Virginia wedding

Suits for the Groom: A Basic Guide to Fit and Style

While everyone’s eyes are on the bride and her dress on the big day, the groom and his suit are what the bride will be focusing on the most. Just as a bride picks out her dress to fit her personal style and the theme of the wedding, the groom’s suit should do the same. Menswear is all about the details and the fit. Making sure that you understand those details can make it easier to find the perfect suit for the groom.

When considering what suit style works best for the groom start by thinking about the overall picture. There are four major suit styles that have different details and cuts that make them distinct. No matter what suit style your groom decides on, getting the suit tailored is essential. While the classic tuxedo cut is traditionally the suit that most men wear for weddings, more modern grooms and designers are steering away from the classic and are making these other three styles more wedding appropriate and work as a two-piece or three-piece suit.


  • Classic Tuxedo Cut- This style hasn’t changed much over the past 100 years and has a timeless look. The tuxedo jacket has specific pants that must be worn with the jacket. The jacket has a shawl collar that is made with satin or grosgrain ribbon. The jacket is single breasted with one button and sits at the high hips with a semi-fitted cut. By having just one button on the jacket, this creates a deeper V with the jacket and allows a cummerbund or waistcoat to be more predominant. There are traditionally no vents in the back of a tuxedo jacket. The pants are made out of the same material as the jacket and must have satin or grosgrain ribbon running down the outside seam of the pants. Tuxedo pants are straight legged and have a small front pleat on each leg that only extends to mid thigh.


The Milano Fit from Brooks Brothers

  • English Cut- This is the most popular style now for men to wear. It’s figure flattering and makes the wearer look long and lean. The jacket has a thin notched or high peak lapel with very little shoulder padding. The jacket is single breasted and has one or two buttons. The jacket hem hits about mid thigh and has an hourglass tapered fit. The English cut suit is best known for it’s dual vents in the back of the jacket that make it modern and comfortable.


The Regent Fit from Brooks Brothers 

  • Italian Cut- This suit style creates an inverted triangle look on the wearer and suggests a very masculine and daring feel. The jacket has a wide low-notched collar with a lot of shoulder padding. The jacket has two buttons and sits high on the hips. This is a very fitted look that is snug in the chest and hips. The jacket usually has no vents.


The Madison Fit from Brooks Brothers 

  • American Cut- This style is a mix between the English and Italian cut and is seen as less traditional and more comfortable.  The jacket has a notched collar with moderate padding in the shoulders. It has three buttons and hits about mid thigh on the wearer. This jacket has a very boxy shape with little fit to it and has a single vent in the back.

Once your groom knows what suit style he likes best and what fits him, it’s time to look at the details of suit lapels and shirt collar styles.

collars and lapels

There are three basic suit lapel styles:

  • Peak- The lapel sits close to the collar and points up and outward from the collar. This is a formal lapel and is also fairly modern looking.
  • Notch- The collar and lapel meet to form a wide sideways V. This is a classic and clean look.
  • Shawl-The lapel curves all the way around the neckline of the jacket in a continuous clean line. This is a traditional tuxedo style look.

When it comes to shirt collars, there are a lot of options although the classic, spread, button down and wing styles are the most common. The classic and spread collars can be worn with any tie style while the button down works only with a tie and the wing collar works best with a bow tie.

Finally, it’s time for the accessories. Considering the theme and colors of the wedding is important in this step. Picking out a unique tie, pocket square, cufflinks or socks can make the groom stand out from the groomsmen while matching more with the bride.

Knowing the very basics when it comes to suits and understanding different fits can help your groom to pick out the most flattering look for him so when you walk down the aisle he will look just as stunning as you do.

The author: Angeline Frame

Angeline is the owner/publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine and the show producer for The Greater Virginia Bridal Shows. She has a degree in Public Administration and Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. A former model and wedding venue owner- she loves all things wedding , fashion and decorating. In her spare time she likes to write, travel and get new ideas to share with brides.


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