Wedding style: A man’s guide

Well, you know looking smart is a must.  The very fact that you’ve been invited means at least one of the lucky couple thinks the event will be in some way enriched by your presence, and the very last thing you are going to do is let them down.  So you are going to make the effort, but what exactly does that mean and does what is required of you depend in any way on who it is who is getting married, where and how?

The first thing to be clear about is that “making an effort” need not mean conforming to one particular set dress code.  There is more than one style of wedding, with more than one form of dress involved. What is most important is that your dress is in keeping with what is expected by your hosts. If your host is Scottish and he wants you to wear a kilt then you wear a kilt.  If he is a naturist, well you get the drift…

Formal, Semi-Formal or Informal?

The proverbial bottom line is that whatever you are required to wear, you do it smartly.  If you remember this rule, then the only other thing you need to know is what the dress code is for the particular occasion in hand.  


At the high end, this might mean a white tie, or a black-tie, and a dressy outfit involving maybe a tailcoat and trousers with some fancy underpinnings like a wing-collared shirt and a cummerbund.  Or a tuxedo. These will most likely be accompanied by studs and cuff links, and some stylish leather shoes brought to an impeccable shine.

Cad and the Dandy Suit

Photo by Tobiah Tayo Photography 



This attire would almost always comprise a suit and tie.  Colours would be according to taste but as a rule of thumb the darker the more formal, with lighter hues perhaps more appropriate during the warmer months.  One step down from this would be to replace the suit with a jacket and smart, well-pressed trousers, again with a tie. The shoes should be well presented and match the rest of the outfit.

Groom Suit

Photo by Ben Yew Photography


Alternatively, the stipulation might be casual dress, if your host is laid back in nature and doesn’t hang much on formality.  But casual does not mean scruffy. Clothes should be clean, ironed and stylish and under no circumstances should trainers or boots be worn in place of shoes, which ought always to be smart.  A set of suspenders works particularly well when the jacket and tie is abandoned, to maintain a touch of panache.  Whatever you choose, every item should hang naturally together with no hint of “dress distress” reporting present.



Groom Suit

Photo by Christy D Swanberg Photography 

Be Guided By Your Respect for Your Host

If you are looking for a word which encapsulates the desired approach to dressing for a wedding it would be “respect”.  It other words, your dress should not bring shame or embarrassment upon those who invited you to their special day, but instead should make them glad that they invited you along.  Always follow this simple rule and you will not go far wrong.


By JJ Suspenders