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How should men dress as guests at a wedding?

How should men dress as guests at a wedding? Back in the day, there wasn’t much choice. Weddings in the 50s, 60s and 70s called for formal suits. It was pretty black and white.

These days, those old rules have been turned on their heads. It’s never been more exciting for male guests to dress for a wedding. Suits now come in everything from ballroom-wear to beachwear and weddings take place in some pretty exotic locations.

However when you dress for the next wedding you attend, just make sure you don’t break the cardinal rule: never upstage the groom.


How to dress for a morning-suit wedding?

Let’s begin with the formal look. The idea with men wearing morning suits to a wedding is that everyone looks the same. You can add personalized elements, but they should be subtle. Think cufflinks, pocket square or the boutonniere.

How to dress for a black-tie wedding?

Obviously, a bowtie will be required. It’s always preferable to wear one that you have to fasten. Clip-ons can look acceptable, but the best look comes from tying your tie.

If you really want to make an understated statement, go for a black tuxedo, a white pique shirt and patent leather shoes. These are coated shoes that have a high-gloss finish.

How to dress for a smart-casual wedding?

When the dress code for the wedding says smart-casual, best play it a little safe. It’s better to err on the formal side of casual. Opt for a darker suit in navy, grey or cobalt for a classic look. For that contemporary feel, go for the slimmer fit, but not too close to the body. Make sure you can move – and dance – comfortably.

Once frowned upon, brown shoes with a blue suit are now highly fashionable. So consider this option when dressing for a smart-casual wedding.

For a smart summer wedding, consider lighter shades of blue. In winter, go for darker shades. Don’t feel obliged to wear socks – that’s fashionable right now and can be a great look. But if you opt for pop socks, make sure they can’t be seen above your shoes. Pop on a pair of sunglasses to complete your look, but do take them off indoors. Don’t be ‘that guy’.

How to dress for a beach wedding?

When it comes to dressing as a man for a beach wedding, you probably automatically think of white linen trousers. They’re an option, but traditional suiting can still work well. Make sure you go for natural materials, so you don’t overheat. If you do plump for shorts, be sure to get the sun cream and moisturiser out.

If you’re flying between continents to get to a destination wedding, don’t get caught out by the change in seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, weddings are traditionally popular in May, June and August. In the Southern Hemisphere, weddings are favoured from November to March.

If it looks like rain, be sure to pick a water-resistant fabric or you risk wearing a crumpled suit.