Brittons Formal Wear

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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Brittons Formal Wear offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

I have blush bridesmaids dresses and don't know what suits would go best with this colour?

Friends of mine have said a navy however my fiance wasn't the biggest fan when he tried on a navy suit.

Hey KeviStephanou,

When you style your men several factors play a role in deciding what to wear. Venue Location (and it's style), Wedding Theme, Flower arrangements and bridemaids colours. Whilst Navy is a broad colour range, I would advise your fiance try on various colours before deciding he doesn't like the colours. Manufacturer's and stockists are on a "new Navy" bent currently. This is a super dark navy, and there are definitely lighter shades available. This said, if you have a rustic themed, garden styled wedding with native flowers, opting for more traditional colours (light to mid grey's), and semi-formal looks (chinos and sportscoats) may be preferred. 

I advise speaking to your suit specialist, and remember to listen to your fiance. His input will guide you a little bit into a compromise that keeps you both happy, but remember to think about the four things that should factor into your decision.
1- Does he look good in the colour?
2- Does the suit match the theme of the wedding?
3- Is the suit (outfit) formal enough for the wedding?
4- Does it compliment/blend/contrast with the colours selected for the wedding?

Keep this in mind, and you'll be fine.

If you have any further queries please feel free to ask.


Matthew - Britton's Perth

08 9325 7390

What are the benefits to having a bespoke suit over buying from the rack?

Whilst a lot of answers address the value of bespoke over OTR (off the rack), the essential element is the lady or gent wearing the suit. Framing of jacket and trousers is the main distinguishing difference between these two products. OTR products do not take into account any unique framing issues (like big shoulders and narrower waist) It is why they are OTR and different brands will suit different body types.

Bespoke products whilst offering a huge range of fabric and design choices, also should take into account the framing of the wearer, and this will be a distinct difference between tailors. A good sales person will understand how to frame a clients unique shape, and can even assist you with the design to suit heigh/weight variables and also muscle bulk vs lithness. 

The cost is the second main factor, and there are alternative options like Made to Order, Made to Measure which are all subsects of Bespoke but reduce the range of design and choices. This subject is quite diverse and the literature is sometimes best taken with a grain of salt, but understanding the construction of the bespoke garments is essential before moving forward with a bespoke suit. 

If you would like more information please feel free to drop me a line, happy to answer any specific construction questions you may have.



Made to Measure Specialist

Brittons - Perth

What formalwear would look good with a floral wedding dress?

The base is still ivory, but it had pinks, purples and through it. Its the Wendy Makin Couture Katelyn.

Firstly, what an amazing dress. I love the design.

I would recommend styling the suits based on the bridesmaids dresses. My initial feeling is a range of blue suits things in the Marine and Navy shades, even Dark Teal's if they are available. Most bridesmaids colours will complement the blues but I would hesistate to recommend this colour if the bridesmaids are navy. Based on your dress, I would think the girls are in lilacs, nudes or baby pinks, if so, then my original recommendation stands.

Accessorising should be kept to a minimum, as the focus should be your dress. I would style the boys in suits with vests in the matching blue (I would highly recommend a shade of Navy), and then finding matching bows for the groomsmen to the bridesmaids colour, and seeing if you can get a floral bowtie for the groom to match your dress.

I would recommend with your dress aiming for understated elegance for the boys. Matching 3 piece suits without too much 'trimmings' optional dark brown shoes would look nicer than black shoes. Speak to your suit store, they should be able to understand the necessity to provide balance with the boys outfits (Using Navy to contrast against the girls dresses is what I am trying for). With a dress like yours, the photo's are of utmost importance, but also creating spectacle through contrast (Boys dark, girls 'stand up' off the boys)

I hope this styling advice is useful.

Feel free to clarify further with me if you are unsure


Brittons - Perth

What different types of wedding suits are there?

There are many types of wedding suits, but menswear only falls into three formal categories. Black Tie, White Tie and Formal.

