3 Tips to Buy a Suit for Your Queer AF Wedding

You know what I love? A good suit. Maybe that’s news. My business is, after all, called Curvy Custom Bride and, unfortunately, our gendered world assumes that if you’re a bride, you’re wearing a dress. But I’m here to tell you three things when it comes to wedding clothes:

  1. Not all brides wear dresses.
  2. Not all weddings have brides.
  3. Good suits are for everybody and every body.

Including me. Yes, that’s right. I’m wearing a suit at my own wedding in January 2021. Shhh — don’t tell anyone. But rather than wax poetic about this absolutely amazing floral jacquard fabric that I found for my wedding outfit, I want to tell you what you need to know before buying your wedding suit. 

I especially want to offer my professional advice to my queer fam. That includes all of my Trans and Enby  readers out there. Hello! I can’t wait to help you shine on your wedding day.

So let’s get started. These are my three pieces of advice when buying a suit for your wedding.

1. Don’t let anyone tell you that “You can’t wear a suit because…”

Curvy Custom Bride serves all bodies, genders, and expressions. As much as I wish that was the norm in my industry, I know it’s not. That means there’s a good chance that you may very well encounter a wedding clothes retailer who tells you that you can’t do X because of Y. You already know this, of course; unfortunately, you’ve probably had that very scenario already happen a lot in the course of your life.

Well, when it comes to wedding clothes, consider this your official stamp of approval from a professional fashion designer to tell that retailer, “You’re wrong.” (I want to say something much more R rated than that but I’m keeping it clean for the kids.)

Please know that you are not weird or strange or “unconventional” for choosing clothes that may not look like a magazine cover (unless we’re talking about Dancing with Her) but sure as hell feel more like you. You deserve nothing less, and I’m sorry that we live in a world where the go-to place for suits has the word “Men’s” in the name. Wearing a good suit isn’t just “a guy thing.” It’s for everyone and that includes you.

2. There’s no professional reason why designers need to say “bust.”

If you’ve ever measured yourself (or seen an episode of “Project Runway”), you know that the “standard” measurements for most basic women’s clothing are bust, waist, and hip. Well, guess what? Not every person who identifies as a womxn has a bust. That’s why I use chest, waist, and hip.

My wish is that whomever is making your suit does this, too, but if they don’t, I encourage you to tell them that they should. I realize this puts the work on you. I also want you to feel empowered to tell everyone you meet what makes YOU feel seen, even if that “everyone” is a professional fashion designer.

This same reasoning is why I never assume the gender of anyone’s partner. If you meet me and tell me that you’re in a relationship, you’ll notice that I say “they” in reference to your partner until I’m told otherwise. Honestly, I didn’t even know that I did this until a client of mine told me, “I realized that I never told you that my partner uses he/him pronouns and that you didn’t assume that he did. I love that.”

Long story short: You deserve to be fully seen by anyone whom you hire for your wedding. That’s especially true when that anyone is the person creating a piece of clothing for your unique and special body. 

3. A suit is going to sound more expensive than it is no matter who you are.

My pricing for two-piece suits usually starts in the $1,200 range. A lot of people see that number and do a double-take. I get it but there’s a reason why this custom piece of clothing is going to cost more than many options readily available on the internet. 

One of those reasons is that this is not fast fashion. I go into the term more here but, in a nutshell, that $250 suit online is a lot cheaper but it’s not necessarily for the reason you think. I promise you: Somebody is paying the difference, and knowing what we know about the fashion industry, that person is probably paying with their health, their sanity, or, heaven forbid, their life.

Does that mean you can now suddenly afford a custom suit? I wish the world worked that way but sadly, it doesn’t. I know many people who want to do one thing but capitalism keeps them from doing it. No shame! Instead, I ask you to consider why you’re buying this suit in the first place. 

