Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
Today we have another episode of a Q&A askGG and since it’s wedding season
I thought it would be good if you can ask me
anything about weddings, wedding attire, etiquette, rings, whatever comes to mind.
But as always, please be specific. Otherwise we’ll have this huge pool of questions.
It’s very difficult to answer and also on top of that we actually put in
a lot of work to create our Morning Dress Guide.
You may know we had this website morningdressguide.com
and it was full of morning dress information. But I wrote it back in 2012.
So overtime, I learned a lot more. We completely rewrote it, made it much better.
Took over 500 pictures. We sorted through them selected over 200
then I went through my archive which you can partially see back here
with all the fashion illustrations and we selected over a hundred of them put
them all in the guide and created one big massive morning dress guide PDF.
I think it’s 263 pages and honestly I don’t think there’s anything like that
on morning dress out there. In case you’re not familiar with morning wear
or morning dress it’s a morning wear tail coat and it’s what
you for example see at royal weddings at high society
weddings and it’s what men used to wear when they wanted to be super dapper during
the day. It’s basically the equivalent of
white tie for day wear and you can still see it at Royal Ascot or at other big events
and it’s certainly a niche topic. But if you’re at all interested in it or
if you’re maybe thinking about getting a special wedding outfit.
This is definitely something you want to invest in.
Because we put so much time into it this is not going to be free if you want
to see what it’s like you can check out our Black Tie Pocket Guide which is free on
our website. And this is basically like it’s just much
more comprehensive great lay out lots of valuable information.
If you bought a Gentleman of Style eBook and the Morning Dress Guide,
we give you $25 off and if you go over 250 in
your purchase price you get even the two books for just $25.
So you can get the link to the Morning Dress Guide
up in the cards on the right. Simply click and you can see everything.
But now it’s time for a Q&A about wedding attire or
anything else you want to ask me about weddings. Let’s see here.
Is it worth buying a tuxedo for my wedding? What alternatives are there?
Actually this video today is going to be the kickstart to a series
about wedding videos so there is a lot more to come and if you’re not super
satisfied with all of my answers just stay tuned for all of those videos we
already filmed them they’re currently being edited.
It’s just an entire series that’s really just about weddings
focusing on the groom and what you need to know.
So tuxedo is basically today a traditional garment to wear for a wedding.
Originally it was a garment that was worn in the evening after 6 p.m.
Today most weddings start way before 6 p.m. and grooms in the US still wear it.
So technically it’s kind of a faux pas to wear a tuxedo with a black bowtie at 11:00
a.m. So now it’s all up to you, right?
A wedding is your day and if you’re the groom you can decide what you want
to wear. If you’re a guest you’d only wear a tuxedo
if the invitation specifically states black tie
or black tie optional because that’s not something most brides and groom will
assume that their guests just wear. So if you’re a guest do not wear a tuxedo
and if you’re not sure what to wear simply
reach out to the wedding couple just to clarify because you never want to
outshine them maybe they just wear a regular suit that day or a combination
or maybe they’re even super informal and just wear shirts so if you show up in a
tuxedo that’s just bad. If it’s your wedding
buying a tuxedo I think is a good idea if you have any use for it afterwards, right?
So if you never have any black-tie events to go to
it’s kind of an expensive investment. In that case maybe you want
to invest in a three-piece suit maybe in a dark one maybe charcoal that you can get
more wear out of. Notch lapels on tuxedo jackets.
Well that’s actually a question I answer definitively in our Black Tie Pocket Guide
so you should definitely head over there and check that out.
You can find it on our website. What should the color of the tie be in the
wedding? If you’re a groom
traditionally you would wear a silver and black tie.
Usually they had fine patterns or stripes but it just has a very formal and elegant
character and it’s very unique for a wedding.
For a selection of those traditional wedding ties you can
actually check out our shop. We have a range of them there and it’s something
that I always particularly paid attention to
because it’s very hard to find those ties but back in the day if you go through old
pictures and photos that’s what you saw.
Now if you’re the groom, again you can add more color to it.
Red is always a popular color. People sometimes go with pastel tones which I think are only good if you have a low contrast
kind of skin to hair overall look. If you have a strong contrast
I think you can go with stronger colors. And oftentimes there’s kind of a wedding theme
so talk about that with the bride of what you want to achieve.
But I’d stay clear from like pink ties or like bright green ties or anything
like over the top but a slight like pattern like the one I’m wearing here
right now for example that can work really well.
