Stylish advice for grooms, fathers-of-the-bride and ushers

mousy brown haired male model in a light brown suit Choosing your wedding dress is only part of the story when it comes to styling your big day. In order to achieve a coordinated look, it's important to think about what the men who make up the wedding party will be wearing. What you choose will ultimately come down to the style of wedding you're planning, the location and of course the time of year. Here Cliff Bashforth, MD of Colour Me Beautiful shares with us his advice on how to ensure that they not only look the part but feel comfortable too.

Do not overlook the men who will be at your wedding. What they choose, or you tell them, to wear must complement what you are wearing and be consistent with the rest of the bridal party. A little guidance on colour and fit will ensure that they, too, look the part and feel comfortable.

Men's Colouring
Light – His look is pale and youthful, and he may even have a sensitive skin. His beard is light and his hair blond or minimal. He has blond eyebrows and lashes, and his eyes are blue, grey or pale green. Don't overwhelm him with very dark colours: charcoal greys and light navy are best. IF he has to wear dark colours, make sure his tie/cravat is in a light shade.

Deep – His look is strong and definite. He has dark brown to black hair, and his facial hair is dark and prominent. His skin can be pale, through olive, to the darkest brown. He has deep, dark eyes. Keep his colours strong and deep. A shirt in a contrasting colour is also good.

Warm – He has an overall golden look consisting of ginger-blond, auburn or red hair. His skin is pale (often freckles) to olive and his beard may grow gingery. His eyes are green, blue or brown, perhaps with yellow flecks in them. Charcoal grey and navy are much better for him than black. Choose his shirt colour carefully: white will make him look as if he has been up all night, so go for soft white. ivory or cream.

Cool – His hair may be greying at the temples or completely grey, while his facial hair may be black with flecks of grey or white. He has rosy or pink tones to his skin if he is Caucasian, and a blue-grey undertone if he is black. His eyes can be any colour. Black works well, teamed with blues, pinks, lavenders and even burgundy. Avoid any browns or yellow-based colours.

dark haired male model in a deep red suit Clear – He has dark hair and bright clear eyes that can be green, blue, clear hazel or brown. His complexion is often pale with dark eyebrows and lashes. Because of his contrasting look he needs bright clear colours to complement his striking appearance. Fabrics with a sheen work well as they reflect the light. Contrast his look between dark and light or bright colours.

Muted - He has dark blond to medium brown hair with eyebrows and lashes to match. His skin ranges from light to dark olive with soft, blended tones in his eyes which can be blue, green, hazel or brown. He needs to avoid high contrast and is much better in a blended, tonal look – woven textured fabrics are perfect. Shantung ties and cravats work best. Avoid harsh contrast: charcoal grey and soft while will be far more flattering than black and pure white.

Getting the right suit or outfit for your partner is nearly as important as choosing your own dress. It's not just a matter of purchasing a smart suit: men's suits come in different shapes and cuts, so it is important to understand what his best style will be. Afterall what the groom wears will dictate the look for the rest of the men in the bridal party.

Take a look
This is the fun bit. Get your man to strip off in front of you and have a good look at him. His body shape will dictate what are the best looks for him, be it the shape of his suit, the type of fabric or the pattern on his tie. You may also need to consider his proportions. For example, a man with short legs does not look good in wide trousers, while tapered trousers will give a long-legged man a beanpole appearance.

Check the fit
· The collar of the jacket should fit against the collar of the shirt with no gap in between.
· Jacket sleeves should finish at the break of the wrist, allowing 1.5cm of shirt to show below the jacket sleeve.
· For a good fit the waistband of the trouser should sit as near to the navel as possible.
· The trouser legs should fall with one break only across the show.
· Details such as real buttonholes on jackets, double cuffs and cufflinks all add to the glamour of the day.

illustration of a man with a inverted triangle body shape

Men’s Body Shapes
Inverted triangle

Broad shoulders narrowing down to the hips. Any Italian styling with its wide lapels and shoulder lines will enhance his body shape – don't hide his athletic silhouette. Choose a crisp, lightweight fabric; any patterns should be geometric or striped. If he is short in the leg, make sure his trousers are not too wide.

illustration of a man with a rectangle body shape

Shoulders and hips in line with each other. Standard single or double-breasted British-cut suits will work well if your groom has this body shape – make sure the jacket is slightly waisted – as will all formal occasion wear. Just check his proportions and make sure his jacket sits well against his shirt collar and that the sleeves are the right length.

drawing of a man with an oval body shape Oval
Rounded shoulder line and fuller stomach. The fabric of his outfit needs to be soft to ensure the correct fit across the chest and stomach. If he has a particularly full stomach and his trousers tend to slip below it, consider persuading him into wearing a waistcoat to give a smooth and contoured look to his shape.

Buy or Hire
Bear in mind whether this is going to be a one-off outfit or something your partner will be able to wear for other occasions. To invest in an expensive suit when his normal working wardrobe consists of casual wear is not wise. If this is the case, consider hiring (and fitting) a suit.

If you're still unsure on how to dress the men in your bridal party, why not arrange a men's style consultation with Colour Me Beautiful for them.

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