Should you Wear a Suit or a Barong?
The most preferred attire for a groom in our country is the barong but nowadays there are more grooms wearing suits or tuxedos to their wedding. Wearing a barong or a suit will depend on the time, style and formality of the attires of the bride and bridesmaids.
First of all, let us distinguish between a suit and a tuxedo. A tuxedo is adorned with satin lapels, satin covered buttons, and satin stripes going down the pant legs. Pocket trims may also be covered in satin and in addition to these; some tuxedos will have special lapel designs that add style and interest to the tuxedo coat. It is these satin trimmings that make a tuxedo the only choice for formal affairs. Black tuxedos are typically made from tailored wool and lighter colored tuxedos are made of polyester.
A suit does not feature any of the satin trimmings found in tuxedos and they are much simpler in design. A suit will feature a notch or peak lapel and it usually made of wool or polyester and are available in solid or striped fabrics.
General Directions on When to Wear a Tuxedo or Suit
Wear a tuxedo if:
- You are a groom, groomsman, or usher in a wedding
- You are attending an event that says “Black or White Tie Invited”
- You are going to a prom or homecoming
- You are going to a formal dinner
- You want to look good in your coffin
Wear a suit if:
- You are going to a job interview
- You are going to a business meeting
- You are going to a less formal wedding
- You just feel like wearing a suit as it can be worn everyday
- You are trying conceal weapons such as handguns and ammunition
The basic rule for guests is that if they are a part of the wedding entourage, they have to wear a tuxedo unless the bride says otherwise. Just make sure to ask the bride what you are really supposed to wear to avoid any embarrassing faux pas. Although Filipinos don’t usually wear tuxedos to weddings, so guests and the groom should ask the bride for clarifications since she usually decides for everything.
Now, if your wedding is going to be a very formal, then go with the tuxedo. A tuxedo is very classic and very formal. Think about what the male characters in “The Godfather” movies were wearing during the wedding scene, they all looked very dashing in their tuxedos. Tuxedos will not give a lot of mileage for your money but it is truly money well spent if you bought a well tailored tuxedo that you can even pass on to your children. If your bride wants you to wear a tuxedo but your budget won’t allow it, consider renting one from a reputable tailor. Your fiancé may want your outfits to coordinate and not clash with each other.
A suit, on the other hand, is more practical because you can extend its uses long after the wedding is finished. It can be used as office wear or to any occasion that calls for you to wear a suit. In the Philippines, what grooms used to wear is the barong but then the suit took over when Filipiniana theme’s popularity slowed down a bit.
The most preferred fabric for a tropical country like ours is linen, twill, or cotton. It would be highly impractical to wear a wool suit in a climate like ours. Not only is it inappropriate but you would also be sweating away all the essential electrolytes that you will need to make it through the entire affair. You may have fainted away because of the heat before you can even say your vows.
Shades of cream, blue, beige, or gray is a color suited for weddings in the afternoon. If the wedding is at night, dark colored suits in shades of navy, gray, charcoal, or black is recommended for guests but if you are the groom then the color should be black or ask your bride if what is permissible. The last and most important advice that we can impart is that you should have the best fitting suit. Ill fitting suits do not look good at all and you might even look like you’re trying too hard to impress others.
The Barong Tagalog
This is the most preferred wedding attire for grooms because it is very cool, lightweight, and less confining than the suit. This will always be the go to outfit for formal occasions in the Philippines because it is suited to our hot climate. Try waiting outside the church for a tardy bride while wearing a suit and you will look like a wilted leaf in a matter of seconds. It is usually made of natural fabrics such as abaca, jusi, piňa, and others. It can be dyed to match the color scheme or embroidered in the same pattern as the bride’s dress.
If you’re the groom, never ever buy off the rack. Not all bodies are the same and buying off the rack is like trying to win the lottery when looking for a perfect fit. The fit must be perfect because the fabric is already very sheer and will fall straight on to your body. People will right away see that the fit is obviously not good and it will just make you look ugly and unkempt. Weddings are once in a lifetime so it is alright to splurge a bit on a good fitting barong.
We have a lot of designers in Iloilo who make tailored barongs and suits, so just go through our list of suppliers and you might the best tailor for your outfit.