Prom and wedding season happen in proximity to each other on the calendar, but—hopefully—they occur at very different periods in a man’s life. Even so, there are a couple of things these occasions share:
- There will be dancing.
- You should try to look your best.
- You should probably wear a suit.
Whether this is the first time you’ll be suiting up or if you’re looking to update your usual wedding attire, here are a couple of styling and fit pointers to make off-the-rack suits look off the hook.
Suiting rules and styles are constantly evolving—thankfully, or we’d all be wearing knee breeches and tails. Even if you’re not in the market for a new suit, you might make an honest assessment of your suiting staples to see if they abide by these guidelines.
With off-the-rack suits, it’s important to make sure that the shoulders fit. Any shoulder pads should end where your shoulders do—not before nor extending out beyond your frame.
Be sure to use a seam ripper on tack stitches placed on vents and pockets. Sometimes there will also be a designer’s label on the sleeve—this is like a price tag; it should be removed before wearing. Do all this seam ripping carefully so as not to tear the material. Put simply, if you don’t take this step you will look stupid no matter how great the suit.
Modern suiting favors a thin lapel. Your tie should match the width of your lapel. By the transitive power of suiting, your tie should also be thin if you’re wearing a contemporary cut.
Warm-weather dressing doesn’t require a light-colored suit, but wear a pale dress shirt during the spring and summer months and always keeping your tie in the ballpark of or darker than the shirt.
Don’t look like you borrowed your dad or your bro’s suit. Your jacket should hit at your pant’s zipper and cover your butt.
Vests are a great way to keep your fancy-man style in play once you hit the dance floor. Especially in the summer months, you might want to shed a layer during the afternoon or evening. If you opt for a vest, be sure to wear it with a single-breasted suit.
If your event or date tends to the more casual end of the spectrum, feel free to skip the dress shirt. Really, it’s cool.
Turtlenecks, print shirts and even T-shirts are acceptable with suits so long as you’re not letting anyone down. If your date is going to be in a sundress, it’s fine. If she’ll be in a cocktail or formal dress, wear a shirt and tie.
If the wedding is outside in a park, it’s cool to experiment. If it’s at a country club or church, stick with tradition. There are still rules, after all.