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Wedding Day Fashion Rules Every Groom Should Follow

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you Ian Michael Crumm, our resident men's fashion expert, here to share style pointers and tips for tackling the latest trends in menswear. Straighten those neckerchiefs—Ian is on the go!


Weddings Week 2014 is here, and we want to make sure the men get a little attention. Weddings are not only about gowns, cake, and flower girls; men have to look great, too! I sat down with Craig Arthur von Schroeder, founder and creative director of bespoke menswear label Commonwealth Proper, to talk appropriate wedding attire for guys. The takeaway? You want to be well-dressed, but not showy or loud. After all, it is the bride's day (or the other groom's day! congratulations Pennsylvania on marriage equality!) and the man should be there to complement and enhance his partner's look.

The factors that determine a groom's wedding day attire:

1) The event's dress code
a) If the guests are asked to wear black tie, the groom should of course follow that and wear a classic, one-button, peak-lapel tuxedo, white shirt, and black bowtie.
b) If the guests are not asked to wear black tie, a good default is again the classic black tie garb, as it's formal, would make the groom stand out on the big day, and is always appropriate.

2) The location
a) If the wedding is on a beach, then the classic black tie just will not do. Instead, opt for a light-colored suit (khaki or light grey; NEVER white, as you don't want to compete with the bride)
b) If it's an outdoor "garden" wedding during the day, wear medium grey, white shirt, and a black tie (to again reference the formality) with a colorful pocket square that picks up the surrounding floral tapestry.
c) If it's a church, you can of course opt for the classic black tie dress or revert to a less formal charcoal (dark) grey suit.

3) Post-wedding needs
a) If your post-wedding suit needs also need to be taken into consideration, consider the other uses the suit must provide. For example, if you will wear the suit in formal settings, shy away from colorful lapel buttonhole or sleeve buttonhole details. Instead, choose a suit lining you can keep closed post-wedding that still brings out and complement the wedding colors.

Addendum: shoes and accessories guidelines
a) Choose black shoes for black tie and charcoal suits. Anything lighter, including navy, choose brown shoes.
b) A smart option for a summer wedding is to forego the tie and instead reach the correct level of formality with a choice pocket square. Wear your shirt collar open under a blazer or suit. You'll feel cooler and, of course, look cooler, too.
· Commonwealth Proper [Official Site]
· Commonwealth Proper's New Showroom Is Now Open [Racked Philly]
· Where to Buy a Wedding Dress in the Philadelphia Area [Racked Philly]

Commonwealth Proper

1839 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (267) 319-1741 Visit Website