Expert Groom Advice: Joseph Wendt
When it comes to wedding attire, most think of the bride’s gown. But the groom shouldn’t be ignored. Joseph Wendt of Joseph’s Custom Clothier in New York and Naples has been designing custom menswear for the past 20 years and counts many NFL players and coaches among his clientele. He believes the men in the bridal party should also be given superstar treatment.
WI: Is it best for men to have their tux custom designed?
WENDT: If you have the means, don’t buy off the rack. There is more value, more quality, and you can create exactly what you want in terms of color, trim and fit.
What are the biggest trends in wedding wear for men?
Three-piece tuxedos are definitely in style. They always are, but seem to be predominantly in style now. Men are wearing neckties with a tuxedo for a young, modern look. A classic formal look always is the standard, a white shirt with a white bow tie. Not every wedding is formal, but never wear a tuxedo with a colored tie.
How do you tie the men’s attire into the rest of the wedding attire?
I sit down with the bride and groom and find out the mood of the wedding. If it is a classic, glitzy look, you want to do a two-piece tuxedo with a black tie for the groomsmen. The main thing is to match the mood of the environment so the whole wedding makes sense. If it is casual and beachy, then white linen. If the color and mood blend, then the pictures come out a million times better.
How do you transition from designing sportswear to wedding attire?
I design wardrobes for men. I’ve always done weddings and formal wear. It is an easy transition if you know the individual.
Should men’s attire complement the bride, or should it make a statement?
The groom should never outdo the bride, but he should coordinate with her style. If she is in a modern dress, he should be hip, but always true to his own style. He should look worthy of marrying her. The couple should always make sense of how they dress.
What is the best style of suit and fabric for men’s wedding attire?
The best style is to stay a little more classic, but have a unique cloth. There should be a tone-on-tone pattern that has luster and a little depth; something that is striking.
How can a groom differentiate his suit from those of other guests?
Well, a lot of times he will be the only one in a tuxedo, but also beautiful detailing—a white shirt and white tie, or a unique fabric. Sometimes we will do a vest that matches the jacket. But we can also differentiate through the use of accessories and materials.
Why do you think people are drawn to your custom line?
Predominantly, they want to work with someone who is going to go over every detail. Being well dressed will give them complete confidence.
What should grooms consider when searching for the perfect suit?
Number one is fit. If [the suit] fits, then it will look good. Next is fabrication, and then accessories.
What style of dress shoe do you recommend for grooms?
I usually suggest a beautiful, high-gloss, leather lace-up. If they are doing something a little more stylish and unique, we would do a custom shoe in leather with some detailing.