Not many people know fashion as well as Tan France—the star of Netflix’s reboot of the Bravo hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He is, after all, the new, resident fashion expert of the “fab five”—and with his fresh perspective, he shares his biggest wedding fashion tips and faux pas with The Knot in an exclusive interview.
Ten years ago, France—who hails from England—got married (first in an intimate courthouse ceremony in London, and again in Salt Lake City, where he’s now based). But his fashion tips are evergreen for brides, grooms and guests alike. Read our interview below.
What’s your biggest wedding fashion pet peeve?
[It’s] when guests wear jeans and sneakers, even if the dress code is informal. Don’t do it! Dress for the occasion. If you’re a guy, you don’t have to wear a tie, and you don’t have to wear a full suit—but it’s always better to not sway too casual. Wear trousers and a nice sweater, but never jeans or a graphic tee or flip-flops. The same goes for women—don’t wear jeans. Definitely wear an appropriate shoe, but no sneakers.
What’s one wedding style rule you think guests can totally break?
I disagree with the “don’t wear white as a guest” rule. As long as it doesn’t look like a wedding gown, I say go for it.
Speaking of wedding gowns, what are your favorite bridal looks right now?
I love a sleeveless bustier jumpsuit for a wedding. I think they’re very of-the-moment, so you might look back on it and regret it, but they look so beautiful. I also love the trend of not wearing white—like wearing a jewel tone instead—but of course, you have to have the confidence to pull it off. In terms of classic styles, I love a good [mermaid-style] gown because they’re so flattering. I hope women wear something on their wedding day that complements their bodies—it doesn’t have to be super revealing, but just make sure it highlights your body.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen brides make when picking their gowns?
Don’t order something online unless it’s a reputable site. You might see an image of a gorgeous designer gown, but when it arrives, it looks nothing like the picture. You get what you pay for. There’s a reason a gorgeous dress looks and costs what it does. You can still find plenty of beautiful gowns at accessible price points.
What about fashion tips for grooms?
Always ask your bride-to-be! What we’re finding in our [subjects on Queer Eye] is they never want to ask for help or advice because they think it makes them less macho. Find out what your bride is wearing and what her colors are and make sure you’re highlighting that with either a tie, pocket square, boutonniere or the lining of your jacket. I also love an interesting sock that shows a pop of personality—and if you’re feeling playful, wear a chelsea boot or Chuck Taylors instead of a plain black shoe.
But the most important things for grooms is fit. Even if you spend nothing on your suit, the right fit can be the difference between looking super inexpensive and looking like a million dollars. If it comes down to money, I’d rather you spend less on the actual suit and more on the alterations. Take it to a tailor! I don’t know any man who can buy a suit off the rack and it fits perfectly.
Lastly, who are the designers you’re loving right now?
Monique Lhuillier does incredible bridalwear, and BHLDN has nontraditional options that are still elegant. In terms of men’s wedding attire, Tom Ford and Brioni are so lovely but so expensive. J.Crew does a great job at an accessible price point.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is available on Netflix on February 7.