Otherwise maybe a stripe. Personally, I wore a striped black and silk
wedding tie on my wedding during day.
Can I wear colorful socks to a wedding as a guest?
Again this is not your time to shine so I suggest you tone it down
and you’re simply there to support the bride and groom.
It’s not about your style, it’s about them. And having flashy socks maybe draws the
attention away from them to your socks and that’s not the purpose so I’d skip them.
Is it ever proper to wear white as the groom? You know in different cultures
men wear different things and if the bride and you are comfortable doing so
why not, right? I mean it’s your thing.
Traditionally it’s not something that has happened in the Western Hemisphere
but after all the white wedding dress you know hasn’t always been around and
if you go to China for example they oftentimes like to get married in red so
if you maybe if you’re maybe in a warmer climate where black you know would just
overheat or make you hot maybe white or off-white could be an option to think about.
Generally no, not traditional. Noticed the stripes gray baggy pants and black
jacket with long back What’s the proper name?
Well yes striped grey pants they’re also sometimes called
cashmere striped pants because it used to have some amount of cashmere but
they’re even called that way today even though they may not have any cashmere in them.
But very similar to the ties, it’s a special kind of pants between black
and grey that often time has a little pattern
maybe a herringbone pattern maybe just different stripes in different
widths. But it’s often times or
it’s traditionally worn with a morning coat and we explain a lot more about that in our
Morning Dress Guide which you can find by clicking the card on
the top right. You can also wear with a
stroller suit which is just a kind of a regular suit jacket with peak lapels one or
two buttons and it just gives the whole outfit a formal
character but it breaks it more up than a suit would.
So I personally like it a lot especially for weddings because it just is unique but
not totally out there. Can I wear loafers if I’m a wedding guest?
I’d say it depends on the kind of loafers, right?
If you’re trying to wear like red suede loafers then I
would say nope stay clear of that. If you wear a dark leather loafer maybe a
penny loafer I think that would be appropriate for most weddings today
at least in the US because the formality standard has certainly
slipped and having a nice pair of loafers is better
than an ugly pair of black boxy toe rubber-soled dress shoes
that most people think they are which in fact they’re not.
So overall I think it depends a little bit on the event.
If your dress code reads black tie optional a loafer is not the right shoe
but you can learn what you should wear in those situations in our Black Tie Pocket Guide.
What is your opinion on double-breasted jackets as a wedding guest?
Now traditionally or historically double breasted was always a notch more formal
than a single breasted jacket. For that reason, they always had peak lapels
so you would never find a double-breasted coat with notch lapels
and even today you don’t find it. Now especially in Italy people like Lino from
Al Bazar have popularized that notion of having a casual
double-breasted jacket. However if you wear a dark suit for example
or a blazer combination you can wear double-breasted.
It’s actually more formal. It’s more suited to the event of a wedding
and so the answer is yes. You can absolutely wear it. I just maybe make
sure you know with a blazer don’t have
gold contrasting buttons but for a charcoal suit for example, awesome right?
Maybe stay clear of you know the boldly patterned linen double-breasted sport coat
with patch pockets. Keep it more formal, have either jetted pockets
or flap pockets. As a wedding guest, are simple patterns okay
to wear or stick with solids? Honestly I think you can wear a subtle pattern.
You know if it’s a faint stripe or like the shirt I’m wearing here right now.
It may look all solid white to you. It’s actually a faint white on white stripe.
It’s more like woven into the pattern so something like that you can definitely wear.
I just stay away from like you know bold orange and white stripes
but the fine subtle pattern can work. Think about maybe going with a
Winchester shirt which means that the collar is white that way it gives it a
very kind of formal dapper look that doesn’t draw away the attention from the wedding
couple. Is there a rule for gentlemen to dress conservatively
so to not outdo the groom? As I said you know especially today grooms
can wear whatever they want and especially in the US,
traditions are not really a good guideline anymore. And I’ve gotten quite a few wedding invitations where no dress code was stipulated.
So I mean first of all I know the couple so I kind of know are they outdoorsy people
who don’t care about clothes. So chances are they’re probably not going
to wear a black tie at their wedding. However since it’s a wedding they will probably
always try to do something special so the best
way is really to communicate with them and figure out what are they wearing and
then you just take it a notch down. If you are just a good dresser and the groom
is not I’d say you know just keep it simple in terms
of your colors. Keep it muted, keep it dark, nothing flashy. And if someone complements you then that’s
great but the majority of people will likely you know, not perceive you as being like
the peacock with his top hat in the crowd of poorly dressed people.
