How to Be a Well-Dressed Groom

According to Weddingbells magazine’s annual survey, the average Canadian wedding budget has nudged past the $20,000 mark.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time wondering what to make of the wedding frenzy in which our generation is engaged — by which I mean people born since 1970. It’s almost as if we’re trying to demonstrate our commitment by forking over unbelievable piles of cash. All, perhaps, to distinguish ourselves from our flighty parents, who let divorce rates skyrocket on their watch.

I mean, isn’t it interesting how weddings ballooned in cost for the first generation to have really lived through the collapse of the North American institution of marriage?

I suppose my fiancée and I are typical: She pointed out to me that my estimate of somewhat less than $20,000 for our wedding, as I related to you last week, is dead wrong. When you count the money ponied up by our parents, we’re surrendering more than $25,000. And we’re not even feeding our guests dinner. That’s Toronto prices for you.

My other theory on the big fat 21st century wedding is that the whole phenomenon is one big distraction, an expensive means of fending off cold feet. Who can think of the future when one is spending thousands today?

Speaking of distractions, let me tell you about a milestone I passed this week: I finally completed assembly of the groom outfit. Because I suspect the DailyXY reader may harbour an interest, here’s the breakdown of the uniform and what each item cost.

Tuxedo suit: $400; as I’ve mentioned it was a Ralph Lauren jacket, 100% cotton, union made in the United States. The pants match, but were probably sweatshop-made given that they come from China. So the suit is a blend of ethical and ethical compromise. The jacket is used but in great condition — not that the sales lady pointed out the “previously enjoyed” nature of the garment to me, but I knew. Price included tailoring of the pants. I had them remove more than an inch of latitude on each pant leg, the standard cut for tux pants being baggier than the contemporary man ought to wear.

Cummerbund: $40, from Tuxedo Royale at Toronto’s Yorkdale mall, the same shop that sold me the tux. It’s polyester — Grade 12 quality. No one will notice.

Shoes: John Fluevog, Kerouac model, $205 if I remember right.

Shirt: Thomas Pink, $215, Holt Renfrew Toronto. I love this shirt for the simple, restrained elegance it exudes. It has a nice, subtle piqué texture. And it came with shirt studs, which saved me some $30. The cuffs are French, naturally, allowing me to wear the typewriter key cufflinks my fiancée gave me. It also fits me better than a bespoke dress shirt I had made a few years ago. So the shirt is perfect in every respect. It’s the best thing in the whole wedding after the bride. (I’m, like, fifth.)

Bow tie: Generic, made in Canada, Holt Renfrew, $40. My next mission is to learn how to tie the damn thing. I am grateful for the internet’s help. I’ve spent a good hour and a half on it so far and I have a ways to go. It’s not nearly as easy as tying a regular tie.

I suppose, then, I’ve got another distraction to keep my eyes off the road to the altar. Mind you, I don’t need to draw my mind away from the fact that I’ll be married in 16 days. What I need is to forget is that I spent, like, a grand on the clothes.

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2 thoughts on “How to Be a Well-Dressed Groom

  1. Thanks for the offensive remarks regarding Chinese sweat-shops. Yes, thanks, everything in China is copied and made in sweat-shops, so stop buying it already if you have such righteous views.

  2. You don’t have to take my word regarding Chinese textile factory conditions. Let’s hear what the workers themselves have to say:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/china/article/820395–labour-strife-rolls-across-china

    To suggest well-compensated, well-treated workers are the norm in China is disingenuous.

    But what should I do about it? Boycott Chinese goods? That won’t do the workers any good. It’s a question I continue to grapple with.

    Meanwhile, I can’t just pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

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