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Grooms Waistcoat

waist-coatWhite dresses and veils, flowers and the cake are all at the top of the list when the wedding day is being planned and with today's modern man stepping forward and having a much bigger say in what he wears, a lot more consideration is now being put into his 'role' in complimenting the bride and bridesmaids colours.

One of the most popular ways to do this begins with the waistcoat.  Coloured and patterned waistcoats have come a long way since the hardest decision in the past was choosing between black or grey!

A waistcoat adds character to a groom's outfit and gives that added touch of class to the suit. 

Choosing a Grooms Waistcoat

When the time comes to choose your waistcoat you will have many things to consider, here are the things to bear in mind (along with the instructions from your future wife...)

  • Ensure the waistcoat is not too tight - remember you will be eating and drinking all day and evening and you need room to breathe.
  • Choose a high necked waistcoat if wearing a cravat.  The cravat can then be tucked in neatly and kept in place.
  • Colours that will compliment the wedding colour scheme should be incorporated when possible.
  • Its usually etiquette that the groom's waistcoat/attire is slightly different to the best man and others in his party.
  • The waistcoat should completely cover the top of your trousers and have none of the shirt showing.
  • Remember the saying 'you get what you pay for' so don't go ultra cheap, otherwise you may end up looking and feeling bad on your big day.
    • If you decide to order your waistcoat by post some tips to follow are:
    • Always wear a shirt when taking measurements.
    • Measure across the middle of the chest, under the arms and all around the back to full circle.
    • For a comfortable fit around the stomach, measure across the navel and all round back to full circle.
    • Don't forget to add your height and collar size.

Benefits for the Groom Wearing a Waistcoat

Wearing a wasitcoat on your wedding day is not just simply a matter of fashion but there are a few practical benefits as well.

  • If it gets hot or humid the jacket can be removed and the groom will still look smart and feel comfortable.
  • Once the jacket is taken off, the waistcoat helps keep the tie in place and stops the shirt from bunching up and working itself out of the trousers.
  • The small pocket in the waistcoat can be used to hold the wedding rings before the ceremony.
  • Waistcoats have a slimming effect and can look good on either small or large frames.

Type of Grooms Waistcoats

There are several types of waistcoats to choose from, here are some brief deatils.

  • The Traditional waistcoat for the groom can feature five, six or seven buttons with a small pocket on either side of the belly button and no collar.  There are literally thousands of colours and designs to choose from.
  • The Formal waistcoat is normally used exclusively with a tail suit.  With three small buttons that are positioned close together around the midriff and is available in either black or white.
  • Highland waistcoats feature five squared silver buttons and colours available are black, grey, navy or green.  Traditionally the waistcoat worn is the same colour as the jacket.  Developed exclusively to wear with the Prince Charles or Argyll Jackets.
  • To add that sense of tradition from the North of the Border are the Lowlander and Jacobite waistcoats.  These can have three, four or five silver buttons with elongated shoulders and is worn open.  A vast selection of colours and materials are available and recommendations are they should be worn with a Ghillie shirt.
  • The cummerbund is not a waistcoat but can be worn instead of one. This is a coloured piece of material that is wrapped around the midriff and fastened behind the back.  The cummerbund covers the top of the trousers and is worn with a matching bow tie.  This is ideally worn with a dinner suit.

Some Wasitcoat Tit Bits

If you are one of today's modern men that wish to keep your outfit a secret from your future bride the way to keep everybody happy and ensure your outfit compliments the wedding party is to have swatches from the bride that match her dress, the bridesmaids' dresses and the flowers.

You in turn can show your bride-to-be samples of colours and/or patterns that you can cut out from wedding magazines or swatches from the tailor's.  This can help ease her mind somewhat that your outfit will match what she has planned herself for the big day.

It is fashionable and traditional to leave the very last button unfastened.  This helps when you sit down as the last thing you want is a flying button!

Add that further touch of class and sophistication to your waistcoat by wearing a pocket watch on a belcher chain.

Don't use the back strap as if it is a corset - this will make you feel uncomfortable as well as ride up over time.

The groom is the most important man of the day and possibly the day when he will be photographed like never before or again in his life! It is only natural he wants to feel just as special as the bride as well as look and feel great.

Image showing waistcoat from KJ Beckett >>