Non-tux attire for groomsmen

charlies thugs

My fiancé and I are looking to have an informalish wedding and don't want anyone to have to wear a tux. We both think suits/sports coats/tweed jackets would be more appropriate for the groom and his men. But we also don't want the groom's men to have to dish out for new suits. I don't know if I'm comfortable with four men putting together an outfit on their own, even with guidelines. I'm not obsessed with them being 100% matchy, but I would like them to wear something coordinated, clean, and pressed. What other affordable options are there for men not renting tuxes? -Angela

Oh, we got lotsa options! Here's a little non-tux inspiration for you… full of sweaters, vests, suspenders, and TONS of other non-tuxedo groomsmen attire.

the fellas
the hotness
Alex (as John Lennon?) and his groomsmen/girl

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16886060@N03/3905136058

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27792043@N08/3223485906

BiltmoreGroomsmen

groomsmen

Groomsmen

Oh and PS: You can find lots more non-tux ideas here.

  1. Finally! I am so happy to have pictures of cute boys wearing informal formal-wear.

    The man is donning the jacket and jeans himself and I am so glad to see a picture of this as an example! I thought I was the only one. Now I know JUST how cute he'll look on our day.

    Ariel, you never fail.

    P.S. If I thought for one second that he would take me seriously, I would totally suggest to my guy the sweater and cap look. So freakin' sharp! But alas, I'm having a hard time convincing him that steel-toed boots aren't totally appropriate/functional on the beach.

    2 agree
  2. We went through this same dilemma, and eventually found navy chinos and khaki jackets on landsend.com (which totally caught us by surprise). They are going to wear white button ups and my fiance is giving them their ties as a gift (we are coordinating the ties based on color palette and not exactly matching the patterns). For the jacket and pants we are asking them to shell out $120…Less than a tux rental and they get clothes they'll wear again out of the deal.

  3. Thank you! We're torn between jeans or shorts for the boys. This will help in convincing my guy that he's not the only groom that isn't wearing a tux. He'd look ridiculous in a tie – I don't want to put him through something like that!

  4. My fiancee and I are having a casual, outdoor wedding in May. He's the only one wearing a suit, for the same reasons you listed. We told the groomsmen/bridedude to just get a yellow short-sleeved polo shirt and wear grey pants. Done and done. They'll wear the pants again and they'll be cheap, and they can get the shirts at inexpensive retailers no problem.

    1 agrees
  5. We had a casual outdoor wedding, with the groom wearing a great linen suit with no tie. We told the groomsmen to wear non-matching pastel shirts and khaki pants, and I think it looks very charming. Being nerds, they got all excited and decided to wear the colors of the Triforce.

    5 agree
  6. Kilts! Not just the traditional plaid ones, but canvas and leather ones are fanTAStic and uber hot (utilikits, my loves!).

  7. I HEART VESTS!
    we didn't have any attendants but my husband wore a vest to our reception and i thought it was an awesome (and sexy!) choice. they can be difficult to find (though they are coming back in style) but are inexpensive and look great on all body types.

    2 agree
  8. So i love that first pic! I am gonna show it to Clint but i am not sure he will go for it.. I can just picture it. Clint's and his friend in jeans with white untucked shirts with loosen ties (Clint in black and purple striped and the guys in solid purple) black blazers and black converse high tops!…. that would be so amazing!

    gotta convince him! it would so fit our casual summer wedding!

  9. Our groomsmen are all wearing black mocker utilikilts, black dress shirts, red ties and black combat boots.

  10. Vests are my favorite of the options given. Simple, classy yet casual, and it's possible to coordinate by similar colors or styles.

  11. Black carhart jeans, each groomsmen wearing a different color cotton button-down shirt. It's a wedding at a campground, gotta wear your carharts camping. (Ulterior and not so secret motive — I think my fiance looks SO SMOKING HOT in carharts. It'd be like him getting to watch me come down the aisle buck nekkid, which is a thought, but not for us.) I got to pick out his outfit and he pretty much picked out mine (white foofy tutu and white crochet halter top).

  12. This sort of post always reminds me of minor cultural differences – here in the UK, even conventional weddings don't usually feature tuxes! Black tie is very rarely worn to daytime events – I've never been to a wedding where a groom wore black tie, though it probably does happen sometimes… Suits, especially morning suits, are the norm.

    I think the casual look you go for should probably be dictated by the "feel" of the wedding – do you want a casual, country sort of wedding, or a casual, hip evening affair? That might give you a better idea of what would suit your guys! :)

  13. At the outdoor fall wedding of a family friend, the groomsmen wore knitted sweater vests over dress shirts, ties, and khakis. They looked very coordinated and venue-appropriate.

