As you know, a prospective groom will occasionally attend marriage counseling to find out how committed he is to things like potpourri appearing in unexpected places around the house and not ordering takeout seven days a week.
Similarly, male guests attending a summer wedding should also undergo a degree of style counseling. Because your goal is to dress so that others stand out, and like a successful relationship, this can sometimes be a tricky thing to pull off.
Your Presence Is Requested.
When the invitation arrives, pay attention to what it says. If a certain dress code is indicated, adhere to it. Otherwise, you need to keep in mind two very important things: you should dress as well as the wedding party without showing up the groom, and what you wear should be somewhat neutral, so your date will stand out and be allowed to shine.
The Summer Tux.
The classic khaki suit is the first thing you should consider when deciding on proper summer wedding attire. Paired with a white dress shirt, white pocket square, black knit tie and black or brown shoes, it will have you looking great, while ensuring your date—and any others photographed with you—look like stars. It’ll also keep you cool should the air conditioning in the church go out during “Here Comes The Bride.”
The Navy Nuptials.
Wearing a navy suit to a summer wedding is also a good choice provided it’s not your navy wool work suit. You don’t want to look like you stumbled into a wedding on the way to the office. A navy suit in linen is the perfect alternative. It’ll breathe, unlike the wool, which means you’ll avoid being identified in every photo as “the guy who’s sweating through his suit.” And you can add some twists to it that will distance it even further from your work clothes. Consider wearing penny loafers and a bowtie. The bowtie can be used as a pocket square should the wedding turn out to be more informal than you anticipated. We’ve also observed that the guy dancing at the reception with the untied bowtie around his neck is usually very popular. Just something to keep in mind.
The Southern/Beach Wedding.
A wedding that takes place in the South, or on the beach, provides your best opportunity to add some color to your look. It’s a good place to break out your go-to-hell pants, but in solid colors only and without embroidery. A white dress shirt, bowtie and unstructured navy blazer round out the look. Bucks are the shoe of choice. And socks are optional, especially if you’re at the beach where rolling up your pants and going barefoot is to be expected.
When dressing more colorfully, it’s a good idea to not match your date identically. So, if she’s wearing an orange dress you should probably forego the orange go-to-hell pants. Consider a madras pocket square with an orange tone in it instead. The matching thing only worked here.
Now you know exactly what to wear for all those summer weddings you managed to get invited to. But unfortunately, our style counseling offers no answers on what to do if a wedding begins like this. If it does, our best advice would be to settle back in your pew and be happy for the bride and groom. And pray this guy doesn’t show up at the reception.
Originally published on Of Rogues and Gentlemen