It’s (Spring) wedding season! With warmer weather upon us, so is the time of leisurely walks down the aisle, open bars, and punny name-mashing hashtags on social media.
When it comes to wedding-day attire, most of the attention is going to be paid to the bride (rightfully so) and her wedding party.
But whether you’re a groomsman or just an attendee, you want to look good too, right? I mean, it’s wedding season! To look your best and pick your most complementary color scheme, just follow the five prompts below.
What does the “dress code” say? Unless you’re attending a wedding that’s ultra-formal (Black Tie or the extremely-rare White Tie), ditch the tux.
For any event that’s not so high-brow, you may look overdressed and out-of-place in a penguin suit.
Our recommendation? A well-fitted suit is always in style. And since you can vary your color choice or accent with different dress shirts, fits, and accessories, a solid suit is almost always a good choice for weddings.
One of the most important factors to consider for your suit selection is the “when” of the wedding: a May wedding is likely to have a much more Spring-y feel and be cooler (in terms of temperature) than, say, a July wedding.
Next, consider time of day. Sure, the usual wedding activities will probably take place regardless of time (dancing, toasting, clapping, imbibing), but you’ll want to adjust your look and comfort level accordingly. For an evening wedding, you’ll want to consider somewhat darker, more classic colors like charcoal gray or navy blue. An early afternoon wedding, however, allows for lighter and riskier color choices like a true blue or even a khaki look for a summery wedding.
Is it in a church? An outdoor venue? A destination wedding on an island/mountain/desert/rain forest? Well, the location should make a difference in your suiting choice.
Of course, the most important thing to consider is comfort: if you’re going to be baking outdoors in the sun, you may want to avoid the darkest colors (especially black) and heavier fabrics. Once again, a true blue or tan look may be appropriate, as well as a classic light gray.
You can adjust the look of each of these colors with your choice of dress shirt and accessories. For example, a white linen dress shirt with a light gray or tan suit sets the perfect tone for an outdoor, warm-weather event.
As we mentioned, many weddings will have a stated “dress code” on the invitation that provides valuable info as to what vibe the bride and groom are going for. For example, a dress code that just says “casual” lends plenty of leeway for your color choice.
Anything from a cream suit to a darker blue suit is fair game, though you’ll want to avoid all-black (too formal).
An evening wedding that calls for “cocktail” attire, however, is an ask to get a bit more formal and nighttime appropriate. A dark suit, especially charcoal gray, is a great call here, along with an appropriately complementary solid-color dress shirt.
Sometimes, there is no dress code queue to tip off your color choices, so you may want to just ask someone with knowledge of the proceedings what vibe the soon-to-be-newlyweds are hoping to create.
Obviously, you don’t want to wear a dark, formal suit to a light and fun event where the bride and groom really, actually just want people to have fun and laugh over a combination wedding and barbeque in their backyard. At the same time, if the event’s venue is your city’s grandest ballroom, a black suit and bowtie may be your best bet.
Going up a level from putting out a certain vibe is the themed wedding. We’ve seen everything from the subtle (“island living”) to the very-much-not-subtle (full-on “Lord of the Rings”).
If there’s a theme, you’re going to want to ask what the hosts are expecting. While your seersucker or true-blue suit sans tie is likely to look great for something more obvious like “island living,” you’re going to want direction for some of the more esoteric themes you might encounter.
It depends! As we’ve discussed, the where, when, vibe, theme, and dress code should give you your answer as to what colors to consider for your suit. These same factors will also tell you if you need to don a suit at all.
For example, if you’re attending a truly “beach casual” wedding that’s literally on a beach, a nice pair of chinos and linen button-down shirt might be expected. One universal truth to consider, though: if you’re really not sure, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than slightly underdressed.
With that in mind, the various colors and style options good suiting affords means that a suit is a good call in most circumstances.
Oh, and here’s one more tip: the suiting specialists and tailors at Ticknors have your back for all your style questions. Stop in or book an appointment for truly foolproof advice and direction for looking your best this wedding season, no matter the details of the occasion.