Buying a Wedding Suit You’ll Wear After a Wedding

You’ve browsed our wedding overview. You’ve read about the one and only suit you need for almost any wedding. The thing is, you’re not a suit person – maybe you don’t need to wear them regularly, maybe you don’t like to wear them, maybe the One Suit suit is perfect for you, or maybe it just doesn’t fit your needs. Either way is fine, because today we’re going to discuss how to pick a wedding suit that you’ll wear after the wedding is done.

If you’re a regular reader of Styleforum, you’ve probably picked up on the idea that there is one kind of suit that is suitable for the widest range of occasions, weddings included. Because of this, we call it the One Suit, and here are its vital stats:

  • Charcoal (or navy)
  • Mid-weight (3-season) wool
  • Single breasted
  • Notch lapel
  • Properly fitting

The purpose of the One Suit is that it can be worn to 99% of the weddings you’ll ever go to, including your own. A charcoal (or navy) suit with a proper wedding tie and a white linen pocket square is only out of place when the dress code calls for something specifically different – such as “black tie” or “beach wedding: no shoes allowed.” In the case of the former, please see our guide to black tie. In the case of the latter – we’ll discuss that another time.

The One Suit can be found at just about every suit retailer, at every conceivable price point. This makes it easy to find something appropriate if you’re shopping on a budget, and easy to branch out into something nicer if you’re interested in spending more money.

In addition to being wedding-appropriate, the One Suit will carry you through job interviews, nice dinners, important meetings, and memorial services. You can change the shoes, tie, and pocket square and be well-dressed wherever you go. It is the workhorse suit, which is why we recommend it as the first wedding suit you should consider buying. If you think there is a chance you will ever need to wear a suit again in the future, this is a sure-fire option.

Here are some examples of ideal One Suits:

1. SuitSupply “Napoli” – $399

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2. Kent Wang Charcoal Suit – $795

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3. Polo Ralph Lauren Wool Twill Suit – $995

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However, alternative situations call for alternative options. Let’s consider the example of a cousin of mine, a biologist who is getting married this June, and who spends most of his life in shorts and flip-flops. This will not be a formal occasion – it’s a very casual affair, being held in a field by a stream, and neither jackets or ties are required. After some deliberation, he decided he nonetheless wanted to wear a suit. And so, we went suit shopping.

In this case, it made no sense for him to end up with a business-appropriate charcoal suit in a grey worsted wool. He would have worn it once, looked out of place at his own wedding, felt uncomfortable in his own skin, and then retired the suit to his closet for all eternity. In other words, it would have been a wasted expense in every conceivable way. And so, we started looking at alternative fabrics – cottons, linens, and blends of all kinds. As we went through these options, he tried each one on, looked at himself in the mirror, and then tried to imagine if he’d ever wear it again. Suit after suit, “No” was the answer. He simply has no reason to wear one – the fish he studies won’t be impressed by it, and although he wanted to look nice for his wedding, he didn’t think it made sense to spend a lot of money on something that brought him no joy.

After many hours of frowns and frustration, he found the one that would work for him: a navy blue wool and linen-blend Eidos ‘Tenero’ suit. He liked the texture, but more importantly: he liked the way he looked in it. I can’t overstate the importance of this feature: if you do not feel good in your suit, and if you do not think you look good in your suit, you will not enjoy wearing it.

Here’s the kicker: it was the first suit he’d tried on that he said he could see himself wearing again. On trips, or on occasions that call for more than shorts and flip-flops, he’ll be able to wear the jacket alone with a pair of jeans; when the situation calls for it he’ll be able to wear the whole thing together. It’s unique enough that he’ll be able to enjoy it, but not so much so that he’ll never have the occasion to.  I think he’s still struggling with the idea of a tie and leather-soled shoes, but in this case the suit ticked all of the necessary boxes.

Here are some examples of alternative suits that nonetheless have the potential to see a lot of use:

1. SuitSupply “Lazio” in brown linen

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2. Eidos Fresco wool suit, $1,695 from No Man Walks Alone

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3. Ring Jacket AMJ01 in olive wool, $1,800 from The Armoury

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The lesson here is that, while the standard recommendations are standard for a reason, you should always take your own circumstances into consideration when choosing a suit. Here are the questions you should ask yourself when you’re shopping for a wedding suit to wear after a wedding:

  • What sort of occasion is it for? Is it just for weddings, or do you want to wear it during the work week as well?
    • Consider the example of my cousin. Does the One Suit make sense for your situation? If you are attending a summer wedding hosted by a pair of young bohemians who don’t bother with tradition, perhaps a light-colored linen suit will be a better fit for your needs and your lifestyle.
  • When will you be wearing it? Which seasons? Will it be hot or cold?
    • Example: you really love tweed, and will have an excuse to wear tweed when you attend an autumn wedding on the East Coast. However, you live in Southern California. In this case, don’t buy the tweed suit – opt instead for something that will fit your climate.
  • What’s your budget? It’s my opinion that clothes are made to be worn, so if you’re planning to spend some cash, I hope you’ll be wearing it regularly.
    • Budget varies by person. That said, if you are going to spend 2,000$ or more on a wedding suit, I hope that it will be one you plan to wear regularly.