Black Tie - this is a dinner suit, and can be accessorised to your pleasure. Popular accessories include braces and shirt studs. The type of suit here is any suit that has a satin lapel finish. The base colour can be whatever you please, and Instagram and Facebook are loaded with images. The colour of the satin can contrast or match the suit, but most dinner suits have black satin lapels.

Formal - this refers to any suit with a matching trouser. The lapel finish matches the suit fabric also, and generally the buttons are of a matching colour. Accessories like vests, bowties, coloured shoes (usually brown) and ties bars are popular with this dress standard.

White tie - Strictly Tails coat, with a white marsala vest, and matching white bowtie. Optional wing tip shirt, but must be a dinner shirt, optional marsala finish also. Generally worn with black patent leather shoes. This dress standard is rarely worn but the most formal. Think, White House wedding, or Buckingham Palace dinner.

These dress standards will help you select a suit, but remember to think about where you are getting married, what you want it to match, compliment or blend with. As a general guide the boys suits will provide base for your photo's and a stylist will understand how to use the suits to maximise the look for your venue, flowers and the gents individual looks.


Matthew from Britton's - Perth

(08) 9325 7390

Would it be acceptable for a woman to wear white at a gay wedding?

I agree with Stuart, but add one caveat. If you are the Bride it IS okay to wear white. Societal norms in relation to traditions and values hold true for same sex weddings, as they have for traditional weddings. Do not feel pressured to not wear the dress of your dreams because it is a same sex wedding, it is your day, and what you want is what should be.

If you are a guest, then it is probably not appropriate, but having said that always consult with your friends first. As a guide if you are unsure, don't wear white as a guest.

I hope this helps

Matthew - Brittons PERTH

P: 08 9325 7390

Ivory wedding ball gown and White Tux for the groom?

Hi guys, I really badly need your suggestion. My wedding gown’s colour is Ivory. And my man and i were looking what’s the best suit for him. He tried both black and white tuxedo. He prefers white for him to stick out from his groomsmean who will be wearing black tuxedo. So, my concern is will my Ivory gown will look dirty if he is wearing white tuxedo with black lapel? What are the rules when the Bride is wearing an Ivory gown and the groom chooses to wear a white tuxedo?

It depends a lot on your budget. Having a matching Ivory Jacket (prefereably in a dinner style) would be ideal, but to get one made can be expensive. Jackets on their own range from $900 - $3500 (depending where and who makes it).

I personally would choose the black over the white, due to clashing and colour matching issues and also because the black is classic.

If he wants ideas for sticking out that don't include the white/ivory option, then things like dressing the boys down with ties over bowties is a good option, or coloured bowties to match the groomsmen to the bridemaids. 

Depending on how long you have, it may be an option to get a jacket made, but I would do some research in your local area.

Hope this helps

Matthew - Britton's


08 9325 7390

What can the Groom wear for a summer wedding?

We're getting married in February in Brisbane and it's very likely to be hot and sticky. Now, I want my fiance to look sharp, but I don't want him to suffer either. What do you suggest he wear? (Don't worry about best man or groomsmen, we're not having any.) It's a garden ceremony in the shade, and the bride is wearing a simple tea-length dress, if that makes a difference.

Hi Sarah,

This is quite a subjective question but based on your specific information, I would suggest the following;

A nice Pure-wool sportscoat (possibly blue of some description, or a fashion colour) with (complimentary) chino's, possibly a white linen shirt and tie, or coloured linen shirt and no tie. This outfit will compliment the casual nature of the bridal dress, and tone with the garden setting. Also, the fabrics are naturals so he should not "suffer".

Hope this helps,

Matthew (and the Team)

Britton's Formal Wear


P: 08 9325 7390

How can a feminine person find a wedding suit?

