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Men are a tricky bunch to dress for a wedding. Your best bet is to go with the classic black tuxedo, but there’s so much room for error. There’s the risk of looking too casual, or the opposite—too stuffy. Think about it: even Donald Trump got it wrong when he wore his overcoat on top of his suit jacket to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials.
What we need most is a foolproof formula that anyone can follow.
Choose Your Outfit
What men should wear to a wedding: Top 5 tips
As a general rule, you don’t need to put too much thought into the kind of outfit you’ll wear to a wedding. The hosts have already spent a lot of time and money planning the event, so it’s best not to complicate things by overthinking your outfit. But sometimes you’ll be invited to something more formal (or at least more likely to have formality enforced), like an awards ceremony or a black-tie party. In these cases, you’re going to want to make sure that your clothes match what other people are wearing—you’re not there as some sort of fashion show, after all. To help you decide what that means for your own outfit, we’ve created this guide for how men should dress for different kinds of weddings.
Follow the Invitation’s Dress Code
With wedding season in full swing, it’s likely that you’ll be receiving a number of formal invitations before the year is out. It’s important to follow a dress code, especially one prescribed by the hosting couple. You want to look as sharp as possible—not just for your own sake, but also because it’s an indication of respect for the newlyweds and those around you who don’t want to see someone rudely flouting tradition.
Dress codes are usually straightforward and easy to navigate with common sense and awareness of context clues. For example, if an invitation says “Black tie,” or “White tie,” then you can be sure that something truly formal is expected. The wedding website may help as well; if dictated attire isn’t specified in the invitation itself, a scroll through the site will provide more information about what other attendees are wearing. If nothing else is clear from these resources (like when the dress code is “Formal”), know that any suit with a collared shirt and tie will suffice—while jeans might not seem like they’d work at a wedding at first glance, they’re actually perfectly acceptable when paired with a blazer and dress shoes. Most men have at least one suit-and-blazer combination in their closet; even if you don’t have anything fancy enough for black tie (the most formal standard of attire), chances are there’s something close to it that would fit nicely within the guidelines for more casual affairs like daytime weddings or receptions.
Pick a Formal Style
The key to tuxedo success is knowing how to dress for different occasions and situations. Although most men’s tuxedos are made with the same basic components, there are actually a number of different styles that can be used for different types of occasions. Naturally, there are formal tuxedos that require black shoes and black bow ties, but you also have dark suits (such as black or navy), light suits (such as white or tan), and even sports jackets that can be worn with a tie (such as blue or green).
For your first wedding, you’re going to want to think about what kind of theme will be at the event. Is it a traditional bar-and-bat mitzvah? A more low-key affair? If the event is relatively informal, consider wearing one of your favorite laid-back outfits so that people know they don’t have to change into formal wear all too soon. Instead, if you see that everything looks like it’s headed in the direction of “high society,” maybe go ahead and invest in some nicer pieces—while still making sure your suit is a nice shade of brown or grey. When wearing suits for weddings—especially when matching them with other nicely tailored attire—matching pants with the jacket is preferred because trousers tend to crease easily after being rolled up during the ceremony; however, if you have an actual pair of cufflinks to match (or just really really fancy ones), feel free to use them instead. When choosing what type of shirt you’ll wear with your suit, keep in mind:
- Shirt measurements will generally determine shirt length
- If using a dress shirt with no attached collar, buttoning it down will provide structure while maintaining a relaxed appearance
- The more polished fit style will maintain an elegant appearance without being overly fussy
Wear Appropriate Colours
There are as many different wedding invitations as there are wedding dresses. Each invitation is different, and each has its own dress code (which can differ from location to location). It’s important to be aware what the dress code is for the wedding you’re attending, but that knowledge should not be used to dictate what you should wear.
Some invitations may have a very casual dress code, while others are clearly laid-back or even up for debate. As such, it’s important to read the invitation carefully and see what it says about dress codes. If there is a dress code listed on it, then follow that code; if not, then do not worry so much about whether or not your outfit fits in with the event’s style. This will save you both time and money wasted on clothes that won’t impress anyone at the wedding
Ensure the Outfit Is Comfortable
For most guys, weddings are a bit of an afterthought. Sure, you’re happy for the couple getting married and you know that it’s considered a big deal to many people in the wedding party, but for the majority of attendants, a wedding is just another social gathering. It’s not something you’ve ever given a lot of thought to—just something you wear whatever (read: whatever is clean) to on the day of.
But there is one thing all men should pay attention to at a wedding: their outfit. A man’s outfit matters at every event he attends, but weddings call for more than just “something clean.” It should look good and feel good too. As not only an event where two people commit themselves to each other before their loved ones in the company of friends and family members, but also as an opportunity for friends and family members to celebrate with them, weddings are significant affairs that require significant attire. Here are some tips on what men should wear when they walk down the aisle dressed as groomsmen or ushers at someone else’s wedding.
Know what you’re getting yourself into, but don’t forget to have fun!
- Understand the context and culture of the wedding.
- Know who’s involved. Although some people might look out for you, it’s your responsibility to be able to talk to them about what you want. There are lots of different types of weddings: from intimate affairs with just a few close friends and relatives, to large parties with hundreds of guests. Each one has its own culture that you should know when planning what you’re going to wear. If you don’t know exactly where the wedding is taking place, it’s vital that you know at least a little bit about the country or city in which it’s taking place. You’ll be able to impress your friends by knowing something about their homeland!
To tie it all together, here are the top five tips for men to wear to a wedding.
- Choose the right outfit. The most important thing is to match your outfit with the type of event you’re going to. If it’s a business-like wedding, wear something that doesn’t look too casual but also doesn’t look too formal. If it’s an outdoor summer wedding, make sure you don’t wear anything too heavy and light clothing that will keep you cool in case of heat exhaustion or sunburns. Also make sure your shoes are comfortable enough so your feet aren’t aching by the end of the day—you’ll be on them all day!
- Matching colours and patterns. As mentioned above, wearing complimentary colours can help you stand out from the crowd without being flashy or gaudy. Make sure everything matches: shirt colour, belt colour (if any), and even socks if possible should be paired up correctly with everything else. Keep in mind that some outfits may clash with certain colours at first glance (bright pink shoes can clash with brown pants) but when combined together they actually work well with each other!
- Comfort is key! You’re going to need to move around all day at this event; don’t feel like you have to sacrifice comfort for style at weddings! Wear clothes that fit your body well and allow room for movement without being uncomfortable or constricting—it’s especially important if there are going to be activities like dancing involved while at this event.
- Don’t forget women’s fashion advice in addition to men’s fashion advice when deciding what to wear! They’ll want their significant others looking their best as much as we do ourselves! For example: women will probably want us not only looking good but feeling good as well; don’t choose uncomfortable clothes just because they look really nice (unless she tells you otherwise).