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How to Style your Best Woman or Your Bridesman

Many couples are putting aside age-old traditions, making their wedding day tailored especially to them and choosing to include a Best Woman or a Bridesman in their wedding party. 

If a bride’s closest friend is a guy or a groom’s favourite person is a woman, why should they be excluded from your wedding party just because of their gender.

If your wedding party includes a Best Woman or Bridesman, how to dress them can pose difficult decisions. 
The bridesman doesn’t want to look like one of the groomsmen standing on the wrong side and your Best Woman doesn’t want to look like a bridesmaid. 
Don’t despair.   There are many creative ways you can include your favourite person in your wedding party.

The Bridesman could dress similar to the groomsmen but remember he is your Bridesman and what he wears should reflect that:
  • Use the bridesmaid dress colour as a source of inspiration. 
  • Match his tie to the bridesmaid dress colour.
  • The bridesman’s suit could match the colour of the dresses or maybe match his shirt to the wedding colours.
  • A light-coloured suit would also link him to you, the bride, especially if you are wearing ivory.
  • Forget the jacket and use accessories such as braces or ties to match the colour of the belt on the bridesmaid dress.
  • A waistcoat in the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses also works well.
  • Give your Bridesman a large boutonierre (button hole) that reflects the bridesmaid’s bouquets.

A Groomsmaid or Best Woman are now terms frequently heard in the wedding industry and they too must be dressed correctly.  Some prefer to dress them like bridesmaids or have the same style dress but in a different colour but what if your Best Woman doesn’t want to wear a dress?
  • Tailoring works as well for females as it does for males.
  • This could be a skirt suit but trouser suits are proving more popular.
  • A matching tailored suit hits all the right style points especially with trends favouring men’s styling for woman.
  • Waistcoats can be very flattering and sometimes you may prefer your groom’s party without jackets.
  • Try the relaxed look of shirts, ties and braces.


If you want your wedding your way, with careful planning and styling advice, you can both have your favourite person next to you at your wedding with everyone looking comfortably coordinated.

To discuss the styling of your party call the Team at Chimney 01763 252828

Is Tweed Here to Stay?

Tweed:  noun  -  a rough-surfaced woollen cloth, typically of mixed flecked colours, originally produced in Scotland.

This beautiful, hard wearing woven cloth was originally favoured by the wealthy and those who enjoyed outdoor pursuits and was perfect for keeping the wearer warm. 
It had a reputation as being rather stuffy.

Attitudes to tweed have changed over the last few years as crafted natural fabrics began to be favoured by the hipster scene and celebrities such as Gary Barlow, David Beckham and Tinie Tempah were seen to be wearing it with style.


Although manufactured on a larger scale elsewhere, mills in Yorkshire and Scotland continue to produce the fabric and with the popularity of television series such as Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders tweed has, in the last few years, become the favourite fabric for wedding suits.

What are the attractions of this fabric for grooms?
  • It can be dressed up or down and so lends itself to a variety of wedding styles.
  • Rustic themed weddings are the perfect place to show off this textured fabric.
  • When a suit is usually worn for work or business occasions then the choice of tweed as a wedding suit ensures the groom and his men have a style very different from their everyday look.
  • Tweed adds character to an outfit and grooms are no longer prepared to hide in a simple grey suit but want to grasp this opportunity to express themselves in what they wear on their wedding day.
  • Weddings have become more relaxed in styling and with a greater number of rustic themed venues around tweed has fast become the go–to style for many grooms.
  • Tweed works well with both ties or bow ties so can be styled to suit your occassion.

Despite the obvious merits of wearing this fabric it's only right that some of the drawbacks are also mentioned:
  • Although perfect to be worn in Autumn, Winter and early Spring, tweed can be rather warm when worn in the summer months especially as a three piece.  If one of our customers has experienced wearing thick and scratchy fabric when being an usher at a friend’s wedding in the middle of summer, this can lessen their desire to choose it for their own wedding.
  • The way to resolve this issue is to choose it for weddings in the cooler months.
  •  A further approach is to mix a tweed waistcoat with a lighter suit.  This will add texture rather than warmth.  There is still a rustic look to the outfit and, on removal of the jacket, will give two looks in one.  Try tweed jackets and waistcoats with chinos for a flexible and individual look.

It certainly seems that this beautifully crafted fabric is popular enough to be around for a while yet, whether as a full suit or as accessories and can only be good news for the manufacturing mills producing a heritage fabric to be proud of.

