10 Classic Groomsmen Accessories You Must Know
Being one of the groomsmen at your friend’s wedding cements your friendship. It is the adult form of giving each other friendship bracelets.
Groomsmen are an essential part of the wedding which is why groomsmen must also look the part. Lucky for you, we created a list of accessories or essentials which every groomsman must sport to the wedding.
1. Pocket Squares and Handkerchief
There have been debates between people about a pocket square, and people commonly mistake it as handkerchiefs. So what are pocket squares?
Pocket squares are generally for aesthetic purposes only. It is usually placed in your jacket or vest pocket, and it is small in size to fold it without being bulky thus creating bulges on your jacket or vest pocket.
On the other hand, handkerchiefs are used for its functionality. Whether you are wiping your tears, sweat, or snot, handkerchiefs will come in handy.
Difference Between Pocket Squares and Handkerchiefs
The primary and noticeable difference between a handkerchief and pocket square is the fabric. Pocket squares are made of satin, linen, or cotton. While handkerchiefs are made of cotton or a mixture of cotton and polyester fabric.
Cotton is useful for absorbing sweat, tears, etc. while satin serves a very aesthetically pleasing, silky, and soft garment.
It is essential to consider the size of the handkerchief or the size of the pocket square before purchasing them.
Preferably, pocket squares must be smaller than a handkerchief since it is going to be placed in your vest or suit chest pocket without creating a huge bulge to have more put together look.
While, hankies are bigger since it will be in larger pockets, such as your back or side pockets.
When it comes to the thickness of the materials, pocket squares are undeniably thinner than handkerchiefs since it is folded into different types of pattern and it must fit into your vest or suit chest pocket without creating bulges.
Handkerchiefs, on the other hand, are a bit thicker than pocket squares, since some of the handkerchiefs are double-sided or padded to absorb your sweat or snot without it leaking through the other side.
How to choose the right pocket squares
Whether or not all the groomsmen are given the freedom to choose their pocket squares or not; choosing an appropriate pocket square for the wedding isn’t as complicated as you think.
It is also not advisable to wear a pocket square which is a shade darker or lighter than your tie. Instead, you must find a color or prints which complements and works well with your tie.
However, if you choose to go for a bolder look choosing vibrant colors and prints will help you achieve a more edgy look while still looking elegant and put together.
There are also different ways to customize the fold of your pocket squares, which you can incorporate into your look.
Why it is crucial to bring a handkerchief to the wedding
Handkerchiefs are essential for groomsmen at a wedding, and also in your daily life. Bringing handkerchiefs at a wedding have been a tradition in Southern America because farmers believed that a bride’s ‘happy’ tears bring a bountiful harvest.
When it comes to every groomsman at a wedding, it is essential to bring a handkerchief or two. Since, you can use it to wipe your sweat, snot, tears, etc. But, it is also a sign of chivalry. Chivalry? Why? Well, you can lend your handkerchief to an emotional bridesmaid.
2. Necktie and Tie Bars
Do you ever wonder why people wear neckties? Why do people wear them at work or social events and gatherings?
Well, thanks to King Louis XIII who hired and got the inspiration from Croatian mercenaries who have incorporated a piece of clothing which is tied around their neck as a part of their uniforms.
Fun fact! The ties we see and wear today still have some resemblance from the ties King Louis XIII and his soldiers wear at gatherings 200 years ago. However, the tie which we all know today did not emerge until the 1920s, and until then it has gotten subtle changes.
Neckties do not provide comfort or functionality as it did years ago, but it is an accessory which will complete your look and can make a plain long sleeves shirt and vest a more regal touch.
Tie bars, on the other hand, adds style and function to your look. However, when not worn correctly tie bars can ruin your outfit; which is why it is essential to know the proper way on wearing your tie bar.
Generally, tie bars also help to keep your tie in place the whole day. But, your options when choosing tie bars is not limited to only silver and gold. Now, you can freely choose from different types of finish per se, metal or wood. There are also tons of color and shape options for a bolder look.
How to choose the appropriate neckties and tie bars
Being one of the groomsmen, neckties are generally color coordinated. Doing your necktie isn’t as complicated. First, you must pick the perfect size of the tie for yourself, because the size or length of your necktie can throw off your look.
When you already picked the perfect size, color, or patterns of your necktie, you should know the tips and tricks on how to properly do your necktie. Being able to knot your tie appropriately can give groomsmen a more polished and dapper look.
When it comes to choosing your tie bars, it is essential to know the size of necktie which you are wearing or if your selected tie bar would complement your tie and your overall outfit.
3. Bow Tie
Men in bow ties are the perfect embodiment of confidence and sophistication; unless he chose the wrong bow tie or wore bow tie which doesn’t go well with his ensemble.
Luckily, these ‘rookie’ mistakes can be fixed easily. The discovery of bow ties dated back to the 17th century, just like how neckties are discovered.