I recommend seeing a suiting specialist. Like Britton's in Perth. We offer custom made products for women. These products are made from scratch to suit the differences between men and women. A men's suit block does not factor in the following; bust position, different waist line, difference of hip, and location of hip. There are other differences between a men's suit and women's suit in regard to the overall finish, like button position.

It is important to give yourself time to have these garments made 8 - 10 weeks is generally the minimal lead times for a full suit, with vest and shirt to be made.

I hope this information helps.

Matthew from Britton's Formal Wear

PERTH WA 6000 - 08 9325 7390

I'm looking for a women's suit for my wedding, with pants. Where can I find one?


Most suit shops that offer custom made services for men, can offer custom made services for women, as the tailors they utilise can manufacture both. I would seek out a local suit store that offers custom made products (like Britton's in Western Australia, or Rundle Tailoring in Newcastle) and ask if they offer a custom service for women.

Hope this helps,

Matthew from Britton's


P: (08) 9325 7390

What should my groom wear to match my vintage 60s wedding dress?

I would love to see your dress to give you some specific advice. Depending on the style, and tone of the dress there are plenty of options.

1 - You could select from the range of 60's styles to match the dress

2 - You could keep him classic in a tuxedo - this will compliment almost anything

3 - You could opt for stylising the outfits, you vintage, him modern

The options go on. But keep in mind things like, where you are getting married. If your dress is vintage, and the venue is quite rustic as well, then no purpose to dressing him modern. Use your theme's and colours to style him, and try an let him be a part of the process.

If you do want some specific guidance, feel free to e-mail me direct ( particularly if you have a photo of the dress, as this would help a lot.

Matthew from Brittons (PERTH)

Do you have a retail store I could visit for Kilt Hire?

Hello, In Western Australia, the House of Tartan is now the only supplier who offers this service.

They are located in Mount Lawley, on Walcott Street. A quick google search sould suffice.

For the other states, you would have to locate someone who offers this service.

We no longer offer Kilt hire, as we are not specialists in this field.

Hope this helps.

Brittons - PERTH

08 9325 7390

Do I need to have boutonnieres if my groom has a pocket square?

Thank you for asking this very popular qusetion. 

Our rule of thumb is; One or the other, never both.

The reason for this rule is due to balancing in photo's. THe flower, the square and the tie all direct the viewers eyes towards something. If you have both, the focus becomes the pocket, as the balance shifts. If you have one or the other, the focus is "lifted" to the grooms face.

As a side note, we usually recommend the boutonnieres over the pocket squares, as the floral accoutrements tend to match better with the overall bridal theme. That said, remember, it's your wedding, and you are styling it to look how you want it to look. Pocket squares can be better for more vintage finishes/retro looks over boutonnieres.

I hope this information helps.

Matthew @ Brittons - Perth

08 9325 7390

Apart from the bucks night and suit shopping, what else can the groomsmen do to help?

Groomsmen should be treated like the bridemaids. Especially in today's day and age, where fair is fair.

If there is a job you can't do, or need help doing for your wedding, good groomsmen will assist, much like goods bridemaids. These people are your friends and family, and for a day like the wedding, most will be more than happy to accommodate.  I'd suggest keeping it simple for bridal party members, as the more complex the request, the more challenging to please you it becomes.

Also, remember that different people approach things differently, so if you have a particular way of doing things, and ask someone else to do it for you, don't be too surprised if it's done to a different standard than your preferred standard.

I guess you need to remember, that most people are happy to help you plan, prepare and participate in yur wedding, ask for help, and it will come. Just be prepared with a cold slab for the groomsman that assists...or the bottle of Jack Daniels.

Hope this helps.

Matthew @ Brittons


08 9325 7390

Where can I find an outfit for the brides grandmother?

Depending on where you are located there are specialists in this area.

In Western Australia, we have Chapmans and The Wardrobe. Both offer womens clothing but also provide clothing for Mother of the Bride, which I would find suitable for grandmother of the bride.

Hope this helps.

Matthew at Britton's


If the brides dress is white, can the groom wear ivory bow tie?

