The first wedding suit I bought for myself was a black, 2 button, single-breasted that I purchased at Zara. I remember it being a big deal at the time because I was not yet the type of man that saw purchasing new clothes as a worthy investment. I wore it to my friend’s wedding a few days later with a white shirt, black tie and black shoes, all from Zara. I remember feeling great. but now I look at this first wedding suit as the mistake of a novice.
That early suit purchase has been on my mind a lot lately. As a sales professional and stylist, I now often advise young men who, like myself back then, are purchasing suits not because they want one but because they need one. Wedding season at a suit shop gives me the opportunity to meet men from all walks of life and make them the beneficiaries of the knowledge I gained from my early misadventures in wedding-suit-buying.
If I could go back a decade and speak to my younger self, I’d tell him to leave that simple black suit on the shelf and take the opportunity to reinvent himself. So many men walk up to me and when I ask them what they would like their suits to look like, the majority say that they want it to be “versatile.” A little part of me dies each time I hear that word. Versatility all too often means they want the most boring option. The versatile suit of their choice is usually some grey or blue number that they can wear to every wedding while switching up the shirt and tie combination to make the suit look different. I’m all too happy to oblige them of course. but I often suggest a different mindset, especially when it comes to buying a summer wedding suit.
A wedding is a happy occasion, and clothes can join in the exuberance of celebration. It’s a shame to blow that opportunity by wearing the most boring suit possible. My first choice this summer is a pure linen double breasted sports jacket with a pair of houndstooth trousers - it makes me a memorable tropical fish in the sea of grey and blue I’m sure to be surrounded by. I invite all you to follow my lead, using your own colors. During your next visit to your favorite suit shop, try out the suit that takes you outside of your comfort zone. Then proceed to wear it with confidence to every wedding you’re invited to this summer. Save your black suits for funerals.