Those in their late twenties and early thirties will sympathise with me when I say that my Facebook feed is a constant stream of wedding photos – wedding photos with wedding-specific hashtags. Christ, don’t we have enough hashtags in our lives? Is it imperative that your entire Facebook friend list sees 20 odd images of your wedding from various angles, with or without selfie sticks?
I’m ranting. Apologies.
The thing currently concerning me more than Weddingbook, is the choice of male wedding attire, specifically funky socks, braces and bowties. What has evolved from the hashtag menswear trend, is precisely that, a trend. So why on the most important day of a man’s life lives, do so many decide to divulge in ‘dapper’. ‘Dapper’ has become a micro-genre of menswear; a genre stalwart menswear enthusiasts don’t dare to dabble in. A genre augmented on Instagram by ‘menswear bloggers’, who’ll wear anything they are given (for free) and have no actual understanding of tailoring whatsoever.
This is not a tirade against ‘Dapper’ (I’ll leave that for another time). I’m just genuinely concerned that a whole generation of married couples are going to look back on their wedding photos and say, ‘why did we choose no socks with the suits?’ ‘Why did you wear suspenders with no jacket, (or worse a vest)?’ or ‘Why did you wear that pre-tied floral bowtie, you never wore bow ties?’ ‘Why did we choose trousers with no break in the leg, and lime green and white spotted socks with light tan (almost Orange) jester shoes?’
People, it’s your wedding day, and you’ll be taking the most important photos of your life, ones you’ll be looking at until the day you die. Don’t look back on them like you did your 2006 Stereosonic photos, dressed head to toe in every trend you could fit into one outfit. Your wedding attire should be timeless, and you should wear what you’ll be most comfortable (and thus confident) in.
This is not an opportunity to be dressed by your soon to be wife, who’s 12 months into her secret Pinterest board pinning photos like she’s an instant voice on men’s style. Telling you to wear a bow tie because it’s ‘stylish’, but secretly because all of her friend’s husbands did. She doesn’t dress you any other day of the year, so why must she on your wedding day?
If you’re not getting married in Black Tie (I’m not suggesting you should or shouldn’t), and going to go with ‘Cocktail’ (not a dress code people), correctly known as Lounge Suit, pick something classic from a respected tailor. Navy, Cream or Earthy tones (even a combo of) for a daytime wedding, and experiment with cloth choice, not with daring pocket squares.
By all means, have fun with your tie, but you don’t need to pair it with clown socks, a flower lapel pin, tie bar, thin braces (belt and braces!!!) and pocket square. Make sure the blades are an even length, and your knot is done up tight, hiding your top button, and isn’t too ‘Sprezz’ (for lack of a better word). If you’re a man who likes to wear bow ties, go to Le Noeud Papillon and get the best one money can buy, and learn how to tie it (you should already know if you’re wearing one to your wedding).
Wear braces if your trousers are designed to accommodate them, but wear them as they were supposed to be – as a device to hold your pants up, not as a fashion accessory. Pick a traditional Oxford shoe, in black or dark brown and buy it from a quality manufacturer, you’ll have them for the rest of your life if cared for properly.
My intention with this article was not to offend anyone, but bring to light my growing concern with current wedding attire. As the groom, you’re already the ‘off centre’ of attention; you don’t need an overly styled outfit and matching grooms party, to make a statement. I guarantee when you’re looking at your wedding photos in 40 years you’ll never regret choosing tradition over trend.
Feature Image: Robert Meredith