Introduction

Any consorted etiquette on the part of wedding attire died out with the collapse of the Sunday best. Sunday best now references fighting for the best ‘tater during the roast; even if it does mean glassing your Nan in the face. The relaxed effort of the congregation (even the ones you don’t like and probably didn’t even mean to invite) is the let down of any bell-rung occasion. It is at this risk that people will see their downfall (make that inept accord) as standard practice. If Nana is under the disillusion that her sequinned cocktail dress is appropriate, perhaps you should have also launched the gravy in her direction; a similar effort from Uncle Bill will be shot down shortly.

My guide is of opinion without trying to be being dogmatic. That in mind, or rather not: My opinion is informed and any dogmatism received deserves a sullen nod.

“Rules belong to border man. It’s a good thing they do for that matter, some of the people I’ve encountered I would cite in any length of sartorial poetry as borderline-man anyway. We must break the rules to break the records. But if any of those breakages result in a recording of your distasteful attire, it’s best to err the safe side of the sensibility.

In understanding, these borders exist to maintain you in your post-neanderthal self. They also stand to steer you away from your overzealous tendencies. They are never to enter you into a point of no return or similarly, the point at which people wish you would appropriate no-return. Never should these rules exert you into garbing beyond or below your duty of dress but merely teeter amongst them.

Faux pas account for 98% of the total accumulated wars (despite ironically being a faux pas in themselves). Equally they tot-up 73% of wedding no-shows, 47% of arguments and grudges and 13% of one-night-stands* please reference first brackets.”

Luke Barrett Todd 2010…sometime last week.

The Guide, Week 2:

My guide to dress, spread over the next few weeks, will arm you with a code of conduct more elaborate than anything pedalled by MI5 or the like. We’ll cover everything from black tie, white tie, morning dress, Hollywood black tie, lounge suit, wedding attire(not applicable to men of the cloth) and all the rest.

I’ll try to teach you the key points, I’ll try to teach you to avoid the uh oh’s, the moans, the groans and the divorces respectively. I’ll try to teach you to keep your hands to your own accompaniment, but some of you are hard students!

Wedding Attire:

It would only happen in my family that the bride-to-be noted 'fancy' as her dress code. You can imagine the mode of address delivered during the ceremony as my Uncle Bill and several others jollied out of the car costumed as Wonder-woman, Superman, a sufficient amount of fruit dashed with the occasional Ann Summers Nun.

I was sufficiently laughed and jest-at for appearing in the house of God in the dying [dead?] art of Sunday best having sufficiently read ‘fancy’ for its intended purpose. I’ll miss those ill-read relatives when I cash in my ticket up at the pearly fence. If only my aunty Batman could come with me.

The dress codes for weddings should be as polished and refined as any effort for a night on the tiles and researched with more diligence than a masters degree. This week I offer my five masters degree pointers on wedding habiliments. That is down five on last week but I trust your persistence to overwhelm (and that is genuine anticipation) me with questions, concerns, disputes [and a few more synonyms added in there] in the comment section:

  1. Read the invitation twice. Poke and prod at the expected fashion. Anything from formal to informal can be called upon and in the case of a 'grand wedding' placement you will need to consult the brides mother for direction.
  2. Look as if you are attending a wedding because irony insists that… you are! Take it upon yourself to fashion a buttonhole, nothing too fancy, just a step away from velveteen; the poor mans velvet.
  3. Full formality is often, by often I probably should necessitate always, reserved for the groom and ushers. This is the package attire as it were. Morning coat, top hat, gloves etc. I mean you would look dapper, don’t get me wrong, but Peggy behind you came all the way from Ipswich and would be awfully chuffed not to have her view blocked by your blimming hat!
  4. In some, again I probably should necessitate always, wish I had stated what not to wear rather than offer guidelines of what to wear to friends and relatives. Brown as in shoes, denim as in shirts, chinos as in trousers and t-shirts as in any!
  5. Dylan Jones, collective: hero, unassuming sensei, ideology and correctly postured man knows how to shock any event into correctly adorned attire:
    “When you’re next in church, just imagine you're going to court instead. That should do the trick – because, let’s face it, in a way you are.”

A/W follows London Fashion Week more stringently than it does the season of pre-nuptials. 'Till death us do parts' are favoured in S/S but your wardrobe, if I teach you nothing else, should be favoured and accoladed through all seasons, events and weatherings. Under the instruction of any developed man you are not to be one slouching in the back pue next to the guy in the Chelsea away strip, after all, you are a gentleman are you not?

Luke Barrett Todd.
Senior feature writer and dedicated sartorial development agent expert thing.

Dedicated FashionBeans SOS email: luke@fashionbeans.com