Man’s guide to choosing wedding attire

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Ah, weddings. What guy doesn’t groan when that big invitation comes in the mail? Between the tuxedos, toasts, and strange guests and relatives, it can all get a bit overwhelming.

So, why not start with getting over the first hurdle; your attire. Choosing the perfect tuxedo or suit is half the battle when it comes to attending a wedding.

Thankfully, I’m here to help (on the fashion end at least), with some tips that make putting together the right outfit as easy as tipsy bridesmaids.

Suiting up

The suit is the cornerstone of men’s wedding fashion. As a general rule-of-thumb, if you’re in the wedding party, you’re going to wear a tuxedo. If you’re just a guest however, you’ll be good in a suit.

That said, the style and colour of the suit you wear depends on the type of attire specified in the wedding invitation.

Black tie only

This is a formal wedding and you’ll need a basic tuxedo, even if you’re just a guest. Go with a black jacket with satin or grosgrain lapels, trousers (usually with a silken stripe down the side), a bow tie, and a cummerbund.

White tie

Traditionally, this is a tuxedo with tails, a top hat, an overcoat, a cane, and of course, a white tie. It’s the sort of thing Fred Astaire is known for wearing, and while it’s increasingly rare for weddings, this type of getup will sometimes be required.

Black tie preferred

If you’re in the wedding party, be prepared to wear a white dinner jacket (in spring/summer) or a tuxedo. If you’re just a wedding guest, a black or charcoal-coloured suit is just fine.

Summer wedding

Certainly avoid black and other dark colours. You will also want to avoid wool and other heavy fabrics typically worn in fall and winter.

Choose a lighter coloured suit in cotton, linen or seersucker. Many designers continue to come out with suits in fabrics other than wool.

Also, a cotton or linen suit with a bit of stretch added with help retain its shape and give it a slightly more polished look. If it is an evening wedding, black would be acceptable, but go for cotton as I have mentioned.

Winter wedding

Obviously dark colours are appropriate as well as wool. Suits and blazers with nice trousers, or perhaps a cashmere v-neck sweater with a shirt and tie underneath would all be nice choices.

A dress shirt, tie and dress pants are acceptable on their own if that’s all you have, but dress them up with a sweater or blazer if you can.

Evening wedding

A dark suit is always appropriate and a tuxedo is the only thing to wear if you know it is a formal affair, but remember tuxedos are not to be worn before 5:00pm.

If you know it will be casual or semi-formal, you can always wear a blazer and slacks with a tie, but try not to look like you’ve just come from the office. Opt for a tie, shirt or both that look more stylish than your usual office attire.

To be avoided at all costs (and I have had the misfortune of witnessing all of the following first hand)

Too casual of a pant such as cargo pants or worse, jeans;

Birkenstocks;

Out-dressing the wedding party;

Un-ironed clothes and unpolished shoes;

Wild colours and prints

If you keep these general rules in mind, your attire should be suitable for the next wedding you attend. Until next week, stay fabulous.

lucretia79@live.com