My bridal dress is white (not ivory) and i’m considering whether the groom should be wearing white or ivory bow tie. I’m afraid he would look washed out wearing white bow tie on top of white shirt or it would blend in too much.

Dear Bride,

It is a matter of concept. If you want the matching look, opting for a patterned white tie can help lift it up off the shirt, and there are plenty of tie manufacturers who do self patterned (embossed style) ties.

Ivory as a colour, is introducing a new colour to the concept. I would suggest going to a colour in your flowers first before opting for the Ivory tone. Colour matching to his boutonierre (Button Hole Flower) could be an option for you as well.

Finally, using the Ivory tone, is not a problem as such, as mentioned before it's introducing a new colour because you are in White.

If you have any concerns, speak to you suit stylist for ideas. There will be somehing that you both like, and possibly haven't tried yet.


Matthew Allen

Brittons Formal Wear - Perth

Which color of shoes goes with a maroon color suit ?

For wedding

This depends on the fabric and finishing of the suit.

- If it has black satin lapels (dinner suit finishing) then patent (high shine) shoes or plain black shoes only.

- If the suit is velvet or velour without finishings then burgundy and black shoes would be appropriate.

- If it is a standard lounge suit, with no satin trim, or velvet touches, then burgundy, black or dark brown shoes would be acceptable.

Due to the nature of the colour of the suit, avoiding other strong colours will make this suit stand out more. So if you are unsure, as a golden rule, when in doubt always wear black shoes.

Hope his helps.

Matthew from Britton's


08 9325 7390

Thoughts on how to coordinate outfits when having two grooms?

Two groomsmen is not an issue. Usually match them to please. As it's you and your fiance's wedding, I would advise dressing them and styling them to match the groom.

Finding looks that compliment or match is relatively easy, and I recommend using the following guidelines.

1 - If you don't want to match the colours ensure you match the suit tones. This is nice and simple because no point putting the groom in dark blue and the boys in light grey. You want his colour to be the point of focus, use light colour to your advantage. 

2 - Accessorise to the same level. If you have a 3piece look for the groom, this should be the same for the groomsmen. If you have opted to use guideline 1, then keeping it simple and matching the vests to the suits is a great idea.

3 - Ensure your groom is the most formal. It's a wedding, don't dress the groom down and then dress the groomsmen up, it will make him look out of place. Always dress the groom to the highest level, and then use that as the benchmark for the groomsmen.

These 3 easy things to remember, help make the groom look the part for any wedding. Some general advice would be to remember your tastes, and likes. If something bothers you, find an alternative, there is always an answer to even the most strangest of problems.

Matthew Allen - Britton's Formal Wear


What colour suits for the boys in the bridal party?

We have 2 bridesmaids wearing pale ‘cornflower’ blue for a modern boho beach wedding, we have 4 groomsmen and the groom wants a blue suit but I don’t know what kind of blue, and if it will clash with the girls dressed.. I think a clean white shirt would be best, but don’t know what colour ties. The flowers r natives pinks grey and green.

As you are having a boho beach wedding, I would suggest a brighter blue like the Marine from Studio Italia, this will compliment the dresses very well, and tie in with your theming.

Opting for braces or vests, instead of jackets, will make the look more casual overall. I would advise getting the jackets for formal photo's if you wanted them.

There are many other options, just speak to your suit specialist, and we will be able to asssit you further.


Matthew @ Brittons


What's the protocol for father of bride and father of groom in terms of outfits/dress code?

Father of the Bride (FOB) and Father of the Groom (FOG) have several options in regards to dress standard.

For FOB, he has the hard task of matching the bride (if he is giving her away) and his wife (if she is in attendance). But depending on circumstances of each couple, FOG will generally dress to match the function he performs.

For FOG, his role is traditionally more relaxed, as he performs no function at the wedding.

