Thursday 12 July 2012

MAN UP: Groom style

When it comes to weddings, pity our poor menfolk.

I say that not because there aren't ample opportunities for them to give into their most capricious sartorial fantasies in the same way that us brides can flounce every normal rule about spending on 'just one dress that you'll only wear once'. But because somehow in among the flowers, the cake and the prettiness of it all, our sexy, bearded other halves can get a little marginalised. If your groom is anything like mine, he will reach a point where he just nods and smiles and is happy for the whole circus to take part with just this minor involvement (picture me balancing on a ball emblazoned with stars, juggling bouquets, napkin fabric swatches and mixing our signature wedding cocktail all at the same time to calamitous effect. And most definitely with a veil and ring masters coat on, as you do). It's not that he or your groom are not interested, but such is the way of weddings that they are geared up to the girls and even civil partnerships can descend into the usual quirks and frills of the effeminacy of weddings. They are just not that man-friendly.

Enough now. I think it's time to take a stand. It does, after all, take two of you to tango and say those vows. Your man shouldn't just be confined to the sidelines in a staid top hat and tails with the dull duties of organising the transport and first night's accommodation. So without further ado - and taking inspiration from the manly inspiration that seems to be having a moment, think the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones, the Bond exhibition currently gracing the Southbank and Tom Ford's new London flagship opening - here's our little guide to groom aisle style and tips for the beards out there. Because you, sirs, are very wonderful individuals.
Boy George: the perennial bachelor who ironically, is such an aisle style icon...

Not enough men know about this fantastic one-stop-shop for some of the stylish attire, ever. From slim-fit Burberry suits to Richard James, Balenciaga, Acne cigarette-pant suits for a little Scandi-luxe that wouldn't look out of place on Alexsander Skarsgard  to John Lobb Monks (nope, we didn't know either until further investigation proved them to be buckled beauties that wouldn't look out of place at a rock and roll wedding) everything here is meticulously sourced and styled for maximum dashing effect. Don't fear the online nature of buying a suit either - the site thoughtfully includes a dedicated wedding section with Q & A's, and a guide to cuts, fits and size that makes it a doddle.

From top: Dolce & Gabbana Martini Velvet trimmed Tuxedo, £1,345; Alexander Skarsgard; AMI double breasted blazer, £430; Yves Saint Laurent Pique bib cotton tuxedo shirt, £365; Brooks Brothers cotton pique bow tie, £65; Drakes dotted silk pocket square, £45

Something of a sartorial legend, you cannot go wrong with one of the Nottingham designer's finest. Featuring riotous prints on the inside (those silk linings) and structured elegance on the outside, these are suits and accoutrement's with a particularly English touch. We love the curve of the notched lapels, the soft floral print shirts and the square-end ties for a little Madmen mid-century sophistication.

Left: Penny-Collar button shirt; the bar at Palazzo Margerita, Italy.

Think achingly cool. As in Brandon Flowers meets Roger Moore dressed by Roxy Music girls (if you follow...). Luxuriously made to measure or tailored to fit in sensuous fabrics with trays of knit ties, silk pocket squares in jewel colours and the inkiest of wools, these suits call for a muscle car arrival and a very, very nice watch. As they rightly say, perfect for grooms after classic style with an edge.

For those men who aspire to a little of that phosphorescent style and allure of Ryan Gosling or James Dean perhaps, pop a pair of these on a sunny wedding day for instant charisma. And give them to your groomsmen as gifts for some rat pack referencing photos.

'Of a bicycle made for two.....': do Riviera meets Hollywood chic:
hire a vintage moped to whisk your new bride away on
Unlike the bride, guests will most certainly see and take note of your footwear. Don't disappoint with some flamboyant leopard  print, velvety soft suede brogues and calf skin leather buckled boots in a desert style.

Left: Leopard print Sloane slipper ,£495 and above, Mayfair patent leather Derbys, £450. 

Inject your big day look with that certain va va voom only the French truly know how to do. We're talking sharp trousers with no socks, double breasted blazers in light cotton, neckerchiefs and teeny tiny skull motifs. The only issue is, if you look this hip, you need the wedding band to match. If money is no object, a DJ set from Jamie from the XX or Hotchip would do it. And we love the Wedding Smashers for tearing up a dancefloor simultaneously shredding the stereotype of the wedding DJ. Think a modern-day mixtape of every great song you ever heard.

From top: Jamie XX Djing; The Kooples ad campaign; Beige chevron suit, £379; Prince of Wales check bow tie, £35 in sale and Suede shoes, £122.50 in Sale; 
If you're going to work a tifter, it needs to be one of these. Fur felt top hats, or a navy Hornburg from their Lock and Roll collection make for the perfect finishing touch if you're a groom purist. And wear with a Favourbrook morning suit in steel grey for a modern take on 'top hat and tails'.

Cufflinks simply don't come any more special than these.
 Pheasant with Shotgun cufflinks, £225, and Triceratops cufflinks, £215;