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FAQ

HOW SHOULD I TIE MY WEDDING CRAVAT?

This must be the single most frequently asked question of all time.

Well thanks to the modelling skills of Mr Vernon Wicks (our bride, Laura's Dad) and the video skills of our Groom, Alex Spratt, we can show you how.

HOW LONG IN ADVANCE SHOULD I ORDER MY MEN’S HIRE OUTFITS?

Here at DAPPER we recommend that you place your order somewhere between four and six months before the wedding date (although some of our clients order anything up to a year ahead). The reason for this sort of timescale is that given this amount of prior notice we are able to guarantee size and style availability, even where an item is non-standard and may require special manufacture. Our policy is that we will make sizes specially, even for hiring, if you have given us enough notice (although sometimes a surcharge may be applied). Typically, this means that we might need up to twelve weeks making time for those non-standard items. Therefore, if you have had your entire group fitted by this time, virtually any requirements can be guaranteed.

If you are not ready this early, don’t worry too much. As long as you don’t need one of those extraordinary sizes we can usually supply at very short notice. Because we hold lots of stock available in each of our branches, last minute requirements or changes are usually easy enough to handle.

So, the rule of thumb would be this: if you have very special requirements, either in terms of particular combinations of colour, style, pattern or size, have your order confirmed four to six months before the wedding date. If you leave it closer to the time there will usually be no problem, but better safe than sorry, don’t you think?

I’M NOT PARTICULARLY TALL. WOULD A TAILCOAT SUIT ME?

There’s only one way to tell what will or won’t suit you: try it and see. Here at DAPPER we get many clients who believe that a Morning Coat (or tailcoat) will not work because they are “too short”. How often they are wrong! Although a tailcoat is longer than a standard jacket at the back – a properly fitted tailcoat should come to the back of your knees – the front of the coat is cut away and therefore shows the entire length of your legs. Other styles of jackets, although not as long as tails, may actually appear to shorten your legs and with it your overall height.

The “morning suit” is the most traditional of wedding outfits for men with a timeless and elegant feel. If that’s what you’re trying to achieve, then don’t discount tails on account of your height. You don’t know what you might be missing!

SHOULD THE GROOM’S OUTFIT BE DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER’S?

Here at DAPPER we like to think that the only rule is that there are no rules. What you do for your own wedding should be pretty much up to you. However, there are some popular conventions which you might like to take into account.

The average Groom’s wedding party will consist of around six people; Groom, Best Man, Fathers and ushers. It is not uncommon for the Groom to want to look slightly different from the rest of the group, although it is by no means compulsory. It is probably best to keep the suit style and colour consistent throughout, with small differences created through the accessories, such as waistcoats and/or neckwear. Our advisors have lots of experience in these areas and are only too happy to help you decide.

Some wedding groups have their directions firmly steered by the Bride, who may have her own strong ideas of what the men should wear, especially when she wants colours to be coordinated with her own or her Bridesmaids theme. It’s only fair! She obviously consulted her Groom before making the choice of her own outfit……didn’t she?

I WANT TO HIRE OUTFITS FOR GUESTS WHO WILL BE COMING FROM OVERSEAS. HOW SHOULD I GO ABOUT IT?

As with any other members of your party, it’s important to reserve outfits in good time to ensure availability. When guests are coming from overseas it’s a good idea for them to provide your menswear supplier with their size information well in advance of arriving in this country for the wedding. In this way, your supplier can do their best to have items put aside for your guest.

Here at DAPPER, we are used to dealing with this sort of situation and it doesn’t usually cause any problems. One of the reasons that we (and other good independent specialists) are able to handle these circumstances is because we hold large stocks on the premises and are able to carry out instant alterations if necessary.

When the guest has arrived in this country they can then try on the outfit that has been reserved for them and any changes or adjustments can be made to ensure a perfect fit. Just be sure that the hire company you have chosen has the facilities to handle these last minute changes!

I WANT TO USE A LOCAL INDEPENDENT MEN’S HIRE SPECIALIST, BUT I HAVE GUESTS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE UK. HOW SHOULD I GO ABOUT IT?

This is a typical “frequently asked question”. You want to use the independent specialist because of the additional level of service they can provide. However, they don’t have branches around the country and it’s difficult for some of your guests to get in to see them for a fitting. What should you do? Answer: Use the “HIRE NETWORK”.

The “Hire Network” is an organisation of independent men’s formalwear specialists all over the UK, which has been set up to give your local supplier the benefits of a nationwide network of similar specialists who will carry out fittings on behalf of each other. In this way, your guests around the country can be fitted, free of charge, by their own local specialist. The sizing information is then passed back to your own local supplier who will reserve the relevant items to be included with your other wedding outfits.

Here at DAPPER we have been successfully participating in the Hire Network for many years, and we love it! You’ll love it too, because it will enable you to have the confidence of using your local independent menswear specialist whilst incorporating the benefits of a nationwide fitting service. You can check out your local members of the Hire Network by using the advanced search feature at www.suithireshops.com. Alternatively, ask your local supplier if they are a member.

WE WANT FORMAL DRESS FOR THE MEN, BUT WE’RE NOT SURE WHO TO INCLUDE

In a formal wedding it is usual to include the Groom and Best Man, Fathers of the Bride and Groom together with at least two ushers (one from each side of the family).

These days, however, it’s quite common for there to be more than one Best Man (or even a female Best Man) and possibly more than one “Father” of the Groom or Bride (due to parents’ second marriages etc). It’s also not unusual for the Bride and Groom’s sons or stepsons to be included where this is the situation, although adult styles are not always best suited to toddlers.

