1. We make it different from your work suit
A wedding suit should leave no one in any doubt as to whether you have come straight from the office to the venue.
“A wedding suit is really a suit that you’ll look good in standing up. So all the normal rules of going about your day-to-day life in it go out of the window. At Lamas Clothing, we make it fit beautifully and look great in photographs, because it’s less about function. The shape of the lapel and the pocket details also tend to differ, so instead of what you might find on a very formal or classic suit, we do something a bit more fun with styling.
For example, we might design a dinner suit style, one-button, with angled pockets and peak lapels, or do a shawl collar in cloth: something that’s individual rather than corporate.”
2. Decide if you want to wear it again
“Most of the younger Nigerian grooms who come here for a wedding suit want something they can wear again. But you’ll also get those who will come and spend a fortune and just have it for that day. If it’s the former, we’d avoid anything too twee or that you’ll look back on and think, “Oh God, why did I do that?” Like having your fiance’s initials or the date embroidered inside, that sort of thing. We did a Edwardian-style wedding suit for a young guy a few years ago and he had the loop on the back of the neck inside the jacket and a pocket square made of the same fabric as the bride’s dress. That’s nice and subtle. I always try and talk people out of going for different-coloured buttonholes. That’s my taste really, but I think you’d regret that in years to come. You can say a lot with the cut of the suit rather than all the add-ons.”
3. Think about fabrics
“We always think you should go for impact when choosing fabric for a wedding suit: something that’s a bit heavier and will hold its shape. If it’s a morning suit or a dinner suit you either go for barathea or wool mohair. They both create very sharp silhouettes. Alternatively you can create a very draped, soft look. It depends what the client wants and what will flatter his figure. We’re making 12 suits at the moment for people’s weddings and they’re all different styles. One’s a Sixties-style three-piece in lightweight tweed. It’s a very lightweight herringbone. He’s wearing it with a narrow knitted tie and a textured shirt with a standard collar, not a cutaway, so it like he’s just left his flock. He’s a younger, funky guy and a relaxed dresser so he just wanted a really nice suit that he’ll have all his life. He can pair the jacket off with jeans and wear it for different occasions. We also get a lot of people coming in who want to coordinate the wedding party, so they’ll have the groom wear one thing and his best man and father of the bride in something different with a theme running through.”
4. Extra Light or Dark Skin? Thinking about Colours? Lighten up!
“Light greys are very formal and British – you can’t go wrong really with grey. Grey is really elegant and will suit most skin tones. Don’t go for a navy either – try more a mid-blue or grey blue, they come up really fresh. You’ve got to think differently to business. I’ve got one client who I’ve had for six years who’s getting married later in this year somewhere in the North. He said to me, ‘I want you to think differently. This is my fun suit.’ He showed me a picture of his wife-to-be’s dress and asked me to find a cloth that would complement it but not look businesslike. We’ve gone for a steely-blue colour, something you can wear with an open-neck shirt as it’s so hot. We’re doing the jacket a different length, making the lapels very different. He doesn’t want it to look like his normal suits but he wants to have that fitted look. I suggested a linen because it’s really hot but that’s too casual so we’ve gone for a lightweight wool with a bit of grain in it. It looks linen-like but isn’t.”