What did you wear to your wedding (mefi men) ?
November 9, 2005 1:54 PM   Subscribe

WeddingFilter: I'm getting married. I'm a 27 year old, of the male persuasion. What did you wear to your wedding? Tux? Suit? Something in between (is there such a thing?) Help?!

I'm thinking of maybe doing the "Albert Einstein" (photo here), which would be a 2 or three piece suit, a tux shirt and a regular tie (not an ascot). I want to look classy and unique, but also a bit understated. Do you think I can pull this off? Anybody seen something like this in a photo not from 1910?

More Information: Wedding is evening, in the springtime. Dress is not picked yet, but will be um, white--and kinda modern probably. We're shooting for a feel with a lot more Ray and Charles Eames and a lot less Cinderella. I want to put "semi-formal" on the invites, though this word might not have any meaning anymore (outside of fraternity events)... I don't want guests in tuxes. Suits with no ties would be great.
posted by zpousman to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (34 answers total)
I wore a suit, but we were working on informal and cheap.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:57 PM on November 9, 2005

I think that you can pull off Albert Einstein. My husband wore a tux with a regular tie -- no one would have known if he had worn a dark suit instead.

Consider what you'll have attendants do, if you have any, though. We had several, and in the end decided it would be less stressful for them if we rented them tuxes, even though my husband wanted them just to wear suits they already had. They all would have bought new dark suits, so we saved them the trouble. If no attendants, definitly wear whatever you want.

(They'll be looking at her anyway, unless you wear something totally outrageous. What you're proposing isn't.)
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:58 PM on November 9, 2005

Renting a tux is kind of the standard in America - not that you have to. They cost around $100 to rent.
posted by mrhappybanjo at 1:59 PM on November 9, 2005


It's a once in a life thing.

Unless you're a Republican...

Then maybe it's a 3 or 4 times in your life thing.
posted by jpburns at 2:00 PM on November 9, 2005

Black tux coat and pants. Black shoes. Plain white shirt (not tux shirt with pleats in the front). Black belt, no cumberbund. Muted, silver tie. Ended up looking quite nice, dressy, but not overly like you'd get with cumberbund, pleated tux shirt, and bow tie. My best man wore the same thing. Congrats.
posted by tayknight at 2:12 PM on November 9, 2005

Bought a nice suit (dark olive), the kind I could wear again and not feel like I was going back to the altar. But I bought a special tie - bright orange - that I hold sacred. We were married outdoors in the fall, so obviously a non-traditional wedding (the bride didn't wear white).
posted by hamfisted at 2:13 PM on November 9, 2005

This is the suit my husband and his groomsmen wore at our wedding. I believe they call it a "morning coat." It features the same kind of collar that ol' Albert is wearing, and is formal without being ordinary. I don't remember the ties being as pouffy as in that photo; our gentlemen may have opted for something less ascot-y. That's the neat thing about formalwear; you can mix and match and customize a great deal. An After Hours type chain store may not offer you as much flexibility; try to find a nice menswear shop instead. They order from the same brands, but can help you find more unique accessories.
posted by junkbox at 2:15 PM on November 9, 2005

I think tuxes look silly - go with the distinguished suit idea - it's what my hubby did. It's easier on any attendants too - they can just wear whatever suit they have, provided it's not day-glo orange (unless that's what you're into).
posted by agregoli at 2:15 PM on November 9, 2005

I don't much care for the tuxedo thing at weddings. To me, tuxes are more for parties, like New Year's Eve. And it used to be quite rare to see tuxedoes at wedding ceremonies. But I'm swimming against the tide on that one, certainly.

You probably know this, but at the time your Einstein photo was taken, that sort of collar was perfectly normal to wear with an everyday business suit. They could be seen fairly often through the Thirties.

I would counsel you to wear a nice dark suit. Ideally, a black one, perhaps with a silver tie. Simple, white, well-starched shirt. French cuffs. But a turned-down collar. You can look perfectly nice without going the tuxedo route or wearing a strange collar. Keep in mind that you'll be looking at pictures of this thing for many years.

