How to Dress for a Wedding: The Ultimate Guide for Men (2023)

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how should a man dress for a wedding

1. What is the appropriate attire for a man attending a formal wedding?

Formal Wedding Attire for Men

When attending a formal wedding, it is important for men to dress appropriately and adhere to the dress code. Typically, a formal wedding calls for a black tie or white tie attire. For black tie, men should wear a tuxedo with a black bowtie, black dress shoes, and possibly a cummerbund or waistcoat. White tie attire is even more formal and requires a tailcoat, white bowtie, white vest, and patent leather shoes.

In addition to the specific clothing items mentioned above, men should also pay attention to the fit and quality of their attire. The suit or tuxedo should be well-tailored to ensure a polished and sophisticated look. It is also recommended to opt for high-quality fabrics such as wool or silk.

Tips for Choosing Formal Wedding Attire:

  • Stick to traditional colors like black or navy blue.
  • Avoid bold patterns or prints that may appear too casual.
  • Ensure that the suit or tuxedo fits properly by getting it tailored if necessary.
  • Accessorize with classic pieces like cufflinks and a pocket square.

2. Should a man wear a suit or tuxedo to a traditional wedding ceremony?

Suit vs Tuxedo

The choice between wearing a suit or tuxedo to a traditional wedding ceremony depends on the specific dress code mentioned on the invitation. If the invitation states “black tie” or “white tie,” then it is appropriate and expected for men to wear a tuxedo. However, if the dress code is not specified or indicates “formal attire” without specifying black tie, then a suit can be a suitable option.

A suit is a versatile choice that can be worn to various events and occasions. It typically consists of matching trousers and jacket, paired with a dress shirt and tie. Suits come in different colors and styles, allowing men to showcase their personal style while still looking polished and formal.

Considerations when Choosing between a Suit or Tuxedo:

  • Check the dress code mentioned on the wedding invitation.
  • If the dress code is not specified, consider the overall formality of the wedding venue and time of day.
  • A tuxedo is generally more formal than a suit, but both can be appropriate depending on the specific event.
  • Opt for classic colors like black or navy for both suits and tuxedos.

3. Are there any specific color guidelines for men’s attire at weddings?

Choosing the Right Colors

When it comes to selecting colors for men’s attire at weddings, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to consider the wedding theme or color scheme if there is one. This will help you coordinate your outfit with the overall aesthetic of the event. If no specific colors have been indicated, it is generally safe to opt for classic and timeless shades such as navy, charcoal gray, or black.

Colors to Avoid

  • Avoid wearing white or off-white as these colors are typically reserved for the groom.
  • Avoid overly bright or flashy colors that may draw attention away from the couple.
  • If you know that the wedding will have a specific color theme, try to avoid wearing that exact shade so as not to blend in too much with the decorations.

4. Can a man opt for a more casual outfit if the wedding has a relaxed dress code?

If the wedding has a relaxed dress code, it is generally acceptable for men to opt for a more casual outfit. However, it is still important to maintain an appropriate level of formality and respect for the occasion. A good option would be to wear a tailored suit in a lighter fabric such as linen or cotton instead of traditional wool or tweed.

5. Is it acceptable for men to wear accessories like ties, pocket squares, or cufflinks to enhance their wedding attire?

Elevating Your Look with Accessories

Yes, it is absolutely acceptable and encouraged for men to wear accessories like ties, pocket squares, or cufflinks to enhance their wedding attire. These small details can add a touch of personality and style to your outfit. When choosing accessories, consider the color palette of your suit and shirt, and select complementary or contrasting colors for your tie and pocket square. Cufflinks can also be a great way to add a sophisticated touch to your ensemble.

6. What type of footwear is suitable for men attending an outdoor summer wedding?

Sandals or Loafers

When attending an outdoor summer wedding, it’s important for men to choose appropriate footwear that is both stylish and comfortable. Sandals can be a great option for a casual or beach wedding, providing a relaxed and laid-back look. Opt for leather sandals in neutral colors like brown or black, and avoid flip-flops or overly casual styles.

