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Weddings are well worth attending. The memories are irreplaceable, the food is fabulous, and watching your friends or relatives trying to dance is priceless. Of course, weddings require you to figure out proper attire for these occasions. Different roles and different kinds of weddings require different types of clothing.

This guide should help you look fresh while avoiding those dreaded fashion faux pas.


The bride and groom decide how formal their wedding will be and that choice affects what they and everyone else will wear. You could hold a black-tie event, one that’ll involve the most formal of tuxedos like the stunning products made by Brioni.

special event tailoringMost weddings are either black tie, black tie optional or semiformal. For a black-tie wedding, the groom wears a dark tuxedo and the other men sport basic tuxes or conservative dark suits. In a semiformal wedding, the groom and other men wear dark suits. After all, there’s no reason to annoy your bride’s old-fashioned Aunt Martha with unusual wedding garb. You’ll have plenty of time to annoy her after the wedding.

Your best bet is probably a black tuxedo that breathes; wool with silk facing is a great option. It should be tailored to flatter your entire body. Naturally, a black bow tie will complete the ensemble.

If your wedding will be semiformal, you could wear a black or navy double-breasted suit as a substitute from a top label like Ravazzolo or Canali. A white shirt and a pair of Santoni oxfords will look snazzy as well.

If you really don’t believe in dressing up for a wedding, khakis or chinos with a blazer and a dress shirt may be the look you’re after.

Best Man and Groomsmen

As a best man, you want your outfit to be similar to the groom without overshadowing it. Once you find out exactly what the groom is wearing, make your clothing a bit less formal. Opt for a single-breasted coat instead of the groom’s double-breasted coat.

suits with bow tiesAt one time, the groomsmen always wore the same attire, which was chosen by the bride and groom. If you’ll be a groomsman at a wedding, this might be the case for you. However, it’s also possible that you’ll choose your own clothing within certain parameters. For instance, you might be asked to wear any tuxedo you’d like so long as your tie is blue. That way, all of the groomsmen will have charming matching neckwear. When the tie is the point of emphasis (as it usually is), be sure to choose a memorable one — something from Dion would be perfect.

Fathers of the Bride and Groom

For the moment when your child takes his or her vows, a tuxedo is likely the most appropriate thing to wear, especially if the groomsmen have tuxes on. If you desire, you can do a tux even if the groomsmen and guests are dressed a little more casually. Also, if you’re the father of the groom, it makes sense to find a tuxedo that resembles your son’s.

A tailored suit from a trusted label like Coppley or Hugo Boss may appeal to you more, though. Either way, you can wear, within reason, whatever accessories you want. Indeed, you may impress people with something small and classy like a lapel flower from Hook + Albert or a tie clip from M-Clip.

You can wear the same color tie as the rest of the wedding party, but that’s up to you. Pro tip: don’t forget an extra handkerchief in case the emotions are overwhelming.

Ring Bearers

Your ring bearer might wear a precious miniature tuxedo. Otherwise, you could opt for a jacket with matching pants or short pants from a trusted name in boy’s formal wear such as Robert Graham. Just be certain that this ensemble is roomy. You want your little trooper to be able to sit through the proceedings comfortably and maybe even join you on the dance floor.


Whether you’re a coworker, a distant cousin or any other guest, your first task when considering proper wedding attire for men is to see how the event is described on your invitation. Plan on donning a black tuxedo and cummerbund if it’s black tie, a tux or a dark suit if it’s black-tie optional, a dark suit if it’s semi-formal, a business suit if it’s casual or a light-colored suit if it’s casual or on a beach. The invitation and location will probably best dictate the type of apparel that’s appropriate.

As a word of warning, don’t choose to wear a polo shirt, shorts, sandals or jeans unless the invitation specifically tells you to do so.

Proper wedding attire for men is all about accommodating the style of the wedding and having clothes that fit every part of you perfectly. For sure, tailored threads and high-quality footwear such as Cole Haan shoes will show everyone that you’re taking the nuptials seriously. At the same time, a wedding is not a fashion competition and upstaging the groom can be almost as bad as underdressing. Aim for subtlety, not showiness.

Keep one thing in mind above all else when you’re choosing your garments. The wedding will be over in hours, but the wedding photos will last a lifetime.

men's fashion advice

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.