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If you've only shopped for casual suits on the highstreet before, choosing your dream suit from a suit specialist can be intimidating. You know you want something special and high quality, but what even is a cummerbund and should you have a notched lapel? Does it matter what material your suit is made of? What style of suit should you wear if your wedding is a little more casual, but you still want to look like, well, a groom?
The groomswear experts behind Benetti have just launched their stunning Spring/Summer 2019 range, so we thought there was no better time to take you through a groomswear glossary to get you up to speed on all the wedding suit terminology before you go choosing the perfect style for your wedding.
How many different kinds of wedding suits are there?
Start at the start - the groom's style should tie in with the rest of the wedding, so if the whole day is super relaxed, a tuxedo may feel over the top. Help yourself figure out what fits your day by getting familiar with all the different groomswear styles:
Dinner suit/Black tie: a formal dark suit, usually worn with a white shirt and a black bow tie.
Tuxedo: Similar to the dinner suit, but with satin facing on the lapels, buttons and pocket trim, and a satin side stripe down the leg of the trousers. Traditionally black, but adventurous grooms are trying other dark shades in this style.
Morning suit: A very formal groom's suit, featuring a long-line jacket with tails and usually pinstripe trousers, finished with a waistcoat.
Three piece suit: A tuxedo or dinner suit is no longer the only option for grooms - more casual grooms often opt for a three piece (or even two piece) suit that is a little more relaxed and often chosen in a wider range of colours than the traditional dark shades of black and navy.
Separates: A jacket and trousers chosen from two different styles - the two are sold separately and are often chosen in different colours or fabrics for a more casual wedding.
Should I go for a single-breasted suit or double-breasted?
Single-breasted jacket: A jacket with one column of buttons that only narrowly overlaps
Doubly-breasted jacket: A jacket with two parallel rows of buttons, with a much wider overlap to allow you button it on the further column of buttons
What measurements are key for groomswear?
Inseam: measures from the crotch straight down to the floor, along the inner side of the leg
Seat: measures across the widest part of your bum
Half-back: measures from the midseam at the back of the shoulder seam
Help! What fabrics does groomswear come in?
While at one point, a very limited range of fabrics would have been used for groomswear, the market is now wide open. Grooms are choosing from the full range of suits a shop offers, not specifically just the wedding collection. If you're hoping for a more traditional, slick, classic look however, head straight for the wedding collections and you can't go wrong.
Wool, cashmere, cotton: These are the three most common and most traditional fabrics for suits, all three are versatile and slick options. Wool is obviously warmer and better for winter months, while cotton has a welcome breathability for summer. Cashmere lends an air of luxury to the mix.
Tweed: Often a good compromise between smart and relaxed, this is a rough-surfaced wool that usually featured flecks of mixed colours.
Pin-stripe: A fine vertical stripe, usually white and made up of small white dots.
Worsted fabric: A different woollen fabric with long, smooth fibres, that look slick when woven.
Velvet: Closely woven silk, cotton or nylon fabric with thick short pile on one side that gives a luxe look.
Linen: A super lightweight flax woven fabric, that is ideal for a summer or destination wedding, if you don't mind potential creasing.
Does it matter what kind of suit lapels I have?
Peaked lapel: The lapel has an upward-pointing edge where the bottom of the collar and the lapel meet.
Notched lapel: The lapel has a small gap/notch where the bottom of the collar and the top of the lapel meet.
Shawl lapel: The lapel has a continuous curve without any breaks or points. Usually seen on tuxedo jackets.
Is there anything I should know about trousers?
There are a number of different trouser cuts - for example the traditional width is now sharing its space with more slim fit picks for grooms - but that can often be a cut and dry decision based on the cut the groom normally wears day to day. A man who wears super skinny trousers is unlikely to want a traditional width trouser on his wedding day. However, one area where the terms are a little less clear cut is when it comes to creases and hems.
Hemmed leg: The traditional finish on a pair of trousers, where the bottom fabric is folded up inside the trouser leg.
Cuffed leg: Basically the opposite of a hemmed leg - the bottom fabric is folded up outside the trouser leg, giving a more relaxed, casual effect.
Full break: Seen more commonly on trousers with pleats and wider legs, the full leg break ensures that the trouser reaches just the heel of the shoe and extends a few inches over the laces on a fold at the shoe.
No break: The opposite of the full break on the trouser pants, where the trouser neatly ends at the top of the shoe. Best chosen for slim fitted trousers, but be aware, your socks will be on show.
Traveler's crease: The crease down the front of the trousers, generally only worn on formal trousers, so very common in groomswear.
Should I add suit accessories?
Pocket square: The small handkerchief worn in the breast pocket of a suit jacket - usually used to add colour and personality.
Cravat: A strip of fabric worn around the neck and tucked into an open-necked shirt.
Cummerbund: A wide sash worn around the wait, usually only with more formal jackets, like a single-breasted dinner jacket or tuxedo jacket.
The new Benetti Spring Summer collections are tailored for both tapered and comfort fit. Full collections are available to view online at benetti.ie. If you're looking for your nearest stockists, you can find those here.