Here comes the groom
As the succsess of London Collections: Men (LC:M) testifies, Britain is the home of the well dressed man
The homegrown menswear market is now worth £10billion and predicted to overtake womenswear sales by 2016. It seems that gents are finally as proud to preen as the fairer sex, so it’s no wonder that this mood is trickling through into the groom’s wardrobe too.
It’s true that grooms still spend less on their look than brides (£313 versus £1,340 according to a recent Brides magazine survey) but if you consider that a good suit can be worn for a lifetime – unlike a white wedding dress – then investing in a good one for your big day doesn’t seem quite so outlandish after all.
Sammy Aki aka The Groom Style Consultant is the go-to personal stylist for men preparing for their big day. With a background in fashion magazines, buying and PR, she now caters to the growing numbers of image-conscious husbandsto- be. ‘The days of guys running into the local hire shop to pick up a suit and matching cravats for the best man and ushers are waning.
My clients are busy men who know what they want and are seeking help to turn their dream outfit into a reality,’ says Aki of her one-toone service. ‘At first we discuss when and where they’re getting married, what the bride is wearing and what the time scale and budget is. I create a moodboard reflecting the colours and themes of the wedding and then take them to the right brand or tailor.’
The style of the suit depends on how formal the wedding is and the man’s build. While two-button, single-breasted suits are de rigueur, a slim fit double-breasted suit or formal morning suit can be just as dapper. Meanwhile, a three-piece suit allows you to spruce up in a waistcoat for the wedding then wear it as a two-piece on other occasions.
Aki also takes grooms shopping for the shirt and tie, plus accessories such as a pocket square and tiepin. It’s those personal touches that mark the groom’s outfit out as unique. ‘One of my clients met his bride-to-be at a bus stop so I had some bus-shaped cufflinks engraved with the numbers of the respective buses they were waiting for just before they met,’ says Aki. Each groom is an individual but Aki has some fail-safe advice for all grooms.
‘Try on a few types of suit to find the right shape for you and choose a fabric suited the climate and season. The break on your trouser is a matter of opinion but the hem should never bunch on the floor. Coordinate your outfit with the rest of the bridal party but this doesn’t mean you have to match your tie to the tablecloth! And remember to always be true to yourself. You have to feel comfortable in order to look your best.’
Aki is also part of the team behind The English Gentleman, the Savile Row and StJames’s collective at LC:M. The show acts as a barometer for British suiting trends each season, which Aki then expresses to her clients. S/S 14 grooms should consider pastels. ‘Fun grooms want to experience colour on their wedding day. Why not try aqua blue, coral or a soft pink with mother of pearl buttons. A lot of guys want a grey suit but there’s a huge range of shades within grey to consider, from dove to charcoal,’ says Aki.
Savile Row stalwart Richard Anderson has suited grooms from around the world. ‘Grooms come to us because, if you’ll excuse the pun, we offer the best marriage of Savile Row traditions with forwardthinking tailoring,’ says Anderson, who has dressed the likes of Benicio del Toro and has collaborated with young London designer Katie Eary for A/W 14.
‘When a groom walks through our door he’ll get something that little bit different.’ While offering readyto- wear suits and made to measure, it’s their bespoke service that allows for full creative freedom. This option doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it. ‘All design decisions are catered to you. For example, we can match the suit lining to the shirt or tie. We want to make the gentleman feel as special choosing his suit as the bride does her dress.’ Groomzillas walk this way. sammyaki.com
Head to Toe
Say 'I Do' in style with our groomswear picks
Clive Darby was at Richard James and Killgour before establishing Rake London to cater to the 70s lounge lizard lurking in all men. For S/S 14 sporty blazers, tuxedos and double-breasted jackets come in Glenn plaids. rakestyle.com
Marwood by Becky French specialises in stylish gentleman’s accessories all made in England using British silks, lace, and wool. Their S/S 14 geometric prints were inspired by Icelandic artist Orri Jónsson. marwoodlondon.co.uk
Handcrafted cufflinks make a feature of your cuffs. Alice Made This by Alice Walsh uses age-old manufacturing methods to create luxury cufflinks from precious metals, ceramics and rope. alicemadethis.com
Mr Hare shoes are ‘created to make the wearer look stylish and in control,’ so they’re just the thing for grooms to wear for the first dance – and if designer Marc Hare has anything to do with it, the last dance too. mrhare.com
The Gentleman’s Grooming Club at Toni&Guy Canary Wharf offers a bespoke service that starts with a cut throat shave using Dermalogica products followed by a head massage and hair wash using label.m Peppermint Treatment Conditioner, and finally a cut and style. To make an appointment, call 020 7987 6222.