But everyone will be looking at the bride, not so much you, so don't stress about it too much.
posted by lackutrol at 2:16 PM on November 9, 2005

Suit. If you're working at a level of formality where you want your male guests to feel comfortable without ties, you definitely don't want to be in a tux. Plus a suit goes better with a "modern" dress: tuxes are almost ridiculously old-fashioned. It can be slightly difficult to find a three-piece, so if that's what you want to go with, start looking soon....
posted by mr_roboto at 2:17 PM on November 9, 2005

I wore a straight black suit. I thought it was a nice middle ground between a tux and a normal suit.
posted by trbrts at 2:22 PM on November 9, 2005

I wore a charcoal gray suit. It was still plenty formal. (email me if you want to see a picture or two. )
That "Einstein" look is still done. You could definitely pull it off. Don't worry, you won't be anachronistic or otherwise committing some sort of faux-pas. But who cares if you are It's your wedding, remember? You could wear bermuda shorts and a propeller-beanie if you wanted!
But, if you're going that suit route, don't forget a pocket silk and some nice cufflinks. The details like that will keep it formal without getting into tuxedo territory.

I want to put "semi-formal" on the invites,
There's really no need to do that. People will show up wearing whatever they want, regardless of what you put on the invitation. At our wedding, the only people who wore consistently similar things were the bridesmaids. A couple other guests wore jeans and tee shirts.

Renting a tux is kind of the standard in America

Yeah, if you're some tacky teenager going to the prom. Either buy the tux (and buy a nice one) or buy a nice suit.
The only problem with buying a tux is that you might never wear it again. If your options are:
1) Rent a tux that the homecoming king wore for $100
2) Buy a tux that you'll never wear again for $450
3) Buy a suit that you can wear over and over again (each time, remembering your wedding and your wife remembering how handsome you are) for $450

Which would you go for?

Congrats, by the way. Getting married was the smartest thing that I ever did. Good luck!

By the way, I got married only two months ago so all of my memories are fresh. Feel free to email me with questions, if you're feeling lost or whatever.
posted by Jon-o at 2:25 PM on November 9, 2005

Couple more things: junkbox is right, that garment is a morning suit. Back in the day, it was used for all daytime formal occasions. Also, you can wear an ascot or a straight tie with it, while being perfectly correct. Might look weird with a modern dress, though, and it's definitely not Eames-y. That aesthetic would require clean, simple lines, and no fussiness.

Also, if you choose to go the tux route, please buy instead of renting. Rentals are almost always ill-fitting, and the shirts are long-wearing, horrible poly-blends. And don't get me started on adjustable pants. If you wear a tux more than twice, it's the same price as a rental.
posted by lackutrol at 2:28 PM on November 9, 2005

Ask your bride. Wear what she says you should wear. Seriously. This is far more her day than yours, and one of your jobs on this day, as a dutiful groom, is to help make her look good.

I don't want guests in tuxes.

Unless you have a really high-falutin' circle of friends, or large numbers of deeply insane friends, you need not fear this. Really.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:30 PM on November 9, 2005

A large part of our decision to go towards the casual end of the spectrum came as a reaction to a family wedding that had all the big bells and smells. As a result, we both agreed that we didn't want to turn our ceremony into an overproduced broadway production.

But I'll agree with ROU, what you actually end up wearing will be strongly influenced by the other people involved, (and don't underestimate the influence of Momzillas in wedding planning.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:40 PM on November 9, 2005

I think the open-collar of the Einstein shirt looks silly. If it were me, I'd wear a medium to dark grey suit with a nice white shirt and a solid or neatly patterned tie (like this shirt/tie combo). Definitely not a button-down collar and definitely french-cuffed. Or like this.
posted by mullacc at 3:16 PM on November 9, 2005

I'm all for the tux, its not something you'll get to wear often in your life and really does look elegant (not stuffy formal, just really nice, ya know?).

The look you are after will work quite well. My groomsman wore 3-button coat, vest, wing-collared shirt and European (normal) tie. Only thing different would be the fact that the pictured vest has a lapel. I was in a standard-collared shirt, different pattern vest and 2-button coat. It all looked great. Its a nice modern look (i.e. not bowtie/ascot, cumberbund).

I wouldn't worry about your guests showing up in tuxes, a suit is most common and more casual attire seems to be quite popular.
posted by trillion at 3:18 PM on November 9, 2005

Suit (self-link to self -- me second from left).

If it must be a tuxedo, be certain that years from now the photos are not evidence of incredibly odd trends in wedding fashion. *glares at older sisters*
posted by Dick Paris at 3:26 PM on November 9, 2005

I wore a tan corduroy three-piece suit. I should have worn a hurdy-gurdy monkey costume: the marriage lasted three months.

