What Should I Ask My Groomsmen to Wear?

Your goals in choosing wedding attire should be to be comfortable, look wonderful, and continue to look wonderful in the pictures twenty and thirty years from now. Do not choose something because you think it looks cute or trendy or fashionable. Remember that you’ll be looking at these pictures for a long time, long after you realized that your coral-colored socks or teal bowtie weren’t as rad as you thought at the time. Naturally, this applies to the outfits of your groomsmen too.

An example of what you don’t want your wedding album to look like.

Start by reading this speech given by Manton: The London Lounge – Wedding Attire

groomsmen attire wedding matching ties suit outfit

You should now know everything you need about groomly attire. What about the groomsmen? Your wedding planner and/or fiancée may have the urge to make the groomsmen all match. Resist this urge. There are two reasons not to force groomsmen to match.

The first is that it means that they will either all have to rent suits, or all have to buy the same cheap suit. In either case, they will not be wearing a quality garment that fits them well.

Second, it looks ridiculous. It looks like the wedding party is two sets of 8-year old manytuplets dolled up for their family photo. Most of all, do not force them all to wear the same tie, which also matches the bridesmaid’s outfits.

Among the sins committed by the wedding planning industry, this may be the gravest. If your fiancée insists on the groomsmen matching, you’ll have to decide how much you care about this issue. But almost every one of the many threads started by grooms asking about attire for themselves and their groomsmen begins, “the bridesmaids are wearing this color, is it OK if my groomsmen or my groomsmen and I all wear this suit with this tie,” and is quickly followed by a number of SF members trying to convince the groom to avoid giving his groomsmen a uniform.

groomsmen attire wedding matching ties suit outfit

Instead, give your groomsmen some basic parameters within which they should all be able to operate and tell them to look their best. For instance, “mid-grey suit with a light blue shirt”, “navy suit with a white shirt”, or “charcoal suit with a white shirt.” Choose something solid that everyone should have. It’s fine to ask them all ahead of time if they all have grey or navy, and then go with whatever they all have already. No black suits. It’s a wedding, not a funeral.

If your wedding is less formal and in the daytime, you could choose a lighter, non-conservative-business-suit color, such as tan or light grey. However this is not something every man has in his closet, so you may have to inquire as to whether your groomsmen have such suits or would be willing to buy them for the occasion.

groomsmen attire wedding matching ties suit outfit

Black shoes are the risk-free option. Some people will tell you black shoes are the only option. But for any wedding that is informal enough not to be black tie or morning dress, it is unlikely anyone will point and laugh at tasteful dark brown or oxblood shoes. However, telling your groomsmen to wear brown shoes increases the risk that they will wear something not up to the formality of the occasion.

groomsmen attire wedding matching ties suit outfit

It is traditional for the groom to give neckties to his groomsmen. If you wish to do this, again, don’t get matching ties, but ties that all complement each other and are appropriate to the occasion. Choose any out of the following and it would be difficult for you to go wrong:

Kent Wang – Ties Glen Plaid
Kent Wang – Grenadine Steel Blue
Kent Wang – Grenadine Navy

Drake’s Navy & Silver Cross Grid Silk Jacquard
Drake’s – Navy Polka Dot Light Silk Jacquard
Drake’s – Silver Grenadine Garza Grossa

If you have enough time for bespoke ties to be made for you (email to be sure, but usually 4-6 weeks), visit samhober.com for a large selection of grenadine, Macclesfield and wedding ties, made to your specifications. Choosing all bowties isn’t totally ridiculous, but does look much more contrived than a selection of long ties. Sometimes even mixing bowties and long ties can work.

Browse more solids and wedding patterns on the “wedding ties” thread.

Following this simple strategy will ensure that everyone involved will look great on the big day and for years to come in the hundreds of photographs that will live on happily into eternity. As an added bonus, your groomsmen won’t resent you for forcing them to spend hundreds of dollars buying or renting clothing they don’t want and doesn’t fit them well.

This article is an edited and revamped version of an article published on Styleforum by Styleforum member Shawea.

What to Wear to a Beach Wedding

beach wedding what to wear to a beach wedding beach wedding style beach wedding outfit for men men's beach wedding style styleforum

The chances of you being asked to wear a suit to a beach wedding are, I admit, slim. However, beach weddings do happen, and beyond that, you may find yourself in a setting – a vacation, a dinner at a seaside restaurant – that demands, or at least encourages, a suit on the beach. Of course, this advice will probably work for most informal, warm-weather weddings. Remember, though – always follow the dress code on the wedding invitation to the best of your abilities out of respect for the occasion.