Remember, if you’re looking for maximum reusability, a wedding is not the occasion to buy a ridiculous, one-off suit – because there are still things you shouldn’t do at a wedding. If you’ve been asked to attend a wedding that is at all formal or conservative, and the dress code has indicated that you wear a suit, your best bet is still the One Suit.

If you have questions about your own situation, feel free to ask them here or post them in the Wedding Advice Thread, where Styleforum’s knowledgable members will do their best to solve your sartorial conundrums.

Terrible Men’s Wedding Style Mistakes

By now, you’ve glanced through or at least bookmarked our guides to dressing for a wedding. Because – seriously – it is about to be wedding season once more, and every year we see the same mistakes. Mistakes that are not just ‘mistakes’ in a pedantic sense, but mistakes that are to be avoided no matter the nature of the wedding or the occasion. Mistakes that you, whether bride or groom or guest, will probably look back on in horror. Life goes on, of course, but these are wedding style mistakes you really should avoid if you’re over the age of 13.


1. Wearing a vest with no jacket

I have never understood why men insist on doing this. It is, in my mind, the most egregious of all the mistakes on this list, and it accomplishes exactly nothing outside of making the wearer look like a buffoon. Even seeing pictures of this disaster fills me with visceral revulsion. What’s worse is that I read constant affirmations on the internet – “Embrace personal style!”, or “I do this all the time and it looks great!” – and it is absolutely mind-boggling. Just this morning, I read a recommendation that a wedding guest wear a vest, no jacket, a tie with the shirt un-tucked and the top button un-buttoned, and a fedora. I felt like I was dying.

Please, please don’t do this. It won’t make you look “sharp but casual.” It won’t channel “relaxed elegance.” It is not “casual formalwear.” It will look as though you forgot to put on the rest of your clothing, or like you’re a creepy misogynistic pick up artist. There are other, historical reasons for the rise of the waistcoat – a King’s whimsy, the ability to flatter a larger physique, even the existence of pocket watches – but those are stories for another time. If you are wearing a vest, you are wearing a jacket. Period.

2. Wearing a tie with no jacket

In the same vein, there’s no reason to wear a tie if you’re not wearing a jacket. Worse still is wearing a tie with no jacket and leaving your shirt untucked. This is an excellent way to look as though you’re off to high school prom, with no clue how to dress yourself. You’ll appear slovenly and juvenile, neither of which is a good thing to be at a wedding.

Of course, depending on the type of wedding, you may find yourself removing your jacket once the hands of the clock pass a certain hour and the music has gotten louder. While you’ll certainly look better with a jacket on, we understand the impetus. As you will (unless it’s black tie).

3. Wearing a visible crewneck underneath your unbuttoned shirt

Are you noticing a theme here? These are the kind of ‘touches’ you’d expect from an adolescent, not a grown man. It’s fine to wear an undershirt, but keep it hidden. If you don’t, you risk looking like you just came from the gym and didn’t change, and guests will be wondering if you’re also sporting some hidden Cheeto stains.

4. Never buttoning the top button of your shirt when wearing a tie

Again, this will only serve to make you look juvenile. Buy a shirt that fits you properly, and keep it buttoned. You’re not a teenager rebelling against a school dress code, and you’re probably not the lead singer of a punk band (if you are, you should still keep your shirt buttoned at a wedding). As @Butler once told me (while he was wearing a 3-piece bespoke suit and a cape inside an Irish Pub in Florence), “What’s the point of wearing a shirt and tie otherwise?”

5. Wearing a matching tie and pocket square

We understand that many men don’t have much call to wear tie or pocket square these days, and that the temptation to buy an all-in-one kit can be attractive both for its convenience and because you actually get the opportunity to dress up. However, wearing a matching tie-and-square set looks tacky, and should be avoided. Instead, learn how to choose a pocket square on your own, and if the wedding dress code is anything other than “casual,” just wear a white linen square and enjoy the occasion.

6. Renting an ill-fitting suit or tuxedo 

Look, we get it. Why should you have to buy a suit just because someone wants you to come to their wedding? Not everyone has the money, or wants to spend it. You can just rent one, and it’s basically the same thing. Right?


First of all, the chances that your rented suit will actually fit you are miniscule. The places that offer these rentals don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and they don’t care to learn. You are going to look terrible – I guarantee it. Besides, most suit rental packages start around a hundred bucks. If you know what you’re doing, that’s anywhere from half to a quarter of what you’d spend to get a thrifty but well-fitting suit that you can keep, thereby avoiding paying for a crappy rental the next six times you go to a wedding. Besides, a staple suit in charcoal or navy has plenty of utility outside the one wedding you’ve been invited to this year – it will be appropriate for just about any event and any occasion, so once again, you’re getting your money’s worth. You’ll look better, and you’ll be happier in the long run.

