Groom's Style File Q&As

The right look. The perfect fit. We've got the (not-so) secrets to great groom (and groomsmen) style.

Long & Short of It

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Q: Our groomsmen are all different heights, the shortest one being 5'7". Are there any fit issues my fiancé and I should keep in mind so all of his friends look great?

A: These days, the most popular jacket lengths range from 33 to 37 inches; to determine which tuxedo will look best overall, consider both the height and frame of your groom and all of his friends. Since one of your groomsmen is 5'7", don't select a coat more than 35 inches in length; anything longer will only make him seem shorter than he is. Apply the same thinking to the tuxedo vests. Consider an open-back rather than a full-back style, which sometimes can look long on shorter guys. And because an open-back vest is adjustable, it will provide a more uniform fit for groomsmen of varying heights.

A Tux With Muscle

Q: My fiancé works out a lot and, as a result, has a very broad chest and small waist. Any suggestions?

A: Your groom's best bet is a double-breasted tuxedo jacket; most are cut slimmer through the hips than a single-breasted jacket, so it's a style that will flatter his V-shaped frame. If he really wants to accentuate his physique—and you're planning an evening ceremony—apeak-lapeled tailcoat is ideal. The short-in-front, long-in-back coat will show off his slim waist, while the peak lapel will lead the eye up to those broad shoulders.

Sole Searching

Q: My fiancé is going to wear an ivory tux to match my gown, but his groomsmen are wearing black. What color shoes should they all wear?

A: For basic formalwear colors—black, white or ivory—the general rule is that the men in the wedding party should match their shoes with their pants. So, your groom should wear ivory shoes, while his groomsmen wear black ones. For grooms considering a tux in a trendy color, the best solution is to consult a formalwear retailer about the most complementary shoe shade.

Knight and Day

Q: Does time of day really affect which tuxedo we select? We're planning an ultra-formal ceremony, but the wedding is at 11 a.m. What's the best choice?

A: For a daytime wedding—that is, anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.—opt for a gray cutaway, a jacket that tapers from the front waist button to a long, wide back tail. The cutaway jacket is traditionally paired with an ascot tie, a gray vest, a white wing-collar shirt and striped trousers; several formalwear manufacturers, however, offer variations on the cutaway look, featuring a long tie instead of an ascot, or solid gray pants in place of striped ones