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SUIT UP!! ~ A Guide To Men’s Wedding Fashion

SUIT UP!! ~ Barney Stinson From How I Met Your Mother

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 color 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/full evening dress

Traditionally, this is a tux 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 tux. If you’re just a wedding guest, a black- or charcoal-colored suit is just fine.

Black-tie optional

This fashion style usually pops up on invites for daytime weddings. While party members may be wearing English day coats/suits, you’ll look sharp wearing a cotton, tweed or linen suit in an earthy color or a classic dark color.

A suit for all seasons

If the invitation doesn’t specify the type of attire or it’s frustratingly unclear what style of men’s suit would be most appropriate (the most likely occurrence), base your decision on the time of day and the season in which the wedding is taking place.

Spring/summer day wedding

The warm weather and relative informality of some spring and summer weddings allows for linen or twill suits. Beach weddings also provide you with the chance to go tie-less and wear only a simple blazer and dress pants in shades of cream, beige, blue, or gray.

On the other side of the spectrum is the very formal English morning coat and vest (popularly seen in Four Weddings and a Funeral). This is ultra-formal wear and is usually only worn by the groom and his groomsmen. I wouldn’t recommend showing up to any wedding in this garb if you’re just a guest.

Spring/summer night wedding

It goes without saying that you should avoid wool suits for warm-weather weddings. Rather, opt for a comfortable cotton ensemble. Since this wedding’s at night, you should choose a dark-colored suit (navy, black, charcoal or gray). If you’re in the party, a black-tie tux is a must.

Fall/winter day wedding

You can go with either a cotton or wool suit in the fall and winter seasons. It’s also a smart idea to stick to dark colors, like navy or black.

Fall/winter night wedding

The best way to judge what you should be sporting to an evening wedding in the fall or winter is by analyzing the invitation. If a type of attire isn’t specified in the invite, judge the extent of the wedding’s formality by the actual invite itself. Is it a simple card with basic or casual wording? If so, chances are it’s going to be an informal, basic-black-suit sort of thing. Is the invitation written in fancy script with formal language? This would be a clear indication that a tuxedo is probably your best bet.

Adding accessories


Tying your own tie is just as important as making the right choice of color and style. This means no clip-ons or ready-made bowties. Speaking of which, a silk or satin bow tie in black with a cummerbund is the classic tux option, but a worthy alternative is a solid black tie and vest.


Your belt should be thin, black and shiny. But for tuxes and formal wear, belts are unnecessary, as a cummerbund, waistcoat and suspenders (or some combination of the three) are the preferred option.


If you’re in the wedding party, cufflinks should be pearl or silver for daytime weddings, and black or gold for evening events.


Black, plain-toe oxfords are the standard (although browns can be worn during the day). Avoid wingtips or the sort of shoes you might wear to the office.

wedding wear dos and don’ts

  • No white suits at nighttime weddings
  • No tuxedos before 5 p.m.
  • No sneakers, jeans, cargo pants or shirts other than button-down dress shirts — ever!
  • Don’t wear something more formal than the wedding party
  • Do not unbutton double-breasted dinner jackets
  • dress to impress

    Remember: Weddings last a long time, often with much dancing and cavorting. Make sure your clothes are not just clean, pressed and appropriate, but that you show up in a suit that fits you well and is comfortable enough to party in. The last thing you want is to be known as “the guy in the powder-blue suit with the huge tear on his rear.”
    Source Ask Men.com

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