Should My Groomsmen Wear Ivory or White Shirts?

Ah, the great debate! For all the type A people out there, I’m sure you can appreciate this question. This really hits home for me because, boy, was it a pending concern during my wedding planning process! Now you may think, “who cares”? If you’re saying that to yourself, you can probably spare yourself by not reading this blog entry. However, if you are someone who has extreme attention to detail, you will appreciate my story and the advice I have to offer.

I was cutting one of my client’s hair, explaining to her my planning process thus far, when we began talking about my wedding gown. She asked me, “Are you doing ivory or white for the mens’ shirts?” I quickly replied: “Wait, what?” I have already over-analyzed every detail of my wedding at this point and now this is being brought to my attention? She explained that she used to work for a Men’s Warehouse and, with her dress being ivory, opted for ivory shirts for her groomsmen. Ok, simple enough; I’ll tell the guys to get ivory shirts. WRONG! It was going to entail a lot more than that.

I accompanied my fiancé to his initial alteration appointment at a custom suit store. I spoke with the salesmen there and told them the advice my client had given me and they said, “Oh not a problem, when the groomsmen rent their tuxedos have them get the lightest ivory shirt they carry.” Unfortunately, this was horrible advice. Unbeknownst to me, there are a million different shades of ivory ranging from dark to light and all consisting of various undertones! The likelihood that there wouldn’t be 50 shades of ivory is slim. So, I began researching online, only to find a number of articles stating whether or not they cared about white vs. ivory. I couldn’t find any information as to where or how I would obtain shirts to perfectly compliment my gown.

One night I was perusing the internet and found a photo of Ryan Gosling in an ivory tuxedo jacket. Not only was I pleased to come across Ryan Gosling, but equally pleased to see a man in an ivory jacket. My fiancé had told me that his grandfather had done this look as well; Ivory tuxedo jacket with black tuxedo pants. Could this solve the entire issue? My fiancé was excited that his initial desire to sport this look was now possible.

However, just when I discovered how hard it was to find ivory shirts, I soon learned that finding an ivory jacket is an even more difficult feat! Shortly thereafter, I learned that the only way to get an ivory shirt—especially tone specific—is to go the custom route. This can be extremely difficult financially for some of the members of your wedding party. If you have groomsmen from out of state this can also become especially challenging, as they are not only spending money traveling to and from your wedding, but also spending time to get measured and return that information to you. At this point, we were pleased that we only needed to find an ivory jacket.

My fiancé and I tried our luck at a few spots along Newbury St. only to find that there were either very few ivory options or that they really couldn’t customize the jacket at all. Despite our bad luck thus far, the third time really was a charm. We were able to find a fabulous place called “9tailors.” They had a plethora of ivory options, whether they be shirts or jackets. We had 7-8 different swatches to choose from for the jacket and were able to match it perfectly to my dress. There wasn’t a customizable feature that they didn’t offer. Finally! One more wedding detail checked off the list. Fellow brides know how nice it is to check tasks off the list.

Now, whether ivory or white shirts and jackets really matter is completely subjective. Just know that the only way to truly match your groom is to go the custom route. Is this headache worthwhile? For me it was, and now I’m confident we will look amazing on our big day.

“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.
Charles R. Swindoll”

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