Hi, Mr. Silentist! I'm attending a wedding in late July. It's an outdoor wedding during the day and the temp will be around 20C (~70F). The invitation says "Semi-formal or smart-casual". Aren't these totally different things? Either way, I'm thinking I'll wear a chino suit in khaki or navy. Or a chino sportcoat in the same with separate pants. Thoughts? Shirt/tie/trouser/jacket/shoes combo? Any particular brands you can point me towards? I'd like to keep my budget under $1000. Thanks!
So, I'm getting married in semi-Northern California (think mountains and trees, not beach or vineyards) in July and seeking knowledge from the tumblrsphere. I want to get a new suit, shoes, etc, but I'll have a pretty tight budget. I'm thinking I'll be capped around $1500. Any suggestions on where to start?
Sup My Man, so the big wedding was this past Saturday. I ended up ordering a knit tie from lands end in wine, and paired it with my new year round navy suit. Also i got the opportunity to try a ESF shirt at a brooks brothers store, hands down best OTR shirt for me. I got so many complements that day it was really good and i did learn that it's all about the classic and elegant stuff (And i still haven't taken it to the tailor.) Funny watching "sartorially people" trying it so hard. Thanks hommie
I agree with most of your advice for the guy looking for a wedding outfit, but don't discount wearing a black grenadine or knit tie. I that would look smashing with a navy suit. This is what Jesse Thorn said about it: "This is it, people. White shirt. Navy suit. Black grenadine necktie.Whether or not you are the coolest man in the world, you will look great in this outfit in any situation. Perfectly conservative, perfectly tasteful, spectacularly elegant."
Hi, I asked for your advice not so long ago about a versatile Suit. After reading your kindly advice, the time has come for me to dress up. I have a wedding of a close friend in 2 months. I have been waiting for that coupon to come for the Land's End tailored fit without luck. Would you wait a bit or pull the trigger on the T.H Trim line at Mayc's? Navy Tailored Suit , ESF BB White Shirt. Black or Navy Knit Tie? Pocket Square Color?
Got a wedding coming up in 6 weeks but I don't own a suit. I'm hoping to find a deal or a thrifted suit, but if not I have a khaki sportcoat that fits perfectly, and a purple gingham spread-collar shirt and navy silk knit. Would that work with navy trousers, or should I look for another color odd trouser? I'll probably wear brown cap-toe shoes.
John from blacklisterblog e-mailed me his experience with Jos. A. Banks and why he chose to use them for his wedding party, despite the obvious negatives:
I’d like to chime in with my JAB experience. Last year, my groomsmen and best man needed matching suits. They are, to put it kindly, “careful with money”, or to put it cruelly, “cheap”. We needed a place that was inexpensive and offered the same suit in a variety of sizes (in our case, ranging from “software programmer” to “ex-Marine”). Midtown Manhattan has a JAB and a Men’s Wearhouse across the street from each other.
I second everything the PTO article says, except where staff is concerned. The JAB staff was very nice and backed off until we summoned them. Contrast this to the hyper-aggressive MW staff, and you have a much better shopping experience. The clothes are more Ford Taurus than Ford Mustang, which is to say they serve their purpose but are lacking in style. The cuts are boxy and generic, probably to fit the maximum range of body types. Frankly, I doubt the typical JAB customer notices or cares. Silentist is right in saying that these stores are built for the majority of men (aka, slobs) who think a suit is a suit is a suit and it might as well be cheap/easy.
Don’t give them your email address unless you want to be spammed three times a day with whatever pseudo-sale they have every other hour. I say “pseudo-sale” because, as the PTO article also points out, they inflate the price in order to mark it back down and trick you into thinking it’s a deal. Charles Tyrwhitt does the same perma-sale chicanery. Being a national chain came in handy for us.
One of my groomsmen lives in SF, which also had a JAB location. We emailed him the suit model # we picked in NYC and he got fitted out there, without needing a trip to the East Coast. Two hours before the ceremony, he realizes he packed the wrong suit. Crisis! Luckily there was also a JAB location in the small town I was getting married in. Best man runs to the car and saves the day.
In summary: if you’re the sort of guy who reads style blogs, you’re more Ford Mustang than Ford Taurus. These megastores are not for you.
Hope this helps.
This is a huge reason why JAB and MW gets a lot of business from wedding parties. I was involved in a similar experience last year where those in the wedding were spread out across the nation and needed to all be “fitted” (using the term loosely here) for a rental tuxedo. Also, it’s worth noting that MW is affiliated with David’s Bridal, so they upsell the bridal party into a package deal with the groom’s party — often matching fabric colors. (You can read more about my take on Men’s Warehouse rental tuxedos.)
In the end, I think you’re balancing convenience and cost against sartorial elegance. Having your party buy cheap suits and getting them altered is highly preferable though to having them rent, I’d say.
ADDING from badscene:
Just my 2 cents, but I had my groomsmen pick up suits from Lands End and they love them. I think we were able to pick them up on sale for ~160. Probably the same price as a rental and hopefully they’ll get a few more wears out of them.
Not a bad plan at all. Although, I like PTO’s suggestion slightly more of forgoing matching suits.