Men’s clothing expert Rik Ducar weighs in on selecting the right suit for your body—masculine or feminine
Ducar breaks down his top three brands according to cost.
Ralph Lauren ($$): “He offers black label, blue label and purple label, and all fit and feel different,” he says. “It delivers a lot of value for your money.”
Hugo Boss ($): “You can get a Boss suit for under $1,000, and it’s still going to look sharp.”
Armani ($$): “I like relaxed looks for women,” he says. “Armani is a little softer.”
Theory ($): “Theory absolutely delivers for their price point. I can see a Theory girl a mile away,” he says. “And they sell all related separates, so you don’t have to spend a lot on alterations.”
The hottest trends in groom’s attire? We went straight to the top (expert, that is) to help you find the perfect fit for your frame.
It used to be so simple. Black tux, white shirt, cummerbund, bow tie. But just as TV has come a long way since its black-and-white inception in the ’50s (hello, TiVo?), so has wedding attire for grooms. There are different size and shape lapels; ascots, ties, and bow ties; colorful suits in silk, tweed and cotton. How to choose from the array of options? We asked Rik Ducar, the owner of Le Tux salon in Atlanta and stylist to top stars like Matt Hassleback, Cal Ripken Jr. and Andrew Firestone, to help us weed through the trends and find the perfect suit for your big day.
Let’s hear it for the boys
If you’re looking for two suits (one for yourself and one for your groom), things can get tricky, as you don’t want to be too matchy. Ducar suggests looking for the same basic suit in similar colors and then accenting them differently. “You want to wear pieces that complement each other,” he says. “For instance, I styled one couple where we put them in the same color suit but we varied the lapels. Carl wore a notch collar, while his groom did a peak lapel. Carl also wore a darker tie, while his groom chose a silver one.”
In other words, the shell of your looks should be consistent, but the finishings can vary. Each of you can choose a different color pocket square or ascot, in tones that are complementary. “And don’t ever mix genres,” warns Ducar. “Choose classic or contemporary and go with it, but don’t have one from each.”
Ducar has one piece of advice for women looking to suit up: “Custom-fit, custom-fit, custom-fit,” he says. There are fashion houses that make tuxes and high-end suits for women, but unless you’re looking to spend the majority of your wedding budget on a couture Gucci, you’re probably going to be stuck with picking a men’s suit and altering it to fit your frame. “Logistically speaking, it’s tougher for women to rent their suits, because they’ll be renting either men or boys’ sizes and the shoulders will likely swallow them,” says Ducar. Instead, he suggests finding a brand that you like and are comfortable with and having it custom-fit to your body.
On the positive side though, women are able to be a lot more creative with their look. “You can choose three complementary pieces from the same line and create your own unique suit,” says Ducar. “Women also have more options as far as finishings, including colorful scarves and jewelry.”
The “fit” secret
For both men and women, the No. 1 thing to look for in a suit is the shoulder fit. “If it’s too tight across your shoulders or the arms poke out, it’s too slim.” says Ducar. “If it directs too much east to west, the back will drop down. If you get a good shoulder fit to start off with, then you have a starting point for the rest of the suit.”
As far as pants, Ducar says to find a brand that really fits your body frame the best. If you have a favorite house brand, start with them and build your wedding attire from there.
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