If you’re like a lot of men you haven’t been to too many weddings in your life. Maybe you went to some as a child and teenager with your family, but your parents probably helped dress you then.
However, now that you’re an adult, you’re going to start getting invited to weddings pretty often, even if you don’t attend one every few weeks like some people. For a lot of guys, the idea of choosing men’s wedding attire can be pretty daunting.
But picking out men’s wedding attire doesn’t have to be so difficult. You don’t have to stress out and comb through every men’s magazine under the sun until you think you find something that’s right. You don’t have to head down to your local department store and wade through racks and racks of similar suits either.
When it’s time to buy yourself a good suit for a wedding, use this guide to help you understand men’s wedding attire like a pro, or at least like a man who knows how to dress for every occasion.
Check Your Invite
Before you actually start thinking about what sort of men’s wedding attire you want to wear to the wedding you’ll be going to, you need to take the time to look at your invitation for any sort of clue as to what the event will be like. In most cases, you’ll find that there is some sort of information to tell guests how to dress, especially in the case of a formal event.
However, if the invite doesn’t have any sort of clue like “Black Tie Optional,” or “Formal Attire Requested,” you may be left on your own to figure out what to wear. Many people who are having weddings do this so that more guests can come in comfort. After all, not every owns are even wants to own a tuxedo for a black tie event.
If there’s no information on the invite, there are still ways to figure out what you should be wearing to the wedding.
Scout Your Location
If there’s no information about what men’s wedding attire is appropriate on your invite, you can probably figure out what to wear based on where the wedding is going to be held. You don’t actually have to visit the location, though if you’re in the same city that may not hurt.
What you need to know is what type of wedding the bride and groom are having. For example, weddings that are held in places of worship and moved to fine hotels for the reception tend to be more formal events where people can dress up. Obviously a wedding that takes place on the beach, in a park or on a nature preserve, for example, will be less formal because you’ll be subjected to the weather and spending time outside, which isn’t something anybody wants to do in a tuxedo or ball gown.
Knowing what the location is like should give you a big indication as to what you can wear and how you can wear it.
What Colors Should I Wear?
When it comes to purchasing men’s wedding attire, many men simply have no clue what colors are appropriate for such an event. The answer, unfortunately, isn’t always a simple one because it will vary based on the type of wedding that you’re going to.
In general, you can almost always wear a black, dark blue or charcoal suit to a wedding that isn’t specifically a black tie or white tie event. These colors are pretty much the mainstays of any man’s wardrobe, and they make perfect men’s wedding attire for any event that is considered “Formal Attire Optional” or more casual.
However, that isn’t to say that other types of suits, like linen or even seersucker, are inappropriate for a wedding. It just means that unless a wedding is specifically stated as being casual, these types of suits could put you at risk of feeling underdressed, even in the middle of the summer.
While brown is a color that’s really on the fence when it comes to most weddings, you may feel out of place in a brown suit at a formal wedding. Typically, brown suits should be reserved for more casual events.
What’s the Weather Like?
You may not be able to get away with a white or cream colored suit at a wedding even in the summer if it’s going to be a formal event, but when considering men’s wedding attire, you should take the season into account. You don’t want to be wearing an all-wool suit that’s appropriate for the dead of winter when you go to a wedding on the beach in late July.
The same is obviously true for winter weddings, though these are much less likely to take place outside. You shouldn’t be wearing a light-colored suit in the fall or winter to a wedding, even if you have a great one.
Get the Right Fit
The most important aspect of men’s wedding attire is ensuring the perfect fit. Without that, you’re never going to be the best dressed guy at the wedding.
If you really want a perfect fit, your best bet is to have a custom suit made for you by an expert tailor. They can help you with measurements and ensure that you end up with the exact style you want.
However, if you do choose to buy off the rack, you’ll still need a fitting with a good tailor to perfect the details. If you skip this step your suit will never look as good as it could.
Vest or No Vest?
One of the most common questions about men’s wedding attire is whether or not a suit should be paired with a vest. While a vest can make your suit look a little bit more formal, it doesn’t have to be part of your ensemble unless you feel like it really fits your personal style.
However, if you’re having a custom suit made for you or you’re buying off the rack and then having your suit tailored by a skilled craftsman you may want to include a vest in your purchase. That way you’ll be able to wear it or not, depending on the occasion.
Remember, a good suit is a purchase that you’re making for a lifetime, not just for a single wedding.
The accessories you pair with your suit are important, but picking the right ones isn’t simple. In general, your best bet is to go with understated classics like solid, striped or dotted ties. A pocket square is fine, but keep the fold simple and neat.
If you have a fine watch you want to wear that’s more than okay, but make sure the band blends well with your suit. Otherwise it will likely look out of place and like you’re just trying to show off.
Understanding men’s wedding attire isn’t rocket science, but it can feel like it. If you’re still not sure what’s right, hiring a skilled tailor to help is a perfect option.
You’ll have a high-quality suit for life and you’ll surely be the best looking guy at any wedding, outside of the groom.