Wedding suits in Singapore: KayJen Dylan founders Matthew Lai and Dylan Chong answer your biggest tailoring questions
Tying the knot is never a walk in the park. Unless this is not your first rodeo, of which nitty gritties span who to invite and who to axe, how to decorate and what to wear, most could use a little help along the way. The male wardrobe — that is, getting a wedding suit tailored — is but another mountain to conquer.
In interest of hearing it from the horse's mouth, we ask Matthew Lai and Dylan Chong of Singapore tailoring company KayJen Dylan the aforementioned questions, to which the latter enquired with his own: "Does one really need a wedding suit when he can just wear a good suit?" To clarify, Chong isn't implying that a man ought to slip into his best duds moments before turning up at the alter. What he contends is that good suits — for marriage or other less celebratory occasions — share the same ingredients.
Fit as always, is king. The garment's fabric should serve one's needs while taking into consideration the theme of the wedding. And yes, a bride's opinion on her groom's ensemble should be respected, but the concerns of its wearer always takes precedence. Below, Lai and Chong talk colour, due diligence, and what your groomsmen should really be wearing.
1. WHAT SHOULD MY WEDDING SUIT LOOK LIKE?
Whether a suit is worn to snag the biggest contract of your career or to pledge eternal love to a partner, there is little to no difference between the two. Tailor the garment with the wedding and future occassions in mind.
"To me, a 'wedding suit' is of the shiny grey variety with highly designed lapels, paired with shirts that sport gold or diamond buttons. This means that one will never be able to wear it anywhere else unless they get married a second time. As most people will want to wear their suits after their wedding, focus on getting it well-fitted and consider how formal your event is. If it's the usual dinner, a dark blue suit — in a sturdier fabric to prevent creasing — is good. If it's a black tie or formal wedding, you'd want a tuxedo. Your suit doesn't have to be outrageous as it then becomes less versatile. Versatility is what gives the garment longevity."
2. HOW MUCH RESEARCH DO I HAVE TO DO BEFOREHAND?
Spending hours on Pinterest creating a mood board really isn't necessary, though putting in the legwork by trying on suits to find out what you want and, to be able to envision your end product better, certainly helps.
"Go and do some window shopping. Try stuff on. Whether its at Prada or with the range we have here, you have to try stuff on to filter out what's good and what's not for your height and size. This is especially key if you're looking at doing a bright colour. I had a customer choose a royal blue suit — this guy is tall, roughly 1.9m — and during the consultation I asked if he was sure about his choice of colour. He said yes. During the fitting, he was shocked when I brought out his suit. Here is where I'll encourage customers to do more research. The downside of tailoring is that you are paying full price for a product you can't see until it's done. When you see colours as a swatch, it often doesn't help with envisioning the final product, especially if you're taller or larger in size."
3. HOW MUCH SAY SHOULD MY FIANCÉ HAVE IN THE MATTER?
It's never wise to piss off the bride-to-be leading up to a wedding. She's already on edge about the seating chart, the flowers, the cake, her dress... but that doesn't mean you have to be a 'yes' man.
"We've had experiences where the groom is caught in the middle between our professional advice, and the fiancé's or mum's expectations. I can see the look of helplessness in his eyes. I always say the paying customer is the one I'm responsible for. The wife might say that she wants the suit's lapels to be two inches, but I have to hear it from your mouth as I am responsible for you. At the end of the day, it is more important that you like it, and feel comfortable in it."
4. SHOULD I BE THINKING OF STANDING OUT WITH A BOLD COLOUR?
Let's put it this way: if turning up in anything tamer than a fuschia tuxedo on your big day would be out of character for you, then have at it. But if you and fuschia would never cross paths on any other given day, then put the idea to bed.
"A lot of men have this need to try new things and stand out at their wedding, to which I question: why would you want to try something new and risk failure on one of the most important days of your life? Everybody can wear a medium grey and a medium navy. We've always been working with this, and these colours are forever. We have an entire book to do with navy. Maybe one black and two or three browns, but that's it. However, there are many different shades, patterns, weaves and textures to choose from."
5. WHAT SHOULD MY GROOMSMENS' SUITS LOOK LIKE?
Having your bridal party — be it bridesmaids or groomsmen — look sub-par so you stand out isn't what you should be doing. But having your suit cut from a more luxurious fabric, a different matter entirely.
"The groom and his groomsmen should be wearing different shades. If the groom is going to be in a charcoal or a mid-grey suit for example, then the groomsmen can wear a light grey. If the groom is wearing a navy tie, then the groomsmen will probably wear one that's black. We recommend something a little bit more luxurious in terms of the quality of the cloth for the groom. Or, a subtle print within the cloth that is noticeable up close."