Finding something to wear to a wedding for a guy usually isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. For most men, it’s a whole lot less painful than buying airline tickets and booking a hotel room for an out of town event too.
If you’re going to an outdoor wedding though, you may need to reconsider your wardrobe, or at least find something different than your go-to charcoal suit. After all, the weather could be a real factor, and you want to avoid sweating through your dress shirt as much as possible.
Use this guide to help you learn more about three of the most popular outdoor wedding attire styles for men.
The words black tie tend to strike fear in the hearts of many men, mostly because guys just don’t get a lot of practice with this style anymore. While black tie weddings may not be so popular for outdoor weddings in the afternoon, they do happen in the evening when the weather cools down.
When picking your tuxedo, you have two basic options to choose from. You can pick traditional black or you can go with midnight blue. Midnight blue is a bit more fashion-forward, so if you’re buying a new tuxedo or renting, consider going that route.
To complete the look, you’re going to need a crisp white shirt, ideally one that just came back from the cleaners. You’ll also need a black tie—probably something in shiny silk—as well as a cummerbund and a pair of shoes. Ideally, your shoes should be shiny black lace-ups that look formal even with a tuxedo.
Some men go the velvet slipper route, but unless you’re going to a Hollywood wedding, we’d avoid those. They tend to look a bit too casual with a tuxedo for a wedding.
A Word About Renting
When it comes to outdoor wedding attire, you may not need a tuxedo on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own one.
If you see yourself wearing a tuxedo more than once in the next year, buying really can make a lot of sense. You’ll look better in a tuxedo made for you and you won’t have to scramble to find a rental at busy times throughout the year.
Two-Piece or Three-Piece Suit
Two-piece and three-piece suits are the most common outdoor wedding attire for men. They’re formal without being over the top like a tuxedo, and they allow you to show off some of your personal style. You’ll also meet any dress code requirements for the wedding as long as you’re not going to a black tie event.
Pick a color that will give you lots of all-around wear and won’t fall out of style anytime soon. Excellent options include high blue, cement or slate gray or sandy brown. You’ll get lots of use out of these suits in the Spring and Summer for years to come.
Choosing Suit Materials
One of the hardest things about choosing outdoor wedding attire for men is finding the right material. If you don’t choose carefully, you could feel like you’re walking through a sauna as you sidle up to the open bar.
Look for suits that are made in linen or cotton-linen blends. These suits will look refined and elegant, but they’ll keep you cool. Another option—particularly if you live in a very hot climate—is the all-cotton suit.
Cotton-wool and tropical wool blends can also make ideal suits for the Summer months—just pick a color that won’t absorb too much heat.
The Rest of Your Outfit
If you wear a two-piece or three-piece suit to a wedding, you still need to figure out what else to put on. Tradition will tell you an understated shirt is best, but guys can get away with some color these days. Think sky blue, rich greens and brighter colors like pink or turquoise.
Pick a tie that has some basic pattern but isn’t too over the top. Micro dots, small checks or even multi-colored stripes can all work well. Pair your suit with a simple pair of shoes like black or brown Oxfords.
Weddings these days tend to be a bit less structured than they were even 10 years ago. If you’re looking for outdoor wedding attire, that’s definitely something that you should be taking advantage of.
Tailored separates allow you to pick items you really like. You can give your day-to-day wardrobe a boost this way and make sure you look excellent at the wedding you’re attending as well.
The tailored separates you buy really depend on what you have in your wardrobe already. You can’t go wrong with a navy blazer and gray pants though, especially if you don’t have pieces like this in your closet.
Other options include high blue double-breasted blazers, cream, taupe and tan blazers and dark pants. Jackets and pants with some texture are appealing too, so look for plaids and stripes that you like. Just don’t wear them together.
Finish your look with a simple shirt or one with a very minimal pattern. Black or brown Oxfords are always a good fit, but refined boots and brogues can add style to this more casual look.