How to choose the appropriate bow tie for the wedding
Just like neckties, bow ties have different kinds of style, fabric, patterns, and sizes which you can choose from. More and more groomsmen rock bow ties at weddings, thanks to the rise of rustic or classic wedding themes.
There are three types of bow ties which you can choose from; the self-tie which is also known as ‘freestyle bow tie.’ Self-tie bow ties give a more organic look. You have the freedom to tie your bow tie while having the freedom to adjust it.
But it can be a little challenging to get your desired bow tie knot. You need a couple more tries to achieve the perfect knot.
Then, there is the pre-tied bow tie. Then, there is the pre-tied bow tie. As the name suggests, pre-tied bow ties come in a pre-tied and stitched knot. It is very easy to put on, and I strongly recommend this for beginners. However, any bow tie aficionado can spot the difference of a self-tied from pre-tied bow ties.
Clip-on bow ties, are a pre-tied and sewn ties which you can clip onto the collar of your shirt. However, this type of bow tie is the least convincing, and I highly recommend groomsmen to skip this type of bow tie since kids appropriately wear this.
Long before suspenders have been a staple look of groomsmen or attendees at weddings, or other formal events, gatherings, and even the workplace. Suspenders used to be strips of ribbon which are attached to the buttonhole of trousers in the 18th century France.
Back then, suspenders are not meant to be an accessory. Instead, it functions as an undergarment. In the 1820s a designer named Albert Thurston started manufacturing suspenders which we have known today.
What’s the purpose of suspenders
Suspenders back then are usually paired with high-waisted pants to keep them in place, but fast forward to the 20th century where pants are sewn in different cuts and styles, suspenders are no longer a commodity.
Suspenders are strips of fabric worn over the shoulders with the purpose of holding trousers up. It is attached to the pants with either clips or buttons, and feature either an “X,” “Y,” or “H” shape at the rear for additional strength and support. The said patterns also prevent either strap from falling from or snapping to your shoulders.
Which is why choosing an appropriate suspenders is essential to complete the look, per se the width, materials used, colors, and even patterns.
There are tons of perfumes which you can choose from however you must know the difference between perfume types. Especially if you are one of the groomsmen, you must sport a long-lasting perfume scent throughout the event.
- Eau Fraiche is the most diluted and non-lasting type of perfume. It usually consists of 1% - 3% perfume oil which is diluted by alcohol and water. It usually lasts for less than an hour.
- Cologne (Eau de Cologne) consists of 2% – 4% perfume oils in alcohol and water.
- Cologne (Eau de Cologne) consists of 2% – 4% perfume oils in alcohol and water.
- Toilette (Eau de Toilette) is a light spray which consists of 5% – 15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol.
- Perfume (Eau de Parfum) is a fragrance which contains 15% – 20% pure perfume essence dissolve in alcohol or water.
- Perfume is the most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. It is slightly oilier and is composed of 20% – 30% pure perfume essence.
Groomsmen must smell good all the time
Groomsmen must not only look good, but they also must smell good. No one wants smelly groomsmen, and it is an absolute turn off for anyone.
It is a must that you wear at least Eau de Parfum on your friend’s big day. Why? It’s because weddings, in general, are a whole day event. Pictorials, the actual ceremony, the reception, and the after-party (if the bride and groom chose to throw one) it is impossible for anyone not to sweat.
It is also a must that you take care of all your bases and make sure you shower on the day of the wedding and of course, put on your deodorant for protection. Perfume alone will not do the trick.
Recently more and more people prefer to have the nautical themed wedding over a classic wedding theme. Why? - the simple answer is, it is more practical, and it is incredibly trendy when executed the right way.
Shoes can make or break your overall look; groomsmen must have a pair of dress shoes in their wardrobe which goes well with suits or even long sleeves and suspenders. Black or brown brogue is a staple piece for fancier gathering or events.
Things to consider when buying your dress shoes
Buying the right and versatile pair of dress shoes will not only help you achieve a dapper and stylish look, but it will also save you money since you can use it on different occasions such as weddings, social events, and gatherings.
The leather is the best and most versatile option for people who are looking for dress shoes. And when it comes to the sole, it is better to choose leather soles over than rubber since it gives a more polished and stylish look.
Choosing the right color is also very important since it can make or break your outfit. Per se, the wedding theme is classic which means groomsmen are required to wear a tuxedo or suit it is best to choose black or brown brogues.
Per se, you are wearing a navy blue suit, shirt with suspenders, or chinos it is best to wear medium to dark brown brogues, but if you are opting for a more edgy and casual you can also wear these shoes with burgundies or dark green suit or shirt.
When it comes to the shoe style, there are tons of style options where you can choose from. However, these three styles are the best looking and most common type of wedding shoes.
- Oxfords which is also known as Balmoral is the most recommended shoes for grooms since it is the most formal and most classic style of all lace-up shoes. This shoe features closed lacing and are the most formal of all lace-up shoes.
