Traditional, stylish and practical: accessories available for grooms create a chic, timeless look that will make the bride swoon. But how do you know which accessories you need to buy? And if you’re not used to fashion terminology, will you be blinded by science in the groomswear shop?
Fear not; our indispensible guide to accessories for grooms will help you make sense of your wedding day style, ensuring that you’re perfectly dressed on your
Classic, chic and stylish, a bow tie creates a formal, “James Bond” look and is most commonly worn with a tuxedo, although a colourful or patterned bow tie looks great with lighter suits at a summer wedding. You can buy a ready-tied version, with clips at the back to secure it around your neck, or start from scratch with a ribbon of fabric that is tied at the front to create two symmetrical loops.
The cummerbund is a man’s version of a sash. A broad waist band, it sits over the top of your trousers and bottom of your shirt, creating a sleek and tidy effect underneath your jacket. Its purpose is mainly decorative (although it does stop you from looking dishevelled if your shirt comes un-tucked) and contemporary designs come in many colours to match your scheme. A cummerbund is a good alternative to a waistcoat — you should only wear one or the other.
An elegant alternative to a tie, a wedding cravat is a wider necktie fastened over the collar of your shirt. Of military origin, the cravat goes back in history much further than the modern tie or bow tie and was worn by gentlemen from the 15th century onwards in many fabrics from coarse cloth to fine silk. Usually worn in a colour to complement your wedding scheme and flowers, a wedding cravat is fastened in a knot and then secured with a tie pin.
A sleeveless, vest-shaped piece of clothing, a waistcoat is worn over your shirt and under your jacket. It is usually the same colour as your wedding suit, although a contrast colour can create a contemporary look. Waistcoats fasten with buttons at the front and come in double or single breasted styles. If you want to take off your jacket after the ceremony, a waistcoat keeps you looking smart and formal — and you can transfer your buttonhole to it too.
It’s possible that you may shed a few tears on the day, but emotional or not, a handkerchief, worn — visibly — in the top pocket of your suit jacket, is a formal finishing touch to a groom’s style (it also makes for a romantic gesture if your bride is moved to tears and you offer to dry them for her). For a wedding day, a silk handkerchief is best and it should match your buttonhole or colour scheme.
A tie pin adds an extra touch of formality to your wedding day style — and also helps to keep your tie in place, so you look absolutely perfect for as long as you want to on the big day. Originally worn by Victorian gentlemen to secure their cravats, grooms can use them to fix their wedding tie or cravat to the shirt underneath, creating a flawless finish. Contemporary tie pins are available in countless designs, metals and materials.
Perfect for the most formal wedding ceremonies, a top hat is usually worn with a full morning suit (often referred to as top hat and tails). Also called a “chimney pot” or high hat, it symbolises opulence and tradition — or can be worn to make a fashion statement. Most top hats are made from silk, wool or felt, and grooms usually remove the hat before making their vows.
Another decorative touch, cufflinks are used to fasten the cuffs of your shirt. The cost of cufflinks varies wildly, depending on how extravagant and well-made you want them to be. You can choose from anything from a very simple, stylish design to a funky fashion statement: cufflinks also provide a great way for a cheeky groom to add a touch of humour or personality to his wedding day style — we’re thinking cars, football team emblems, dogs etc.
A buttonhole is a mini floral arrangement worn (as the name suggests) in the buttonhole of the groom’s coat or suit jacket to symbolise love and loyalty. Also referred to as a corsage, the buttonhole is usually prepared by the wedding florist and ties-in with the colour scheme. Typical arrangements include roses, ferns and foliage, but if you’d rather not wear flowers, contemporary designs range from cotton and silk to real buttons! Traditionally the groom (and his groomsmen) wears the button hole on the left hand side.
Stylish and traditional, a pocket watch is an optional accessory that adds bags of glamour to a groom’s look. Great for vintage-themed weddings, some grooms are passed a pocket watch as a family heirloom. Usually kept in the pocket of your waistcoat, or the inside/top pocket of your jacket, most designs come with a long chain for the ultimate retro look. If you’d love to wear a pocket watch on your big day, you can browse a fantastic selection in the hitched.co.uk pocket watch section.