7. Bathing in cologne

I’m all for fragrances, but there’s almost no easier way to be “That Guy” than to show up for an event smelling as though you just smashed several bottles of “Man Scent” on the floor and then rolled around in the destruction. Consider your fellow guests: the people sitting next to you during the ceremony (if there’s a ceremony) will be miserable, and they will also be wondering who was rude enough to inflict themselves on the entire wedding party. If it’s an outdoor wedding in the summer heat, you might find that you’ve had a few drinks “accidentally” spilled on you by the end of the day.

Instead, a delicate application is all that’s required. And please – wear something deserving of wearing. You are absolutely forbidden to wear any kind of body spray that comes in an aerosol can.

8. Dressing like blogger bait

Here’s the thing – the thing that an unfortunate number of wedding guests struggle to recognize. You are not the star of the show, even if you read Styleforum. Unless you’re one of the people getting married, your job is not to stand out as much as possible. Your job is to celebrate the love shared between the people who have invited you and the love they have for you, and to accordingly make the proceedings as smooth and elegant as possible out of respect for the event and the company present.

A wedding is not an occasion to wear the loudest colors you can find, leopard-print suits, or cover yourself in absurd accessories (unless, of course, that is the kind of wedding you’re attending). Don’t wear a hat at the dinner table. Don’t wear your favorite basketball jersey. Don’t wear pink plaid trousers and crimson shoes. Wearing extravagant pieces or colors that detract from the attention due to the couple being married is rude and boorish, and I’m certain you’re neither.

9. Constantly bothering the couple about the dress code

Did you read number 8? Did you see the part about the wedding not being about you? How many other things do you think the couple have to consider aside from your questions about whether you can wear your favorite Converse sneakers with your tuxedo, and will they really mind?

If you are genuinely confused by the dress code, it is entirely appropriate to ask for clarification.  It is not appropriate to badger the couple about what you want to wear.  I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman: you may not throw a fit about wardrobe choices, and it is better still to show up to a wedding overdressed than underdressed. Respect the occasion. Respect that you’ve been invited. Don’t make the organizers regret it.

10. Acting like an ass

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, style is about more than the clothing on your body. If you’re going to a wedding, be a gracious guest. The event is not about you. That means that you should, to the best of your ability, follow the dress code; that you should not arrive at the wedding for groomsman and refuse to wear the boutonnière because you don’t like it or think you know better; that you should be friendly and outgoing; that you should congratulate the happy couple on their marriage; that you should not throw a fit; that you should not get too drunk; and that you need to understand that, if it’s the wedding of a friend, there are some stories you don’t share in public.

To recap: a wedding is one of the few times when we really, really recommend dialing back your inner wild child out of respect for the event and the couple. If you are going to a wedding, wear a jacket, shirt, tie, trousers, and respectable shoes. It is better to arrive overdressed than underdressed. Don’t behave or smell like a pig, and you’ll make it out just fine. You might even remember to have a good time along the way.

What Should a Man Wear to a Wedding: Everything You Need to Know

With April upon us already, it’s time to start thinking about wedding season. Come June, many of us will be traveling around, watching people get married. If you’re sitting on a collection of wedding invitations, we hope you’ve given some consideration to what you’ll be wearing, because there’s no worse feeling than realizing two days before a wedding that you don’t have anything appropriate. Lucky for you, Styleforum can help, whether you’re going to a casual wedding or a black tie wedding – and we just might be able to help you figure out what on earth “Black Tie Casual” means.

For now, we’d like to share some of the more useful wedding instructionals and resources we’ve published in the past. It’s entirely possible that you’ll find the answer to your questions below.


What is Formalwear?

The Wedding Question Thread (ask your question here if it doesn’t appear below)

On The Wedding Suit

what a man should wear to a wedding what should a man wear to a wedding how to dress for a wedding men's wedding style styleforum


The Basics of Wedding Attire for Men

What to Wear to Almost Any Wedding

Where can I buy an affordable suit for my wedding?

Where to Buy a Last-Minute Suit for a Wedding



Does the Groom Need to Stick Out from the Groomsmen?

Where should the points on my shirt collar lie in relation to my jacket lapels?

What shade of grey should my wedding suit be?

Can I wear a velvet jacket with flannel trousers to a wedding?

How can I include my Scottish Bride’s Family Tartan in my Wedding Suit?

Can I Wear a Black Suit to an Evening Wedding?

Should my groomsmen wear black suits?

On Tuxedos

How do I have a black tie optional wedding?

Do pleated shirts work with three piece tuxedos?

Should I wear a Tuxedo if my Groomsmen are wearing navy business suits?

What does a “formal” wedding dress code mean?

What shirt should I wear with a single button peak lapel dinner jacket?

Is a Burgundy Tuxedo wedding-appropriate?

Can I wear a waistcoat made of a different cloth than my tuxedo?

Will it look totally stupid to wear a proper tuxedo for a summer daytime ceremony?

On Ties and Accessories

What tie is appropriate to wear as a wedding guest?

Why the Four-in-hand is always better than the windsor knot

What tie would work best with a medium-blue suit for a wedding?

What is the optimal width for a wedding tie?

Should I Wear a Watch to a Wedding?


Featured image: P Johnson Tailors