Changes in men’s formal wear happen about as fast as turning a battleship — slowly. But this season there is a definite trend.
“The grays are the new black,” said John Loftus, of After Five. “That’s the big fashion statement for weddings.”
Not that black tuxedos aren’t still a popular choice, but the trend toward various (though perhaps not 50) shades of gray is continuing for a man’s most momentous ceremony. Tan tuxedos are another alternative to black, although that might not be as apparent to those attending local weddings.
“I think a lot of that has to do with destination weddings, going to the beach and getting married on or off the beach,” Loftus said. “That seems to be still popular, and we get people taking the suits with them and doing the island thing in the Caribbean. Tan is the winner in that category.”
Even if neither the wedding nor the honeymoon is taking place at the beach, grooms might want to be going to the gym before the big day.
Formal wear manufacturers are responding to demand for tuxedos that flatter those who stay in shape. That’s what the stars wear at the award shows, and that helps drive the market. Those tuxedos will have one- or two-button jackets.
“The modern fit is a little slimmer fit,” said Jeff Hernandez, of Squires Formalwear. “All your new merchandise coming forward is modern-fit tuxedos.”
The pendulum of bow ties versus long ties is swinging back toward bow ties, Hernandez and Loftus agreed. That leaves accessory colors as the only other choice, and that is usually made to match the groomsmen to the bridesmaids’ dresses. That can be interesting because corals, pinks, greens and blues only scratch the surface of the color varieties for cummerbunds or (more likely) vests.
“They’re really coming up with some strange ones,” Loftus said.
To get that perfect color and everything else just right, it’s best to order at least a couple of months before the wedding.
“All the popular stuff is going to go first,” Loftus said.