How to get more Compliments at Work

If you are tired of how you dress everyday for work and want a new ‘Business Look’, take our advice and refresh your wardrobe with a few simple changes.

The obvious answer would be to find yourself a new suit. 
Try a different colour or choose a subtle pattern or texture, be bold with checks or try a slimmer cut.  A new suit can make a real difference to how you feel especially if the seasons are about to change. Try lighter colours and fabric for the warmer months and add texture and pattern for the colder months.

However, a new suit may be something you can’t budget for right now but don’t despair. 
Here are a few ideas to refresh your look by looking at your existing wardrobe or investing in small accessories that won’t break the bank:

  • Start with a waistcoat.  Maybe you have never thought to add one to your outfit. It can add a new dimension of interest, texture and colour.  Try combining a waistcoat from a tweed suit with your usual smooth fabric business suit for less formal days at work or even a tweed jacket with a waistcoat from your usual suit.

  • When it’s warm leave your jacket at home and show off your waistcoat.  This can look equally as smart especially if the waistcoat has a collar.

  • Pop to your local menswear retailer and treat yourself to new tie.  Different colours can completely change the look of your outfit, maybe bringing out a colour in the fabric of the suit that was hidden before.

  • Try a bow tie and use it to express your personality, show your colleagues your quirkier side.

  • If you usually wear a waistcoat try a different style.  Scoop front waistcoats are trending at the moment and have a younger style to them, working well with tie or bow tie.

  • Look at your wardrobe and try mixing a pair of trousers from one suit with a jacket of a different coloured suit.  Try greys with navy, light grey with dark grey or royal with navy.  Keep both items plain and don’t mix patterns for the best effect.

  • Does your shirt always have to be white?  Not bold enough to try stripes or patterns? Then try soft shades of blue or pink and mixed with toning neckwear, it can really enhance your look.

  • Are you bold enough to try a patterned shirt and a patterned tie?  The usual advice is to put a plain tie with patterned shirt and vice versa but patterns can work together so long as patterns are of similar size and have a common colour running through both.

Your new ‘business look’ need not be a costly experience.  Tiny changes can give you a whole new look, impress your colleagues and show that you do care how you look.

With a few little changes you can step out of your comfort zone, a little, and make a statement every day.  Go on, try it for yourself and wait for the compliments.

Your Wedding, Your Rules

Weddings are surrounded by rules and traditions but as styles of weddings change so these rules become open to interpretation.

Here we look at some of the rules and traditions that surround the groom's outfit and offer alternatives you may want to consider:

Jacket: Traditionally, no man could attend a wedding without wearing a jacket and especially would not be allowed into a church without one.  With current trends, many ceremonies take place in a variety of venues and dress codes have changed dramatically.  If the formal approach is not your style then consider leaving your jacket at home.  Choose braces or a waistcoat, possibly one with a collar, and distinctive neckwear.  This is where a bow tie takes on a special roll and the style chosen can open up a huge range of possibilities.

 Suit:  Why not abandon the suit altogether and wear mix and match separates but keep a common colour running through to create a coordinated but individual style.

Buttonholes:  Do they have to be made from flowers?
A buttonhole is traditionally one or more flowers arranged with foliage, worn on the lapel of a jacket but this doesn’t have to be the case.  Explore materials that work with the theme or feel of your wedding.  Try foliage on it’s own or seed heads.
One of the most effective alternatives is feathers which give a soft, informal feel and work extremely well with tweed and rustic or country weddings.  

White Shirt:  Traditionally a wedding shirt is white.  It shows off the neckwear colour and gives a clean, sharp base for a formal suit.  If your suit is not too formal or you are wearing a waistcoat without a jacket, then the options are endless.  So long as the overall look is not too busy or chaotic, choose patterns but remember to keep one colour running through from the pattern to the waistcoat and trousers too.  Pale shades of pink and blue also enhance neckwear colours accentuating the overall look whether the colour theme is rose or wedgewood blue. 

Tie or Cravat Colours:  Plain colours give a sharp formal look but for a more relaxed occasion patterns, whether floral, striped, spots or even textured tweed, may add that special touch you are looking for.  

