It’s summer now, and we’re firmly into the wedding season, but have you ever stopped to wonder how wedding fashion began? While Highland dress and military uniform have their roots firmly placed in historical tradition, when did we start to wear the wedding suit and how exactly did it evolve?
To answer that question, we’re going to take a quick step through time and have a look at the evolution of men’s wedding attire.
Back in the day, the groom would be just as extravagant in their clothing as the bride
We’re talking about those luxurious furs that only the wealthy could afford, embroidered silks, velvets and trimmings of precious gems and gold. It was Prince George (George IV) that took wedding extravagance and competition with his bride to the next level.
His bride, Princess Caroline of Brunswick was so heavily dressed in jewels, expensive fabrics and furs that she nearly passed out during the wedding ceremony, but George wasn’t to be outshined on his wedding day. With some striking stockings, silks, velvets and jewellery made from pearls, he quickly became the talk of Europe.
Of course, the everyday man would struggle to afford this kind of dress and would probably wear their usual ‘Sunday best’ for the occasion, if they had that. It wasn’t unusual for working-class men to wear their regular clothes as they seldom had anything better.
It was another Royal couple that turned the tide for wedding fashion
When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, the groom’s attire truly started to resemble what we recognise and wear today. Prince Albert took the rather bold and unusual step of wearing a Field Marshall’s uniform for the wedding to ensure that his bride would be the focus of attention on her special day, she was the Queen after all.
While Queen Victoria started the trend for the classic white wedding dress, it was the cut of Albert’s suit that led to the beginnings of the man’s wedding suit that we see today. The morning suit we tend to choose resembles that of his military uniform with the cutaway front and tails. Clean lines and precision were the new wedding style and one that’s stood the test of time well since 1840.
Since Post-War Britain, it’s the fashion trends of the day that has influenced the wedding suit
Grooms began to wear a lounge suit rather than the more formal suits seen before the first and second world wars, and as fashion changed to flares and power-suits, so did the wedding suit. These days there’s so much choice with wedding suits that almost anything goes.
Discover our collection of fine shirts to wear with your wedding suits knowing that you’ll be comfortable in your choice of attire thanks to our bespoke touches and hand-tailoring.