Dressing for those upcoming summer weddings

Dressing for those upcoming summer weddings

After a pandemic-induced coma wedding season has returned with full gusto. Hell, you might even be dealing with double bookings this summer as delayed nuptials finally get around to consummating. And so it is with great anticipation that, in this age of athleisure and Carhaart, we, the clothes-minded few, get to bust out some tailoring. Ties, baby! I’ve missed you seven-times-folded little guys. Dressing for weddings, though, is an art and a science even for the natty, so here’s a quick rundown of dos and don’ts for the “I dos.”

First and foremost, if the invitation specifically states some form of dress? You do that. If the bride and groom demand black tie, wearing all green, footy pajamas, whatever, you adhere. This isn’t your day, no matter how much you want to show off how fucking dank the collar gorge on your new jacket is. Be kind to the bride and groom, they’ve got enough going on without your ass showing up in a top hat to a courthouse wedding.

On to the rest of the stuff. Wedding dress codes, much like dress codes in the breadth of society, have suffered a mixture of muddling and thinning in definition. I mean, what even is business casual anyway? So you might get an invite with a dress request that’s nigh contradictory in terms, something like “cocktail casual” or “beach formal” or “cottagecore goth.” Look, it’s not the fault of the betrothed, language around clothing and decorum is all over the dang place these days, and if they don’t exactly care about the specifics so long as everyone looks some kind of nice then they won’t be the ones to settle any semantic argument over whether an Oxford shirt could be considered “formal.” Go to StyleForum for all that, ya nerds.

So what’s a guy to do so as to be appropriate but not show-offy? Well, conventional wisdom says you wear a suit to a wedding, but what I’m here to tell you is- maybe don’t? Separates, i.e. sport coat and odd trousers, are intrinsically more casual and offer a wider variety of customization while still maintaining the silhouette of a suit. Check out Jonathan Sigmon above, that'd be a welcome look at plenty of weddings. If you’re doing a WASPy wedding go blue jacket and khaki trousers with a bright, maybe floral tie. If it’s a cityscape wedding wear muted navy and grey with a bold shirt and solid tie. At the beach? Wide white trousers you can roll up at the ankles and some billowy linen up top. Considering we’re talking about summer weddings here you can also prob mix and match your lightest items, as a suit will more likely be of heavier construction (unless you’re a tropical business mogul with many linen suits and a fine collection of Panama hats, in which case you don't need me to tell you how to live).

With the freedom of separates you can tweak to your situation much better. For instance, wearing a business suit to a wedding might fly at a church ceremony, but come the reception when the tie loosens you tend to look like the guy who really insists on after work drinks because he’s still fun and definitely not going through his second divorce. And no one has ever fucked up by wearing a navy jacket and grey trousers. You put on black oxfords with that combo it’s more formal. Suede loafers? More freewheeling. It’s really just about giving yourself the freedom to mix things up which, if we’re being honest for any clothes collectors out there, gives you more opportunities to sport your more unique grails anyhow.

Now some of you may balk at this. You have too many suits with too few times to wear them, so if not now, when? Well, court appearances, for one, so just go commit some petty larceny if you really need to show off your fully canvased three piece. I’m sure the judge will show you favor for being so damn fresh. But if you insist you may also feel like now’s the time to wear your “fun suit.” Y’know, that one you found on sale, fit pretty well, that you didn’t really need but you thought “if I’m going to buy a burgundy and green windowpane suit it might as well be now.” Tread carefully, chums. If it fits within parameters and you’re close enough with the ones marrying then it could be okay, but do you really want to show up to someone else’s show commanding some Elton John levels of attention? Honestly, the worst thing you can do at a wedding that isn’t yours is be remembered, whether for dressing too wild or going ham on the open bar or that toast that brought up some past wild nights when you really should’ve let sleeping, slutty dogs lie.

So as you go off to a refurbished farmhouse, or a hotel rooftop patio, or (God forbid) a destination wedding, just try to err on the side of caution without looking like a stiff. Weddings are supposed to be fun and you should let loose in your fine fitting attire. Menswear has thankfully found many ways to be fun but appropriate, like critter prints or novelty tie bars, so you can probably work something out to fit the feel of the ceremony you’re attending. Then it’s all just about cutting loose and finding the nearest grandma to dance with for the inevitable “Cha Cha Slide.” After that, though, find a bridesmaid or groomsman to hit on, they’ve had a stressful prep time, no doubt, and could use some well dressed company, wink wink nudge nudge.

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