The Moment – a wedding special

Grooms are willing to play around with subtle style changes in their outfits

Brown and blues gain popularity, while others are still influenced by the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and want suits that reflect the tapered cuts of that era

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 11:49am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 May, 2017, 2:48pm

Today’s grooms are just as willing to rise to the occasion and dress up for their big day, and with a willingness to let trends inspire and a confidence to experiment, men are side-stepping the hard and fast rules of wedding dress attire.

The menswear movement has changed over the past five years with men much more educated on trends, grooming and accessories, says James England, who runs his own menswear label in Hong Kong.

Men no longer rely on trends and are more willing to play around with their style, and look at separate pieces “to create their own identity and reflect their personality, or to fit a subculture”, England says.

Hues of brown and blue have gained popularity, with some grooms taking one colour in varying degrees of shade to add a fresh mix, while others are still influenced by the 1920s, 30s and 40s and want suits that reflect the tapered cuts of that era.

Regardless, men are much more savvy about quality and craftsmanship and want a suit that will last for a number of years. “In turn, the suit has become a blank canvas, especially for weddings … to reflect trends or styles,” England says.

While slimmer silhouettes with tapered trousers are favoured by grooms prioritising comfort, tuxedos are still a perennial favourite at bespoke tailor Ascot Chang, though grooms are more likely to opt for subtle variations to the traditional black, one-style-fits-all model.

Suit jackets have become shorter and many grooms want their wedding suits to reflect this trend. As a result, tuxedos have become shorter, but an exposed derriere, however well-dressed, is a big no-no for grooms. “Wedding photographs are meant to last a lifetime, and the most avant-garde trends now may look dated a few years down the road,” says assistant general manager, Justin Chang.

In turn, the suit has become a blank canvas, especially for weddings… to reflect trends or styles
James England

Midnight navy and matching silk lapels is the new black among tuxedo-wearing grooms, which lends a richness in colour for daytime garden weddings, “but will still maintain an air of formality when transitioning to the ballroom”, Chang says.

Men’s growing appreciation for fashion extends to the finer details of their attire and the shawl lapel is a big trend. Ascot Chang is making more of those than at any time in recent memory, and while these come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, slim, rather than skinny, is preferable for a classic look.

Wedding attire doesn’t end with the suit and even the most soberly dressed groom can play with accessories. A subtle flower lapel pin can be a simple, elegant addition to a tuxedo and replace the traditional boutonniere bouquets that can look large and clumsy, Chang says.

Less formal weddings equal more relaxed attire and looser rules in how the groom should dress. Cotton and linen suits are popular for outdoor venues such as the beach and the softer fabrics are a more comfortable option in the sun.

This is an ideal time to play with accessories, add colour and coordinate with groomsmen for a cohesive pop of fun. England says, this is where most of the trends are within formal wear, with men choosing to do this rather than blindly following trends “to add fun or a particular style to an outfit”.

While it’s fine to have fun with colour, Chang warns against going overboard with too many elements. “Generally, if you have a colourful bow tie, then keep the pocket square a simple white,” he says.