Do men still tie the knot when couples tie the knot?

PUBLISHED: 17:03 26 June 2019

Do men still have to wear a tie at a wedding? David Clayton is unsure

Do men still have to wear a tie at a wedding? David Clayton is unsure


David Clayton has something of a pedigree when it comes to fashion shows - but he's still not sure whether to wear a tie at a wedding

The recent news story of three grannies turning up at a wedding in identical dresses made me laugh, mostly with relief.

I'm recovering from a family wedding. It was a joyous affair, with a small register office gathering to do the legal deed, a slightly larger outside-in-a-picturesque-garden type blessing, then a full-on knees-up. So, in a way, three separate occasions over the week. I best not open a bottle of wine for a while having exceeded a quota or three. I blame it on the many enthusiastic toasts declared to the lovely bride and groom.

Anyway, it's all been special and if I'm honest I'm glad not to be dressing up for a bit because it's been a bit of a strain to get right, and it's been going on a good few months.

Mysterious parcels started arriving. I was often the signatory, so if nothing else I've become a little more adapt at scribbling my signature on a delivery man's screen with my forefinger. Has anyone mastered that properly? Its nigh on impossible. Parcels were returned before more arrived and the cycle continued for weeks. I was shown things hanging limply on hangers (very hard to assess) and a few were tried on (a little easier).

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While I do my very best to be a supportive husband, I'm not too good at critiquing outfits. I tread that narrow line between trying to work out what the right thing is to say and putting my foot firmly in it. I was doing OK with one of the dresses. I thought It looked very elegant and said so enthusiastically, then felt genuinely helpless when asked, "Is it alright with this bag?"

I've got a bit of "previous" when it comes to haute couture. I can talk the talk because I've compered the odd fashion show over the years, so I've acquired a working knowledge of terms. OK, everything was written down for me to read out, but I've described "ruched bodices," a "bateau neckline" and "tulle skirts." I was coached on the pronunciation of the latter. I think I got away with it.

My only real fashion shortcoming was with a young lady who, fortunately, I knew well. She entered a room in a long black dress ready for a glamorous evening, which I was also attending, and given no one sensible was available to her there and then, asked me if I could see her 'VPL'. She pointed at the region below her waist as I frantically tried to match the initials with something I knew to be in that area. Without wishing to show my ignorance, I did the best I could in the circumstances. Not coming up with any conclusive answer to her questioning, she said, with some exasperation, "My visible panty line!" Of course, I hadn't noticed it, but now I knew what it was and more to the point where it was, I couldn't un-see it, so I called it and presumably saved a major fashion faux pas.

It was said a good few times during the wedding build-up that we chaps have it easy when it comes to fashion. "I'll wear my suit," was my regular response to discussions about what to wear when, and I did, but it opened up a whole new male dress dilemma - the tie.

Given it was my son's 
wedding and informality was the order of the day, I could at least ask, "Shall I wear a tie?" Unhelpfully he replied, "It's up to you." I'm nervous when things are just "up to me." In the end I went for a splash of uplifting colour and donned a patterned pink tie. "You're 
not wearing pink, surely?" said my wife.

I changed to a more sober red and found myself in the minority, wearing a tie.

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