Cufflinks:  Most formal shirts have double cuffs and so require cufflinks.  Cufflinks add style to an outfit and, when chosen carefully, can add personality to your look or even can express a special sentiment.  However, a button cuff on a shirt may not look any less smart.
With the preference for more relaxed styles of weddings, a distinctive style can still be achieved by rolling up shirt sleeves and then worn with an individual style of waistcoat.  In this case cufflinks are made redundant. 


If you believe rules were made to be broken, then also remember that it is your wedding so make up some rules of your own.

Christmas and New Year - the Most Romantic Time of the Year

Our Congratulations go out to all of you who have just got engaged.

Statistics have proved that the Christmas holidays seem to be the busiest time of the year for people getting down on one knee. 

Apparently, Christmas Eve is the most popular time to pop the question, with New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Christmas Day coming close runners up.  Surprisingly, they totally outshine Valentine’s Day for proposals.  One of the most important reasons for this trend is that it’s a romantic time, people come together and having family close at this time of year seems to make it an ideal time to announce an engagement.

So, what happens next?

As a groomswear retailer, along with our fellow wedding industry suppliers, we know that the first three months of the year are the busiest with newly engaged couples starting to seek out those who can help to make their wedding day very special.  Wedding planning begins in earnest.

This is also a busy time of the year for Wedding Fairs.  These are a great place to find all your wedding suppliers.  With so many of them in one place and often a fashion show of bridal, groomswear and mother of the bride inspirational ideas, here is your chance to chat to suppliers, get to know them and select those with whom you feel a connection and who give you confidence that they will deliver on the most important day in your lives.

Chimney will be at: 
Bride: The Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns on Saturday 6th January and Sunday 7th January,
Newmarket Wedding Fair on Sunday 21st January,
then at Anstey Hall at the beginning of February. 
Look out for special offers at these shows which will be a welcome help towards the Wedding Fund.

Venues and ‘The Dress’ are often the first items chosen but spare a thought for the groom! 
A wedding is a union between two people of equal importance.  Don’t leave it to the last minute to decide what the groom is wearing.  Your suit and accessories should reflect the style and theme of the wedding but, most importantly, should emphasise your personality and show your individual style.

This cannot be easily found if you rely on on-line images, pages of a magazine or from a rail of grey suits. 
Here is your chance to blow away your friends and family by showing them that you have taken time and effort to seek out a style that is so you! 
Most importantly, your bride will also be impressed with the care you have taken and will be so proud of you as she sees you waiting for her, ready to start your married life together.

Our advice to you would be to book an appointment about 6 months before your wedding with a recommended groomswear supplier: (Chimney would be a great place to start!!).

  • Be prepared to try many different styles and colours.                                                                                                                      
  • Be aware that, if you did have an idea of what you wanted when you went into the shop, that idea may not suit you when you try it on.  The image you liked in the magazine or online may have suited the model wearing it, but that model is not you. 
  • Only by trying on colours and styles will you find what suits you. 
  • If the chosen colour of the wedding is too pale for you and washes out your skin colour, then go for a shade darker.  It will still co-ordinate and look stylish.
  • Try to think aside of convention, try something original and be open to advice and inspiration given by your gromswear consultant.
  • Finally, don’t leave it all to the last minute to make these important decisions.  If you have quite a few groomsmen, they also need to make time to be fitted so give them plenty of notice.
We look forward to welcoming you to Chimney.


From Sharon and Graham, the Team at Chimney.

2017, What a Year It's Been!

Firstly, it has been our first full year of trading, January to December, and what a full and amazing year it has been.


Recovering from the excitement of our successes in September and November ’16 as finalist in the Bridal Buyer awards and then winning New Business of the Year at the Royston Business Awards, we plunged headlong into January which was crammed full of lovely engaged couples who were planning their wedding and, specifically, their groom’s outfit. This also was the beginning of a very busy Wedding Fair season.

February and March continued in similar vein. Then followed the many Spring and Summer weddings –




Summertime brought the Prom Season and we had great pleasure in helping all you guys from local schools and colleges to look your very best.


Summer turned into Autumn and brought with it, not only more weddings but also, new stock and styles in a variety of textures giving us even more inspiration to pass on to our customers to help them with their individual styling.

Early Autumn confirmed, yet again, that we were an award-winning team as Chimney was chosen as a finalist in the English Wedding Awards and shortlisted for the 4 Counties Wedding Awards.  In November we attended the 4CWA glamorous Gala Presentation Evening at Knebworth Barns where we were delighted to be awarded the 2017 Highly Commended Award for Menswear.  What a proud moment that was! 