- Derby is another lace-up shoes which are similar to Oxfords. But the main difference of this shoe is the closed-lace feature which creates a two-flap wrapping around the shoe’s tongue. Not suitable for formal wear, but would suit a more casual look if that’s the theme of the wedding. This type of shoes is what I would recommend for groomsmen.
- Loafers; the term ‘Loafer’ is an umbrella term for a type of slip-on shoes. There are many variations of the loafer, and some aren’t appropriate for formal wear, but you can find few classic and elegant style to complement your formal look. I would strongly recommend loafers for children and groomsmen.
Whichever style or color you choose to wear at the wedding, it is best to make sure that it is clean and well-polished for the wedding. Trust me when I say that it will ruin your stylish dapper look. Don Draper or James Bond never wear dirty old shoes. And so are you!
Don’t forget to remove the price tag or labels of your shoes. Just because!
Having a classy and elegant wristwatch to go with your outfit is an absolute must for any groomsmen out there.
Sure, there have been debates when it comes to wearing wristwatches at events just because it is rude, and you shouldn’t continually checking the time, or it just does not go well with a tuxedo.
However, more and more men are considering wearing watches at weddings, social events, and gatherings. And trust me, it is not for checking the time. You have your phone for that.
The real reason behind it is that wristwatches are only the form of jewelry a man can wear. Men look for things which can add personality to their outfit without going overboard.
It is also important to remember that the thinner the watch, the more tasteful it is. That is if you are going for a more refined classic look. And, I strongly recommend that you choose black or brown leather bands.
And honestly, it is not difficult to find a watch which matches your outfit.
There is still a debate going on whether or not groomsmen are allowed to wear sunglasses at a wedding. Personally, it is a must that you at least bring a pair of sunglasses with you because you might need it; per se, at the wedding pictorial.
However, I do not think it is appropriate to wear sunglasses at the wedding ceremony or the reception. Why? Well, weddings are such emotional and beautiful, and couples hire photographers to capture the moment and emotion, and you cannot capture such emotions when you are covering your eyes. Right?
But, if it is an outdoor ceremony and the sun is just blinding, and it will be difficult for you to focus on the ceremony itself, then I think it is just appropriate to wear sunglasses.
Just make sure that you will find sunglasses which complements your outfit and your face shape. And, finding classic and elegant sunglasses isn’t that difficult nor expensive.
Wearing socks whether or not you are attending a wedding or social gatherings is a must. Men's socks are essential but often forgotten.
A nice and clean pair of socks will have a positive impact on how people perceive you, as well as your overall outfit. But, old, dirty, and worn out socks will rather have a negative impact on you and your outfit. No one likes seeing dirty worn out socks!
The Socks Rule
If you are a groomsman and the wedding theme is classic, I strongly suggest, that you must wear socks which color matches your trousers. However, if you want to stand out and opt for a bolder look, I strongly recommend to find a pair of socks which complements your whole outfit, and it must at least match your tie, pocket square, shirt, or the wedding color theme in general.
Dress shoes are meant to be worn with dress socks, and athletic shoes are meant to be worn with athletic socks. So please, do not try wearing athletic socks at your friend’s wedding or even at your wedding.
And yes, even if it is new and it matches with your trousers or outfit. JUST DON’T DO IT.
There is nothing wrong to be bold, however wearing mismatched socks messes up your outfit. Instead of looking like James Bond with a hint of fun you will end up looking like Mr. Bean with his unmatched socks.
Dress socks must cover your calves every time you are wearing trousers, and you must not show any part of your legs no matter what. Why? It will just give off a more stylish and put-together look.
However, wearing knee-high socks when you’re wearing your trousers to make sure your dress wouldn’t be exposed is as bad as exposing your legs.
Did I mention that it will also be super uncomfortable and it will also create bulges right around your knee? No one likes that.
This rule is a no-brainer rule. No one wants to see dirty socks in a wedding. And, it indeed not a good look for groomsmen to wear such abominable piece of clothing while being dressed to the nines.
Cufflinks are a form of jewelry which is used to secure your dress shirt cuffs. They are the substitute and the more stylish counterparts of buttons which are readily sewn into the cuffs of your shirt.
However, just like buttons cufflinks come in different color, material, shapes, and sizes. Per se, it can be made of metal, leather materials, stones, or gemstones. But the main difference between cufflinks and buttons is that cufflinks are removable while buttons are sewn into your shirt.
Cufflinks are more ornamental than button thus making it less formal, but you can still find pieces that are classy and elegant.
Different Types of Cufflinks
There are different types of cufflinks which you can incorporate into your look. And, as one of the groomsmen, you must pick the proper cufflink to complete your look.
It is your job as a groomsman to look good and smell good at your friend’s wedding. And of course, you must also feel good too, because if you look good, you feel good and vice versa.
The most important thing is to match or coordinate your outfit that is tailored to your personality with the touch of the wedding theme.
And of course, it is good to stand-out amongst other groomsmen, but it is never okay to upstage the groom. Go easy and do not go overboard. One last thing, enjoy the wedding!