Planning 101 26th September 2014

Accessories - Accessories - Accessories

Accessories accessories accessories…Most commonly associated with women and their handbags and shoes.So much so that the famous rhyme: ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ has been established to create an official list for the wedding day.

Well I think it’s high time the Grooms had a similar such list for their big day, and here it is...

“Something round your collar, something on your feet; something to show a bit of you, something to keep your waistband neat.”

Most grooms will be wearing a suit - and past the panic of finding a suit that you like and that fits, you need to remember those extra touches that transform your suit into an outfit.

So working from the bottom up:


A quality leather shoe or boot is a must, and in my opinion is a great area to invest a decent chunk of your budget. As I’m sure many women have said before me, shoes are an amazing investment because regardless of whether you lose or put on weight - the shoe will still fit! So ultimately you’ll get a lot of use out of your footwear. If you’re going for a Black suit, definitely stick to Black leather - or you could add a hint of red in a pair of patent shoes! If you’re going with a classic Navy suit, Brown is generally the safest option - be it tan or a darker brown. For something different - a rich oxblood looks great to give a hint of red on a brown base. If it’s a brighter, more electric blue I’d stay away from the red tones, and stick to the lighter browns, or even black if it’s highly polished or patent.


This is a chance to add a touch of sentimentality, family history, and personality or even humour to your attire. By metal ware I am mainly referring to Cufflinks and Tie Pins, but you could also include watches, pocket watches or any pins/lapel badges that have special meaning to you. We don’t see many tie pins around anymore but I really think it makes such a difference. People may not notice the pin itself, but your overall image will magically be brought up to the next level; Very dapper in my opinion.

Trouser security

The rule is - if you’re wearing a 3 piece (i.e. waistcoat) NO BELTS. The reason being - your suit should create one fluid silhouette without dramatic breaks. As your waistcoat should sit perfectly over your waistband, a belt disturbs this shape and creates a bumps finish around your hips. The alternative, to wear your waistcoat higher than your trousers so your waist is exposed is again a definitely no-no. Your shirt generally shouldn’t be on show, other than a small triangle visible where the bottom of the waistcoat notches upwards.

So the solution to keep your trousers securely in place is Side Adjusters. They’re discreet, and enable you to just tug on the sides if you need to tighten the waistband slightly. These are ideal if you’re getting the trousers made or adjusted for you, as the trousers should then fit your natural shape, and the adjusters being a secondary measure to counteract any fluctuations in waist size throughout the day.

If you’re wearing a 2 piece however, the belt world is your oyster. I would still recommend using adjusters as they look smarter and give a beautiful finish to a suit; but I know that many chaps prefer to wear a belt as an accessory so that’s absolutely fine. No guilt trip.


Tie, cravat or bow tie - unless you’re doing a destination wedding where an open shirt looks great, wearing some form of neckwear is essential to create a polished, formal look. In many workplaces these days people have relaxed into a uniform of shirt and trousers, so you need to distinguish yourself from someone who looks like they could be heading into the office!

You will often have a tie to match the colour scheme of your wedding - otherwise reflected in the flowers, centrepieces and bridesmaid dresses. When co-ordinating outfits I always want to know how many people are in your wedding party and who (if anyone) will be in the same suit as you. If you’re in matching suits - you’re already identified as VIP’s, however if your best man or groomsmen are in different suits, it’s important to link yourselves by wearing matching ties. Pocket squares are also a great way to add a bit of colour and a finishing touch - just make sure you don’t go OTT with pocket square if you’ve got an extravagant buttonhole.

As to whether you go for a tie, cravat or bowtie - there isn’t a particular right or wrong answer.

If you’re wearing Black tie - a bow tie is more traditional. However I’ve had wedding parties where the groom has worn a classic 3 piece with bow-tie and scoop neck waistcoat which looked amazing! And it definitely gave it a more modern twist. Similarly if worn with braces and no waistcoat has a great photo impact.

Cravats are best with more formal outfits such as morning coats, but if you go for a tied style rather than folded it can add extra formality to a classic lounge suit.

Image courtesy of Kate Harrison Photography