This month is all about grooms! We believe it’s time to put the spotlight on the grooms and take a step into the world of men’s fashion. Naturally, we reached out to Ray Stowers from Savile Row in London because who better to give us an insight into authentic men’s tailoring? We have had the pleasure of working with Ray recently who is currently creating an outrageous but brilliant design for us (which we can’t reveal!) however Ray has kindly given us some exclusive expert advice…
We made a sequinned party jacket for a customer with flashing fairy lights built inside. And at the moment we are making a formal dinner suit for a big wedding and the groom has ordered a second identical but more casual suit but with shorts to be worn for a second beach ceremony!
If you could give one piece of style advice to a clueless groom, what would it be?
Unless you are young and have the right figure do not wear a fashion suit that has a very short jacket and a skin tight fit, on most people they look ridiculous, even worse if you are on the larger side. Remember you are going to look back at those photos twenty years later and realise you don’t look great! Try and go middle of the road or classic with a twist, although if you are having your suit made then it can still be slim and trendy-ish but not ridiculous!
Are there any recurring trends that are most popular amongst grooms?
We make a lot of light blue wool or mohair suits for summer weddings and tweed or textured 3 piece suits for winter weddings often with a tonal contrasting waistcoat.
What should grooms look out for when choosing a tailor?
My advice would be to avoid ‘designer’ shops and department stores and head to a smaller independent store where you’re more likely to get some good advice on style and fit. Also be weary of shops producing a made to measure garment and miss-selling this as bespoke, even on Savile Row. A bespoke suit will be a minimum of £4,000 and a made to measure anything from £500 to £2,000 depending on where it is actually produced. If you want bespoke always ask to meet the cutter and check where the suit is made. Remember, a genuine bespoke suit is never made off shore!
What excites you about British men’s fashion?
No doubt British men’s fashion is the best in the world with good young designers and a real cross section of styles and cultures. This aside and being very honest I don’t get excited by what I would call high fashion, with everyone wearing the same and mostly it’s a bit of a con. Poorly made clothing or stupidly over priced. Follow a trend yes but at least try create a bit of individuality with it! Personally I prefer classic clothing with a bit of your own personality added or individually designed one off bespoke pieces, then only one piece exists in the world!
Are there any limits when it comes to groom’s fashion? How inventive can a man go while still looking wedding appropriate?
None, we produce anything the clients wishes, fashion, classic or individually designed clothing. We have produced period clothing and military style uniforms but mostly we make practical clothing often with a twist that can be reversed after the wedding and worn as a work or special occasion suit. Including a frock coat that could be shortened after the event and made into an evening suit (see photos above).
How much do you think the seasons affect men’s choice of suit style and colour?
In general we produce lightweight suits for most of the year bearing in mind a lot of our weddings are abroad. However in recent years grooms are wearing more suits that reflect the seasons. Light greys and blues mixed with pastel colour accessories work for most of the year and autumnal browns and greens often in tweed or patterned textured fabrics for autumn and winter weddings.