If you’re a guy and you get an invitation to a wedding in the mail, your first thoughts are going to be about what to get the bride and groom, how much money you’re going to spend on hotels and how much that airfare is going to cost you. What you probably won’t think about, at least not right away, is what you’re going to be wearing to the wedding.
That’s because men, unless they’re going to a specific type of wedding, usually wear suits to these events. Most men even have a suit or two in the closet that they wear to weddings on a regular basis. You might even refer to it as your wedding suit because it’s so versatile.
However, summer weddings pose some interesting problems and your old-standby suit may not cut it. Knowing what to wear to a summer wedding isn’t always obvious, but this guide is here to help.
Follow it and you won’t be out of place at any summer wedding this year.
Formal Means Formal
Summer is a time when most guys sort of let go of the idea that they need to be in a blazer at dinner as they tend to wear things that are a bit more casual. Maybe you’re the type of guy who wears denim all summer; maybe you prefer a pair of khaki shorts.
The problem is that if you’ve been invited to a formal wedding, it really doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Formal means formal and as uncomfortable as you’re going to be when you’re outside in a tuxedo at a black tie wedding, you really don’t have much of a choice.
If you’ve been invited to a black tie event, you need to wear a tuxedo. The good news is that most wedding planners won’t let men suffer outdoors. Black tie weddings held in the summer are usually in air conditioned banquet halls and indoor locations.
Where is the Wedding?
As painful as it can be to put on a tuxedo when it’s 99 degrees outside, at least formal weddings let you know exactly what you should and should not be wearing. When you get invited to a summer wedding with no dress code, you’re faced with so many options that it can be a little mind-boggling to figure out what to wear to a summer wedding for men.
The fact is, you’re probably going to end up wearing some kind of variation of a suit to almost every wedding that you go to. Unless you’re getting married and want to stand out from the crowd or you know the wedding you’re attending is very casual, a suit is your only real choice.
Not all suits are created equal however, and the suit you might wear to an early spring wedding may not be ideal for a mid-summer event.
Consider Materials Carefully
The biggest concern for men, when it comes to what to wear to a summer wedding, is the weather. Even if you’re in a place that doesn’t get particularly hot, the temperature can easily climb into the mid-80s on a warm afternoon. That’s not ideal if you’re wearing a wool suit.
Instead of classic wool, you should consider materials that are more comfortable and cooler. Linen is the ultimate summer material for a suit, but it isn’t always formal enough for big events.
Other materials, like tropical wool and wool blends, are often more appropriate for weddings and formal gatherings. They’ll still give you a more formal look, but the fact that they aren’t entirely made of wool will allow them to breathe a whole lot better.
Tropical wool and wool blend suits are also an excellent addition to your wardrobe because of their versatile nature. Once you add one or two of those to your closet, you won’t have to sweat through another summer day in a wool suit ever again.
Choosing a color can be difficult for many guys trying to figure out what to wear to a summer wedding. While the basics might seem appropriate for a wedding, you don’t really want to be wearing black or charcoal in the hot summer sun, do you?
If you’re looking for a suit that can be part of your wardrobe year-round, you might want to consider a rich, bold blue. Something a touch lighter than navy or midnight blue is ideal for a summer wedding and also quite stylish in 2016. These blues, often referred to as high blue, won’t make you look like you’ve dressed down for the wedding, but their lighter color will keep you a lot more comfortable in the sun.
If you’re looking for something a little bit outside the box, consider buying a cream colored linen suit, if the wedding you’re going to is an appropriate venue for it. You’ll have it in your wardrobe and be able to wear it to summer parties and events from then on out.
Other color options include tan, khaki, green and even certain types of red. Red is a very popular suit color for men this year, so if you want to be on top of the trends, adding a red suit to your wardrobe is an excellent idea.
Knowing what to wear to a summer wedding for men isn’t easy, but there are many colors that can work. Apart from colors, think about the venue and whether a linen, tropical wool or wool blend suit might be better. There’s always your old standby, but a new, temperature-appropriate style will ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible in the summer heat.