Men’s Wedding Guest Attire - What To Wear

Weddings are an exciting celebration to be a part of for friends and family, and at some point, you’ll have the question - what do I wear? Men’s wedding guest attire can vary with many different rules, styles, and expectations, so it is helpful to understand the various factors that can affect what is required. You should never take away from the bride and groom with an overly flashy suit but it is a great opportunity to show your a little personal style through your outfit. It is all about balancing your colors and accessories while adhering to the dress code requirements.

Men’s wedding guest attire has a few different categories which is why you should start by checking the wedding website FAQ page to find what the bride and groom specifically want their guests to be wearing. Another important factor is finding out if the wedding will be religious, which may mean you will want to aim more on the conservative side for men's wedding attire. The main categories for dress codes are White Tie, Black Tie, Black Tie Optional, Cocktail Attire, Beach Formal, or Casual. White Tie weddings are going to be the most formal dress attire with Black Tie weddings being a close second. Both require tuxedos, a bow tie, and black shoes, but a White Tie calls for white or black accessories only. A Black Tie wedding is where you have slightly more flexibility to add personal touches like a fun pocket square or flashy cufflinks (but be careful not to overdo it!). Cocktail Attire is the most common wedding guest requirement as it balances being formal without having to stay too traditional. For men, a suit would still be expected but feel free to wear a fun textured tie with a matching pocket square. If the wedding is more casual, you can skip the tie.

Other factors to consider are the venue location and the season the wedding is being held. What you would wear to a Cocktail Attire wedding in the summer would be different from the same dress code in the winter. Summer weddings are a great opportunity to wear lighter colors and fabrics such as linen, linen-wool bend, or polyester-spandex blended suits to help survive the heat. The winter is when you can wear a heavier-textured jacket like velvet or wool, paired with a solid white dress shirt and matching slacks.

Now that you know more about the different types of men's wedding guest attire and what you should look into before deciding on the outfit, we have some key tips to help make sure your outfit is perfect:

  1. Always make sure your suit fits as well as possible, especially if it was bought off the rack. Bring the suit to your local tailor so they can see what alterations are needed relative to your body and they’ll help dial in the fit.
  2. Do not button both blazer buttons - ever. You should only have the top one buttoned while standing and undo it once you go to sit down. (Pro Tip: Do not remove your jacket until the honorary guests do, like the bride's father).
  3. The blazer sleeves should show about .25” - .5” of your dress shirt cuff while your arms are at your sides.
  4. Make sure the bottom of your pant hem hits your shoes for a clean half-break (having excess fabric at your ankles is not a good look, even if you prefer a more classic fit).
  5. If you don’t have a solid white dress shirt - stop what you’re doing and buy one. You’ll get plenty of use out of this must-have item!
  6. Match the leather accessories like belts to shoes.
  7. Match the metal accessories like cufflinks, watches, belt buckles, etc.
  8. When in doubt, always go on the dressier side than the causal side.

Men’s wedding guest attire can be complicated, but follow those tips and you will surely be ready for that next wedding invite. Be sure to check stateandliberty.com for a variety of suits, dress clothes, and accessories that are perfect for men’s wedding guest attire!

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