So no hard rules it’s more common sense. What do you think about white tie? When should
you wear it and when not to? Well white tie is the most formal evening
ensemble a man or a groom can wear. So there are not many occasions anymore these
days and for example on my wedding day I’m
a clotheshorse I was like I want to wear white tie
because that’s traditionally what you know men wore and
it’s just one of those garments that’s very different than a suit.
It has tail coats and it just makes you look very very different in a great way.
So I wanted to wear that and so I knew that other people you know
never probably heard of a white tie ensemble. So putting it on a wedding invitation would
make people uncomfortable because then they have to
kind of know I have to rent something which is bad
or buy something which is super expensive. So I just wore it myself as a groom and as
the groom you can always be a notch above all others
because you know you’re the special person that day.
So as a guest I would not wear it unless a dress code stipulates white tie
and I don’t even think the Royal weddings these days stipulate that dress code.
I mean I can’t tell from firsthand experience because I’ve never been invited to one.
But overall it’s the highest thing. So as a groom okay
otherwise do not wear it to wedding. Can I wear unorthodox clothing at my wedding
like all black or no tie, shirt unbuttoned? Well you can do it because it’s your wedding,
right? The question is do you want to be perceived
as well-dressed or do you care about classic
clothing at all? You know traditionally like an all-black outfit
was not something that men wore for a wedding. They wouldn’t even wear it for a funeral
you know they would still wear like a white shirt because that was a standard.
And most grooms that I’ve encountered you know they sometimes they don’t know really
what they want and but a few years back and you know they want
to look at the pictures they regret if they didn’t put
the best foot forward. So I would say no, think about it.
Think about what makes you comfortable but overall you know what would you think
in 10, 20 years from now you know or would your kids say, “Hey dad why did
you look so sloppy in your wedding pictures” you know just something to keep in mind.
What about wearing seersucker in a warmer climate for a wedding?
I think it’s great you know in a southern US it’s more traditional
in a sense that you see it more often oftentimes like the wedding party all the
groomsmen wear seersucker. Sometimes you know just a blazer with chinos
or even I’ve seen like Nantucket red sometimes an
entire suit. It’s definitely different
but it’s appropriate for the surroundings. And so as a guest I would
only wear it if I know that it’s acceptable. So I’d reach out to the hosts
just to figure out if it’s okay because a seersucker suit you know definitely stands out. If you’re in Europe
seersucker is much more unusual and people may not know what it is
but since it’s a lighter color it definitely stands out more
so do it with caution and communicate. Can you wear a blazer instead of a suit to
a wedding? As I said many weddings have become quite
informal and sometimes you see people
even showing up in denim and tennis shoes which is terrible by the way and
you should never do that because it’s disrespectful in a way if someone has
planned so much and put so much effort into it. Unless of course, that’s what the bride and groom wear and that’s what
they want you to wear then you just have to swallow your pride even if you only wear
suits normally and go with what they ask you to wear.
With a blazer and a combination with chinos, I think can be
perfectly fine for a wedding especially like you know if it’s a garden party wedding
or you know the bride and groom are not you know they
maybe just wear a regular suit. If they wear a tuxedo you know and stuff maybe a three-piece suit would be a better choice
but otherwise a blazer can work for sure. What do you do if you were a signet ring on
your left pinky and then also want to wear a wedding band ring?
Personally I think having those rings right next to each other in your left hand
looks awkward because it’s not proportional especially if
you don’t have anything on your right hand maybe
consider switching your pinky ring to or your signet ring to your right hand
because even if you have a signet ring on your ring finger don’t wear it with your wedding
band. The wedding band is on its own and there should
be no other ring on the finger or close to it. Just curious to know if you personally like opera pumps and if you own a pair or several?
If you follow our pictures, if you checked out our Black Tie Guide you’ll
see some of my opera pumps or called court shoes.
One of the things that most people get wrong is that
they think any kind of loafer type that is patent leather or black with a bow on it
is a court shoe or opera pumps. These two words can be used interchangeably
but there are also slippers. So an opera pump
is defined by its deep cut out and please check out our Black Tie Pocket Guide.
I explain it there visually so you can see it.
