Best Dressed: For the Groom

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2000

Guidelines for men's formalwear remain somewhat strict today, though the groom can customize even the most traditional attire. At a formal evening wedding, white tie was once the only proper choice; this dashing ensemble, which includes a black tailcoat and trousers worn with a white shirt, waistcoat, and bow tie, is still suitable and wonderfully elegant.

But a century ago, gentlemen embraced a more casual alternative: The tuxedo, with its black dinner jacket, trousers, and bow tie, and white shirt. Technically referred to as semiformal, the tuxedo, also known as "black tie," has come to be known as the appropriate choice for formal evening weddings. A white dinner jacket can be worn in place of the black for a wedding in the summer or in a hot climate.

In the daytime, the most formal wedding calls for a morning suit, which includes a gray or black cutaway jacket, gray waistcoat, white shirt, gray-and-black striped trousers, and a striped four-in-hand tie or ascot. A similar ensemble is worn for a semiformal daytime wedding, except that a black or gray short jacket, called a stroller, is worn instead of the cutaway.

For an informal wedding, the groom may wear a suit; black and dark colors are more appropriate for evening (and winter) events. Classic ensembles such as a navy blazer and gray flannel or white linen trousers are popular and stylish.

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