We are quite blown away by the lovely feedback we have received from our incredible customers who voted for us in the 4CWA and who supplied such amazing reviews which ensured we won our award. 


This fantastic year could not have been possible without you, our customers to whom we give our greatest thanks for choosing to use Chimney’s services to help make your day special. Thanks also go to all the local wedding suppliers with whom we have had the pleasure of working and wishing you continued success in 2018.

As you can see, we love seeing how you all look in your suits on your wedding day, so if there are any grooms out there who are yet to send us a photo of how good you looked, we would be delighted to receive them and to share them with all our customers. 


As we head into mid-December, with many customers with weddings over Christmas and the New Year, to whom we send our congratulations and best wishes, it remains for Graham and myself to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an exciting and Happy New Year.

We can’t wait to start styling our grooms ready for their weddings in 2018 and 2019 and anticipating what fun and surprises there may be around the corner.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018.

Success at the 4 Counties Wedding Awards

The Team at award winning Chimney Formal Menswear are, once again, celebrating success.


Last night, at the 4 Counties Wedding Awards held at Knebworth Barns, Chimney Formal Menswear received the Highly Commended Award for Menswear.

The 4CWA recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of local suppliers in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire who go above and beyond to make every wedding day so special.  They also support The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation who organise and fund weddings for people with a life limiting or terminal illness.

Suppliers from across the 4 Counties came together last night, at a glamorous gala evening, to celebrate their success.

Business owner, Sharon Cousans said: 'It is a great honour to receive this award as it is based upon the quality of our customers' reviews.  We cannot thank our customers enough for voting for us.  We are passionate about getting the tiniest detail right and our customers do appreciate this'.

The Team at Chimney are looking forward to providing their award winning service to even more customers in 2018.

Don't Leave it too Late to Order Your Suit for the Festive Period

Needing to hire a suit over the festive period?

Here are our tips and helpful dates to prevent those last-minute panics:

  • Don’t leave it to the day before your event to check if the suit in your wardrobe still fits you -  Try it on now and if you need to replace any of it or hire a whole new suit, book your appointment in good time.
  • Whatever the date of the party or formal black-tie event, come in early to book your order -   Don’t keep postponing the time you had allocated to pop in for your fitting.  Once it is ordered you can sit back and relax and know it will be waiting for you in time for your event.
  • Don’t assume that over the Christmas and New Year period everyone will be open normal hours.  Check our website and social media pages for special opening times over Christmas and New Year or See Below for details.
  • Check your invitation to see if there is a specific dress code -  If you are unsure then come and consult us and we will advise you.
  • If you feel you will end up wearing what you wore to the same event last year, then call into Chimney - Perk up your look with a new and colourful tie, a very individual bespoke bow tie, some distinctive cufflinks or even a colourful pair of socks.  
  • Is your evening shirt sitting crumpled at the back of the wardrobe looking as though it has seen better days? – Buy yourself a new one which will fasten comfortably at the neck leaving you able to breathe and enjoy the event.
  •  If you have an event in early January then organise your items to hire now – All orders required before 6th January will be delivered mid-December.

 Please note:  the last date for ordering hire items for over Christmas and New Year will be

12th December with the last delivery before Christmas being on 14th December

Normal deliveries resume on 4th January.

Opening times over Christmas and New Year:
Saturday 23rd December                 -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
24th, 25th, 26th, 27th December    -  Closed
28th, 29th 30th December                -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
31st December and 1st January    -  Closed
2nd , 4th January                                   -  Open as usual:  9.30 am – 5.00 pm
Friday 5th January                               -  Open from 9.30 am – 12.00 noon
Saturday 6th January                          - Closed    (Come and see us at Bride: the Wedding Show at Knebworth Barns all weekend)
From Monday 8th January                -  Open as usual.

Our sixth Christmas Gift to You

As Christmas draws ever nearer the search for the right gift becomes more intense.

Let the Team at Chimney help you.

Not only do we have perfect gifts any man would be proud to own, but we can save you money too.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas we are offering 10% discount on a specific item each week.

Here is our fifth offer:

From 15th December - 21st December we are offering 10% discount on our beautiful Italian Leather Belts.

Not quite sure what he would like?
Why not buy a Gift Voucher so he has the pleasure of choosing for himself?

Keep a weekly watch on our social media pages and our Latest News page at for the special discount for that week.

