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Men's Wardrobe

Men_Wardrobe_0.It's the bride at any wedding who gets the most attention, and deservedly so; but it's a fact that it takes two to get married. The groom is more than just the little guy on the top tier of the wedding cake, or heaven forbid, an ornament on the bride's arm (we're talking about you, Britney), so both you and he need to pay a little attention to how he looks during the ceremony and afterward. Usually, this means he needs to be dressed up and, well, groomed to within an inch of his life. It's true that many couples tend to be somewhat informal nowadays when it comes to getting married, but most still opt for the formal church wedding over the informal variety -- and this means following specific traditions. Now, most men aren't into dressing up, but his own wedding is the one day in his life when it's absolutely necessary to look his sartorial best. At a traditional wedding, the groom should look more than merely presentable; he should, in fact, look sharp enough to cut himself -- though not so much that he outshines the bride. Ideally, that excellent appearance should extend to his attendants: the Best Man and, if he has them, the groomsmen.

For the traditional groom, tuxedos are de rigueur -- unless you're Dennis Rodman, the basketball star who wore a wedding dress to his marriage to Carmen Electra, but we won't go into that. A regular business-style suit or even an Oxford shirt and really nice slacks just won't cut it for a formal wedding. Tuxedos are more or less the apex of men's formal attire, but they do come in a variety of styles. The cut of the jacket is essentially the same across the tuxedo spectrum, but the rest of the outfit is quite variable. The jacket itself may be white, off-white, black, gray, or blue, and the accompanying trousers can be any of these solid colors, or even striped. Top hats are also a fun option for men's wedding attire, but in these modern bareheaded times, they might look just a tad old-fashioned. That particular touch is up to you and your groom.

Once you've got all the basics taken care of, it's time to consider the accessory garments: vest, tie, and cummerbund. The vest should compliment whichever jacket you choose, as should the necktie. With the tie, you have the option of a bowtie or a cravat; the latter looks a little old-fashioned (see above), but it's a lot easier to handle than the intricacies of the bowtie. As for the cummerbund, it too should compliment your outfit; however, it's become permissible to wear a slightly brighter cummerbund and tie, as long as the two match.

When it comes to shoes, you'll want nice formal shoes without embellishment, preferably made of patent leather. Make sure they shine! The same should be true of your cufflinks and tie tack (yes, gentlemen, you'll have to figure them out). The only jewelry the groom should wear at your wedding won't be put on until near the end of the ceremony itself -- and that's the wedding ring. The finishing touch should be a nice boutonniere that matches the bridal bouquet.

There's a bit more leeway when it comes to the Best Man and groomsmen, but in a traditional wedding, that leeway is quite limited. As with the bridesmaids, the idea is for the groom's attendants to wear matching attire. Unlike the bridesmaids, the attire of the groomsmen may be patterned after that of the groom, so no worries about ugly tuxedos meant to make the groom look good. What matters most is comfort and fit. This may require a trip to the men's wear shop, either severally or together, but generally it's a simple matter to rent an appropriate outfit once a decision has been made about what the guys should wear. Price is less an issue with tuxedos than it is with bridesmaids' dresses, since most men would prefer to rent than buy. Often, one can also rent shoes and other accessories to go with the tux. The general rule of thumb is to start looking as much as six months before the Big Day, and to book the rental no less than three months in advance. Be sure to confirm the rental several weeks in advance, just in case a problem has cropped up.

If you opt for a less formal wedding, the rules are somewhat relaxed when it comes to men's attire -- but that doesn't mean you should be slovenly. Nice business suits for the groom and all his attendants would look smart, no matter how informal the bride's planning to dress. Again, don't go overboard with the accessories. Shoes needn't be overly formal, but they should be dressy and unornamented.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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