The dress isn’t the only big fashion decision involved during a wedding! Guys and suit-wearers, listen up: what you wear should even feel special, which means you don’t have to limit yourself to a black tuxedo or dark gray blazer if that’s not your vibe.
Hairstylist Grant McNamara advises, “Find something that is organically yours and looks well on you.” “Beyond that, there is always room to play with the code,” McNamara says. It’s always helpful to understand the principles before you start folding them, which is why we looked to him for advice.
MEET THE EXPERT
Grant McNamara, a Chicago-based men’s stylist, and tailor help the bride and groom develop their wedding-day look through his company G ALXNDR.
Whether he’s a groom, groomsman, or guest, he regards his guidelines for men’s wedding attire as a solid starting point for all of his suit decisions.
Men’s Wedding Attire by Dress Code
The wedding dress code will undoubtedly have the most impact on what you wear. For some of the most typical weddings, McNamara has some suggestions for men’s wedding attire:
The white tie is the most formal of all event dress standards. “At all costs,” McNamara says, “dress a tuxedo in a formal black or white jacket.” “You should also wear a tie, though it’s normally white or black,” says the guide. You’ll also be wearing tails (a jacket with a knee-length back), but tails aren’t always required for American celebrations. It’s fine to wear black shoes, but they don’t have to be leather.
If a call for entry specifies “black tie needed,” “black tie requested,” or “welcome black tie,” you must dress appropriately. That means a normal matching tux, but it doesn’t have to be black (navy, hunter green, and burgundy are all on-trend options), or pants and a real tux, which don’t have to match. (For example, a navy blue jacket with black jeans). A tie is still the finest option for ties in black tie clothing (although it has been slipping away with a daily tie lately), and shoes should still be black.
Black Tie Optional
According to McNamara, “semi-formal” and “black tie optional” are equivalent levels of fantasy. If you see either of the two on an invitation, keep in mind that it’s best to err on the ritual side, but don’t feel pressured to rent or buy a tux if you don’t have quick access to one; a dark suit will work fine.
No one really knows what a cocktail is, McNamara acknowledges gracefully. Which says you’re willing to try new things.” However, we’re still not in the casual zone, so keep your jacket on. Ties, on the other hand, are optional: you are not compelled to wear a tie or tie, but if you do, the colors and textures are appreciated.
McNamara suggests light grey or silver if you’re going to wear a suit and want to be safe while still looking good. It’s different, but it’s not too noticeable. Now is the time to go head-to-head with cocktail attire: patterned and colored jackets and suits are suitable. (For example, non-black sneakers.) Respect is necessary for achieving a risky look, regardless of what you choose. “Don’t utilize something just because you think it could be incorrect, says McNamara.
Beach-y or Beach Formal
Choose a suit in a lighter color or material (tan, light grey, light blue) (i.e. linen). Ties are typically not required; but, if the event becomes more casual, you can wear a solid white linen shirt with lighter-colored pants (“it works 100 percent of the time,” adds McNamara). Hawaiian and floral shirts, on the other hand? They can be successful if done correctly, but if you don’t know much about fashion or aren’t sure how elegant marriage may be, it’s best to avoid it.
Another fantastic opportunity to experiment with patterns and colors. For a Prince of Wales wedding, McNamara recommends a suit or jacket, as well as plaid cloth for a garden wedding. He also advises his clients to use color-muted pastels like salmon red, sage, and slate blue, which will seem joyful. Try a knitted or patterned tie in a more vivid hue if you’re wearing a conventional grey or blue suit (avoid black).
No matter how discreet a marriage maybe, you would like to point out respect for the sanctity of the union and what is there to celebrate. At the very least, put on pants and buttons.
Men’s Wedding Attire By Season
Now is the time to play with thicker and more textured fabrics; the velvet is huge. Textures make an outfit dynamic,” says McNamara. “When you pair a see-through nightshirt with a textured jacket and patterned ties, an outfit stands out beautifully, especially during the holidays.
The lighter-colored suits, light gray, light blue, are an excellent option for this transitional season. Another idea: try a pink or lavender nightshirt under your navy blue or dark gray number.
Breathable fabrics, such as linen, wool-linen blends, and even silk-linen blends, are essential for surviving outdoor weddings in the summer heat.
The flannels are incredible, McNamara says. People cover nicely since it’s a heavier fabric, there are gorgeous colors and hues, and they want pajamas, says the designer. There are also lovely plaid patterns available, which work well for cocktail dress codes. For a stunning fall wedding outfit, pair a flannel blazer with more traditional jeans.
Men’s Wedding Attire by Time of Day
Unless the occasion has a stringent dress requirement, consider a fancy drink for wedding-related events that take place in the evening (such as the rehearsal dinner). Right now, grey slacks with a sports jacket, as well as a light grey or silver suit, are very stylish. If you want to produce something truly cool, play around with the fine print. McNamara advises. Celebrate with a good tie or pocket square and your shoes.
If the gathering is held in a bar or restaurant, dark denim is acceptable, but it should be paired with a button-down shirt or jacket. Pretend you’re on a wonderful date, he suggests. You could even make a jacket out of a pair of trousers or pants.
For a daytime wedding, follow the dress codes for casual or garden affairs as outlined above, and do not wear black shoes. (They will see out of place). If you’re attending a post-wedding brunch, jeans are likely acceptable, but sweatpants will always be off-limits, no matter how hungover you are.
Men’s Wedding Attire By Venue
If the code isn’t evident, the location of the wedding is the next best outfit hint. Here are McNamara’s recommendations for men’s wedding wear, organized by venue:
Consider wearing a dark suit (navy, charcoal, black) and a dark tie as an alternative to the black-tie. McNamara advises, “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”
When it comes to offbeat venues like breweries and art galleries, “cocktail attire is ideal,” says McNamara. “Think of cool paintings, cool textures, and different colors, like rust and red.”
The ceremony will almost certainly be more enlightening if it is held on the sand. Make a cocktail and get ready for the beach if you don’t have any. Wear a lighter-colored blazer and slacks, such as linen, McNamara advises.
Consider a formal outfit for a more traditional wedding: dark colors, jackets and slacks, and ties, of course. After that, you can always take your tie off, McNamara says.
Vineyard or Outdoor Venue
Cocktail or garden attire works here. The open-air nature of the space makes it a bit more informal than a ballroom, but the setup can vary widely in terms of ritual, so be sure to try your hand at doing your research. Search Google for past weddings that have occurred at the venue and make your decisions from there.
In the year 2020, the number of marriages held at home is predicted to increase. While the epidemic was inevitably the catalyst for the trend, it is likely to remain a realistic option for couples seeking a more personal way to demonstrate their thanks. If you want to adorn your outdoor wedding, McNamara suggests cocktail attire, but otherwise stick to the garden or casual dress code.
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