Wearing Western Boots With Wedding Tuxedos

Wearing western boots with wedding tuxedos can be a fashion challenge, but these do's and don'ts help give cowboy flair to a formal event.

Modern wedding attire varies widely from the formal white gown and black tuxedo ensembles that have been traditional for decades. Many couples prefer unique styles and colors that reflect their individual tastes, cultures, and passions. Some couples decide that the groom should wear western cowboy-style boots with his tuxedo. As with any fashion trend, however, there are necessary do's and don'ts that insure that such a choice is perceived as a tasteful fashion statement instead of a clichéd fashion blunder.

While a groom should certainly have some input regarding his wedding attire, he should inform his bride about decisions that deviate from the classic tuxedo. A bride often coordinates her gown, bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, and other décor into a consistent theme, and western boots could look garish or inappropriate. By working together and discussing different styles of clothes, including footwear, couples can easily incorporate western boots into an attractive ensemble.

When selecting which boots to wear, bear in mind the day's activities. Weddings involve standing for long periods of time during the ceremony, toasts, and receiving line. Dancing and mingling are frequent, so it is wise to break boots in before the wedding day. If the boots have never been worn, begin wearing them several days before the wedding and practice walking over different surfaces as well as up and down stairs. To guarantee traction on marble or wooden dance floors, use coarse sandpaper to lightly scuff the soles and heels.

Boot style is also a consideration for wedding attire. Black or white boots with coordinated stitching are the most appropriate choices, and should match the tuxedo color. Boots with narrow uppers will fit better beneath dress slacks, but be sure to wear the boots when trying on the tuxedo. The slacks must be loose enough to slide smoothly without sticking or creeping up.

Without proper precautions, western boots can be a disaster when paired with a wedding tuxedo. A groom should not consider surprising his bride by wearing western boots down the aisle, even if her childhood dream was to marry a cowboy. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to theme the entire tuxedo (cowboy hat and bolo tie included) unless the wedding itself is themed. Additionally, spurs should never be worn with a tuxedo, as they could easily damage the fabric and create problems while dancing or mingling.

If the groom has never worn western boots before, his wedding day is not the time for a first attempt. Boots have higher, narrower heels than most men's shoes, making walking more difficult. At the very least, the boots should be worn for several days or weeks before the wedding to break them in and allow the groom to practice walking, turning, and dancing.

Regardless of the wedding palette, colored or patterned boots such as snakeskin or alligator hide are an inappropriate choice to accompany a tuxedo. Furthermore, black boots should not be worn with a white tuxedo and vice versa. When worn with dress slacks, the boots should fit smoothly inside the legs of the pants, and slacks should never be tucked inside, no matter how attractive the boots may be.

The only dress code for a wedding is the personal preference of the bride and groom. With proper subtlety and care to coordinate with the formality of the occasion, western boots add individuality and flair to traditional wedding tuxedos. That uniqueness will help make any wedding celebration a boot-stomping good time.

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