If the wedding has a more formal dress code, loafers are a fantastic choice. They offer a sophisticated and polished appearance while still being comfortable enough to wear throughout the day. Look for loafers in materials like suede or leather, and consider shades such as navy, tan, or burgundy to complement your outfit.


  • Choose sandals with supportive soles to ensure comfort during long hours of standing and walking.
  • Pair loafers with no-show socks to maintain a clean and polished look.
  • Avoid wearing athletic shoes or sneakers unless specifically mentioned in the dress code.

7. Should men consider the time of day when choosing their wedding outfit?

The time of day plays an essential role in determining the appropriate attire for a wedding. For daytime weddings, opt for lighter colors and fabrics that reflect the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Consider wearing suits or blazers in shades like light gray, beige, or pastels. Pair them with crisp white shirts and complementing ties.

For evening weddings, darker colors such as navy blue or charcoal gray are more suitable. These hues create a more formal and elegant look under artificial lighting. You can also experiment with different textures like velvet jackets or silk ties to add a touch of sophistication to your outfit.


  • Wear lighter-weight fabrics like linen or cotton for daytime weddings to stay cool and comfortable.
  • For evening weddings, opt for a well-tailored suit with a classic cut to ensure a polished appearance.
  • Always check the wedding invitation or consult with the couple if you’re unsure about the appropriate dress code for the time of day.

8. Are there any cultural or religious considerations that may influence how a man should dress for a wedding?

Cultural and religious considerations can significantly impact how men should dress for a wedding. It’s essential to respect and adhere to any specific customs or traditions associated with the couple’s culture or religion. For example, in some cultures, wearing traditional attire like kurtas or sherwanis is expected, while in others, formal Western suits are more appropriate.

If you’re attending a wedding with cultural or religious significance that differs from your own background, it’s advisable to educate yourself on their customs beforehand. This will help you choose an outfit that aligns with their traditions and avoids any unintentional disrespect. Additionally, consider consulting with the couple directly if you have any doubts about what would be considered appropriate attire.


  • Research the cultural or religious customs associated with the wedding to understand any specific clothing requirements.
  • Avoid wearing clothing with symbols or patterns that may be offensive in another culture or religion.
  • If uncertain, reach out to the couple and ask for guidance on appropriate attire based on their cultural or religious traditions.

9. How should male guests coordinate their outfits with their partners’ attire at weddings?

Coordinating outfits with your partner can create a harmonious and stylish look at weddings. Start by considering the color palette or theme of the wedding. You can choose complementary colors or opt for matching accessories to tie your outfits together.

If your partner is wearing a patterned dress, you can coordinate by selecting a solid-colored suit or blazer in a shade that complements the dominant color in their attire. Alternatively, if your partner’s outfit is more neutral, you can add pops of color through your tie, pocket square, or socks to create a coordinated yet distinct look.


  • Communicate with your partner about their outfit choices to ensure coordination without being overly matchy-matchy.
  • Avoid wearing identical outfits as it may appear too coordinated and take away from each person’s individual style.
  • Consider incorporating similar accessories like belts, watches, or jewelry to further enhance the coordination between your outfits.

10. Are there any fashion faux pas that men should avoid when dressing for a wedding?

When dressing for a wedding, it’s crucial to avoid certain fashion faux pas that could detract from the overall elegance and formality of the event. Firstly, never wear jeans or shorts unless explicitly mentioned in the dress code. Opt for tailored trousers or chinos instead.

Avoid wearing overly casual footwear such as sneakers or flip-flops unless specifically stated as acceptable. Stick to dress shoes like Oxfords or brogues to maintain a polished appearance. Additionally, refrain from wearing clothing with offensive slogans or graphics that could be deemed inappropriate for a formal occasion.


  • Always follow the specified dress code on the wedding invitation or consult with the couple for any clarifications.
  • Avoid wearing overly flashy or attention-grabbing accessories that may divert attention from the couple.
  • If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of being slightly overdressed rather than underdressed for a wedding.

In conclusion, when it comes to dressing for a wedding, men should aim for a stylish and appropriate attire that complements the occasion.

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