But the difference is basically with a court shoe you can see a
fair amount of socks. A slipper on the other hand is more like a
shoe in the sense that the tongue reaches up further
and you cannot see the socks. That’s the wrong kind of shoe for evening
wear. You don’t want a slipper you want a pair of
opera pumps. Some men feel uncomfortable in them because
they feel they are somewhat effeminate but there’s still you know worn by royalty at court of course
but once you wear them out they’re very easy to put on and I think they just add
a different look to your entire black-tie outfit.
So if you wear a black tie a lot just switching up you know
between Oxfords and opera pumps it’s just a good way to create a different
look. So I like them.
What about wedding gifts, how far should you go without showing off?
Good question. So wedding gifts are hugely dependent on the
culture you’re in. If you’re in Spain for example you know people
expect you to pay for an expensive dinner and then you
have to shell out two or three hundred euros probably.
In Germany you know where I’m from it’s very common that people
try to put their best foot forward and even if they’re usually you know more frugal people they try to make you a substantial gift you
know because it’s for a wedding couple they’re just
starting their life together and so they they just you know go all out.
And yes, if you make a gift you know that’s very ostentatious
that bit can become as showing off but I doubt any wedding couple
will ever be disappointed about getting too much cash you know.
They spent a lot of money on the wedding and they probably want to go their
honeymoon or just buy some furnishings so if you really like them and you want
to give them a big gift like cash is always welcome.
What you should avoid is appearing to you know cheesy in a way.
If you, you know if you just give someone like 20 bucks as a
wedding gift I almost find that insulting. So if you are in a tight budget you know maybe
create gift that you know they like if it’s maybe
something from the registry or maybe you can use your time maybe you can you know
create a nice poem for them or write a song for them or something that’s very
popular in Germany actually is that you know you create a kind of wedding magazine.
So you take maybe the cover of Time magazine you know
put a picture of the wedding couple there and you create
a printed magazine it’s about you know the story of both the bride and the
groom which is great for the guests because you know chances are they only
know one side of the party so they can learn more about the other side,
how they got to know each other and then you can
sell this magazine at the wedding that way you know you really help the wedding
couple you create something awesome and unique that nobody else can and you can
do that on a very low budget. So something for everybody.
Is it appropriate to wear a pocket square in a wedding?
Absolutely like a pocket square is just one of those things that can
elevate your outfit in a moment, right? And so it’s your wedding day I think it’s
a must if you’re in the wedding party I mean if you’re
a wedding party and your groom doesn’t wear one you
shouldn’t wear one right you have to do with what they want basically but even
as a guest you know if you wear like a white shirt and have this white pocket square
I think looks great very dapper, very elegant, very suited to
weddings. Is it appropriate to dress in the same formal
level as the groom? Traditionally that was the rule.
Yes, if you go back and you look at pictures and you see you know that the groom
I mean groom, groomsmen are all wearing whites tie or all wearing black tie
that’s okay you can do that but I would communicate with the groom first
because oftentimes they want something special for example I’ve seen
where all the groomsmen you know everyone wears a tuxedo they pretty much
all the same but then the groom wears a red boutonniere and the others wear a white
one for example. So communicate. That’s the best advice here.
I am wearing a stroller for my wedding then changing into a tuxedo for reception at night.
My groomsmen will not be changing though and will have to rent their outfit.
Should they wear tuxedos despite a daytime wedding or just a gray three-piece suit?
The dress code is black tie optional. Very good question.
At my wedding I changed too. I went from morning coat to tail coat white
tie. What you do is the same appropriate level
you wear a stroller suit in during the day and
then a tuxedo. That’s great and it’s fantastic.
My advice for you would be when does your wedding start, right?
When is the majority happening of your wedding if you were you know you’re starting out at
11 a.m. and then you know there’s an event and then
later on in the evening you switch to black tie.
I think having a dark three-piece suit is the best way to go for your groomsmen
because you know your dress code is black tie optional so they can still
wear that maybe they can just wear a tie during the day
and switch to a black bow tie in the evening. That gives them a different look but they don’t really have to change like
they can do that quickly and if they don’t know how to tie a bowtie check out
our video teach them it’s very doable. That way I think you get the best
of both worlds. If let’s say your event you know starts at
4:00 p.m. and you just want to wear a stroller because
you want to wear it you can you can have them just get a tuxedo right
away because the majority of the event is going
to be in the evening. I hope that answers the question.
Are lapel pins or flowers too flashy as a wedding guest?
