It’s that time of year again. The stags are a distant memory (if a memory at all), the several modes of travel and overpriced hotel suites are booked and you’re gradually coming to terms with how broke everyone’s weddings are leaving you.
All that remains to be decided is what you’ll wear on the big day (or days) itself. Which – unless you’re prepared to dedicate the few remaining free weekends you have this year to trawling shops – isn’t exactly a cakewalk.
So we’ve done the grunt work instead, filtering through this season’s wedding wear to give you the lowdown on the brands doing it best. From charcoal grey to bright checks, safe-bet suits to statement-makers, these are the names to note down.
You might remember Moss Bros as the place where you first rented suits as a spotty-faced teen, but the high street tailor has come of age this season.
Despite (or perhaps because of) a heritage of over 150 years, Moss Bros has struggled in recent times to assert itself as a tailoring destination. But 2016 marks the British institution’s triumphant return to the formalwear foray, with an expanded offering (which now includes top tailoring names including Ermenegildo Zegna and Hardy Amies alongside Moss Bros’ in-house lines) and a bespoke tailoring service, Tailor Me, set to launch later this year.
Moss Bros’ main draw is its affordability. With suits starting from as little as £100, this brand’s a no-brainer for those on a strict budget. Wedding-ready options include grey and navy styles available as two- or three-piece suits, but you can pick up a handful of bolder options including petrol blue and burgundy rig-outs, too.
Best For: A suit that leaves you enough to spend on a great gift. (You know you have to get a gift too, right?)
Weddings – more often than not – are all about revelling in tradition. Not seeing each other for one night despite the fact that you’re about to spend the rest of your lives together; using two sets of hands to cut a cake that’s just definitely not that hard; and something about something blue.
But just because the big day’s steeped in convention doesn’t mean your tailoring has to follow suit. Where there’s leeway – and always make sure you heed the dress code – it’s worth trying something that fits the bill but isn’t, you know, boring. Which is where British label Reiss comes in. A byword in modern menswear classics, the retailer makes tailoring that’s both time-honoured and trend-led.
This season, it’s stocking an array of unexpected options in its signature slim cut, from a heather grey double-breasted linen suit to a checked champagne two-piece. Both of which are toast-worthy.
What’s more, Reiss carries accessories that make individualising your look a cinch. Try a blue pocket square to set off a grey suit or pick up a burgundy silk blend tie as the ideal partner for a navy three-piece.
Best For: Something contemporary, but not so contemporary that photos of you wearing it make you cringe 10 years from now.
Maybe it’s the brand’s lack of big-budget campaigns and sexy editorial, but when it comes to top-trusted tailors, T.M.Lewin doesn’t seem to have quite the cachet of its younger competitors. (Not that money-burning marketing ever had any bearing on quality.)
The Jermyn Street label might not sink millions into its marketing but that’s probably because it’s too busy satisfying demand for its immaculate suiting. Born in 1898, T.M.Lewin isn’t so much an example of British tailoring as an integral part of its history – it pioneered the buttoned shirt as we know it today – and it comes up trumps if you’re steering classic for a wedding.
Cut in regular, slim and skinny fits, the brand’s selection of classic two-piece suits is flanked by two styles of merino-mohair tuxedo which – at just £279 each – look and feel a lot more expensive than they are.
The real appeal here though is the shirting. With a selection that spans nine collar styles, three cuff options and four different cuts, T.M.Lewin knows there’s more to finding your glove fit than knowing your neck size.
Best For: Classic suits that look expensive, but aren’t. And the perfect white shirt.
Prefer your suits with sprezzaturra? Then try the brand that looks so Italian we’re still not convinced it’s actually Dutch.
The perfect example of what marketers like to call a disruptor, Suitsupply has revolutionised the way we buy tailoring since launching in 2000, taking both affordable off-the-peg and made-to-measure suits online.
Making use of premium fabrics from some of Italy’s most prestigious mills, as well as exacting Chinese manufacturing, the Amsterdam brand’s USP is suits that combine superior fabrication with sharp fit. Not a bad deal for little as £259.
Unlike some of its listmates, Suitsupply boasts a selection that stretches beyond the basics, carrying the likes of a blue flannel suit in a windowpane check and a pure linen style in bottle green alongside the usual suspects in navy, grey and blue wool. Making it a must if you’re shopping for a not-so-average ceremony.
And if you can’t – out of the literal hundreds of suits they offer – find a perfect match, then why not have one of your own made from scratch? For £399, you can take advantage of Suitsupply’s made-to-measure service, which allows you to choose from fabrics including wool, cashmere and linen and fits from slim and structured to broad-chested athletic.
Best For: Choice. And lots of it.
Have we missed out on a brand offering noteworthy wedding wear?
Then speak now or… you know the drill.