What to wear for wedding party – short guide for summer weddings

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 18.6.2017 in General

Summer is the ultimate wedding season. And there is a couple of months season left. So it is good time to share a few thoughts about what to wear for wedding party. First thing to keep in mind is that there should be only one center of attention in the party and that’s the wedding couple.

As a wedding guest your job is to dress and act in a manner that shows you care, without upstaging the wedding party or, particularly, the bride.

What to wear for wedding party - Blue suit, white shirt and silver grenadine tie with white linen pocket square is the ultimate wedding outfit.
Blue suit, white shirt and silver grenadine tie with white linen pocket square is the ultimate wedding outfit.

It is also good to keep in mind that wedding parties are usually happy gatherings and most of weddings are not really that formal nowadays. So you don’t need be too stiff with what you wear. But still in my opinion dressing up is also one way to show your respect and appreciation to the wedding couple.

What to wear for wedding party – go with a suit

When talking about what to to wear, in case a dress code is provided, just follow it.  As said before, keep in mind that it’s not your wedding. In case the dress code is something you don’t understand, it’s appropriate to ask whichever member of the wedding party you’re close with, but do so well in advance of the wedding.

What to wear for wedding party - Blue suit with silver grenadine tie and white shirt.
Blue suit with white shirt and silver grenadine tie – the most classic wedding and formal party outfit.

Suit – stick with timeless options

In my opinion, for most wedding parties a man should wear a suit. And when you wear a suit stay with solid colors. Dark or navy blue and charcoal are preferred. But other shades of grey and brown are also good options. Lighter shades of gray and brown are appropriate especially for early and mid-summer weddings. If you are attending a party that is held later in the summer or early in the fall, opt for darker shades. But in any case, avoid black suit as you don’t want anyone confusing the ceremony for a funeral service. Also, don’t wear striped suits. Stripes are meant for business and business only. In case it’s hot summer day you can go with a light-colored (tan / khaki) suit as well, unless the dress code says otherwise.

In terms of your suit jacket, remember this one thing. Whatever happens, don’t wear a tie without a jacket and don’t take your jacket of during the wedding.

What to wear for wedding party - pay attention to the right fit and materials of your outfit
Pay attention to the right fit and materials of your outfit.

The right fabric for your suit

In terms of materials, lightweight wool is always my first option. Due its versatility, breathability, and drape, wool is the best choice for almost any occasion. And that applies for wedding parties as well. To put it shortly, a good lightweight wool usually features worsted yarns and a porous weave to promote airflow. Depending on the quality, this kind of wool are usually also quite wrinkle-resistant, with impeccable drape.

For summer weddings linen and cotton suits are also definitely appropriate. In fact a cotton suit can be the perfect choice for a casual warm-weather wedding. It is good to keep in mind that cotton does not drape as elegantly as wool, so the silhouette of a cotton jacket can be a bit looser and more casual. Linen on the other hand is even more lightweight and breathable than cotton. Therefore it it is a material for the most casual and airy suiting. Because linen has a natural tendency to wrinkle, it’s usually thought of as a more casual fabric. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. If you combine your navy blue linen suit with a crisp white shirt and navy blue tie, you get a perfect warm-weather beach wedding attire.

Shirt

Your shirt should be white, preferably with a spread collar. No yellow, green or any other “fresh” colors when it comes to this point. Also I would avoid button-down collars in this case. You need to have one white formal shirt anyway, so this should not be a problem. If you don’t have one, get one! But remember that the white shirt does not need to be stiff and hard. Try for example a shirt with a nice soft collar that compliments the soft structure of your suit.

Click here for DLA essential shirts

What to wear for wedding party - always go with a white shirt.
For wedding or other parties, I recommend always to wear a white shirt.

Shoes

Stick with cap-toe oxfords for most occasions. But for more casual ceremonies you can go for loafers or monk shoes as well. In terms of color black is preferable option. In case you’re wearing a light colored suit opt for brown shoes. Whatever type or colored shoes you choose, remember to give them a good shine before the party.

If you want to dress down your outfit, you can choose brown loafers instead of the oxford shoes.
If you want to dress down your outfit, you can choose brown loafers instead of the oxford shoes.

Wedding ties and other accessories

In some countries wedding ties typically feature bold patterns such as glen plaid or houndstooth in a simple palette of black, white and gray or silver. In some countries on the other hand it is preferred to use solid colored ties as well. In this case you should go with dark blue, silver or grey. However avoid diagonal stripes and bright colors. In terms of material my personal preference is grenadine silk. Grenadine is the most luxurious fabric you could hope for in a formal setting, yet it still carries an air of nonchalance. But if you wear a cotton or a linen suit for example, you can also try a linen tie with a subtle herringbone pattern for example. This way you keep the outfit balanced and coherent.

What to wear for wedding party - silver grenadine tie with double four-in-hand knot
Silver grenadine tie with double four-in-hand knot.

For a pocket square, white linen square is a classic choice. But pocket square is the piece you can add some color and personality to your outfit. Pocket square is also a good piece to play if you want to coordinate your colors with the attire your avec is wearing for the party.

What to wear for wedding party - White linen pocket is-always a safe choice.
White linen pocket is-always a safe choice.

Sum up

To put is shortly, wedding attire for men should communicate an understated elegance and style. Remember that a well-fitted suit is the best way to let everyone else know you’re a man of taste and refinement. As a sum-up below I give you two alternative outfits to wear for any wedding party. And in fact, with these elements you can mix and match the pieces for the outfit to get best possible attire for your own taste and needs.

 

What to wear for wedding - Blue suit, white shirt, silver grenadine tie and brown loafers outfit
Blue suit, white shirt, silver grenadine tie and brown loafers – perfect outfit for summer wedding party.

 

What to wear for wedding - gray suit with blue grenadine tie and black cap-top oxfords outfit
Grey suit with blue grenadine tie, white shirt and black cap-toe oxfords is always a safe choice