Wedding dress codes can be confusing, both as a groom and also as a guest. It can be easier for women but as for wedding dress codes for men – what does a “Black tie” event call for? How do you want men to dress at your wedding? When you receive your mate’s wedding invitation, what do you need to wear?
There are several common dress codes and once you have successfully navigated these, you’ll be covered for most weddings.
Black Tie or Dinner Jacket* – To be traditionally correct a man should wear black trousers, a black dinner jacket, waistcoat and black shoes. Worn with a white dress shirt with a pique or pintucked front, a hand tied bow tie and cufflinks. Fabric choice is key when commissioning a dinner suit. Look for either plain black or something with a subtle texture that absorbs light. This means that when photographed, the fabric will not appear shiny. For the more adventurous, navy is a great alternative, but generally more appropriate for a ball, New Year’s Eve party or awards night.
Formal – Any variation of a three-piece suit. For daytime weddings lose the tie for a more laid-back feel. The choice of suiting fabric again is key so opt for more vibrant blues or if you do decide to wear charcoal, look for something with a faint pattern or subtle check that incorporates a secondary colour. One of the major benefits of wearing a three-piece suit is that as the night progresses and the jacket inevitably comes off on the dance floor, you still look finished. Avoid wearing a belt, as it disrupts the line of the suit and overall silhouette.
Cocktail or Lounge – Always wear a jacket and tie. You can personalise your jacket with overt styling choices such as peak lapels and exterior patch pockets, which make it feel like you’re not wearing half a suit. Trousers should not match, but complement the jacket colour. Opt for a polished cotton rather than drill, so that you don’t look too casual. Finally, don’t choose the same tie that you wear to the office. Instead go for either a silk knit or wool/silk blend, which will help set you apart.
The most important rule to follow when dressing for a wedding is not to draw attention away from the bride and groom. It’s their big day so take a back seat, wear something classic and enjoy the open bar.
*To be pedantic, a monochrome formal suit is known as a dinner suit and only a white jacket/black trouser combination can technically be called a tuxedo. Bonus points for you at the next pub trivia night.
Ms Gingham says: A great guide from expert tailors!
The Cloakroom specialises in weddings and ensures that the grooms are as elegant as their partners on their special day. The team helps guide grooms through the enjoyable decisions of having a wedding suit made. Clients are first measured for their suit with 25 different measurements recorded. They then have the freedom to choose every detail of their suit from the colour, texture and constitution of the fabric.