Vintage is such a broad term, and most grooms will have different ideas of what it looks like. If you don't have a clear image in your mind, start by looking at different eras and gathering references to help you pinpoint your preferred styles.
For example, a Peaky Blinders look will be very different from a Great Gatsby vibe, even though both are set in the 1920s. The Peaky Blinders style focuses on collarless or club collar shirts, wool three-piece suits, and long overcoats, whilst the Great Gatsby style has a lighter, more eclectic colour palette (and a lot of bow ties!).
Of course, you don’t have to stick to one singular reference. This is just to help you work out what sort of styles you prefer and give you a starting point to work from.Never Underestimate Wool And Tweed
Fabric plays a large part in a vintage look. Most commonly, wool is used for an old-school feel, particularly a slightly rougher, more textured option, like tweed. If you opt for one colour rather than a pattern, there's often a slight marl to the wool, too, which is simply the blending of more than one colour, and will give any look a more vintage feel.
Consider Your Suit Style
There are three common options you can go for when selecting your suit style:
1. A business suit
2. A relaxed tweed or linen suit
3. A dinner suit or tuxedoThe business suit is the most laid-back option, and in a vintage look is often worn with a waistcoat, suit trousers, and suit jacket in a matching material. Pinstripes are the most popular cloths for this style which can be single or double-breasted. If you're planning a 1940s style wedding go for a classic demob style like our Deliverance suit.For a less conventional look a semi structured tweed suit could be the ideal choice or even something like our cream linen Gadabout suit for a ceremony in summer.
A dinner suit is made up of suit trousers and a dinner jacket and is far more formal than a business suit, being closer to a tuxedo. A famous retro dinner suit is the white suit worn by Sean Connery in James Bond, consisting of a white dinner jacket and black trousers. A tuxedo is the most formal option. It's not all too common at vintage weddings, though it can certainly be done! Velvet jacket fabric and black satin shawl lapels are essential for that old-school feel.
A Shirt And Waistcoat Combination
Another option besides the two-piece suit is a simple shirt and waistcoat. Again, we'd recommend a marl wool or tweed, matching the waistcoat to the suit trousers, and opt for a double-breasted waistcoat. This has a relaxed vintage feel and is a little more rustic. Look for vintage detailing to the shirt such as a spearpoint collar, double barrel cuffs and hem godets.
The accessories of your look are incredibly important to elevate your vintage style. Start with your tie. Tie colours are often selected to coordinate with the wedding theme. However it doesn't have to be a block colour, the predominant colour choice could be picked up in a repeat pattern or placement pattern.
A bow tie or swing tie can both work with a vintage look, with bow ties opt for a plain fabric rather than patterned with a matching pocket square. A cravat is another popular choice for vintage style weddings.
If you have opted for a shirt with double cuffs you will require some vintage style cufflinks to complete the look plus maybe a collar bar or tie pin. Some expanding sleeve holders are also a great way to accessorise your shirt, especially if you've opted for a jacketless outfit.Gentlemen's trouser braces or suspenders are an easy way to make any outfit look that little more traditional! Ditch the suit jacket and opt for suit trousers, a crisp white shirt, and a pair of leather loop braces, with or without a tie.
A less common accessory choice might be a pocket watch attached to a chain in silver or gold to add another dimension to your waistcoat. If you're going for a Peaky Blinders look then these are essential.
You might also consider wearing other types of vintage jewellery such as the collection we spotted at this Guilford vintage themed jewellery store Cry For The Moon. Aside from your wedding band their latest blog claims signet rings are making a come back.
A Vintage Colour Palette
Vintage colours tend to be more muted than modern colours, focusing on tones rooted in nature. Dusty browns, autumnal reds, and charcoal greys are ideal, whereas brighter tones, such as electric blue or emerald green, are best to avoid. These are more modern colours that weren't very common in mid-century vintage styles. Save the pops of colour for your accessories if you want to coordinate with the bride.
Tweed is one of the most obviously vintage colour and pattern choices you can go for, as mentioned earlier. However, a white pinstripe on black or dark blue fabric is also a good look, especially if you're planning a 1940s style wedding.What About Hats?
One aspect of vintage attire that's often left out today is a hat. But vintage style hats can add class and character to your wedding day look and are a great way to differentiate between the styles you're going for. For example, wear a wool marl suit with a boater hat, and you'll get more of an American retro college vibe (Great Gatsby-eqsue), a newsboy cap for that Peaky Blinders era look, or a classic fedora for a 1940s look.
Choosing your wedding outfit is one of the most exciting parts of your preparations, so have fun with it! Create yourself a mood board. If you're still struggling, there's plenty of inspiration on the Revival Vintage website plus if you pop along to our Huddersfield showroom our friendly staff members can help you in person.
Guest blogger Jacob Lane