While we’re suckers for a gorgeous bridal gown (I mean, who isn’t?), we can’t help but notice the amazing shift in groom’s attire in today’s wedding scene. For more on menswear trends, we tapped Kate Donachy, owner of Modern Gent, a luxury men’s outfitter known for their sleek silhouettes and contemporary fits. Originally hailing from Toronto, she has been styling and designing luxury menswear for over 7 years in the Southeast. Kate answered all our questions about how to dress your guy for perfection, because there’s nothing worse than a gorgeous dress alongside an ill-fitting and out-of-date tuxedo.
My groom doesn’t like the way a rental tux fits from past weddings he’s been a groomsmen in, on his day what other options does he has? I’ve worked really hard to curate a rental program with nicely fitted styles- European cuts, slim pants, tailored shirts, so rental doesn’t have to be the painful process he may have experienced in the past. I love to have my grooms do a trial fitting in their preferred style and this allows him to get excited, and us to really dial in the fit. But if the budget allows, I always recommend the groom buys his own tux or suit if possible or lets us design a custom piece. This allows for additional and specific tailoring to suit his body type and he always feels a little extra special!
What will the cost range be like for a custom tux?
Custom is a really special process and a great investment. We take 45 measurements and cut a pattern specifically for the client, and the styling details he will get to choose make it a piece that’s uniquely his. Costs will vary really widely with fabric priced per yard being the main “X” factor. For a fully handmade piece, typically we land between $1,800- $3,200 depending on fabric range.
How far in advance from the wedding date should a groom be fitted for his custom tux?
Actual production time is 4-6 weeks, so we recommend 10 weeks out to get started (or earlier if possible). The design work is done with our staff locally and our world-class production factory is in New York, so we need to account for shipping time. If you expect your sizing to fluctuate we would want to account for that in the timeline too.
But what about the groomsmen – will he match them? Does he have to? Traditionally, you did tend to see groom matching the groomsmen exactly, but it always reads a bit more sophisticated and stylish when the groom stands out from the guys. It can be as subtle as a different pocket square or bowtie, or as obvious as a different tuxedo altogether. As long as the groom is consistent in formality- mix it up!
At what point in the planning process do you recommend rounding up the groomsmen for sizes and fittings?
The guys can tend to be a bit of an afterthought in the planning process, but I like to see my clients as far ahead of the wedding as possible, which leaves all product options on the table. Also, when I hit fashion week in New York twice a year, it allows me to keep them in mind if they are looking for something unique. As far as suiting up the whole party with rentals, ideally we start 3-4 months out from the wedding. Our services stand out from other men’s stores in that we handle all the men’s rental tuxedo sizing details on the couples behalf. We reach out to groomsmen, advise on their sizing and where to get measurements, and keep them on a timeline. If the wedding is local to Atlanta, we come onsite to your hotel block to fit up the guys and swap sizing. If you’re out of state or planning a destination wedding, we ship directly to the guys and follow up with them for adjusted sizing needs!
When we think of rental tuxes, we can’t help to think of MC Hammer pants. How have rental tux styles evolved? Yes, rental tuxedos definitely have a stigma because of those awful full pants. Thankfully, it’s very much a thing of the past. The style now is definitely more trim-cut and close to the body. Our rentals all have a higher cut armhole, slimmer lapel, and run slim through the torso with tailored flat-front pants. For both tuxedo’s and suits, our fitted garments come standard with our rental package of $190, instead of being an upcharge.
Groomsmen come in all shapes and sizes, just like bridesmaids – should each guy wear a different tux that suits his body style or is there a universally flattering style of tux that works for everyone?
When it comes to rentals, always keep your guys in a slim cut. It seems counterintuitive, but even the bigger guys will always look more put together in a suit that runs closer to the body and sizing scales proportionately to a typical build so the tapering is less severe in larger sizes. The talent and experience of your stylist is important here too, because so many guys fall in between sizes. Having both the inventory options and knowledge of when to put someone in an odd-sized coat or shorter-rise pant can make all the difference.