My love for suits came before the inception of BKS Men… way before my exposure to fashion and wedding industries in general. My appreciation for dressing well came from my father who taught me that a man can be as comfortable in suits at as he is in house clothes. My old man managed high-end hotels in the Philippines and he was expected to dress the part. He had to be ready for impromptu meetings with important clients and long-haul travels abroad. Thanks to Daddy, I learned the importance of clean lines and immaculate stitching which is why I get excited when grooms come to me to have their suits made. Weddings may have always be considered the bride’s day but there is no harm in letting the groom look dapper as he shines the spotlight on his bride. With this, let me share with you some knowledge I acquired from spending my younger years at the haberdashery combined with the years I’ve spent making sure grooms can keep up with their brides:
Nothing beats custom-fit
“Duh,” my nieces would say. This may sound too obvious and self-serving, but hear me out. So many grooms come to me prepared to sell their kidneys just to make sure their brides get the wedding gown of their dreams and tell me later that they just want to buy something off-the-rack for themselves. There is a misconception that since men only play a secondary role in the wedding, they can get away with wearing something generic. Weddings are just as much as your day as it is the bride’s. You will both look back at your wedding day as the day you started becoming one. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to wear something special for the occasion? Something that was made specifically for you, with sleeves that won’t bunch up at the shoulders and pants that hang just right. A tailored suit will not just look nice for the pictures, but it will also be a good companion during one of the most important days of your life. The day you say “I do” should be one that’s remembered for the loving moments, not for the number of times you had to tug at your cuffs or asked your best man to check if you had a wedgie.
Raised eyebrows. Nervous laughter, head-shaking. Exclamations of “Ay di ko kaya yan”. These are but normal reactions I would get from traditional grooms whenever I tell them to embrace more modern cuts and styles. Groom’s fashion has evolved from the traditional Americana and a variety of patterns and colors are now available for the groom. Do not be afraid to explore, it is okay to go beyond black, white, grays, and navies. And do not be afraid of the slim-fit pants. These will not make you chunky. With the right cut, slim-cut pants are actually very flattering.
Never underestimate the Barong
There is a reason the Barong Tagalog is still worn in formal occasions. It withstands the test of time as well as adapts to modern trends. The Barong is a great option for summer weddings, especially for countries as warm as ours. I’ve had grooms tell me they want to wear barongs but do not want to look like a politician about to attend a hearing and for these instances, I would recommend the Barong suit. Classic, clean, traditional but with a very modern twist, it’s like having the best of the both worlds.
Own your piece
A special set of cuff links here, a boutonniere there, it is easy to stamp your identity on a suit. This advice is especially important for groomsmen who do not want to just end up looking like a clone. Just because you will be sharing the same design of suits as the others does not mean you have to disappear into the crowd. You can ask the groom if you can wear a different colored shirt or if each of the men in his entourage can wear different bow ties. There is always an opportunity to stand out.
Lastly but most importantly, know yourself
As I keep telling my clients, suppliers like me only augment the ideas that you have and turn them into reality. We cannot impose our designs on you, but we are more than willing to help you discover what your signature style is so we can work together towards creating it. Fashion is all about expressing yourself, so go ahead and let the Harvey Specter in you dazzle the crowd.