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Questions On Etiquette

What should I consider when choosing what suit to wear?
These are the question we always ask to help you get the the correct decision.

What time of day is the wedding ?
Where is the ceremony as well as the reception?
What is the dress code?
How formal is the bride?
What colour are the bridesmaids wearing?
Is there a colour or style theme ?

Which suit is correct for each level of formality ?

Suits generally become more formal as the day gets later. Generally speaking follow these guidelines.

Morning to 3.00pm
Casual – Shirt and trousers. Linen suit. Waistcoat , shirt and trousers. Tie optional.
Semi Formal – Lighter colour suit with a shirt and tie.
Formal – Suit with a shirt and tie, waistcoat optional. Light grey or charcoal morning suit.

After 3.00pm
Semi Formal – Grey, navy or coloured suit. Open shirt or tie.
Cocktail – Two piece suit with a tie. Tuxedo acceptable. Waistcoat optional . Black Morning suit with waistcoat.
Formal – Tuxedo or dark suit. Bow or Tie. Waistcoat optional.
Black Tie – Tuxedo with dress shirt and bow tie. Waistcoat optional.

After 5.00pm
Black Tie – Tuxedo worn with dress shirt, bow and cummerbund or waistcoat.
White Tie – Evening Tails worn with marcella shirt, vest and bow

What is "Black Tie"?

“Black Tie” is a code of dress. It means that a tuxedo ( dinner suit ) is worn with a dress shirt and bow tie.

The shawl or peak lapel must have satin as should the out seam on the trousers. One button single or double breasted are both correct.
No belt should be worn.
The shirt should have a placket with pleats or Marcella fabric, with either a fly front or black studs. The shirt should always have a French cuff.
A vest is optional with a single breasted suit but if worn should be a lower cut than the one worn with a day suit to show the detail of the shirt front.
Never wear a vest with a double breasted jacket !
A cummerbund or braces are optional.
We always recommend a black bow and white hank if you are a guest at a wedding. If you are off to a ball or formal you can introduce a touch of colour with bow and vest.

What is "White Tie" ?

“White Tie” is the most formal code of dress.
For men this consists of black evening tails worn with a wing collar Marcella shirt, Marcella bow and vest. The shirt studs must be white.
You can not wear a black bow or dinner shirt.

This is usually worn after 5.00pm.

Who wears an ivory tuxedo jacket ?

An ivory tuxedo jacket is traditionally the summer version of the black tuxedo – think James Bond in the South of France.
These days it is usually the exclusive domain of grooms, creating instant impact and individuality when the rest of the wedding party and the male guests are wearing black.
We recommend that a guest avoid wearing an ivory jacket to a wedding. It can , however , be a great choice for an an awards night or ball.

What does the dress code "Formal" actually mean ?

Strictly speaking formal means black tie. So if you put formal dress on your invitations you are really asking your guests to wear a tuxedo. These days however most people take formal to mean a suit and tie.
Using the term “cocktail” is probably a more accurate term to choose.

How should the groom look different to the groomsmen?
We usually recommend that all the boys wear the same style of suit and be dressed at the same level of formality.
The suits should all be the same colour however the groom can choose to stand out in an ivory tux jacket or in a suit of a different colour.
Traditionally the wedding party all does wear the same colour suit but the tie and/or waistcoat is different. The groom should compliment the bride – usually by wearing a white/ivory tie and vest. The groomsmen can match their ties back to the bridesmaids or be very neutral in a matching waistcoat and tie to the suits.
If your wedding is black tie the groom can explore different ways to stand out – an ivory jacket, an ivory bow and vest, a velvet or brocade jacket or a double breasted jacket are all good options whilst keeping the groomsmen In classic black tuxedos.
What should the Fathers of Bride and Groom wear?

Both fathers have an important role to play. The father of bride, especially.
We always suggest that they dress at the same level of formality as the groom and groomsmen. However there should be a point of difference.  

If the wedding is black tie chose a different lapel shape on the jacket as well as an alternate shirt style. The fathers can be dressed a touch less elaborately  than the boys but must be in tuxedos.

Should the boys be wearing day suits the fathers can wear a similar suit but choose a different colour. Colours across the whole party shuld be complimentary.

If the groom and groomsmen are in Morning Suits they fathers should also both wear them. The jacket colour can change, the waistcoat and tie should definately differ to the boys.

How should my suit fit ?

Obviously fashions change with time but strictly speaking….

The jacket should finish at the first knuckle in your hand if your arms are straight by your side.
Jacket sleeve should just hit the top of hand allowing a centimetre of shirt to show.
Shoulder of jacket should sit marginally wider than your shoulder so as not to pucker on back seam.
Allow an inch or so or room at waist when jacket is buttoned.
The collar of jacket should sit flush at the back of the neck.

Trousers should sit just below actual waist.
The trouser should finish mid back of shoe allowing one small break on the front of the shoe.
The leg should be loose enough not to catch on the thigh or calf.

The shirt collar should be neat , allowing a small amount of room ( one finger ) at neck.
The sleeve should just sit onto the hand , to show 1 cm under jacket sleeve.

The vest should just cover the waistband of trouser. It should be a neat fit but not tight.

Recent years have been dominated by the super tight fitting suit whose trousers are super skinny and short. Time to move on now ….. the return of a more correct and classic fit dominates these days and will help you avoid looking like a victim of fast fashion in your precious wedding photos.

Who should pay for the wedding suits ?
Definitely a hard question……. but traditionally speaking the groom should pay for all of his and his groomsmens clothing.
Should the bride help choose the suits ?
As much as we think the boys should get to choose their outfits it is always a great idea to have input from the bride. She will have an overall vision for colours and the theme.
What suit is best for a casual wedding ?

If you are having a relaxed beach or garden wedding you will want to keep the dress code quite casual. We do suggest, however,  that you look at what the bride is wearing as the boys should be dressed at the same level of formality.

A linen suit, a blazer with chinos or a pale grey, blue or green suit can be perfect. Our Sand retail suit and Dove hire suit are both made for these type of occasions. The tie is optional. Remember that the wedding party can always be a little more dress up than the guests.


Peppers Formal Wear Custom Made Casual Suits

Are all buttons on a single breasted suit worn done up ?

Ok, easy answer…… NO !
Nothing says ” I don’t know my etiquette ” more than this. The bottom button on a two or three button jacket as well as a single breasted vest is always left undone.
The tradition started when English king Edward VII was too fat to button his suit. This act in itself was a nod to the tradition of Hunting Jackets that are worn open at the last button to allow a rider to sit in the saddle properly.
Note that a double breasted jacket or vest should have all buttons done up.

Where is the buttonhole ( flower ) worn ?

The buttonhole is ALWAYS worn on the left lapel on a man.

The head of the flower should sit at the widest part of lapel.

Which shoe is best for my suit ?

Your shoe should be the finish to your outfit rather than the focal point.

Brown shoes are lovely with a lighter coloured or navy suit and will create a less formal look.

Black leather are best with a black, grey , charcoal or dark blue suit.

Black patent are worn with a tuxedo or evening tails.

Lace ups are more formal than slips on but both are usually acceptabe. Keep a neat rounded toe and clean line for  timeless  and neat style.

Should the suit have a hank in the breast pocket ?

Yes! The outfit looks comlpetely unfinished without and you can ( and should ) have both a hank and boutonniere.

With a tuxedo always choose a white hank. Day suits and Morning Suits can be dressed with either a hank to match the tie or with a contrasting fabric to create a little quirk.