Groom's style, where to begin
Photo: Our Love is Loud

More and more grooms are beginning to realize that their wedding is the perfect opportunity to invest in a great looking suit, one that they can wear after the wedding – follow these simple steps, and you'll see that it's easier than you think to find that perfect suit or tux. Whether you're renting or buying your groom's attire, the process can be a little intimidating at first. It may seem simple in the beginning – tux or suit? – but a quick glance at Pinterest may get you thinking in a new direction! After working with hundreds of grooms, I have learned that a great checklist for finding the perfect groom's attire is as follows.

1. Determine the Occasion

This is the first question you'd ask yourself when shopping for any new suit or tuxedo, right? What's the occasion? Yes, it's for your wedding, but we still need to consider what time of day you'll be having your ceremony. For instance, events at night are usually paired best with a darker fabric, while lighter shades like grays and tans are better for ceremonies held during mid-day.

This isn't to say that you can't bend the rules a little and sport an elegant white or cream tuxedo for an evening event, but as a rule of thumb – lighter shades for during the day and darker shades of fabric for the evening. Got it? Great, let's move on.

2. Know Your Formality

Now that you know when you'll be getting all dressed up, you need to ask yourself a few questions about the level of formality of your wedding. As you may expect, a very formal wedding will likely be a black tie event, but what about a more casual wedding? Or someplace between the two extremes?

Let's go over a couple of examples.

If your wedding celebration is somewhere between a formal, black tie event, and a more casual or daytime wedding, you're probably not going to be wearing a tuxedo. And perhaps you're considering a venue outside. It could be a grassy open space, a chic barn or something similar. A great option for this type of semi-formal occasion could actually be a 3-piece suit. What?! A 3-piece suit? You're probably thinking that this sounds very formal. However, to make things feel slightly more casual, consider choosing a suit in a softer hue like a gray. You can ramp up (or decrease) the formality even more by choosing peaked lapels (for a dressy look) or notched lapels (for a less dressy style). Either way, It's a great look.

On the other hand, a formal wedding look is probably the look that you're most familiar with. It's what you see at a lot of weddings and it's become the go-to standard. On one end of the spectrum, you have a full tuxedo with a black bow tie, and on the other end, a dark suit.Regardless, a formal wedding means that you will want to make sure that everything else in your wedding is at a similar level of formality. For instance, mason jars at the reception may clash with your elegant tuxedo.

3. Versatility for Beyond the Big Day

This is an important consideration. When do you want to wear the suit after the wedding? The office? Maybe for fancy events with your significant other? Let's take a look at a couple of examples, like the workplace and date night.

Okay, let's say you're going to end up wearing your wedding suit to the office. If it's your first suit, then go with something dark, like a charcoal or near black shade. It will be the most versatile for your needs. However, if it's going to be your second suit you have a few more options. I would recommend a navy or gray suit. Not many men own gray suits and that will help to set you apart. Navy is a little more conservative, but that doesn't mean that you can't sport something with a subtle plaid or textured look. But remember, whatever you opt for, it can't be too wild and crazy unless that fits with your wedding style!

On the other hand, do you want a date-approved suit that James Bond would approve of? If that's the case, a tuxedo is the obvious answer, but a dark suit with a custom fit would be a close second. You could go with a handful of different suit fabrics, but the takeaway is that you need something dark. Why? Because you're going to be wearing this suit out and about. Whether it's a swanky bar, another wedding, or a gala-type event, it'll likely be at night, and therefore, you need something dark.

4. A Great Fit

A wedding suit is still a suit and that means that fit is very important – in fact, it's the first thing people are going to notice. So, regardless of whether you end up with a tuxedo, a dark suit, or a very casual outfit, fit is key. Even if you don't decide to go custom, make sure that whoever is helping you understands what he or she is doing. A great fit is the easiest way to look your best on your wedding day.

5. Make it Yours

Remember, whatever you decide, make sure you're completely on board with the style you choose. It's your wedding and no one but you or your partner should be making decisions about what you wear down the aisle. And when you know you look great in a custom suit or tuxedo, you can devote your attention elsewhere – like to your brand new spouse or celebrating with your guests – where it belongs.

Still trying to track down the exact right look? Start with these groom style ideas.