Suit Double Duty
September 15, 2009 10:35 AM   Subscribe

GroomFilter: I'm getting married soon (the groom), and I need two different outfits for the wedding: one for the day and one for the night's dinner. Can I use the same suit for both outfits?

In general I never have to wear suits in my daily life (I wear jeans to the office), so I'm not really sure I'd want to spend money on getting two different suits. Instead I've been wondering if its possible for me to use the same jacket and pants for both outfits, but differentiate them in other ways. For example in the day I might wear a white dress shirt with a pleated front and a black bow tie (almost a tux), and at night I'd do a waistcoat and a cravat. The suit will be black.

Will this be pretty much okay, or will it be immediately obvious to everybody that I recycled the suit and am commiting some huge faux pas?

Note that I'm in Asia where Western dress codes and etiquette are less strictly observed (i.e. "formal" usually means tie and a jacket). I guess its okay if some people notice, but not if everyone goes "hey all he did was change his shirt and tie!"

Additional notes: As is customary in my culture, the bride wears her wedding gown during the day's events (solemnization, traditional ceremonies, etc.). A big dinner will be thrown at night and she will first show up in her wedding gown before changing into an evening gown a little into the dinner. I basically need to match her two gowns with outfits of my own. I'm also considering renting a tux, but reusing the suit just seems so much more clever (or potentially stupid).

And yeah I'm aware that usually nobody looks at the groom anyway.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think it would be okay...
posted by lucy.jakobs at 10:39 AM on September 15, 2009


At most Western weddings I've been to, even if the bride changes outfits between cermony and reception, the groom doesn't. The only time I've seen a groom change is after the reception or dinner, into going away clothes (travel clothes, essentially) for when the couple depart for their honeymoon.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:43 AM on September 15, 2009


I'm picturing you in a proper bow-tie for the ceremony, but a louche untied bow-tie a la Dean Martin for the dinner.
posted by Sara Anne at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is no such thing as "almost a tux" when it comes to formal dress. I can't speak for how Asians will perceive it, but I've always understood wearing a "white dress shirt with a pleated front and a black bow tie" to mean that you couldn't be bothered/afford to get a tux. Of course, you shouldn't be wearing a tux during the daytime (before six-ish more or less) anyway: you wear morning dress or another formal ensemble instead. A tuxedo is evening-wear only.

Within the broad lines of "things that won't make your guests point and stare" (they are supposed to be staring at the bride!), go with whatever you feel most comfortable wearing. It's your big day so don't waste it by being uncomfortable or choosing the cheap option over what you think looks best. I would go to a really good seller of menswear and try on a bunch of different options. The salesperson can help you with the etiquette and you can see what you like. Since you're in Asia, you could consider getting a reputable tailor to make you something once you know what you want and can give them pieces to crib/copy from.

Oh, and congratulations!
posted by zachlipton at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Go with your gut but run it by the bride. If she likes it, you're probably golden.
posted by kathrineg at 11:38 AM on September 15, 2009


Of course, you shouldn't be wearing a tux during the daytime (before six-ish more or less) anyway: you wear morning dress or another formal ensemble instead. A tuxedo is evening-wear only. (zachlipton)

Only if you actually care. Given that the poster said that he's "in Asia where Western dress codes and etiquette are less strictly observed (i.e. "formal" usually means tie and a jacket)," I'd hazard a guess that he doesn't care.

Anecdote: my grandfather was married in a tuxedo with a white jacket at something like 7:30 in the morning. No one minded. He looked snappy.

Do what makes you look snappy.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:38 AM on September 15, 2009


Tuxedos in the daytime may be gauche, but even in the western world, they are incredibly, incredibly common on the wedding party at weddings. That said, the two outfits you describe would seem more appropriate reversed. The waistcoat and cravat more approximate formal daytime dress, and the tuxedo evening black tie.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:18 PM on September 15, 2009


If your bride is anything like the brides we have out here in the west, she is the de facto expert on everything that looks good and is stylish on her wedding day. Run your idea by her, and then do what she says regarding how you should dress. Then forget all the etiquette rules and what everyone else thinks. You're not marrying them, too!
posted by Evanstruth at 12:50 PM on September 15, 2009


Buy a suit that you can wear for occasions requiring a suit, i.e., black if you want a black suit, but gray is okay, too. You don't have to wear formal wear unless you like the idea. Unless your bride is really set on it, wear what you like. Consider wearing gray flannel pants and a navy blazer, the standard "high casual" of preppies. I have no idea what would be considered appropriate in Asia, though.
posted by theora55 at 1:47 PM on September 15, 2009


Style means knowing the rules (as well as the reasons behind them), and when to break them.

Black Tie Guide is what you need.

I suggest studying what proper wedding/dress etiquette dictates before deciding. (These "rules" don't necessarily apply in a mixed Asian customs/culture setting.) That said, wear whatever you want, subject to approval of the bride, of course.
posted by jayne at 5:27 PM on September 15, 2009


For example in the day I might wear a white dress shirt with a pleated front and a black bow tie (almost a tux), and at night I'd do a waistcoat and a cravat. The suit will be black.

Wouldn't this be the other way around?
posted by atrazine at 10:41 PM on September 15, 2009


Whoops, wikipedia tells me that Americans wear black tie for their weddings. Ignore my earlier comment then.
posted by atrazine at 11:27 PM on September 15, 2009


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