    1 agrees
  14. One of my favorite non-tux options is linen pants and huayaveras – light weight and cool, great for a beach wedding, non tux, but not too casual.

    2 agree
  15. our guys are wearing their favorite t-shirt, a pair of black skinny jeans, and a black blazer….super comfy, and super cool. :D

  16. I think Sloane's got the right idea. If you let the guys get *too* matchy, there's a danger they'll look like an a capella group:

  17. I LOVE the idea of vests instead of tuxes! Yesterday my fiancee and I were discussing alternatives to tuxes, and we had a hard time coming up with ideas that would be in "theme" with our wedding (a distinct 50s feel) and vests would be PERFECT! I cannot believe I didn't think of this before. I like the idea of varied vests and ties as well, since the bridesmaids aren't going to be "matchy" either.

    1 agrees
  18. my groom wore BLACK LEATHER PANTS and a billowy white pirate or 3-Mustketeers-type shirt which laced up the front and down the long cuffs. and riding boots, of course. his groomsmen wore similar white shirts and dark pants – they all looked great!

    men not only need but WANT guidance for wedding wear. dont be afraid to speak up about what you want because they want you to approve when you see them standing at the altar, or wherever, waiting for you.

  19. As much as I'd love to see my Beloved in a Firefly Captain Hotpants number, I think, more realistically, I can talk him into his black Utilikilt, black biker boots and his Harley-Davidson bowling shirt combo. Still quite yummy!

  20. I think, like with EVERY wedding decision it's really important for both partners to talk about it and discuss their likes and dislikes I feel like pretty often, even in indie-land, women feel like it's their place to *tell* the groom what he *should* wear, in a way that most women would never tolerate in a gender reversed situation. I think it's important that the groom feels like he gets to choose what he wears and that he feels like himself in it. I think, for me at least, that's more important than the bride's approval, or having a cohesive look. (plug: Ariel covers this really well in her book)

    On other thought, on that same note… I think it's really important that all the groomsmen/ wedding party feel comfortable and hot and like themselves in whatever they wear… and I think here in the indie world we run the risk of running fast and far away from tuxes and gowns, but still putting people in clothes they feel uncomfortable in but on the other end of the spectrum.

    So I guess what I'm saying is, maybe the most important thing is to ask the people who are going to be wearing the clothes what would make them feel good, and then compromise if need be. As Nomi says, not everyone has to match! At all. All this is why I really LIKE the idea of guidelines – a suit OR a vest OR skinny pants and a t-shirt and jacket (hot!) OR whatever, and just let them wear something they like and/or own within that. If you trust them to be in your wedding party then you like them for who they are. Trust them to dress themselves (and you know, you can always have them run the outfit by you before the day of).

    2 agree
  21. i love the vests and caps! my fiance's scottish so he's donning full kilt-ly regalia, while his guys are wearing utilikilts (plain black) and tuxedo tee shirts. my maid of honor thinks i am a model of patience and generosity, letting the boys do their thing… but hey! i want everyone to be comfortable and happy :)

  22. I love the sweaters – they look so twee and cute. And the white jackets over the jeans looks fesh and modern – I'd love to see the pics of the whole wedding party for that wedding.

    I second Meg's comments above about letting the people actually WEARING the outfits to have a big hand in choosing them. I was so excited about being able to wear a dress I couldn't justify wearing ANYWHERE else, I really wanted CDH to have the same thrill. He chose his own outfit, which in the end decided the theme for most of our wedding – a saxon cloak which we made from velvet, a white pirate-style shirt with a low collar and no buttons, black jeans and BIG black boots. He looked so natural in that outfit – I couldn't imagine him in a suit!

    1 agrees
  23. *SWOON*! at the caps and sweaters. HOTNESS. I wish my fiance like that look. *sigh*. He would probably wear a 3-week-dirty tee shirt if he had the option. Blech.

  24. I asked my man what he wanted to wear. He wasn't sure, so he asked his guys. They were the ones that suggested kilts and chainmail! He ended up picking really awesome looking tuxes because he thought his best man would be embarrassed by his skinny legs in a kilt while all of the other guys have great kilt-legs. He really thought about kilts, especially after their feet roasted in the shiny tux shoes! But they were pretty cheap from a local store – not a chain – and he helped pay for the tuxes.

  25. I love the jackets and jeans look. My fiance actually said he wanted to wear jeans. I thought "no way" until I saw this photo. Thanks.

