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Grooms: Attire for Every Time, Place, and Formality

Looking for the proper way to choose your wedding attire? Time, place, and formality are the driving forces behind the wedding suit.

Photo: Gary Oakley

A Mountain Resort


Formal, Winter, 5 p.m.
Our pick: A black tuxedo, white shirt, vest, and bow tie is the quintessentially classic groom ensemble for a formal nighttime affair. Vests, especially those in dark solids, are generally more slimming than cummerbunds, as long as you stay away from bold patterns or bright colors (which will draw eyes to the abs...or gut).

A Private Club


Semiformal, Fall, 2 p.m.
Our pick: When the sun is still up, you're allowed to loosen the rules. Go for a black tuxedo (or a very dark suit) over a tone-on-tone shirt set, such as a gray oxford and a long platinum tie (blues, greens, and purples look great too). That splash of monochromatic color looks crisp and finished but adds just a touch of irreverence.

A Catering Hall


Semiformal, Late Fall, 6:30 p.m.
Our pick: Switch in a long silk tie to the classic tuxedo ensemble and you'll create a look that's still dressy but less stuffy (and keeps the "semi" in semiformal). What transforms a long tie from a corporate staple into a dapper accessory is color-black is best when you're dressing for an evening event.

The Backyard of the Bride's Home


Dressy Casual, Summer, 5 p.m.
Our pick: Pair a platinum suit with a white shirt and a colorful, graphic tie-preferably with a print that coordinates with the wedding colors. The sophisticated suit color says, "I'm a groom and a good host;" but the tie says, "I have style."

On the Beach


Casual, Spring, 5:30 p.m.
Our pick: If a lightweight pair of khakis and a white linen shirt is too nongroomish for your taste, go for a khaki suit with a white or light shirt and no tie (anything dressier and the word "casual" loses all meaning). Feel free to wear leather sandals or flip-flops.

-- Joanna Saltz

See More: Tuxedos + Attire