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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And if you want some more inspiration – check out the post about how to wear a blue suit for summer weddings.