Got your groomswear outfit sorted? Well done! Now you just need to figure out how to wear it to look your very best. Read on for tips on sharp suits and killer kilts…
When everyone is poised waiting for the ceremony to kick off, you can almost guarantee someone will crack the out-of-date joke that the only thing the groom has chosen about the day is their spouse-to-be. However, when it comes to getting ready, there are many things a groom is required to do to ensure he looks suave and sophisticated.
Whatever your usual sartorial style might be, you’re going to have to take it up a notch the day you tie the knot. Whether you opt for a striking suit or a traditional kilt, everyone’s eyes will be on you as you exchange vows and pose for photographs. If that sounds scary, fear not: we’re here with a wealth of expert advice to stop you getting into a tartan tangle or having waistcoat woes, keeping you right so you look your best on the big day.
Wedding kilts Scotland
How to put on a kilt and kilt accessories
Your wedding day might be the very first time in your life that you actually put on a kilt. So how do you know you’re doing it properly? We’ve broken down the typical Highlandwear outfit into its various components, showing how they fit together.
First up: how long should a kilt be? “It should fall to the middle of the kneecap,” advises Simone Waters of Highlandwear specialist McCalls . “It is not the same as wearing regular trousers – instead of sitting lower on the hip, a kilt (and trews) should sit by the belly button, which might be a bit higher than you’re accustomed to.” Check yours is being worn at the correct height: it should run along the centre of your kneecaps when you’re standing straight. The kilt should also go on after the shirt has been put on.
Should buttons be done up on a kilt waistcoat?
“Waistcoats should have all buttons fastened, including the bottom one,” advises Graeme Anderson of Anderson Kilts. “When you take your jacket off later in the day, you’ll still look smart if you keep your waistcoat on. Wearing a pocket watch is a nice finishing touch,” he adds.
What shirt and tie should be worn with a kilt?
Wearing a normal straight tie? In that case you’ll need a regular or slim double-cuffed shirt in black or white. “If you go for a bow tie, it is more common to have a winged collar,” says Simone at McCalls. “And if you decide on a casual Jacobite shirt with lacing, the waistcoat and jacket are traded for a belt.” Having a small bit of shirt cuff showing below your jacket sleeve is also advisable.
Where should a sporran sit?
A sporran sits in the middle of the kilt in line with the buttons of the waistcoat. “It should be placed four to five inches below the top of the kilt,” Holly tells us “Fastened with chain straps, the height of the sporran can be adjusted using the buckles at the back and, once in place, it shouldn’t budge,” she adds.
How to attach a fly plaid
“You wear a plaid over the left shoulder,” says Graeme. “Feed it through the epaulette and attach it with a brooch, so it hangs to around the back of the knee.”
How to tie ghillie brogues
Ghillie brogues are the shoes traditionally worn with a kilt – and they have extra-long laces. “Ghillie brogues should be tied just above the ankle, not all the way up the sock, or they’ll just be falling back down all day,” says Graeme. There’s a special technique for tying the laces, so watch a video online or spend some time practising in advance to ensure you don’t get yourself into a tangle on the morning of the wedding.
Kilt hose, AKA socks
Socks are far more than just practical necessities. Choose the right ones and they make great finishing touches to your outfit. “Many grooms pick socks to match their jacket colour, so would go for a navy jacket with navy socks, or a black jacket and black socks,” Holly tells us. “You could also stand out from the wedding party by opting for a different sock colour to what the groomsmen are wearing.”
What side does a sgian dubh get worn on?
This little dagger was traditionally carried by a Highlander as an all-purpose knife, but today it is simply a ceremonial accessory. “Place it in the top of the right sock (if you’re right-handed), with two inches of handle showing,” advises Holly Nicholl from MacGregor and MacDuff. “If you’re uncomfortable carrying a blade, opt for a replica with a non-removable sheath.”
How to choose a tartan
There are literally thousands of tartans, in a mind-boggling combination of colours – so how do you choose one? Well, traditionally you’d go with the tartan associated with your family name or the region your clan belonged to. “The groom could also decide to honour his new partner by wearing the clan colours of the family he’s marrying into,” says Holly from MacGregor and MacDuff. “A lot of grooms take their general wedding theme and colour scheme into consideration too.”
Don’t have (or don’t like) your own family tartan? “You could go for a more general design for your kilt,” points out Simone from McCalls.
Wedding suits Scotland
Your everyday office suit is fine for meetings with the head of department, but it’s not going to cut it for a far more important meeting at the top of the aisle. Here’s what you need to bear in mind when putting your outfit together
What suits are appropriate for a wedding?
“Groomswear styles can be cyclical,” says Martin Rennie from Remus Uomo. “We’re seeing pinstripes, linen and double-breasted fashions from the 1990s and 2000s making a return. Colourful suits and mixing fabrics are also on trend.” Wear what works for you.
How long should suit trousers be?
“The length and style of your trousers is very much down to personal preference,” says Martin. “The hem can sit above the shoes or can be ankle-length if you want to show off your socks and shoes.” Wearing loafers? Opt for a shorter leg. “Trousers can be taken in or out as needed.”
How should a wedding suit jacket fit?
“The most important thing about a jacket is that it fits well and is comfortable,” advises Martin. If yours is a two-button style, only ever do up the top button.
Should a suit waistcoat be buttoned up?
“If you wear a waistcoat, you shouldn’t button up your jacket,” Martin tells us. “You can leave the waistcoat’s bottom button undone – it will be more comfortable, especially when you’re sitting down.”
What shirt and tie should I wear with a wedding-day suit?
“Traditional black suits work well with a crisp white shirt and you can have cuffs slightly showing from below your jacket sleeves,” says Martin. “If you opt for a bow tie, ensure it is done up correctly and not left loose initially, as it can be messy. A normal tie should be in a nice tight Windsor knot. Align it perfectly down the buttons, with the point just above your belt.”
What shoes should be worn with a suit on my wedding day?
“The right shoes will finish off the entire look and are another chance to show your personality,” suggests Martin. “Brogues and loafers are formal and traditional, but the style you opt for really depends on your suit.”
Where does a groom’s buttonhole go?
This is usually pinned to the left lapel, but left-handed grooms can wear theirs on the right.
What accessories go with a groom’s suit?
Once you’ve got the basics sorted, there are all sorts of ways to inject some personality into your suit. Consider a vibrant tie and complementing pocket square, funky socks or a pocket watch.