    2 agree
  26. I'm wearing skinny blacks, red cons and a bold red striped shirt, maybe a black skinny tie… and the boys (groomsmen) are going to be in similar (complementary) colours…DOWN WITH THE SUIT AND TIE!

  27. If it were up to him he would be wearing a ruffly baby blue tux. Instead we are doing suits but throwing in some bright orange vests and Chuck Taylors which should liven things up a bit.

  28. I love this post! I'm finally seeing some options that seem real to me, though I am planning this wedding with all my hubby's friends long-distance, and I think shelling out extra money is just stupid (well, I did, but it was an excuse for a killer dress). My hubby will be buying his own suit; we have are having a casual afternoon wedding in July, and I'd love to see him in light grey or tan. I asked him to ask his guys what they have in their closets, and I was surprised to find that all of them have either a black or blue well-tailored suit. How do you think I could tie this all together? Could I get away with them wearing what they've got? I assume they'll be taking off their jackets right away, but maybe they don't even need jackets. Hm…this post has gotten me thinking!

  29. My husband dressed as a samurai when we got married. It was totally sexy, and it was his little dream thing. He was so proud leading his little band of samurai down the aisle with their swords at their sides and a samurai banner at the back. :)

  30. We're getting married on July 3 this year…(yay!) I was pronounced the coolest girlfriend ever because I told him that jeans, a white shirt and white converse allstars were perfect! He's going with khaki's but the shirt and converse are staying…his best man will wear a blue shirt and some tattood allstars we bought for him.

  31. I am so glad I found this site and this post. Most of the guys in my wedding (on Memorial Weekend) don't want to wear ties. Finding this post along with all the wonderful ideas, I think I'm going to run black jeans and a nice button up shirt by them and see what they say. I'll let you know! BTW, all of my bridesmaids picked out their own dresses and all I gave them was a color scheme and they picked some beautiful dresses!

  32. My boys are doing black pants, black vests (from Target!) and American Apparel Deep V in Sea Blue. Swoon.

  33. I dunno if it's been brought up just yet, but my fiance found this site, http://www.beatlessuits.com, where you can buy replicas of suits the Beatles wore during different points in their history.

    I'm pulling for the "Hard Days Night" look myself. Yummy.

  34. We're planning on getting married on the beach in a really, really informal ceremony, but we can't figure out what the men should wear. :/ My bridesmaids and I are just going to wear cute sundresses, but I can't think of what would look classy but still be comfortable and practical for a beach wedding on the men. Any suggestions?

  35. VESTS! More vest-only pics please… That's what we're doing, assuming we can find something for my dude to wear!!

  36. Thank you for this! We're getting married outdoors in June, and my FH is insisting on a jacket… If he wants to, that's fine, but I want him to be comfortable, and these are awesome examples of how he can be comfortable and dressed up at the same time!!! :)

  37. Love love love love the caps!! My FH loves caps and buys one almost every time we go to Target. I just suggested to him the other day that I thought he would look awesome in suspenders and he looked at me like "Ugh, really?" Then I showed him a pic on OBB of some dapper dudes in caps, suspenders, not-matching ties and converse shoes and he LOVED IT! Yay!!

  38. Love this post. I almost had a catfight with my mother-in-law over this. I kept trying to say with an outdoor reception, it'd be nice for the men to wear something light and less formal…after all, we were getting married in my methodist grandfather's country steeple (Built in the 1800's…NO AC). So we went and got the men dress pants at Nautica ( I used to work there and got a discount…REALLY nice stuff, very light material for super cheap.) Got a nice tie and pair of shoes at Johnston and Murphy, and decided on a vest at a formal-wear store at HER suggestion. I remember specifically telling the guy that my now husband needed a FULL vest (important later), because he would not be wearing a tux, so we thought it would be more suitable for pictures and stuff if he just had a nice full vest so when he turned around it wouldn't look weird. Guess what we got? The guy didn't listen and ordered a one-piece type vest that ties in the back and didn't look flattering at all. I through such a stupid..(and embarrassing bridezilla-worthy) hissy fit that the guy re-ordered and had it shipped to my grandmother's (where the wedding was) for free. I still can't believe such a stupid thing stressed me out, but everything turned out fine in the end.
    And never forget…o-o sometimes the stress will come out of you like a movie from the Exorcist when you least expect it over stupid, insignificant things. Groomswear shouldn't be stressful and with awesome suggestions like these, picking things out and making it what you AND he wants won't be too hard! =)

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