Tough one. I think especially today you know not so many
men wear boutonnieres anymore and it’s oftentimes a way to distinguish the
groom in the wedding party so you don’t want to appear like you know you want to
be part of that or want to be mistaken as one of the groomsmen or the wedding party.
So as a guest I’d stay clear of it unless of course you know they you know
that they want you to wear it or they’ve expressed that “Hey anyone can wear a
boutonniere. We welcome that.” Then it’s totally fine but when in doubt I
would not wear it especially as a guest. Alright in case you haven’t heard
about it yet we created our Morning Dress Guide
which is about Morning wear and what you know some people may wear it very rarely. But if you want to wear it, you want to get
it right. And so we created this guide which is all
about history, do’s and don’ts all the details
and you can check it out by clicking the card in the top right.
What kind of hat would you recommend for a wedding if you’re just an invited guest?
If you wear morning coat for some reason very unusual you know wear a top hat
otherwise never wear a top hat. If the wedding is like black tie, I’d say
wear like a Homburg hat it’s just a good
good alternative. If you will be the only one wearing a hat
you know it’s okay to wear a hat as a guest take it
off when you’re like in the buildings you know
inside and in church all of those things but I’d stick with a dark hat.
Not something you know brown with a flashy band
just something dark like charcoal, black something that’s not too flashy
because with a hat you already stand out a little more
and you just don’t want to be the center of attention.
What accessories should I wear as a guest and as a groom?
Well let’s start with a groom. I think as a groom you know you should
always have a double cuff shirt for cufflinks. That’s just more appropriate of course
if you wear white tie you can wear single cuff sure but also with cufflinks
but cufflinks are a must. Then as a groom I also think you should have
a pocket square and a boutonniere because it’s your wedding day and you know
it’s so boutonnieres is so often associated with
with weddings that it would be bad not to have one.
Then personally you know I’m not a big fan of wristwatches but some
people are so you can wear that since you have already quite a few accessories
going like it you know the boutonniere and a pocket square try to don’t also
have a know a tie clip and a collar bar. It just gets too much, right?
You don’t want to be an overloaded Christmas tree.
You want to be stylish and well dressed. So if you want to wear a pocket watch
you know instead of a wristwatch, definitely a cool item that makes the look
a little more unique and vintage.
Otherwise for your shoes for example if you have oxfords and it’s an evening wedding you can go with maybe you know an evening shoe lace
that is wider that matches your bowtie for example.
In terms of socks, I suggest you know go with over the calf socks so
no one sees your hairy legs but as the groom if you want to go with a little
more color it’s okay probably toning it down is better overall choice. Again it’s up to you and then I would wear any some form of neck wear as the groom
whether it be a tie or a bow tie the choice is up to you.
You can play with colors. It’s your day. If you want to wear a hat I think it can be
difficult. I had a top hat because
I had the morning coat and even You know it’s like an accessory.
It’s great for pictures it makes everything look different and you can
always take it off and someone else can hold it so you get pictures with both things.
Yeah those are basically the things I consider for accessories.
For the guest, I think yeah it’s very similar except you know don’t wear the
boutonniere, wear the pocket square. Maybe you can go with a tie clip
but don’t try to do like the tie clip the vest or the collar clip.
Keep it simple. Stay away from like crazy socks because there’s just to eye catching and it’s not about you
it’s about them. So someone mentioned hats.
You can do so but again keep it in dark colors as to not outshine the groom.
Cufflinks are always good. Also as a guest try to go with simple patterns
you know, Don’t get out the shiny sparkly diamond set
that’s just too much. Okay I think we’re coming close on a thirty
minute mark here. And we want to keep it there
because then it’s like you know in-depth enough that I can answer a few questions
but also not too long so people have to kind of click through a video afterwards to
find everything. So thanks for joining our live Q&A.
In the future we’ll try to do it more regularly but we’re
currently actually bought a new house because we’re expecting a child.
So we’ll be moving and stuff. We’ll have more space and we’ll have a more
regular schedule. So give us a little bit of time
and everything will be much smoother more regular and more predictable.
So you always know when we come online so you don’t miss us.
In the meantime it’s a little more off-the-cuff so thanks for
understanding and make sure to check out our Morning Dress Guide and especially
the free Black Tie Pocket Guide on our website. So I hope it’s very helpful to you.
If you’ve any feedback let us know we’re always open to that.
Use our contact form on the website and Cheers! See you around. Thanks!