I say you all should wear what you're comfortable in. Dress-up weddings are goofy.
posted by davy at 3:36 PM on November 9, 2005

I wore a suit. A tuxedo feels like a rented costume. I feel fancy in my suits. I feel like someone going to a costume party in a tuxedo that 300 other people have had for a weekend.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:55 PM on November 9, 2005

If you really wanted to be fancy (and a bit out of the ordinary), you could go with white tie.
posted by awesomebrad at 4:03 PM on November 9, 2005

My husband wore jeans, a funky shirt with a wide pointy collar, and a pinstriped suit jacket. But then again, we were in Vegas and I was wearing Chuck Taylors with my wedding dress. Never underestimate the importance of being comfortable in whatever you choose!
posted by web-goddess at 4:38 PM on November 9, 2005

I second lackutrol about rental tuxes. Either buy a tux, or just wear a suit. I rented a tux for my wedding, and although everyone assured me I looked fine, I felt that I looked distinctly penguin-like because the thing was way too loose around the waist.

Oh, and to quote Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, "how often do you really look at a man's shoes?" I bought some black Skechers, saved a few bucks on the shoe rental, was (most importantly) quite comfy, and now have a decent pair of shoes that I can wear to things other than my own wedding.
posted by gurple at 4:44 PM on November 9, 2005

Or you could go the other way - ultra-traditional. It's already been mentioned that morning coats (or morning dress more accurately) is formal day wear. However, its counterpart for evenings isn't the tux (or dinner jacket to us Brits), but white tie, which, if you can pull it off, looks amazing. That said, no idea at all about the practicalities of buying/hiring it in the US. It does incorporate the wing collar Einstein's wearing in the picture however.
posted by prentiz at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2005

Thanks all. And thanks for the congratulations -- though this has been a forgone conclusion for me for quite a while (years), it's still going to be great and memorable.

I marked some best answers, but everybody's been helpful. It's about even-steven on the tux versus suit thing. I'm going to go with a suit and probably a plainer (but still pimping) shirt, maybe with a spread collar and definitely french cuffs. I promise not to rent a tuxedo!
posted by zpousman at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2005

You wear whatever your wife wants you to wear.
posted by madajb at 5:04 PM on November 9, 2005

I had a dark green tux, with a vest that had an intricate colourful pattern. The tux looks black in the photos but in person you could tell it wasn't black. But that was 11 years ago and the place I rented from stopped carrying them shortly thereafter.
posted by winston at 5:19 PM on November 9, 2005

Unless you explicitly note that it's a "black tie" or (heavens) a "white tie" event, your guests won't come in tuxes.
posted by Alt F4 at 5:28 PM on November 9, 2005

How about a casual wedding?
posted by growabrain at 7:29 PM on November 9, 2005

Ask around the family to see if there is an heirloom you can wear. If you can pull it off, getting married in the same suit grampa got married is a very nice touch for the family - and really, the ceremony is for her first and the combined families second. Maybe even vice-versa.

My brother wore our father's academic regalia for his doctoral graduation. It was more ornate than his advisor's robe - guess who almost got the hood!
posted by Triode at 9:06 PM on November 9, 2005

I rented a tux for my wedding, with no regrets. Straight ties looked corporate, bow ties looked prom night. What to do? Eventually I put some big button thing (from the same rental place, Selix?) over my top shirt button in place of a tie and looked wicked cool.

Some fine suits
posted by Aknaton at 12:19 AM on November 10, 2005

Light tan suit. It was on a beach. I caved and wore shoes to keep my parents from having a fit.
posted by yerfatma at 4:34 AM on November 10, 2005

My husband wore a black suit with a guayabera as did his groomsmen. Everyone looked very nice. He purchased the shirts for the groomsmen as gifts, which they liked. If I remember correctly he wore a white one and they wore grey ones.
posted by miss tea at 5:13 AM on November 10, 2005

I wore a pretty standard black 4-button suit (high lapels), white shirt, black shoes, skinny tie. It was the first (and so far, only) suit I'd ever bought, so I got a pretty nice one at an upscale place and had it fitted by their in-house tailors. I didn't look too bad, if I do say so myself.
posted by sluggo at 5:14 AM on November 10, 2005

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