Traditional tailcoat weddings are always the choice at a 'Society wedding'. A society Groom wouldn't think of choose anything else. There is one exception of course, military dress uniform. The traditional tailcoat is the quintessential formal and traditional wedding suit in England. There is no other country that embraces the traditional tailcoat quite like the English. Tailcoats are usually worn with a stripe or matching trouser and a dove grey 'Ascot' waistcoat.
A more modern is to wear a tailcoat over Prince of Wales check trousers and waistcoat or a classic dogtooth trouser and waistcoat. Tailcoats have changed a lot in both the weight & fit over the years along with the way you dress them for your wedding. Gone are the ways even your parents wore them for their weddings. The updated versions are a lot slimmer fitting, lighter and cooler to wear. The wedding parties accessories tend to be a much more simple fashion look and have a luxurious feel to them.
There are a few traditions that have changed
Although the tailcoat has been round for over 100 years, there have been some gradual changes made to them. The first being the cut of the tailcoat and trousers. Modern tailcoats are a lot more slim fitting to follow current fashion. The tailcoat trouser width has also been greatly slimmed down. Gone are the pleat top, straight leg trouser that were worn in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. They are now a much slimmer style to keep up with fashion. That's slim and NOT skinny! After all the Groom & Ushers may look great in skinny fit but don't forget your father & grandfather are also wearing the same cut. Need I say more!
Cloth, as with all industries has moved on & now a days is lighter in weight, cooler and tend to have a more luxurious feel to them. You will be please to discover that the fabrics and how they are made are a lot more sustainable and natural these days.
Wedding waistcoats with a traditional tailcoat
When wearing a traditional morning suit, a waistcoat is an essential component of the outfit. Traditionally Grooms wear a classic single (SB) or double (DB) style. However, these days other styles have been developed to look just as good under a morning coat. Collarless double breasted (CDB), scollop and scoop double breasted (SDB) all work perfectly under the cut of a tailcoat.
Society Grooms tend to stick to the more classic styles. These Grooms tend to favour waistcoats in Ascot grey, buff and occasionally ivory or sky blue. Where as non society Grooms often wear waistcoats in modern textures or patterns. From classic Prince of Wales and dog tooth to bold check designs. Wedding waistcoats are also a great way of bring colour and design to a Grooms outfit. We have found that lots of our Groom's like more of a statement waistcoat. Whilst putting their entourage in to the same style but as a matching 3 piece suit. It's a great way of standing out in the photo's on your special day.
Top hats and gloves
Top hats seem to have disappeared from both society weddings and non society weddings. They seem to only make an appearance at Royal Ascot these days. Along with gloves. Yes, even in the 80's Grooms were still choosing to wear traditional grey gloves with tailcoats at their weddings.
Cravat or tie with your traditional tailcoat?
Neck wear regardless of a cravat or tie is a personal choice. We have found that most of our customers are going for ties or even bow ties these days. I think it is because they create a more stream line look. However, we do have a few Grooms that still like cravats. Sometimes its purely as they think it is more traditional or that's what their parents wore for their weddings.
Whatever your choice of neck wear it is still a good and reliable way of keeping the outfits the same but making the Groom stand out from the Grooms men.
Always wear black shoes with a traditional tailcoat
A traditional tailcoat MUST always be worn with a black shoe. Whether you opt for an Oxford, Derby, monk or brogue is up to you but I just have one request never wear brown! Brown shoes are far to casual to be worn with a traditional tailcoat. I have no problem with them worn with lounge suits for weddings and if your wearing a tweed suit its almost verging on a must but just not with a traditional tailcoat, I beg you.
Images from our hire collection
If you would like to come in to view and try on our hire tailcoats please call us on Billericay 01277 651140 or Colchester 01206 571171. If you are thinking about a made-to-measure tailcoat please contact Iain on Billericay 01277 651140 for this service.