Make 2017 a stylish and affordable Christmas.

Do You Think That Men's Christmas Gift Ideas are Dull? Well, Think Again!!

You may think the old favourites of ties and socks are rather old-fashioned ideas for Christmas Gifts for the 21st Century, but take a second look. 

Which man would refuse the latest trends in tweed, patterns and bright colours?

With a wonderful array of stylish ties available to choose from this Christmas, 100% wool, great tweeds, silk ties adorned with checks, spots and flowers, you will be spoiled for choice.


Adding to this is the trend for showing your socks beneath slim fit jeans, chinos or even suit trousers.  There has not been a better time to invest in these colourful beauties whether bright plains, random patterns, striped, spotted or a modern twist on the argyle.  Socks are the perfect gift for the style conscious.


Who can resist a snuggly scarf?  As expected, you will not be disappointed with the choice available this Christmas.  Quietly stylish but warm scarves sit alongside cleverly reversible styles that can be switched around depending on your style for your day: bold and bright or elegant and sophisticated dark stripes.


Lighter weight scarves in cotton and linen are ideal gifts for those who may not just want to keep warm but want to make a statement too.


With guys showing a growing interest in how they dress you can’t go far wrong with choosing one of the original and bespoke bow ties now available to pop in to someone’s stocking.  The versatile bow tie can be dressed up or down, looking equally at home with jeans and waistcoat or full evening dress.


Waistcoats, now here’s another popular trend in fashion which is appearing on all fashion-conscious gentlemen’s Christmas list this year. So much to choose from whether it’s tweed, patterned, bright blue or double-breasted styles with collars. They are a great addition to any wardrobe that can be worn in a variety of ways.  Who can resist?


Leather belts (Italian of course), patterned braces (a popular trend for the rustic look), and exquisite patterned silk pocket squares make the perfect stocking fillers and are out there waiting to be snapped up.



Make someone’s Christmas this year with a carefully selected accessory and prove that Christmas Gift Shopping for Men doesn’t have to be dull and boring.

How to Prepare Your Wardrobe for the Party Season

It’s still only October but we can’t ignore that the Christmas Party Season is not too far away.

How can we prepare for the wide range of different types of invitations we might receive without having to buy a whole new wardrobe of outfits?

Let’s begin with the casual invitation to friends for drinks.  For this event jeans or chinos may be acceptable but it is the party season so invest in a smart shirt, a new tie, a very individual stylish bow tie or even some unusual cufflinks.  One item can change the whole look of your outfit and that small attention to detail says a lot about your individual style.

Work parties, unless fancy dress is specified, usually require a slightly smarter style of dress.  If you feel your suit is likely to appear a bit too overdressed, then wear your suit trousers and invest in a special waistcoat.  One with a collar will add a smartness without overdressing or one with colour or texture will make a statement about your personality.  Add a touch of individuality to your look.  Try adding the bow tie you bought for the casual drinks party and, paired with the waistcoat, it will add sartorial elegance.  You don’t need to buy these items if you think you may never wear them again or you don’t have a pair of suit trousers in your wardrobe.  Hiring can be the obvious choice for a one-off occasion.

Formal work parties or end of year award celebrations are likely to have a Black-Tie Dress code.  Unless you have a tux in your wardrobe and it still fits, then the simplest answer is to hire.  Often the whole outfit can be hired at special evening package prices but the cufflinks, that you bought to wear at your drinks party or on Christmas Day, may well come in useful and be worn again here.

Get organised early and be ready for all those invitations that are likely to come your way this party season.
If you need to hire an outfit, book in early to save those last-minute panics.
If you want to purchase, then invest in a few choice accessories that will take your business suit from boardroom to work’s party, that can be paired with jeans or suit trousers, that will dress down or dress up the staples in your wardrobe giving a whole range of different looks.

Whatever the dress code, follow our helpful tips and be dressed, ready to party!

How to Dress Your Best Man

Once you have organised your own wedding suit, how do you decide what your Best Man should be wearing?

Here are some suggestions to help you choose a style which reflects his importance but doesn’t overshadow you, as the Groom.

