Choosing the right suit for the groom can pose a significant challenge. You have a lot to consider, especially if you’re shorter than average and have unique sizing requirements. It complicates an already complex subject.
Basically, finding a suit that fits well and looks good is harder than it might seem. But you can look sharp on your big day, regardless of your needs. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Cheat a Little on Your Cuffs
Suit sleeves should always be shorter than shirtsleeves, and the common fit is for one-quarter to one-half inch of cuff to poke out from beneath your suit.
Err on the shorter side of this to elongate the suit sleeves and give the appearance of longer arms. This will help maintain that all-important proportionality and give the impression of being taller.
2. Get the Correct Right
For those who can afford to wear a tailored suit, it's an easy choice. Unless your tailor botches the job, which they shouldn't, you're all dialed in. However, for many men, a tailored suit isn't always a realistic option. That's when it becomes important to know how to buy an off-the-shelf suit that fits for your body type.
You want something that fits close so the adjustments you make are to the arms and legs of the suit rather than the body. The point is to emphasize your torso and give the appearance of the classic broad-shoulders-slim-waist profile. A suit that fits snugly has a better chance of accomplishing this look than one where extra fabric muddies the silhouette.
3. Wear Matching, Vertically Patterned Pieces
Shorter grooms should avoid choosing a two-tone suit where the top and bottom don't have the same color or pattern. This type of outfit will draw attention to your top or bottom half being disproportionate, even if it does fit well. That's exactly the opposite of what you want.
Instead, choose a matching top and bottom, preferably with patterning that draws the eye up and down. You can see where this is going. Yes, the vertical patterning helps you appear taller. That, combined with the matching top and bottom, will help the eye track more smoothly, eliminating the chance of looking like a department-store mannequin that was assembled in two pieces.
4. Assume the Button Stance
Most men have never heard the term "button stance" in their lives. It's nothing Jason Statham or the local yoga teacher can help you out with, but your tailor or suiting supplier sure can.
The term refers to where the buttons in your suit fall. You might not give it much thought, but the placement of these eye-catching accessories is a major detail in the layout of your outfit as a whole.
While we're on the topic, make sure you're properly buttoning your jacket. Two-button suits are simple, with the top button being the only one you ever use. For three-button arrangements, remember the rule "sometimes, always, never." The top button is sometimes closed, the middle is always appropriate and the bottom is never closed.
Getting back to the issue of stance, your top button should fall at the broadest part of your stomach. It serves as a visual cue that draws the eye upward. Placing it too far up will just look off, but you want the button as high as possible. Buttons that fall too close to your waist will make the suit look unfitted.
5. Draw the Eye Up
This is the ultimate aim of everything you do with your suit. The more you can bring attention to your torso and face, the better it does its job. You can employ some accessories to help.
A pocket square is a great way to bring the attention up. Style your hair up to pull the attention vertically. Avoid bow ties and stick to narrower, traditional styles that complement the pattern of your suit.
You are not the first short guy to get married, and you won't be the last. Your suiting challenges might seem daunting, but there are practical answers for all of them.
Ultimately, you should look forward to looking great on your wedding day. You don't need to resort to height-enhancing footwear to do that.