outdoor venues.

Whether it is a first date or not, you want to dress to impress when attending a concert. With these tips you can be comfortable, original and appropriate, and focus on enjoying the music and the company.


Formal Wear: Identifying Your Options for a Black Tie Event

Planning to attend a fancy gathering? Black tie events can seem pretty intimidating, particularly if you’ve never dressed for one before. However, once you know a few things, they shouldn’t be all that nerve-wracking. We’ve compiled a brief guide to help you understand your options.

What Is a Black Tie Event?

A black tie event is nothing more than a formal evening gathering that takes place after 7 PM. It might be a party, or it could be a social gathering, such as a dinner or an awards ceremony. It will likely involve both men and women, and the dress code will be more formal than most other social engagements, so put away your work suit. You’ll need something different to match the black tie dress code.

Understanding the Black Tie Event Dress Code

Less formal than the now rare white tie dress code, the black tie dress code actually originated from 19th century England. It’s more formal than business wear, though, and generally involves men wearing a black coat with a different lapel color to the rest of the jacket, a white shirt, and a black bow tie. Perhaps the best example of this dress code is the tuxedo. While we think of black tie dress code as very formal today, it was originally less formal than a tailcoat that would have been worn to a white tie event.

Deconstructing the Black Tie Event Dress Code

So, what items go into making your black tie event wardrobe? There are several individual pieces that you’ll need to understand. We’ll run down your options here.

The most obvious part of your formal evening attire will be the dinner jacket. You’ll find tuxedos in two varieties – single breasted and double breasted, although double breasted options are rarer, and less frequently worn. Your jacket should be black or midnight navy blue, and should have a contrasting material used for lapel construction.

Under the jacket is the shirt. You’ll generally opt for a white, collared, button-up shirt. In most instances, you’ll want to avoid any color other than white to achieve the formal yet understated look the black tie dress code calls for. Look for a white shirt with a wing tip collar to work best with your bow tie. However, wing tip collared shirts can only be worn with bow ties and formal tux jackets, so you might choose to go with a normal collared dress shirt.

Next on the list of black tie event clothing items is the waistcoat. Waistcoats add style and flair to your ensemble, and they can be made from a wide range of materials. You can opt for black or white, but you can also choose a waistcoat in a different color to add a bit of personality and color to your outfit if you prefer.

Next, we have the cummerbund. This simple accessory should be worn if you opt not to wear a waistcoat, and sits at the bottom of the shirt, just above the top of your pants. It ties or hooks in the back, and should match the color of your tie, which brings us to our next topic.

The bow tie is an essential part of the black tie event dress code. In most instances, you’ll opt for a black bow tie, but there are other colors available to help you add a bit of spice to your night. Many bow ties today don’t need to be tied (they hook at the back of the neck), but some do.

Finally, you need the right shoes for your evening out. Tuxedo shoes are the best option, but you can also choose to go with any high-polished dress shoe if you prefer. Avoid wearing low-gloss shoes, though.

Ultimately, you only need the right jacket, shirt, waistcoat/cummerbund, tie and shoes to create a formal yet stylish look for your evening out on the town. With the right choices, you’ll be comfortable but polished.