How to choose your wedding shirt?
The times when the groom's shirt was an afterthought are over. The wedding day is a once in a lifetime event for a young couple to shine.
You both deserve your special moment of luxury and pampering, and nothing is comparable to a bespoke men’s shirt.
In this guide, you will find everything from how to choose fabric, colour, pattern, weave, and material thickness. Weigh the best options for collars and cuffs in function of the formality of the wedding party, how to find the perfect fit, how to dress your groom crew, how to make sure the bride and groom stand out, match, and look amazing together, and much more.
There are many elements to think about for a wedding, let us make this easy for you.
Choosing the perfect wedding shirt for your big day
A wedding shirt can be the centrepiece of the groom’s outfit, or the highlight of the suit. Whatever choice you make, a custom made dress shirt is essential to look your best on your wedding day.
You might think that a garment hidden under a jacket isn’t such an important piece of your attire. Except, you must remember the range of movement afforded by a bespoke shirt will make sure you are perfectly elegant during those hours on display and that you also feel at your best. Comfort is key to staying relaxed and looking stylish, especially when you are wearing formal clothes that you are not accustomed to.
As a rule, it is a good idea to wear a shirt lighter in colour than the suit for a brighter, fresher look. Cotton is the preferred material. It is both breathable and reflects light, which will make you look even better in all those memento wedding photographs. Also, make sure to tell your bespoke shirtmaker the level of formality of your wedding so he can offer the appropriate style.
There will be an enormous difference between a beach formal wedding party, to a cocktail, a semi-formal, black-tie, or white-tie wedding. The latter is the most elegant with codified attire and requires much stricter guidelines. In comparison, the semi-formal option allows you a lot of leeway and personality in the finishing touches.
About the length of the shirt, we would recommend a longer cut so that it can be tucked in comfortably, without shifting. You want a tailored formal shirt that will fit invisibly inside your trousers for a perfect look throughout the wedding day.
Perfect shirt fabric to match your bride’s wedding dress
If there is something you cannot compromise on, it is the quality of the fabric. You deserve a luxury tailored shirt that you and others will remember.
Selecting the colour
A popular choice is a white dress shirt because it pops and brightens you up. It is a timeless, elegant option that will look crisp and stylish under any suit. It is a perfect canvas to shine.
However, it is always a good rule to match the colour of the shirt with the wedding dress. If the dress is cream coloured or the lightest blue, consider customising your shirt to match.
Ideally, you should have a swatch of the wedding dress material. With this, we can help you find the ideal fabric tone and texture. You do not want to have a shirt lighter than the wedding dress as it will reflect poorly on the dress. It would make it look shabby in comparison. If the wedding dress is cream or ivory coloured, your shirt needs to match.
For spring and summer weddings, the fabric should be lightweight. It will ensure you greater comfort, though if you cannot imagine wearing a shirt without an undergarment, you will have to accept a thicker fabric that will hide the marking where the vest stops and the skin begins.
We use the highest quality Egyptian cotton, which traps moisture and is the most adapted material for warm climates. Cotton shirts offer the greatest comfort and the most comprehensive options. It comes in so many weaves and textures that you are bound to find the ideal one for you.
In autumn and winter, use heavier fabrics that pair well with a woollen suit, such as dobby, pinpoints, jacquard and twills. Textured fabrics look wonderful for wedding dress shirts.
Customising your wedding collar
One of the advantages of having a fully custom-made shirt is the wide range of options it lets you pick. Choosing your collar will depend on three different factors: your body stature, the formality of the wedding ceremony, and the type of neckwear you will wear.
If you are on the tall side, you can usually have more extended tips on your collar as it fits your size, while you would select shorter tips if you are of shorter stature.
A tailored tuxedo shirt will require a very different collar from a less formal one. The wing-tipped collar is the preferred choice for the most formal occasions with a stiffer higher collar. But Turn-down collars are now acceptable in most modern black-tie events.
It is important to keep in mind that the type of neckwear, and the size of the knot you intend to wear it in, must be adapted to the collar shape of your shirt. A bow tie requires a different cut than the traditional neck-tie to look its best with a broader or narrower cut in function. We are happy to recommend the best spread for your collar in each dress-code situation or design a shirt in line with your preferences.
What cuffs for a bespoke dress shirt?
The type of cuffs depends very much on the formality of the event. If this is an extremely formal ceremony, black or white tie, and you are in a tuxedo, the default is French cuffs. You then have a choice between single or double French cuffs, the latter being the more elegant of the two. In both cases, you will require cufflinks.
If you haven’t planned on wearing cufflinks and would prefer something less formal, or if you intend to wear a suit rather than a tuxedo, then barrel cuffs most certainly work very well. You have several options to dress them up with, for example, a rounded or angled design.
In general, we recommend choosing a matching style to the collar, both in formality and cut. We can advise you on the best custom tailored shirts pairing.
Placket, pocket, and other details of the hand tailored shirt
Pockets are an absolute no on a formal shirt. They immediately relegate it to the office-wear category. To make sure you have a clean, sleek look, go for a plain shirt front. Pleats can give some extra formality to your shirt but might seem overdressed. The choice of a textured fabric or a weave with a special design might be an excellent compromise to breathe personality into any white shirt without overwhelming your look.
The other choice you will have to make is whether to conceal your front buttons or leave them on show, especially if you have beautiful mother-of-pearl ones. This is the design of the placket. Both options offer distinct advantages. The hidden fly front gives a very sleek look while the open French placket can offer interesting details to your look, buttons can enhance your style.
If you opt for the French cuffs, whether you are or not wearing a tuxedo, you will also have to think about cufflinks. This is the perfect moment to display family heirlooms or a special gift from a loved one. Those highly individual items can influence your whole style. On the other hand, if you do not own any cufflinks, we offer a great range of quality German designs and would be honoured to help find a stylish match.
Dressing your groomsmen in bespoke
We can create all your groomsmen shirts for an elegant matching look and a wonderful, shared experience of luxury. After all, your best man also deserves to feel comfortable in his clothes as he cheers for you on the sideline. We can organise individual measurement taking sessions and arrange the details for all your crew to look amazing on your big day.
Rest assured, Nakhle Shirtmakers will build the perfect wedding garments for you and your groomsmen, and make sure you are all impeccably stylish and incredibly comfortable.
Do you want a fully bespoke wedding shirt?
About Charles Nakhle
Charles learnt the trade of bespoke shirts from some of the best tailors and most recognised labels in the world.
His mentor, a master tailor who approached shirt making with an engineer’s eye for precision and detail, taught Charles techniques and formulas for shaping, sizing, and grading.
Do you want a fully bespoke wedding shirt?