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Archive for Monday, August 6, 2012

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Style for the Ages: Fit is key for summer wedding wear

August 6, 2012

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Where to shop

Here are a few places in town to find wedding essentials:

  • T.J. Maxx, 3106 Iowa
  • Brown’s Shoe Fit, 829 Mass.
  • Foxtrot, 823 Mass.
  • Gap, 643 Mass.
  • Weaver’s, 901 Mass.
  • Kohl’s, 3240 Iowa
  • J.C. Penney, 3311 Iowa
  • JoS. A. Bank, 646 Vt.

Summer wedding season is upon us — the time for reconnecting with long-lost family and friends, nibbling halfheartedly on cake, and mustering up the courage to — perhaps, just this time — step onto the dance floor.

While you can’t control the length of the service or how many times the DJ plays Justin Bieber, you are always in charge of your wardrobe. No matter whether you’re going to a summer wedding stag or with a date, dressing sharply and confidently is always a winning strategy.

A key component of a great summer wedding wardrobe is your suit. I’m going to keep this advice very simple, and for a formal summer wedding, there is not a more classic suit choice than a (three-button) charcoal or khaki suit.

While a charcoal suit is the most versatile option because it can be worn year round, if you can afford a second suit, I would recommend khaki color in a lighter-weight (linen or cotton) blend.

Remember, FIT IS EVERYTHING — don’t let the shoulders hang like football pads, the sleeves hit your fingertips, or the slacks bunch at your ankles. Stick to flat-front slacks (one pleat at most if you insist on this option), as their sleek lines, along with a well-fitted jacket, will give you a streamlined silhouette that will help you stand out from the droopy crowd.

Also, budget about $100 for tailoring. A tailor’s touch on your jacket and slacks can make a $300 suit look like $1,000.

Next comes your shirt. While the options here are endless, you should start with a simple, slim-fit, straight point collar shirt in solid white, light blue or pink. (Yes, pink. Trust me, you’ll get compliments. Lots of them.)

Key yet again is fit. You should be able to put one finger between the collar and your neck (if two fingers fit, the collar’s too big), and the cuff of the sleeve should hit at your wrist without bunching.

The body of your shirt needs to fit you as well as your suit because, let’s face it, your jacket is probably coming off at some point, especially in this heat wave.

With a well-fitted shirt, don’t be afraid to nix the suit jacket for a more casual look. Your shirt doesn’t need to fit like a wetsuit, but it should be streamlined and slimming. Look for a “tailored fit” or “slim fit” label on the tag and pick up a three-pack of V-neck undershirts if you’re prone to sweating.

Rounding out your wedding wardrobe, stick to simple, round-toed, brown or black oxford shoes; keep your tie dark; and match your belt with your shoes.

The general rule of thumb with socks is to match them with your slacks, but you can also get a little crazier here with colorful stripes or a print. Don’t forget to buy long socks. Your skin should never show beneath your pant legs, standing or sitting.

Finally, put a white cotton or linen pocket square in the left-front chest pocket of your jacket to finish off your classic, summer-wedding-ready outfit.

To summarize: Keep your summer wedding wardrobe classic, well-fitting and streamlined, and even if you do stumble on the dance floor or snooze through the vows, at least you’ll always look sharp doing it.

— Vaughn Scribner can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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