In part one of this mini-guide, we covered how to walk the fine line of dressing for a wedding stylishly whilst bearing in mind the feelings of the bride and groom. No-one wants to be the guy that detracts from the happy couple’s big day, regardless of how much of a menswear addict you are. Control yourself, junkie!
However, part two centres around what to wear if you are the groom at the wedding and showing up other people is no longer a concern. Well, that’s a lie. As with all things wedding related, it’s best to run your ideas past your other half. As much as I’m sure you’d love to be waiting at the altar dressed in a white-on-white linen suit and shirt combination, Diddy-style, as soon as the bride lays their eyes on you they’ll probably start re-thinking the whole “I do” situation.
Along with being sympathetic to what your other half has in mind for the occasion, it’s also important to consider what you’ll be wearing in advance. Your outfit will provide a good point of reference for other men attending – be it best men, ushers or just regular old guests – allowing them to judge the tone of the event. It is your wedding after all.
So, first things first: where is this wedding being held and what sort of dress code are you looking to set? The setting provides the backdrop that will frame your outfit, so you don’t want to appear either over- or under-dressed for the occasion.
Note: Before we start, there will be no mention of traditional morning dress within this article. That is a subject that deserves tackling separately on its own, although looking your very best in traditional dress, much like black tie dress codes, will always come down to perfect fit and accessorising in an elegant and sophisticated way.
For more formal settings, I would suggest a suit or a tuxedo. If you do have it within your means, I would very much recommend purchasing a tuxedo and having it professionally tailored. Unlike brides (or fathers of the brides), who will end up spending a lot of money on something that they will, fingers crossed, only wear once, a tuxedo can be worn again at other formal occasions.
I also happen to think that a man never looks better or more put together than when he is wearing a tuxedo. For more information on what to look out for when purchasing a tux, or how to wear one when you do, take a look through these relevant articles:
- Men’s Fashion Basics – The Tuxedo
- Men’s Fashion Basics – How To Wear A Tux
- Men’s Fashion Basics – How To Wear A Tux Part Two
- How To Wear: The Tuxedo Jacket
Alternatively, if you don’t want to go all-out on a tuxedo, a well-tailored suit will do just fine. Try to pick one that is different from standard nine-to-five office suits though. I’m talking peak or shawl lapels, three-pieces, subtle patterning, elegant one buttons, single vents – anything that separates this wedding suit from the others.
Pick one in black, navy or grey and pair it with a crisp white French cuff placket dress shirt, a solid neutral tie and some black Oxfords – you’re all set for even the most formal of weddings.
- Spencer Hart Navy Tuxedo
- Paul Smith Black Byard Tuxedo
- Moss Bros White Dinner Jacket
- Derbyshire Black Tailored Fit Peak Collar Dinner Suit Jacket
- Burton 2 Piece Black Tipped Slim Fit Suit
- Asos Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit In Polywool
- Topman Lux Black Waffle Suit
- Reiss Youngs One Button Peak Lapel Suit Grey Melange
- Caxton Skinny Fit Textured Suit
- Reiss Naples Three Piece Check Suit Grey
- Austin Reed Contemporary Fit Grey Check Jacket
- Raf Simons Navy Slim-fit Pin-dot Suit
For an event that is hitting it straight down the middle of formal/casual, why not focus on the details outside of your suit?
Try swapping the white shirt for something in a light pastel colour that matches the relaxed summer surrounds. Pinks, greens and blues will work great with just about any monochromatic suit choice.
Alternatively, try mixing up the details and reach for a tie or pocket square in an interesting pattern/colour. Just be mindful not to do the shirt and tie/pocket square thing at the same time. Whereas normally I would wholeheartedly recommend the ‘two out of three’ rule, I think for this occasion sticking to one interesting stand out feature within the outfit will communicate style and taste better.
- River Island Poplin Shirt
- Asos Smart Shirt
- Asos Smart Shirt
- Canali Lilac Herringbone Cotton Shirt
- Reiss Navigator Plain Poplin Shirt Pink
- Turnbull & Asser Cream Slim-fit Cotton Tuxedo Shirt
- Black Fleece Octagon-print Tie 146705
- Bottega Veneta Diagonal Fleck Tie 146156
- Canali Patterned Woven-silk Tie
- Austin Reed Viyella Yellow/blue Floral Pocket Square
- Drakes Printed Cotton Pocket Square
- Hackett Paisley-print Handkerchief
Finally, for a truly laid-back occasion, you will want to look put together but without looking over the top. Think about pairing a simple shirt and tie with an interesting pair of trousers.
Make sure the trousers fit you properly and go for something in a Prince of Wales check, houndstooth, seersucker or madras. With no additions like a jacket or blazer, you have a bit more room to have fun with trousers.
Alternatively, consider a good old fashioned waistcoat. Even with the simplest of looks, a waistcoat can instantly make you look more put together whilst still allowing you room to cut some mad shapes on the dance floor (wait until after the first dance). I’d go for something that doesn’t match the trousers in order to add a point of difference to the look.
You could also apply these guidelines to a blazer if you still want to wear a jacket. Keep everything else simple and then choose an interesting pattern or colour for the tailored item – navy plaid, grey micro-check, pastel blue or dusty yellow.
- Topman Black And White Houndtooth Skinny Trousers
- Reiss Yale Grey Chambray Trousers
- Reiss Bradley T Micro Check Cotton Trousers
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Trousers In Houndstooth
- Ted Baker Ted Baker Cottro cotton Check Trouser
- Ted Baker Ted Baker Pynctro Striped Trouser
- Topman Grey Bogart Suit Waistcoat
- Oliver Spencer Navy Linen And Cotton Waistcoat
- Reiss Pompeii W Occasion Suit Waistcoat Airforce Blue
- Canali Capri Plaid Wool And Cashmere-blend Blazer
- Topman Selected Homme Walton Blazer
- Band Of Outsiders Schoolboy Blazer
Something To Avoid
Finally, something I never, EVER want to see at a wedding. Can we all agree to stop wearing weird, garish, ugly-patterned waistcoat and tie combinations with perfectly good suits?
You know the kind: they’re usually gold and embroidered with flowers (or similar) and end up getting paired with a navy suit. I don’t where the trend stemmed from or who started it but I’m going to find them and punish them for their crimes against humanity.
So there you have it, a few ideas on what to wear to a wedding if you just so happen to be part of the lucky couple.
But, as always, I want to hear from you – what do you plan on wearing to your wedding? Are you keeping it simple and classic or relaxed with a twist?
Let me know in the comments section…