Dear Prince Harry,
So the Big Day is almost upon us. The pomp, the circumstance, the formalities, the sacraments, the solemnities, the fly-pasts, and balcony waves. And, of course, the feverish sartorial speculation. What form will The Outfit take? Surely a white option would be too outre. It obviously has to be British. It definitely can’t be too gaudy. It will almost certainly be a bespoke creation. Plunging necklines and exposed ankles are to be avoided at all costs. Yes, it’s the question on the lips of seasoned royal-watchers, style mavens and disinterested bystanders alike – what kind of suit will you, Prince Harry, opt for at the Royal Wedding?
You’ll forgive us when we say that, at one time not so long ago, when your best-known outfits were your fancy-dress Nazi uniform and the birthday suit you ended up in during a game of strip billiards in Las Vegas, which you described as “a classic case of me being too much army and not enough prince” – the question of wedding attire would have been advanced with no little trepidation.
You’ve always scrubbed up well in military dress, as per your birthright, but your civvies have always been a little more uncertain – from your slightly lumpy suits to your standard-casual-Friday baggy shirts and chinos to a chronic attachment to the gap-year friendship bracelet (you were known to sport seven or eight AT ONCE at the height of your party-hard years). But all these stylistic flip-flops belong to another era – specifically, PM (pre-Meghan).
You’d expect a fiancée who made her name in a TV show called Suits to pull your wardrobe together, and that’s exactly what Ms Markle has done. The cuts are sharper and the look is crisper, from that dark steel blue Gieves & Hawkes suit you wore for the engagement announcement, with the midnight blue knitted tie, to the cobalt Everlane cashmere crew neck you sported on a visit to Cardiff Castle, and the fitted topcoats – cornflower blue for Christmas in King’s Lynn, dark grey from Club Monaco (one of your intended’s favourite brands, we’re told) for a January walkabout in Brixton. Style pundits haven’t been slow to hail what they call your “new-found sense of smart but understated luxe”. We think they mean that you’re looking just that little bit more, well, regal.
How will these souped-up sartorial chops transfer to the imminent nuptials? You’ve already burned through all the worst-case-scenario looks for your stag do, so we’d suggest bidding adieu to those roister-doistering bachelor boy days in an unimpeachably preppy rugby shirt from Kent & Curwen, or a Riviera polo shirt from Sunspel in navy blue (to match your blood).
For the reception, dial the formality down just a tad with something from Drake’s Easyday collection – the tan Irish linen jacket, for instance, in which you can keep your cool even while being comprehensively roasted for the duration of big brother’s best man speech. And what of the ceremony itself? We’ve prepared five options for your consideration, from ultra-formal on down…
Prince Harry’s Wedding Suit: 5 Choices
The Military Option
The no-brainer, with the only caveat being that you’re spoiled for choice. Will it be the full regalia of your regiment, the Blues & Royals, complete with spurs and aiguillettes? Perhaps the uniform of the Captain General Royal Marines, a role you’ve recently taken over from your grandfather? Or – our personal favourite – the B&R’s tropical dress whites with gold sash and medals?
The Morning Dress Option
The other haute mainstay – it’s there, alongside ‘Uniform’ and ‘Lounge Suit’ on the wedding invitations – but will it look a little too Made In Chelsea (or even, with apologies, made in Chelsy) in these topsy-turvy times? On the plus side, you’ve definitely upped your game here (witness the spruce Gieves & Hawkes ensemble you sported at Pippa Middleton’s wedding last year), and the folds of the waistcoat will come in handy when you do that Napoleonic thing with your right hand that you tend to do at stressful moments.
The Lounge Suit Option
The default setting for any royal, and one in which what NOT to do should be immediately apparent, i.e. steer clear of the patrician double-breasted look, complete with bells and whistles – pocket square, lapel chain, etc – favoured, and totally owned, by your father. The funkier, more contemporary end of Savile Row will enable you to cut your own dash; or try Thom Sweeney’s slim-cut, nipped-in navy worsted, or, for extra snazz, a glen check wool bespoke three-piece from Timothy Everest’s new venture, MbE.
The Smart-Casual Option
You could show those identikit button-downed-and-chino’d Friday bankers how to knock ‘smasual’ out of the park with a pale blue or grey melange linen suit and white granddad-collar shirt from Hardy Amies, who’s got some previous form where your family’s concerned. Finish off – and co-opt the minimal sneaker trend – with a pair of British-made Walsh Tornado trainers, which even carry a discreet union flag label, to match the millions being waved in your general direction on the day.
The Fashion-Forward Option
As the perennial spare to the heir, you have a golden opportunity to throw caution to the wind and showcase British style at its most reassuringly idiosyncratic. The choice is rich, but we’d say it’s a toss-up between Vivienne Westwood’s deconstructed ‘Love’ jumper and JW Anderson’s red heart-print black leather biker jacket. Both get the message across more than eloquently, wouldn’t you say?
JW Anderson photographed by Notre
That pretty much has you covered. Whichever suit – or otherwise – you choose, we know you’ll wear it with the brio for which you’re world-renowned. No need to thank us – just put us down on the list at the chapel door with a +1. Our invite seems to have been lost in the post.
Break a leg Hazza.