Having said all of that, the decision should be based on what you consider to be the most appropriate arrangement for your own families. Rules of etiquette were formulated a long time ago and don’t necessarily reflect the way we live our lives today!

THE MEN’S FORMALWEAR HIRE: WHO SHOULD FOOT THE BILL?

This is a difficult one to answer as people’s circumstances can be so different these days.

Traditionally, the Groom’s father may have seen it as his responsibility to cover the cost of the men’s outfits. This was in the days when the Bride’s parents drew the short end of the stick by being responsible for the bulk of the wedding costs. These days it is more to do with who can best afford to pay for what.

Here at DAPPER we find that there are many different ways that our clients make the payment arrangements. Rather than try to advise what should or should not be done, it may be better to outline some of the variations that we have come across:

·       The Groom or his Father pay for the entire menswear cost for the Groom and his attendants.

·       The Groom pays something towards each outfit, the individuals paying the rest. This may be particularly appropriate if the Bride and Groom have specified outfits that may be at the top end of the price scale.

·       Each person pays for their own outfit.

·       We’ve also seen it where the Groom will pay for his side, but leave the Bride’s side to pay for themselves.

So; to go back to the original question.... Who Pays? The answer would seem to be: whoever is in the best position to do so.

MY FIANCE IS 6FT 2", HAS A 46INCH CHEST AND NORMALLY WEARS A SIZE XXL WHICH MEANS HE STRUGGLES TO FIND A DECENT SUIT. FOR OUR WEDDING DAY, WHICH STYLE OF SUIT DO YOU SUGGEST TO COMPLEMENT HIS LARGE PHYSIQUE AND WILL WE HAVE TO ORDER FURTHER IN ADVANCE?

Don't worry too much about his size! As professionals in the men’s wedding clothing industry we get used to seeing all sorts of shapes and sizes, and although your fiancé might struggle when it comes to finding a normal day-to-day suit he certainly should not be too difficult for a good men’s formalwear expert. Here at DAPPER we would recommend a Morning Suit for someone of his stature. Morning Suits (that's the one with the tailcoat) are available in many different fabrics and colours, allowing you to choose from traditional or contemporary looks. The timeless elegance of the tailcoat is a tried and tested favourite style for weddings, as recently demonstrated by those who weren't wearing uniform at William and Catherine's wedding. The most important advice is to make sure that you use an independent men's formalwear specialist who has stock of all sizes available for your fiancé to try on (don't select from a catalogue only, leaving the fitting to chance). Our experience is that people start to organise their groom's outfits anything from a year before the wedding, but around six months is probably average. Don't leave it until the last minute, though; three months is about the latest we would suggest if you have any concerns about size availability. This way you can both be confident that what your Groom will be wearing on the wedding day will not only fit him well but also make him look great.... but probably not quite as fabulous as the bride.

MY HUBBY-TO-BE DOESN'T WEAR A SUIT OFTEN AND WITH OUR WEDDING TAKING PLACE IN JULY, I WOULDN'T WANT HIM TO FEEL HOT AND UNCOMFORTABLE. WHICH MATERIAL AND STYLE SHOULD WE BE LOOKING FOR WHEN SELECTING HIS ATTIRE?

You are not by any means alone when asking this question, as July is one of the most popular months in the wedding calendar.

Let’s take your question in two parts:

Which style of suit will your fiancée want to wear? Our answer to that is always the same: be open-minded to start with. At DAPPER we have several different styles available, from the most formal tails outfits (morning suits) to less formal three-quarter length and lounge suits. The only real way to decide is by trying them on and seeing how you look and feel in them. Tails are by far the most popular choice after trying, even when your initial thoughts may be just the opposite. But, what looks good in a brochure or on a shop mannequin does not always look good on the individual concerned, and conversely, what you might not like on a mannequin may look fantastic when tried on. So, be open-minded and try as many styles as you need to.

Which type of fabric? The obvious answer is as light-weight as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a supplier that stocks light-weight wedding suits. However, here at DAPPER we have added various light and super-light fabrics to our ranges; many of them exclusively made for us in response to our customers’ requests for more comfortable outfits in the summer months. From fine-woven pure wools (for breathability and comfort) to silk mixes for added style and lightness, these are the type of fabrics to be looking for if you are concerned about weddings in the hotter months, or indeed, in hotter climates.

Hope that helps.

WE ARE WORKING TO A BUDGET, BUT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE GROOMSMEN IN MATCHING ATTIRE, HOW DO WE GO ABOUT HIRING THE SUITS? DO YOU THINK WE COULD ASK SOME OF THE BRIDAL PARTY TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN OUTFITS?

This is not an uncommon dilemma these days. People’s financial situations can vary quite a lot. It used to be “etiquette” for the Groom (or his parents) to pay for the outfits for all members of the Groom’s party; Groom. Best Man, Ushers, Groomsmen, etc. However, that’s not always practical and it’s not necessary to follow the old rules any more. There are a couple of ways to get around this:

If you have a number of guys in the Groom’s party and you really want them all to be dressed in full wedding outfits, but your budget won’t stretch to it, you could consider paying an amount towards the cost of each one and asking them individually if they would then be prepared to pay the remainder. The way you break down the costs between them and yourselves will obviously depend on your circumstances and you’ll need to find the most acceptable compromise. Talk it through with your men’s formalwear supplier. It won’t be the first time they’ve come up against this type of thing and they’ll probably be able to help you.

Alternatively, you may decide that each person should wear their own suits, complemented by accessories such as waistcoats and ties which you could hire for them. If you choose this option, take care to ensure that the suits will all work alongside each other or you may end up with a bit of a hotchpotch which might not look too great in your photos.