Firstly, let’s consider the important role of the Best Man on your wedding day.
Amongst an array of duties he is at your side, driving you to the ceremony, ensuring all the guests are in the right place at the right time, overseeing that all goes smoothly and, of course, is the bearer of those all-important rings.  Therefore, it seems that his wedding outfit should elevate him above the rest of your groomsmen.
Despite this, one important factor must be considered.  As the Groom, whatever you wear must help you to stand out from all your groomsmen, including the Best Man.
However, there are ways to dress the Best Man well without him stealing your style:
  • If, as the Groom, you decide to wear a different 3-piece suit from the rest of your groomsmen, consider that the Best Man could wear a waistcoat to match yours.
  • A reflection of the role of the Best Man could also be shown by both of you wearing the same suit but with the Best Man wearing a waistcoat to match the rest of the party.

  • Some Grooms choose to dress only themselves and the Best Man in jackets.  The rest of the party are still looking dapper in just waistcoats.  This looks good if the ties/cravats and waistcoats all match.

  • If the Groom decides to wear a different colour tie, cravat or bow tie from the rest of the party, the Best Man could also wear the same colour but keep the rest of his outfit the same as the other groomsmen.
  • Wearing the opposite colour pocket square and tie from that of the Groom can also be a style adopted for the Best Man.

  • Another approach is to reserve a bow tie or cravat just for the Groom and the Best Man, leaving the rest of the groomsmen wearing ties.

However you choose to style your Best man, don’t forget that it is your day and your individual style must shine through, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t recognise the importance of your Best man and dress him accordingly.

How to Tie the Perfect Bow Tie

Here is a chance to acquire a skill that will bring out the James Bond in all of us.


Although ready tied bow ties are quick, easy and neat to wear, the self tie bow tie is fuller and dressier for any smart occasion.

There is a certain skill required to sequence the tying of a bow tie but follow our tips and watch our video to help you achieve this.
  • Many a wedding or other important function has been delayed by the struggle to tie a bow tie.
  • Most self tie bow ties will be shaped to help with forming the bows so once this is understood the process becomes simpler.
  • Begin by crossing the bow tie from left side over right side.
  • It is fidly to push the folded part of the second bow loop through the back of the first one but practice will make perfect.
  • Once tied, even up the bow and ends so that they are equal.
  • Some self tie bow ties will have adjusters at the back to ensure a perfect fit around the neck.
  • If, once the bow tie is tied, it appears a little bulky, pull equally on each side of the band which goes around the neck.  This will tighten the look of the bow.  Any excess this creates can be taken up by the adjuster at the back of the neck.
  • Do remember that in a self tie bow tie one bow loop and end will sit infront of the other bow loop and end.  With a ready tied bow tie,both bow loops are always fixed at the front.

Having read these tips watch our video and all will become clear.

Now a neckwear malfunction will not prevent you from arriving at an important function on time.

How to Tie a Cravat

Sitting under the shirt collar and knotted correctly at the neck, a cravat will enhance the look of any suit or waistcoat.

Follow our tips and watch our video to avoid panic when putting the final touches to your outfit.

Fashions for men often have military origins and the cravat is one such example.  The cravat originated from the 17th Century and is the forerunner of our modern ties and bow ties.   Although there are a variety of ways to tie a cravat we feel the tips and video will show you a stylish but simple and effective method.
  • Having placed the cravat around your neck keep the ends even before you begin to tie.
  • The tying of a cravat is just like a simple tie.  There is no extra wrapping around of the fabric as in a Windsor knot or a Half Windsor.
  • The knot created should be ruched with plentiful folds in the fabric.
  • When tying the knot, hold it securely near the top button of the shirt to help prevent the knot becoming too large.
  • Once the end of the cravat is passed through the knot, pull up with the other end of the cravat so it lies close to the neck.
  • Keep the folds and creases in the knot and do not try to smooth them out.
  • Ruffling up the end of the cravat behind the knot gives a more elaborate finish and importantly helps to hide the shirt band and top button to create the perfect look..
  • Once the cravat has been tied one end will be a lot shorter than the other,  Don't worry.  This is normal and as a cravat is usually worn with a waistcoat the ends will be hidden.
  • If the short end is particularly short and threatens to escape out of the top of the waistcoat, swap the ends over by tucking the short end behind the long end and move the long end to the front.

Now watch our video and enjoy transforming your look ready to impress your groomsmen with your new skill.

Opening Times Week Beginning 11th September

We shall be closed on Tuesday, 12th September as we are visiting the Harrogate Bridal Show.

We look forward to showing you the new styles we will be sourcing from the suppliers we meet at the show.