With this in mind, generally speaking, dressing FOG and FOB to match, in Dinner Suits with bowties, is quite classic, and unassuming. It allows FOG to match both bride and partner without clashing with colours, or without confusion as the Groom. There are other options with regard to Fashion, and also different circumstances, but this option is by far the safest. A good stylist, will generally take into account, the outfits of the bridal party before offering a suggestion, but your individual circumstances are important as well.

I hope this helps

Matthew at Britton's Formal Wear


if my hubby to be hires a suit, then it wont have a tailored fit?

does this mean it wont look as good?

Bride to be,

Every Rental Store is different. It is a matter of investigation. Our business guarantees a "Best Fit" but it includes sleeve and leg length alterations to the rental. You need to also bear in mind, you only ever get "Tailored Fit" from Off the Rack products for each gent as the garments aren't made to fit that particular gent. If you are after "Perfect Fit", having a suit Made to Measure is the only way to go.

This said, cost increases as your fitting demand increases. Rental's are always practical options for tuxedos and dinner suits, as the calling for these is very low. Cost for a rental ranges from $150-$300 depending on the business.

The simple solution is do some research a few months before you need the suit. This way he can try things on, and see what he needs. 

Matthew @ Brittons Formal Wear


should we buy or hire the groom's formal wear and what are pros and cons for each?

Pro's and Con's are varied depending on the weight and height (or basic proportions) of the gent.

When you buy (or make) a suit more alterations are available to be done, and some are usually included with the sale. The range of products available to purchase also tends to be significantly larger. For Example, we deal with 11 manufactuerers nationally and internationally and have access to a wide range of sale products. Opening up these options usually comes with a price tage attached and particularly having a suit made can push the cost over the $1000. A standard budget for purchasing off the rack or ready made would be between $500 - $900 depending on suit brand, quality of fabric etc.

When you hire a suit; the range, the fit and available options are limited by each store offering the ranges. Some alterations are excluded as they are permanent, and the business needs to reuse the garments. This is also another downside, the garments are reused, and depending on how old the suits are, the wear and tear can diminish the look of the garment. Rental's tend to be a third of the cost of a basic purchase suit. Anywhere between $150-$250 per outfit depending on accessory requirements.

When shopping for Hire or Sale items use your own personal factors as a guide. Will he wear it again? How formal is the suit? What is your budget? Be upfront with the business you are dealing with, a good business will find a product to meet your needs and will try and keep the cost down to your budget.

Britton's Formal Wear - Perth, WA

What is the approximate usual cost of formal wear hire?

My partner is asking me how much to budget for, I wanna say like $500-1000, but I'm not sure


State by State this will vary. Here in WA the discrepancy is quite dramatic. Some places charge as little as $170 for the jacket, trousers, shirt, tie including alterations and cleaning. Others charge up to $300 for this. I would agree with the other comments so far and tell you to budget $200-$250 per outfit. At the top end this would include a vest and shoes for your groomsmen. I would think if you spent over this amount for rental product you are paying too much.

For purchasing outfits your suggested budget is correct. $500-$1000 per outfit, again at the top end this should include shoes and a vest, possibly belts and cufflinks as well. Remember that you are buying for a group (possibly) and the larger your group the better the deal should be for you.

Hope this information helps, and remember to start looking for your deal 16 - 20 weeks before the wedding. This will alleviate any stress from the Bride, and possibly the groomsmen too.

Britton's Formal Wear - PERTH, WA

Help needed with the men's suits

We are planning on mixed peacock colours for our bridesmaids ranging from turquoise to navy, for the boys, a navy suit and my groom will wear a dinner suit in the same colour. We both really love the idea of a double breasted waistcoat, but are stumped on which colour to put him in. We are considering putting the groomsmen in paisley waistcoats and ties matching their bridesmaids' dresses, but then where do we go with the groom? I'm thinking it could look amazing or it might be a bit much? Please help!!

