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Tux accessories to help the groom stand out

rdawson808

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This may have an obvious answer but I thought I would ask for your thoughts and advice.

For our wedding we have decided on "black-tie optional" in order to encourage some guests to dress up a bit more than normal (it's in the evening and will be more of a large cocktail party and dinner rather than a formal ceremony and reception). Everyone will know me, so it's not like someone will confuse me for just another guest, but still I don't want to look like a copy of everyone else in a tuxedo.

I do not particularly care of a cumberbund and prefer to wear a waistcoat. The bride will hopefully be wearing a champagne-colored dress so I could match my waistcoat to that somehow. That will definitely set me aside from other men. But it may be hard to find a waistcoat that will work (both aesthetically and financially). Oh, and if I do go for a special waistcoat, do I match my tie to it? That sounds kind of gimmicky to me and it seems the tie should still be black.

Does anyone have any ideas on other accessories I can use or other way I can set myself apart from the rest of the men in attendance? The buttoniere?

thanks,
bob
 

philosophe

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Unless your friends are unusually well-dressed, you will of course stand out for wearing a tux that actually fits and a real tie. The boutonierre will set you apart, and the waistcoat idea sounds nice. If you can afford them, how about a special set of studs and links? Also, what sort of shoes will you wear? I am sure that the shoe mavens will agree that some beautiful footwear is in order.
 
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Congratulations both on your impending nuptials and your desire to bring a sense of tradition and formality to this special occasion.

The boutonnière is the traditional answer to your dilemma. It will set you apart from both your male guests (who will have no flowers) and your groomsmen (who traditionally have slightly less elaborate versions).

When it comes to matching your tuxedo accessories with the bridesmaid dresses, this is a matter of personal taste and I will tread carefully here. Let me just say that you appear to be a gentleman of refined tastes and as such you will want to think very carefully about playing around with the timeless elegance of eveningwear. The simple, stark contrast of black and white has made the tuxedo a stunning ensemble for over 100 years despite endless attempts to improve and revise it. Matching one's waistcoat/cummerbund with one's bowtie is seen by many as degrading the elegance of the formalwear by turning it into more of a costume or uniform. Subsequently, matching these accessories with a bride's (or bridesmaids') dress is all the worse. Food for thought.
 

rdawson808

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Thanks for your thoughts guys.

UA, any matching will be in color only. Champagne to champagne. There will be no pattern matching if that is what you are thinking.

Oddly, I don't need to stand out from my "best woman" as she's...a woman. Nor am I worrying about the matron of honor. In both cases they have been told to dress nicely for a cocktail party. Dressy and smart, but no formal gown or anything.

Philosophe, I have no idea what to do about the shoes. This is another one of those "what is proper" questions. Along with "what sort of tie with a waistcoat?"

bob

Here are examples of the sort of waistcoat I was thinking of (all from Mason-Peacock, a seller I happen to find using a Google search):





 

itsstillmatt

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Bob-

My wedding was also a cocktail party and dinner. Ours was black tie, but besides that, they sound pretty similar. I decided to simply wear the standard dinner jacket and pants with a lack tie and cummerbund. My wife wore an off white dress that was rather simple but elegant. I would say that 99% of the people there were dressed the same way with the dresses for the women not being as white as my wife's. I found it to be extremely comfortable to not be set apart from everybody else in dress. As you said about your own event, everybody knew that we were getting married, and everybody knew us. We did not need to advertise.

The big upside of going simple and classic is that you will always look at your wedding pictures with joy and not with the horror of what you thought looked good at the time.

Enjoy.
 

Margaret

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Originally Posted by rdawson808
Thanks for your thoughts guys.

UA, any matching will be in color only. Champagne to champagne. There will be no pattern matching if that is what you are thinking.

Oddly, I don't need to stand out from my "best woman" as she's...a woman. Nor am I worrying about the matron of honor. In both cases they have been told to dress nicely for a cocktail party. Dressy and smart, but no formal gown or anything.

Philosophe, I have no idea what to do about the shoes. This is another one of those "what is proper" questions. Along with "what sort of tie with a waistcoat?"

bob

Here are examples of the sort of waistcoat I was thinking of (all from Mason-Peacock, a seller I happen to find using a Google search):


Nice. I really like #3 and #2.
#1 is a nice look too, but the stitchwork isn't as fine as I'd like to see...
 
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Originally Posted by rdawson808
Philosophe, I have no idea what to do about the shoes. This is another one of those "what is proper" questions. Along with "what sort of tie with a waistcoat?"
Traditionally, there is only one option for black tie neckwear: a bowtie. End of story, full stop, period. A four-in-hand tie, like notch lapels and flap pockets, reduces the formality of a tuxedo by making it more like a business suit. Shoes are traditionally patent leather or, as a substitute, well-shined calfskin. They can be pumps or plain toe Oxfords. (No wing tips or brogues.) Once again, I don't want to imply that it's "wrong" to break any of these rules. But by providing the reasons behind these rules I believe you will be in a better position to decide whether or not to abide by them.
 

thinman

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I was recently reading the formal wear sections of "Dressing the Man" and "Gentlemen...." and the authors recommend either a colored pocket square or a colored vest to add some spice to the traditional black tie attire (with a buttoniere, I would skip the pocket square, but IMO a colored vest would work). IIRC they are emphatically opposed to matching tie and vest color and recommend only one item of color.
 

Dapper Dandy

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Does anybody know of a good place online where one can see good examples of formalwear? I'd like to see some good pics of a waistcoat, tux w/ cummerbund, tux w/ vest, white tie, stroller and morning coat.
 

philosophe

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Bob, those are very elegant and beautiful fabrics.
Re shoes, why not go for the pumps? You'd really look sharp.
Re the tie, just get the best black bow tie you can afford.
 

TCN

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You've gotten some great advice here, a proper tuxedo with a boutonniere will set you apart just fine. If you think you need to stand out more, I would recommend a stage act or reconsideration. Best wishes on your pending nuptials.
 

AlanC

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Get a sized, and perhaps single ended, bowtie. I would go very traditional and spend the money on just the right shirt, bow tie, stud set (try vintage) and pumps. You will always be able to use all of the above.

The focus of the wedding is the bride; you will stand out because she will be focused on you.
 

TCN

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Originally Posted by AlanC
The focus of the wedding is the bride; you will stand out because she will be focused on you.

Well said; I like that.
 

odoreater

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I agree with everyone else that a more elaborate boutonnière than the rest of the guys will definitely set you apart from the other guys. Also, keep your bride close at your side at all times - the arm candy will definitely set you apart
Contratulations and all the best to you and your bride-to-be.
 

rdawson808

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Originally Posted by AlanC
Get a sized, and perhaps single ended, bowtie. I would go very traditional and spend the money on just the right shirt, bow tie, stud set (try vintage) and pumps. You will always be able to use all of the above.

The focus of the wedding is the bride; you will stand out because she will be focused on you.



Dumb question: what's a single ended bowtie?

bob
 

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