Whether you go bespoke or off the peg, there’s plenty of opportunity to introduce your personal style to your wedding day ensemble
Let’s face it, if you’re not used to assembling a fashion-forward occasionwear look – painstakingly picking out the perfect accessories to complement a sharp suit, and swithering over which shoes to set it off – there’s always the risk you might look like you’re going to court on your w-day, rather than taking your courtship to the next level.
Having a bespoke suit or kilt outfit made does give you the creative freedom to look like you’d be more at home in the pages of GQ than The Digger, but even little touches can transform a hired or off-the-peg ensemble into something that’s bursting with personality, stands out from the rest of the bridal party, and is unmistakably you.
The first decision you’ll face is whether to match what the best man and ushers are wearing, or whether to pick something entirely different. If you’re flying solo, it’s better to opt for something with a connection to what the others are wearing while still letting you stand out. For example, don’t dress the lads in black Prince Charlie jackets and Black Watch kilts and then rock up like the lord of the manor in a light brown all-tweed rig-out. Instead, we’d suggest sticking to the same palette but with slight changes.
Stuart Graham, Highlandwear manager at Slaters, can help: “We offer a range of made-to-order Highland jackets,” he says. “This can be something that sets the groom apart from the ushers, as he can pick the cuff detail, the cloth and the shape of the jacket, as well as things like coloured linings and button details.” Glasgow kiltmakers MacGregor and MacDuff also allow grooms to get creative with their jackets, says Laura MacDonald: “We once had a groom who worked in digital publishing – he designed his own lining with a beautiful stag print, which we then incorporated into the garment.”
If this is sparking up your artistic flair, what about designing your own tartan? Using colours and features that are important to you, Geoffrey (Tailor) can create a completely unique tartan, which can even be entered into the official Scottish Register of Tartans!
The brand’s Alasdair Macleod explains the process: “First we consult with the customer and discuss which colours will be used, before digitally producing a selection of designs. The chosen design is then woven, and creates enough cloth to make three kilts.” We love the idea of fusing your family’s and your other half’s tartans to signify your coming together.
“I encourage all our clients to put a bit of their personality into their suit,” reveals Alan Moore, director and designer at bespoke tailor Ten30. “I pride myself on telling stories through clothing, and that’s what I try to bring out in a groom’s outfit.” He has worked on suits to reflect certain eras such as the 1920s (Gatsby theme, anyone?), sourced unusual buttons and frequently works with fabric provided by the client.
If you decide to have a suit made because standard high-street numbers don’t speak to your individualistic approach to fashion, just make sure your tailor’s vibe is couture over costume. “Subtlety is key,” affirms Alan. “For me, it’s all about colour balance, keeping accessories to a minimum and remembering that classics never go out of style. A simple suit that fits perfectly, complemented with a few well-chosen accessories, is all you need to look great and stand out.”
Keepsakes such as engraved cufflinks or hipflasks should already be on your radar, but commissioning a kilt pin or sporran puts an extra spin on your w-day accessories. Jewellery designer Islay Spalding has worked with grooms on private projects for kilt pins with personal meaning, including favourite bands and locations, while Sporran Nation has just started tattooing the leather used in its custom commissions. A sporran decorated with your most meaningful ink (not the ‘MAGA 16’ on your bum) makes for an heirloom that will seriously impress the grandkids one day.
Working as Stitched Forever, Ashleigh Lindsay embroiders messages and even photo labels discreetly onto wedding outfits. “Wedding dates are a lovely touch, but the photo labels are my most memorable commissions,” she smiles. “It’s the perfect way to have someone with you who can’t be there on the big day.”
When you’re dressing on the morning of the big day, the last thing you’ll put on is your shoes. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about them. “There are endless customisation options for our brogues,” comments Steven Angus at McCalls. “We have a large selection of leathers, and most fabrics are suitable for insert trims, although tartans remain popular with our customers.” Kilts might leave you cold, but sneaking your family tartan into your outfit via your shoes will help your traditional gramps get over your three-piece suit. Unless it’s bright yellow, that is.