We shall be open this week as follows:
Monday, 11th Sept          10.30 am - 6.30 pm
Tuesday, 12th Sept          Closed
Wednesday, 13th Sept   Closed
Thursday, 14th Sept        9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Friday, 15th Sept              9.30 am - 5.00 pm
Saturday, 16th Sept         9.30 am - 5.00 pm

Just a peek at one of the new styles for the new season!

How to Tie a Tie

Avoid being late for your wedding by learning how to tie your tie in simple, easy steps.

Follow our tips and then watch our video to ensure you look dapper on your special day.

  • Practise makes perfect but also do give yourself plenty of time to tie your neckwear.  When you are rushed it will inevitably go wrong so, on your wedding day, set aside some time in a quiet place where you are not hurried and under no pressure.
  • How to get your neckwear to hang the correct length:  When finished, a tie should just touch level with your waistband of your trousers so to ensure this happens always start tying with the thin end much shorter than the wider end.  If you are wearing a waistcoat then this is less of a concern as the end of the tie will be inside the waistcoat.  Neither of the ends of the tie should appear below the bottom of the waistcoat.
  • When tying a tie keep the tie flat as you wrap it around and feed it through the knot.  If this twists it is better to undo and try again.
  • Using the thinner end, pull up the knot to your neck so that it sits close but not so tight as to feel uncomfortable or rucks up the fabric of the collar.  Once the collar is folded back down adjust the position of the knot so it covers the top button and, if needed, give the shirt a gentle tug down to help it stay in place.
  • The knot we have chosen to show on the video is one which doesn't easily slip and is also less bulky than some so that it doesn't dominate your look.

Now watch our video as many times as you need until you feel confident in your newly acquired skill.


Don't Overlook the Importance of a Waistcoat

The waistcoat is certainly here to stay.

There are so many decisions to be made when finding your special outfit for your wedding day.

Are tails too formal or is a lounge suit too relaxed?
Which colour of suit works best?
Does a cravat look smarter than a tie?
Is it necessary to wear a waistcoat?
Now, I can easily answer this question.  Whatever the style of suit chosen, the importance of a waistcoat must never be overlooked.
Some might say ‘it’s important to keep an errant shirt in check’ or ‘it covers the waistband of the trousers’ but it can do so much more than this.

Although the ceremony or formal part of the day usually requires a jacket to be worn, it is very likely that, for the majority of the day, you and your groomsmen will find the earliest opportunity to abandon your jacket.  This means that your waistcoat takes centre stage so not only does it have to fit well but must work well for you too.

What can a waistcoat do for You?
  • It is a means of adding colour, texture and pattern to your suit – one of the trends all Grooms seem to be currently seeking.

  • If chosen well, it can express your individuality and personality.
  • A waistcoat can be the means by which you, as a Groom, stands out from your fellow groomsmen – a different colour, style or pattern is all that is needed.

  • Change the style of the waistcoat you wear and you can change the look of a suit.  Tweed waistcoats can soften the formality of wearing tails, if a less traditional look is required, but, added to a plain lounge suit, it can give a rustic styling to a suit which threatens to appear as if it’s just come out from the boardroom.

  • Contrasting waistcoats can take a smart three-piece matching suit and turn this corporate look, into a dapper, bespoke style.
  • Try leaving your jacket at home and wear a distinctive, textured waistcoat with lapels for another variation on the more relaxed groom’s styling.

With more and more weddings being based on rustic or country styled themes, the waistcoat, whatever the style or fabric, hits all the right notes.

No matter which suit colours fall in or out of fashion, the waistcoat is certainly here to stay.

Father of the Groom, Father of the Bride - How should they be dressed?

Should the Father of the Bride and Father of the Groom be dressed the same as the rest of the groom’s party? Or should they be included at all?

This is one of our customers’ most frequently asked questions.

A simple answer to this is that it is totally down to your own personal choice.  It can also be a personal preference of the fathers themselves.  Despite this, there are ways for them to dress which can link them, in varying degrees, to the wedding party.
The Father of the Bride usually plays a pivotal role as the bride is often ‘given away’ by her father, although many now choose their mother or brother to play this important role.  If the Father of the Bride is ‘giving away’ his daughter, he will perform a public role and all eyes will be on him as he brings the bride into the ceremony.  He should, therefore, be dressed appropriately and as smartly as the rest of the groomsmen.  Wearing the same or similar suit or at least an accessory which matches the rest of the party may be the best choice.


