Choosing the Right Outfit for a Wedding

Religious Wedding Of Prince Felix Of Luxembourg & Claire Lademacher
Pascal Le Segretain / Staff / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Choosing the right outfit for a wedding can be a challenge for guys depending on its style, location and the time of year. The reason I bring this up is upon receiving my own nephew’s wedding invitation I realized I had to be slightly more thoughtful in my choice of wedding guest attire. I would have worn a black suit, which is customary for me considering I wear black quite a bit, but certainly not for a daytime wedding in July.

It had been a while since I attended a daytime wedding in the summer. I had been to several more formal evening weddings than ones in the daytime. So, with that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to review the rules of wedding dressing.

Summer Wedding
Certainly avoid black and other dark colors. You will also want to avoid wool and other heavy fabrics typically worn in fall and winter. Choose a lighter colored suit in cotton, linen or seersucker. Many designers continue to come out with suits in fabrics other than wool. Also, a cotton or linen suit with a bit of stretch added with help retain its shape and give it a slightly more polished look. If it is an evening wedding, black would be acceptable, but go for cotton as I have mentioned.

Check out a few of my favorites summer suits, available on 

    Winter Wedding
    Obviously dark colors are appropriate as well as wool. Suits and blazers with nice trousers, or perhaps a cashmere v-neck sweater with a shirt and tie underneath would all be nice choices. A dress shirt, tie and dress pants are acceptable on their own if that’s all you have, but dress them up with a sweater or blazer if you can.

    Evening Wedding
    A dark suit is always appropriate and a tuxedo is the only thing to wear if you know it is a formal affair, but remember tuxedos are not to be worn before 5:00pm. If you know it will casual or semi-formal, you can always wear a blazer and slacks with a tie, but try not to look like you’ve just come from the office. Opt for a tie, shirt or both that look more stylish than your usual office attire.

    I recommend checking out Men's Warehouse for formal tuxedo rentals. You can choose to customize your look or rent any of their pre-styled looks. Check out tuxedo rentals on

    To Be Avoided at All Costs (and I have had the misfortune of witnessing all of the following first hand)

    • Too casual of a pant such as cargo pants or worse, jeans
    • Birkenstocks
    • Out-dressing the wedding party
    • Un-ironed clothes and unpolished shoes
    • Wild colors and prints

    The above rules don't exactly apply if you have been invited to a beach, Vegas, or some other out-of-the-ordinary wedding. In those cases, unless otherwise directed by the wedding party, anything goes. Yikes!