Bye-Bye Bow Tie
Today, being a stylish groomsman has a lot to do with what's worn underneath the jacket. We're seeing tuxedos with long (not bow) ties, and with vests instead of cummerbunds. "More and more grooms are ordering cravat [long] ties, non-pleated shirts, and three-button jackets, which is a more modern option," says Brian Regenstreich, manager of Zeller Tuxedos in New York.
Make every groomsman's boutonniere different, but match them with the bouquet of the bridesmaid he escorts down the aisle.
Beyond the Tux
If you're having a casual affair, go ahead and ditch the tuxes. Instead, dress the guys in blazers, and match something in their outfits (a pocket square, a tie, a belt, their socks!) with the overall color scheme. For a great casual look, have your party wear khaki pants they already own, and ask them to all get the same navy blazer. Another way to coordinate? Order extra fabric from the bridesmaid dresses to make matching ties for the groomsmen -- this is a great way to tie the party together.
Don't Forget Gramps
Many grooms are paying respect to their elders by getting them matching tuxedos. "More and more grooms come in with their grandfathers," says Regenstreich. "If the grandfather is not officially in the party, at least he'll feel like he's part of the celebration with the tuxedo he wears." If you don't want him to look identical to the party, have the grandfathers wear the same style tux and shirts, but a slightly different shade of tie than the groomsmen. That way they'll still be noticed as special, but they'll be distinct from the party.
If your groomsmen are white-collared business types, chances are they spend a lot of their workweek in a suit or blazer. Give them a unique, personalized gift that will add to their wedding day style and that they'll also be able to use again and again. Cufflinks with their initials are a great gift, or you can go for styles that suit the personality of the guy who'll wear them. For the banker, get dollar signs or 'buy' and 'sell' links; for the sports fan, a baseball and mitt. The men in your party will appreciate the thought, and they'll also be thankful that they don't have something identical to the other five groomsmen at your wedding.
Vary the Boutonnieres
It's nice to have the wedding party somewhat coordinated, but it's totally acceptable to have the best man's boutonniere be different than the other members of the party. Another idea? Make every single groomsman's boutonniere different, but match them with the bouquet of the bridesmaid he escorts down the aisle. Decide what each pairing will be by using different colors of the same flower, or all different flowers in the same color. If the men in your party object to donning flowers of any sort, or if you want a more masculine look, consider boutonnieres of wheat, herbs, or leaves.
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