Wedding invitations are cluttering everyone’s social calendar right now as we move into prime wedding season.
But dressing for summer weddings can be a challenge: You can’t wear that tux to your friend’s beach wedding or a seersucker suit to a black tie affair.
Toby Bateman, the Buying Director at online menswear retailer MR PORTER, answered all of our summer wedding style questions.
For more on how to dress for a summer wedding, you can also check out the wedding style section at MR PORTER.
From what to wear at the beach to deciding which tie is best, here is your definitive wedding style guide.
How To Dress For A City Wedding
All items available through MR PORTER ($90-$1,990)
“For a city wedding, I tend to keep my suit choice fairly sober — one that works as a summer business uniform in dark blue or a mid-grey wool that I then freshen up a bit with shoes and accessories,” Bateman says.
“The shirt should be classic in a crisp white or pale blue poplin and teamed with a smartly polished leather lace up shoe — oxford or derby, not a brogue.”
“Add a fresh colored plain or neatly patterned tie and a pocket square, neatly folded or with a flourish, to complete the look,” he advises. (See how to perfectly fold your pocket square here.)
How To Dress For A Country Wedding
All items available through MR PORTER ($145-$2,345)
“For the country, a pale grey or a pale blue suit would be totally acceptable,” Bateman says. “If you’re likely to be standing on someone’s lawn drinking PIMMS, this is your chance to be a bit more liberal with the fabrication of the suit – cotton or linen works and is more softly structured than your business suit.”
And don’t be afraid of pattern in your suit or shirt choice. “Suits can be worn with either a plain shirt or one with a small scale pattern such as a small gingham or floral print,” Bateman says. “If you have gone for a patterned shirt or suit then you might want to leave the pocket square at home or choose a subtle option to avoid too many patterns from clashing.”
“Shoes should be neutral but do not need to be as formal as the lace up worn for the city wedding, so a smart loafer works just as well.”
How To Dress For A Beach Wedding
All items available through MR PORTER ($85-$340)
“Surely if someone is getting married on the beach, anything goes?” Bateman jokes. “Bring out the linen or opt for an unlined suit for a more casual and comfortable option.”
“You can also mix the jacket and trousers, ditch the tie, or even adopt a sandal for a more laid-back look.”
Single vs. Double-Breasted Jackets
Both items available through MR PORTER (Left: $1,950, Right: $665)
“A single breasted jacket – one or two-button – is standard and typically the safest bet for weddings.” Bateman says.
“The double-breasted jacket is also fine, but the thing about this style is that the fit is a bit more difficult to pull off,” he says. “It should be tailored short in the body and fitted well around the waist, so I would only recommend it for those well-versed about style and fit.”
Choose The Right Tie
Ties available through MR PORTER ($190-$225)
“Bow-ties don’t suit everyone and can sometime come off as cartoonish or a bit Pee Wee Herman, so I typically recommend them for a more formal wedding worn in black for a simple and sleek look,” he adds.
Still confused? Check out this handy infographic on correct tie proportion, length, and choosing the right knot for your collar.
- Get a tailor: An ill-fitting suit will ruin your look.
- Follow the groom’s example (and the invitation dress code): If the groom is wearing a tux but the invitation says casual, go for a suit. If he’s wearing something more casual like a linen suit, then you should too.
- Be bold with accessories: Pocket squares, ties, cuff links, tie clips, belts, and shoes can all make an outfit seem more interesting or original. It’s the details that count!