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For many guys, getting dressed for a wedding can be challenging. Between picking the right suit color, material for the season, and accessories, you can spend a lot of time thinking about what to wear before you make a decision.

Choosing the right outfit is made even more complicated by the fact that almost every man has a black suit in his wardrobe. That said, when most men think of black suits though they think of one thing – a funeral. However, a black suit isn’t a garment that’s designed only for mourning. Black suits are stylish, sharp, and slimming and can be worn for many occasions.

When is it appropriate to wear a black suit? Fortunately, our handy guide below answers the age-old question of “can I wear a black suit to a wedding?”

Check Your Invitation

If you find yourself asking “Can I wear a black suit to a wedding?” you probably haven’t done one simple thing – evaluate the invitation. The invitation will hold the key to whether or not a black suit is appropriate.

What time of year is the wedding? Where is the wedding venue? If you’re the wedding is in the middle of July on the beach in the Bahamas, chances are you’re going to look downright weird in a black suit, not to mention being extremely uncomfortable!

Use the wedding invitation and some common sense when you are thinking about what to wear. If you still aren’t certain whether a black suit is appropriate for the wedding, there are other ways to make your decision.

Formal Weddings

A wedding in a formal venue or one that is black tie optional is the best place to wear a black suit. Simply put, a wedding where some men will be in tuxedos means you won’t look out of place in a black suit.

This is especially true when the wedding is being held in the fall or winter when men are likely to wear heavier, darker suits that suit the season.

If you do wear a black suit to a formal wedding, especially one that’s black tie optional, make sure you accessorize correctly. Minimal accessories like a white pocket square instead of a multi-colored silk one, and a classy watch paired with a white shirt and plain black tie will look stylish.

black suit for a wedding

Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor weddings were booming before the world was turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic, and now, they are more popular than ever. With their growing popularity, the question of “Can I wear a black suit to a wedding?” can be tricky for an outdoor venue.

If the wedding is being held in the middle of the summer on the beach, you should know the answer. No, you can’t wear a black suit to that wedding. You’ll thank us later.

However, if the wedding you’re attending is being held outside in a very formal location in the spring or autumn, you can likely get away with a black suit.

Remember, the atmosphere of where the wedding is being held sets the tone for what appears appropriate and what does not. If you aren’t familiar with the venue, look it up online to understand how formal the wedding will be. The more formal the venue, the more likely wearing a black suit to a wedding there would be appropriate.

Casual Events

If you know the event is going to be a casual one, chances are you probably already know the answer. If you only have a black suit in your wardrobe though, you may be in a pinch. If that’s the case, first, get through the wedding, then think about expanding your suit selection.

In many cases, casual weddings don’t really require a suit, especially if they’re on the beach, in the mountains or somewhere equally rugged. In these venues, it’s usually okay to put on a light blazer, a pair of slacks and a comfortable, but stylish pair of shoes.

However, you should also consider the fact that casual weddings are a great time to improve your clothing options. Look for a suit in light blue, khaki or taupe for the warmer months. Linen is also ideal for the summer months when you want to look sharp without sweating through your clothes.

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Accessorize Properly

Once you’ve decided that you can wear a black suit to the wedding you’re attending, it is important to consider how you’ll accessorize without overdoing it. After all, not everything is going to make that black suit really shine, especially when most of the other men at the wedding won’t be dressed like you.

If you’re going to wear a black suit to a wedding that you think will be very formal, pair your suit with minimal accessories. A white shirt with a black tie is best. Cuff links made of plain silver, gold or enamel are ideal for completing this look. Add a stylish but understated watch for an extra touch of class.

Weddings that are less formal mean you need to dress down a black suit. Pair it with a brighter colored tie like a bright red or metallic blue. Use your accessories to give your look a big pop of color too.

Unique pocket squares with patterns or colors, lapel flowers, and even bold cuff links are excellent touches when you’re wearing a black suit to a wedding that’s not ultra-formal. These accessories can help you look good regardless of whether your suit fits in with what the other men are wearing.

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Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.