Staggered Saturday – A Smarter Future

June 26, 2010

Credit: Twin Lens Life

What’s one of the main things missing in wedding blog land? Something that is pretty integral to the whole ‘getting married’ thing but is often omitted? Only the bloomin’ groom right?!? Well fear not my darlings, I have the answer!

I made a new friend a few weeks ago. Andrew Shanahan runs a UK wedding blog aimed at your men called Staggered. Genius. Why did no one think of this before? I wanted to invite Andrew to write a little sommat sommat for you and your boys. My aim is that you’ll read this, show your hubby’s-to-be and then they can be all in love with Rock n Roll Bride, wedding blogs and stuff too (yes I know I do have a lot of male readers…but let’s be honest there are a lot more chicks about!)

When Andrew asked me what ‘groom issue’ he should write about first my answer was immediate and an obvious choice for me. Groom fashion! I love a bit of groom style but for some reason, and usually more often in the UK than The States,  no matter how Rock n Roll or stylish the bride is the boys can and do let the side down in the style stakes. The traditional top hat and tails/badly fitting hired suit teamed with a garishly bright cravat and matching waistcoat brings me out in a rash and I wanted to know Andrew’s opinion on the matter.

All is ask is that you please let me know in the comments if you (and your husbands-to-be/husbands) like this feature because if so I’ll try and persuade Andrew to write us some more bits n bobs for us. Love ya!

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As the editor of Staggered (hi, nice to meet you) I spend a considerable portion of my life thinking about grooms, best men and fathers of the bride and finding ways to help them; all of which is probably deeply unhealthy and will one day see me wearing a duck as a hat and claiming that I live on the bread aisle of the local supermarket. Among all the rubbish that I see these blokes having to deal there’s one thing that brasses me off more comprehensively than any other, want to know what it is? It’s men’s wedding suits.  

So why does something as inert as a wedding suit get me irate? For those with a limited concentration span here’s three neatly bullet-pointed reasons:

  • The men often don’t get to choose the suit they wear on the wedding day.
  • The suits they’re made to wear very rarely make them look as awesome as they deserve to.
  • The process of getting the suit is a joyless, expensive misery-fest.

Let’s look at each of these in slightly more detail. So consent. In many cases the bride, or the bride’s mother chooses what the groom is going to wear before he even thinks about opening his mouth. This is just cavernously wrong. There is one person alone who should choose what you wear on your wedding day and it’s you. It should reflect you, what you think is stylish, what you feel good in and if you don’t want to look like some extra from a period drama then don’t wear something that makes you look like that. On the other hand if you can’t get enough of cravats then load up on them, wear four. Just make sure it’s what you want.

A slice of my special hatred is reserved for the formal hire companies out there who don’t love their customers. The absolutely woeful thing is that you don’t have to look hard to find the companies I’m on about. If they’re not welcoming you into the shop, insisting on making adjustments to the suits so you look and feel great, then they don’t deserve your custom. Trust me there are companies out there who will behave like this, so shop around. It’s thanks to these couldn’t-give-a-damn companies that too many grooms go out in trousers that are too long, jackets that fit them about as well as a warehouse would and – worst of all – dirty clothes that should have been turned into dusters around 1980.

Over at Staggered we’re all about the men – we work our collective butts off to make sure that the men have everything they want to have a great wedding. That said, we’re absolutely not about robbing the wedding off the bride. We fully admit that it’s primarily her day, but what we’re less keen on is that for the bride getting her dress is a relaxing, enjoyable process that creates memories and bonds her with her friends and relatives. For the groom it’s about shuffling about in a cubicle while an angry stranger tuts about lending him a pair of shoes. This has to change.

Fortunately, the thing that will console me as I’m quacking in the bread aisle, is that there’s a wind of change coming. As a wave of low-cost tailors hit the market, who can provide an entire tailor-made suit for the cost of hiring one, so grooms are beginning to see that another way exists – they can buy instead of hiring. If they’re smart formal hire firms will begin to see that they need to up their game to compete and that means improving the service on offer.

Words by Andrew Shanahan of Staggered, the UK’s leading men’s wedding website.