Image by Natalija Brunovs – I Heart Weddings via Madge and Jared’s Art Deco Inspired Indian Wedding
Have you received an invitation to a friend’s most anticipated wedding of the year? Or perhaps you’ve been invited to a smaller wedding, and don’t know how to pull off the informal dress code? Are you worried that you’re going to be either underdressed, or so over the top that you become the centre of attention? If you’re floundering when it comes to style choices for wedding guests, at InStitchu we’ve got all the answers you need.
Formalwear for black tie weddings
Black tie weddings require you to be formally dressed. If you haven’t been given clear instructions on what to wear, you can’t go far wrong if you choose a tuxedo. Whether you choose black or the deepest midnight blue, always make sure that you pair your jacket with black trousers. Consider a satin stripe down the outside for added style.
Keep your shirt crisp and white with either a plain or pleated front, and finish the look with quality cufflinks. While clip on bow ties can be worn, a bow tie that you tie yourself is always the best option. Unless the wedding is super formal, choose a turn down collar, rather than a wing collar.
When it comes to shoes, simple black lace-ups are best. Avoid anything too heavy or with too many punch holes; you want them to be simple and understated.
Image by Sarah Christensen via Amanda and Johnny’s Rustic Hunter Valley Wedding
How to do semi-formal dress
Today most weddings have a semi-formal dress code. And while it may be less formal than black tie, don’t make the mistake of dressing too casually, like so many do. Trying to walk the line between black tie and casual can be tough, which is why semi-formal can be one of the most difficult dress codes to pull off. Too formal, and you’ll look like you’re dressed for a day in the office. Too relaxed, and you run the risk of feeling out of place.
Start your outfit off by choosing a dark suit – or if it’s summer, you can choose a light coloured suit. Whether you choose a two or three piece all comes down to your personal taste. Accompany your suit with a formal shirt in a solid neutral colour, and always make sure that’s it’s clean and pressed. To prevent the outfit from looking too business-like, inject some style and personality with a vibrant tie and socks.
The perfect shoe for this dress code is a pair of clean, well-polished oxfords, however if you want to make a bit more of a style statement, monk strap shoes can also be worn.
Image by John Benevante via Alex & Nathan’s Summer Milton Park Wedding
Confused by cocktail dress code?
The cocktail dress code fits somewhere between smart casual and semi-formal, and should be tailored to suit both the season and the time of day. Choose heavier fabrics in autumn and winter, lighter fabrics in spring. If the wedding is being held in the evening, choose dark colours; if it’s being held during the day, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear light colours such as light grey, beige, cream and white.
The ideal suit of choice is a slim-fitting two piece in a textured or patterned fabric, such as pinstripe. If you’re wearing a bold suit, opt for a more neutral shirt. If your suit is fairly neutral, you can go a little wilder with your shirt choice. Just remember, a tie is part of this dress code, so make sure that your shirt collar can accommodate one. As for shoes, wear oxfords or loafers in dark or tan shades that match your choice of clothing.
Summer or beach weddings
Many couples choose to get married in the summer when the temperatures are at their highest. Often in these cases, the dress code is much more casual. While a suit is still the order of the day, you should be choosing one with a looser structure and lighter fabric, such as linen and cotton. Keep your shirt light too – you want to feel and look cool all day. Ties are optional, and you can choose pretty much any kind of footwear except for sneakers.
Image by James Billing via Marli and Dane’s Rustic Beachside Wedding
Getting smart casual right
While smart casual means that you can wear more a relaxed outfit, it doesn’t mean that you can don your usual Friday night attire. Opt to wear a casual suit, or stick with stylish separates such as a jacket and pair of chinos. If you want to inject a bit of your personality with your shirt, now is the time to bring out the paisley or floral gems in your closet. If you decide to go bright with your shirt, keep the rest of your attire minimalist. When it comes to footwear, go for something smart but comfortable.
The extra touches
No matter which dress code you’re working towards, one thing that will lift every outfit is attention to detail – especially when it comes to accessories. Unusual cufflinks, a colourful pocket square or a special pair of socks will make you stand out from the crowd, without going overboard.
Now you’re well dressed, relax and enjoy the party
Being a guest at a wedding is about helping the bride and groom to celebrate their important day. Make sure that you wear something appropriate but also comfortable, so that you can relax and enjoy the celebrations.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Wonderful advice that takes the guess work out of wedding dress codes!
About InStitchu: We believe that every man should be able to afford high quality tailored suits and shirts. Our customers order by designing their own tailored suit or shirt from scratch or can use an existing design from our collections page. With a guaranteed fit policy, we have strict quality control procedures to ensure our tailored suits and shirts meet the highest quality standards expected by our customers.