If you’re like a lot of guys with an active social life you probably go to one or two weddings each year and one of those is bound to take place in the summer.
While weddings can be a lot of fun if you’re not the one getting stuck with the bill, getting dressed for one can be relatively difficult, especially when the mercury is approaching a soaring 100-degrees in late June or July.
However, summer weddings are pretty common and sooner or later you’re going to be invited to one. Even if you know how to dress yourself well, finding the proper summer wedding attire for men can feel pretty tricky.
After all, how can you wear that great black wool suit when it’s 95 degrees outside?
Whether you’re planning for a summer wedding right this minute or you’re just trying to stay in the know, this guide can help you plan the perfect summer wedding attire for men without stressing you out too much.
Best of all, you probably already have everything you need in your closet, but if you don’t, it’s not hard stuff to find.
Location, Location, Location
When you’re picking clothing to wear to a wedding, the most important detail that will help you decide what you should be putting on is obvious – the location of the wedding. More than anything, the location where the wedding and reception will be held will determine what is the appropriate summer wedding attire for men for the event.
There are a few common spots for summer weddings, so keep reading to find the one you’re looking for.
Beach or Outdoor Wedding
Beach weddings and outdoor weddings are particularly common in the spring and summer because receptions can be held into the night without guests needing to don parkas and wool overcoats. There’s also less likelihood of an event getting rained out or needing to be moved to another location in the summer months in most locales.
If you’re going to be attending a beach wedding or a wedding in another outdoor location, you can generally assume that it’s going to be informal unless otherwise told.
When it comes to summer wedding attire for men that usually means something like a pair of tan slacks and a nice linen shirt. Linen suits are also ideal for summer weddings and adding one to your wardrobe can be a pretty good investment if you tend to wear suits all year round.
Residential weddings are becoming more and more common as some couples are trying to save money to put toward their future instead of a lavish ceremony that’s only going to last one night. Unfortunately for guests, knowing what to wear to a residential wedding in the summer can be downright tricky.
If the invitation doesn’t really provide any information about what you should be wearing, your best bet is to simply wear a suit in order to be safe. Chances are the event is going to be held both inside and outside, but nobody’s going to mind if you take your jacket off in the blazing summer heat.
If you have a linen suit, wearing it to a residential wedding in the summer months makes sense. If not, stick with a suit that is tan, blue or grey. They’re the most appropriate colors when it comes to summer wedding attire for men and you won’t sweat through your clothes quite as fast if you stick with lighter colors.
What About Formal Events?
Summer wedding attire for men can be tricky if you know you’re going to a formal location but you aren’t sure what anybody else is going to be wearing. In fact, these weddings, and their receptions in particular, which are often held at nice hotels or upscale restaurants, can be very confusing for men who just want to wear the right thing.
In this case, the old adage ‘better safe than sorry’ is probably what you should keep in mind when getting dressed for the summer wedding you’re attending. A blue or grey suit is a safe choice, though you can almost certainly get away with tan as well.
If you’ve really got your heart set on a darker suit, this could be an occasion where you can wear it, but you might feel overdressed. Black suit wearers should skip the cufflinks and wear a colorful tie or interesting pocket square to make their look a bit less formal.
You might even find that slipping your tie off at some point after you arrive will help you fit in with more casual guests.
Summer weddings usually offer a little bit more leeway when it comes to what you can wear because of the potentially unbearable heat.
However, if you get an invitation to a wedding in August that simply says it’s a black tie event, you should definitely take notice.
If you get an invitation requesting black tie dress, you’re just going to need to put on that tuxedo and tie up that bow tie, even if you feel like you’re going to pass out in the summer sun.
Luckily for you, most people aren’t sadists and they’ve probably planned on having all of the wedding somewhere indoors where there’s air conditioning.
Even if the hosts don’t provide you with air conditioning throughout the whole event, you probably still need to stick with the tuxedo when you’re deciding on what to wear.
Pocket some silverware or take your gift home to get even if you’re really that mad, but we don’t recommend it.
Read the Invitation and Ask Around
If you’re still not sure what the proper summer wedding attire for men for your event is, the best thing you can do is check your invitation one more time. It may give you some clues as to what the wedding will be like in the form of a symbol (like a bowtie) or something else.
Another option you have is to ask another guest going to the wedding what they’re going to be putting on. There’s a chance they could be wearing the wrong thing, but at least you’ll have some backup and know why somebody else is deciding to dress a certain way.
On the off chance you happen to know the bride or groom well, simply asking is a last resort, but one you might need to take advantage of. They’re busy enough with the wedding, but a voice mail, text message or email shouldn’t be too bothersome if you’re not overly persistent and don’t wait until the last minute.