Deborah, a tough ask indeed. I would advise three piece vests for the gents. Meaning matching vests (or waistcoats) to the suits, and then the matching ties for the boys. Putting the groomsmen into the floral vests can be a distraction from the overall look, as some colours can be overly vibrant. I would recommend single breasted vests for the boys, and the double for the groom. This would provide him a point of difference. Then you're free to go all out on the matching ties for each of the guys.

Some general advice for menswear is the K.I.S.S principle. Keep It Simple (I wont call you Silly or Stupid). I hope this helps.

What colour suit will go with my blush wedding dress?

Elise, If your dress is a blush colour and you are wearing it. I would suggest it is because the colour suits you. I advise applying this theory to the grooms outfit. Find a colour tone that suits his complexion. Most suit colours will match a blush colour, and the styling given by everyone seems to be suitable. That said, keep an eye on what the styles coming are. You're getting married in mid 2018, colours change, and styles as well. Do not buy/hire the suits too early as you may get a colour that may date.

Find a colour that suits HIM, not what looks good in a magazine, or recommended by a sales person. Speak to a stylist. They will be able to advise on colour tone to match skin, hair, eyes, and other features. Hope this helps.


should the groom have his suit jacket on or off during first dance?

My partner and I were having a chat and we got stumped on whether he should or shouldn't wear his suit jacket during our first dance. If he does will he look really stiff but then if he doesn't will he look less formal? He's not wearing a vest either so it'll just be a tie and white shirt


I would tell your fiance to practice dancing with you, with a jacket on. If you're having lessons for the wedding, then he should practice with the coat on. This will make him feel at ease when you dance on the night.

I would always recommend the jacket with the dance, as it shows care and interest in the aspect of the wedding. It's a formality that occurs at every wedding, and the groom should show that he is interested and dressed appropriately for the dance.

Hope this helps.

Matthew - Brittons Perth

If the brides dress is ivory, do the groom and groomsmen need to wear ivory shirts?

Or are white shirts okay?

Deanna, It is important that a base element exists within the formal wear for the men. Most often Black suits were used to provide base, and this is why ivory shirts were used in the past. However, with the common usage of coloured suits means there is now no base element - which is why the white shirt is important. It provides a base line for all the photographs, and for your colour concept.

Most of the other responses mention accessorising with Ivory, and this is a simple way for the groom to match the bride, but it is not the only way. Think of the colour of flowers you are having, or any of your accessories. A groom with a pale complexion and blonde hair may not suit the ivory tone for accessories, and you may need to opt for another colour.

The last thing to remember, and this is the most important thing. If you choose for the ivory shirt, remember to match it exactly. One thing that consultants fail to mention is that on the day, if the ivory's do not match perfectly, then you have discolouration issues, where the shirt or your dress will look dirty. If you have a stylist, discuss this with them, otherwise the menswear store you select to fit your outfits should manage this for you. I hope the big day goes off with only the one hitch ;)

Matthew - Brittons Formal Wear - PERTH WA 6000.

What colour groomsmen with navy blue bridesmaids - beach/rustic theme?


Our recommendation is to avoid Navy suits for the groomsmen. 2 reasons. 1. it creates a sea of darkness, and the casual feel of the wedding is lost to the formality of the boys and girls. 2. There is no balance for your photo's. 

I would recommend for Beach - using beige's and browns to contrast against the girls Navy tone's, and use accessories (like the flowers) to compliment the gents ties. If you are using natives (oranges and greens and purples) then utilise these colours to help.

I would recommend for Rustic - using grey's, avoiding charcoal. Medium grey's like stone grey are nice for garden by the beach style or rustic themed weddings then accessorising with navy to tie the grooms men to the boys 'formalizes'the look.

A simple tip for keeping the colours safe is using a white shirt to provide base. It will reduce the activity of all the colours and help tie them all together. If you are opting for the super casual look (no ties and open neck shirts) then a softer contrasting colour like pale blue shirts would also work.


Britton's Formal Wear


P.S. Sorry for the late response.

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