If the Father of the Bride is included in the groom’s party, then often the Father of the Groom is too.  It is courtesy and gives equal importance to both the fathers.  Although this can be further complicated by the existence of step fathers, the decision to include all will come down to personal choice and the extent of your budget.
Let’s look at options for how to dress the bride and groom’s fathers.
Firstly, they could all wear the same outfit.  Having said this, it is essential that the groom still keeps something very individual to wear to show his importance.  With this option the fathers will be seen to be no more or less important than the best man or ushers.
Secondly, should you wish for the fathers to be a little different then choosing an alternative waistcoat from the rest of the party or wearing a tie whilst the others wear cravats may create the slight difference that is looked for.


Another approach, if the fathers prefer to wear their own suit, is to all wear matching waistcoats.  This will show them to be included in the party, even if not a full member.
Similarly, the same effect can be created by fathers just wearing the same neckwear and pocket square as the rest of the wedding party.  This works very well if the fathers prefer not to be in the limelight and to take a back-seat role but still want to have a link to the wedding party.
Beware that by making the fathers different, in their dress, that they don’t stand out more than the rest of the party and especially don’t look more important than the groom.  It’s the bride and groom’s day and they should always be the focus of attention.
If tails have been chosen, but the fathers recoil from being included, there are still options available.  We believe everyone can look elegant in tails but, if it appears too dressy for the fathers, this hurdle can be overcome by dressing the fathers in a lounge suit which match in colour and fabric to the tails.  They will still appear as part of the party but may find this style more comfortable.



We hope this has helped to answer some of your questions.  If you have any further questions you would like to ask us, please let us know.  We are here to help. 

Time Spent on Choosing Your Wedding Suit is Time Well Spent

At Chimney, we believe that the experience of choosing a wedding suit should be no less special for the groom than it is for the bride, when choosing her wedding dress.


Evidence shows that grooms are now looking for a more personal shopping experience rather than making a quick selection from a last-minute shopping trip to the nearest menswear retailer where decisions are rushed and later regretted.

Grooms are enjoying the time spent on themselves and, as a result, feel more confident and relaxed on their special day. They are determined to enjoy the wedding shopping as much as the bride and are eager for advice on colour and style. They are no longer prepared to accept a style which works with the wedding theme rather than one that expresses their personality and is flattering to wear.

Being individual is also an important aspect of choosing their wedding outfits.  Most of our customers know they want to look different from their groomsmen but are unsure how to go about creating this look.  This is where we can step in.  Time spent on a styling consultation will be fun and informative and make your selection a memorable occasion.

To ensure a satisfying experience when looking for your wedding suit, consider three important factors:
  1. Time:   Make an appointment.  This will ensure that you have time to have a consultation with your retailer and try on a variety of styles.  Take time to discuss your themes for the wedding, the type of wedding venue and your personal thoughts about the vision you have for your wedding suit.  Take time to consider the options and enjoy the experience.
  1. Inspiration:   Don’t be afraid to seek advice from your menswear consultant.  They will have a great experience to draw from, knowing which colours and styles work well together.  Be open to unusual combinations of texture and colour.
  1. Willingness to Experiment:   If your wedding is traditional, be prepared to try something different and update the look by adding a modern twist. If more relaxed, ask yourself, do you need a jacket? Would wearing just a waistcoat be more appropriate, if styled correctly?  Think about textures, clash colours and be prepared to add a little of your own personality to the way you dress.
Shopping in an environment conducive to a relaxed retail experience is a vital part of all this and combined with a non-rushed appointment and inspiring staff to help you, a groom cannot help but be eager to experiment.  It is widely recognised that choosing an independent retailer is more likely to guarantee this more personalised advice and service.

Although the average spend on a groom’s wedding suit is likely to be much less than the amount spent on the bride’s dress, the experience of choosing and buying or hiring should be no less special.

Finalist in Hertfordshire Business Awards
We, at Chimney, are very pleased to announce that we are a finalist in the Hertfordshire Business Awards organised by Muddy Stilettos.

We were up against great competition.  Congratulations to Alexandra Wood (Bishop Stortford).

Best Menswear Store was just one of the many categories in the Muddy Stilettos Awards which aim to celebrate and support the most unique, interesting, lifestyle, independent businesses in the area.

We are honoured to have been included in the awards and thank everyone who voted for us.