Whether you are the groom, groomsman, best man, father of the bride/groom or a guest many men wonder what should a man wear to a wedding? We’re here to demystify dress codes and show you how to choose a men’s outfit for a wedding which will show your personality and style while still being wedding appropriate.
What to consider for a men’s wedding outfit
No matter what your role in the wedding there are a few aspects for every man to consider from groom through to wedding guest.
Whether it’s your big day or you’re celebrating the wedding of an old friend you want to look good and one aspect that can make or break any wedding outfit is the fit. Off the rack items will rarely fit you perfectly, if you’re the groom or a groomsman then made to measure
is best but if money is tight or you’re a guest then buying an off-the-rack item then having it tailored is a good way to get something which will flatter your shape and make you feel your best on the day.
You may think that men’s wedding outfits are limited to the white shirt and dark suit combination but unless you’ve been sent the rarely seen black tie dress code invite there are so many other options. If you are part of the wedding party then going for something matching the wedding colours is always a good idea but as a guest you can get creative (within the dress code). This can be as simple as choosing a rich navy rather than a plain black or go bold with a jewel toned jacket
or bright waistcoat
. Also think about the season, for an autumn or winter wedding warm tones like red and orange are great while spring and summer may call for lighter colours.
The groom should undoubtably be the star of the show when it comes to men’s wedding outfits but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the gents can’t have a little fun. Bringing out your personality will make you feel more comfortable and there are many ways to do this, whether it’s a full patterned suit or just a striking waistcoat
What to wear to a Wedding as a Groom
This is both one of the simplest and most difficult questions to answer in styling. The groom should be the best dressed man in the room but that can mean whatever you want it to. As the groom the only other person who really has a say is your bride or fellow groom to be, beyond this the choice is entirely yours!
Classic Suit or Alternative Groom Outfit?
It’s your wedding day so unless you’re going for a theme you are likely to be wearing some variation on a suit but it’s up to you how you decide to interpret the style.
If you like a classic look then a well tailored suit in a block colour is ideal, add a touch of something different by choosing a luxurious fabric like silk
for a stylish look. Classic colours like black and navy are easy to wear and look good within any number of colour scheme.
To step up your groom outfit without going too far out of the box try an alternative jacket cut like a nehru collar jacket
. Cut in a classic navy or black this smart style of jacket brings something a little different to a classic suit while maintaining the classic look of a two-piece suit.
For an alternative groom’s outfit choosing a beautiful fabric is a great way to amp up your look. Whether it’s a bright and vibrant silk or an elegant rich cashmere, a patterned suit or even just a statement waistcoat can elevate your ensemble to match the importance of the day.
If you want something totally unique for your alternative groom outfit then why not swap out your suit jacket for a beautifully tailored frock coat! Whether you keep the classic collar of timeless coat like the Dali
or go all out in a Nehru coat
these statement coats are guaranteed to make you the centre of attention amongst the men.
What to Wear as a Groomsman or Best Man
Usually the groomsmen’s outfits are at least partially chosen by the bride and groom but if you’re styling yourself it’s best to think about the rest of the wedding party. Find out what colour the bridesmaids are wearing and tailor your suit to match or compliment. If the bridesmaids are in a peach and that isn’t your style then choose a complimentary colour like a soft green
What to Wear as Father of the Bride or Groom
As with the groomsmen the Father of the Bride or groom should feel part of the wedding party. An easy way to do this is to find an outfit which matches or compliments the groom and the groomsmen. This can be through a matching colour palette but if the grooms colour is not to your taste you could also choose a similar style of jacket with a complimentary colour. If you want to add a touch of colour but not upstage the groom then a colourful waistcoat
is an ideal way to do this.
What Should Men Wear as a Wedding Guest
As a wedding guest a man’s outfit will firstly be influenced by the dress code of the wedding. As you are not part of the wedding party it’s best to leave the real statement looks to the groom and groomsmen but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with your outfit. The main things to avoid as a wedding guest are not to wear a floral boutonniere (this is reserved for the groom and groomsmen), don’t upstage the groom (maybe save that full purple suit for another time) and keep away from anything too casual, so no ripped jeans, open toe shoes or t-shirts.
Below we have broken down the different dress codes and give you a few ideas on how to bring your personality to each one.
What do Different Wedding Dress Codes Mean
Aside from white-tie which you will rarely see nowadays, black tie is the most formal dress code for weddings. Your outfit here should be composed of a black bow tie, white dress shirt, black tuxedo and black trousers paired with leather dress shoes. Your personality can come through in this dress code with your choice of fabrics and accessories. A silk black jacket will give a different texture to the standard black tux. You could also add a touch of personality with a colourful or novelty pair of cufflinks.
Black Tie Optional
The second most formal dress code is black-tie optional, here you have a little more freedom to play, though you will still be expected to wear a formal suit and bow tie you can be a little more playful with colour. Choose suit jacket in a rich colour over a pair of black suit trousers and a formal shirt or elevate your classic black tux with a subtle patterned waistcoat.
You’re likely to see some version of semi-formal at most weddings, the idea is to look sharp without being restricted to stuffy formal tuxes. Though your men’s semi-formal wedding outfit should still centre around a suit, you can mix up the fabrics and colours and even step away from a shirt, perhaps opting instead for a stylish rollneck. A patterned suit jacket
is a great way to add something special to your wedding outfit especially paired with chic understated black shirt and trousers.
The cocktail dress code is often considered to be the same as semi-formal but it can mean slightly less formal, meaning you may be able to dial up the colour, if in doubt ask your hosts to clarify.
Though you don’t want to be turning up in your favourite shorts and t-shirt a casual wedding dress code gives you the freedom to really bring out your personal style. As a rule of thumb think smart-casual, an easy formula for this is that for every casual item you should balance it out with a formal one. If you’re opting for jeans make sure to pair it with a smart jacket, a brightly coloured tailored jacket can make a statement and dress up your favourite black jeans.