My hunch is you’re buying it to wear both on your wedding day but also for a long time after that. Maybe the next 10, 20, or 30 years? While another suit may be cheaper upfront, I know from experience that it’s going to be made from less expensive material using less expensive methods and that, unfortunately, often means less time that it’ll hold up. I, however, make my work to last. That’s why my custom suits cost what they do.

Also consider alterations. Very often, a person will buy a $200 or $300 suit thinking they’ve done it. They have bought their clothes to wear at their wedding only to surprise! Find the darn thing doesn’t fit right. 

That leads to alterations that can easily cost as much as the suit. By that point, we’re talking $600 or $700 invested in something that’s going to last half as long as if we’d started from scratch. (By the way, this same scenario happens with wedding dresses, too.)

Is it a lot of money? Yes, it can be. It can also be a very wise investment.
Ready to suit up? Let’s talk.

Rent, Buy, or Make – Wedding Dress Options

So, you need a wedding dress. Should you buy, rent, or make it?

For most people, the first answer that comes to mind is, “Well, I’ll buy my wedding dress. That’s what people do, right?” This line of thinking leads to a quick trip over to Google and… well, so many options that it makes my eyes cross just to think of them.

Other folks aren’t interested in buying a wedding dress. They’d much prefer to rent. They have too many vivid childhood memories of decades-old dresses moldering at the back of closets. They too turn to Google only to realize that renting a wedding dress is, unfortunately, not really an option. 

And as for making your wedding dress? If only this was the first thing that came to mind for more people! You know I’d love it, wedding dress fashion designer that I am.

More confused than ever on how to find your dress? I get it. Based on what I know as a designer, I’ve listed the pros and cons of each option, and, of course, if you ever want to chat more, please let me know!

Buying a wedding dress: pros and cons

The biggest pro is that the process of buying clothes is likely a familiar one. You may never have bought a wedding dress before but I imagine you’re well-versed in the process of going to a store, trying something on, and buying it. 

Unfortunately, this familiarity is also the biggest con of buying a wedding dress. Some of my clients find me because they’ve purchased a pre-made dress but need to have it altered. I’ve already shared what it can take to alter a wedding dress but long story short: It’s often more time and money than the person originally bargained on.

Renting a wedding dress: pros and cons

Renting a wedding dress has one huge benefit: more closet space. After your wedding, you give the dress back, which means you don’t have to worry about storing it or preserving it (if you’re into that kind of thing). 

The downside to renting is that your options are limited. While more companies are offering wedding dress rentals — Rent the Runway being the best-known — it remains a newer option with less inventory. This reality is limiting in a lot of ways especially if you don’t fit the very particular (and, I would argue, narrow) view that the wedding fashion industry has about what a wedding dress is “supposed” to look like.

Making a wedding dress: pros and cons

I know, I know. I design wedding dresses for a living. Of course I think making your own dress is the best option! I won’t deny this is true but I also like to be upfront about why I believe what I believe. 

For one thing, designing your own wedding dress isn’t as expensive as people think. It also doesn’t require as much knowledge of clothes as it might seem; I’m right there with you the whole time to guide and share my years of experience. Most importantly, though, making your own wedding dress allows you to celebrate what makes you you.

And that’s why no matter what option you pick — buy, rent, make — I just want you to enjoy the process of finding your wedding dress. It’s so easy to feel boxed in when planning a wedding. As a big believer in fashion as a means of expression, I don’t want you to feel forced into wearing one particular thing because you “have to.” I want you to feel amazing! I want you to feel bold. I want you to feel like yourself.

Still curious about your options? Let’s talk.

Sam & Steph’s Brown County Indiana Wedding

Samantha knew she wanted a custom wedding dress from the moment we met. She didn’t want to spend a ton of time trying to find the look she wanted, and the fit that would make her feel amazing!

Steph came in after Sam- they both had separate fittings so they could surprise each other at the wedding.

They wanted very different looks, and I was there to make them work well together! I’m so absolutely thrilled by the images from Amanda Goodin Photography!!