Let’s say you do get invited to a beach wedding. First, the smart play is to not wear leather-soled shoes.  The problem is that leather shoes are not only hot, but that the salt in the sand (and the sand itself) is not exactly friendly to the longevity of your footwear. However, unless the wedding is actually in the surf zone, you’ll probably want shoes, because sweet mercy does the sand get hot. Unless you want to go barefoot and risk reenacting the end of Terminator 2, or you plan to wear flip flops or Tevas (or my favorite foam Birkenstocks), your best bet is probably a pair of espadrilles. They’re a bit more sand-and-salt capable, and they’re also more summer-friendly in general. The pair above is a rather stunning set of handmade Basque espadrilles from De Bonne Facture, which in this case acquire their gorgeous blue from Dyer’s Woad.

Similarly, I would advise against wearing your finest suit to a beach wedding. Not only is there a good chance that you’ll want to roll your trousers up and stand in the waves (which will inevitably splash you much further up the leg/body), but the sea breeze is equally full of salt and sand, which, you know, abrades things. Of course, I’m always a proponent of wearing the clothing you have, but a beach wedding is an opportunity to branch out into something new, by which I mean it’s a good excuse to buy a linen suit. Whether or not SuitSupply is to your taste, they do offer very good value, and this patch pocket number is perfect for post-nuptial daquiris. The relatively low buy-in means you don’t have to worry about spilling slushy umbrella drinks on it, and you can romp in the sand with impunity.

Finally, keep things light in color. Not only will you probably appreciate the relief from the heat, but light colors just look nice when they’re sun-washed. I can’t imagine wearing anything but a linen or cotton-linen shirt on the beach, and while a white linen square is appropriate for any wedding, this beautiful abstract floral print from Vanda Fine Clothing deserves to be seen.

And that’s it. Or rather, almost. Because you’re definitely going to want two more things: the first is proper eyewear, which means (ideally polarized) sunglasses, because if someone asks you to not wear sunglasses at their beach wedding they’re probably not your friend, and staring a the glare off the waves for an hour is liable to blind you. Second, don’t forget your sunscreen.

Oh, and if the happy couple suggests, as I once witnessed from a distance, that they make their way down the sand-aisle to the dulcet tones of Lil Jon’s Turn Down For What, consider steering them in a different direction.

How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Shopping for an engagement ring can be a difficult, stressful experience – especially if you decide to go in on a surprise and not on a trip to Tiffany & Co. with your significant other.

Here are a few useful tips to narrow down the options, followed by examples of both classic and unconventional types of engagement rings that might bring you some inspiration.

First of all, ask yourself the following questions:

Does your girlfriend wear statement jewelry on a regular basis?

If you girlfriend is the type who wears minimalistic jewelry – or no jewelry at all – it makes no sense to look for huge gems and elaborate designs, because she will probably feel uncomfortable wearing them: you can cross those off the list.

Is she more of a white gold or yellow gold type?

Notice if she chooses silver or white gold or yellow gold. The color of the metal is incredibly important, because this is a ring that she’ll be wearing for the rest of her life, and it has to match with her style and meet her tastes.

Are her fingers small, regular, or large?

The size of the ring depends a lot on the size of the hands: a tiny gem will look even smaller on a wider finger, while a huge rock will look vulgar on tiny fingers.

Does she like colorful gems?

Diamonds are not the only options when it comes to engagement rings. In fact, millennials seem to be less inclined to buy diamonds – possibly because they’re too concerned with saving to buy property or because the diamond industry doesn’t approach personalized consumption in the same way in which millennials have been exposed. Many women have a favorite gem, which could be their birthstone or a particular gem of which they like the color. Notice what your girlfriend likes wearing and ask questions about her favorite pieces of jewelry to get a clue of what she might like.




Suited for: a woman of classic taste

We owe folkloristic introduction of the diamond ring as a promise of eternal love to Maximillian of Asburg, who gave one to Mary of Bourgogne in 1447 as a promise for their wedding. However, diamonds didn’t really become the common choice to seal an engagement until the first decades of the past centuries, when a gigantic marketing plan based on the false scarcity of the gem convinced the American people that “diamonds are forever,” as well as “a girl’s best friend.” You can read more about the history of the diamond industry in this article.

You are probably familiar with the 4 C’s that matter when shopping for a diamond: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat are the characteristics that you should examine in order to determine whether a rock is worth the splurge. Of these four, the cut is probably the most important one, because it impacts light refraction: a good cut can make a lower carat diamond look brighter, or vice versa, it can turn a perfect gem into a poor jewel. When you visit your jeweler, make sure to ask them to illustrate these characteristics and point them out using an ideal-scope. This tool is able to show the light, highlighting the cut of the diamond. Nowadays, most diamonds are cut to emphasize carat weight rather than brilliance, and this impacts the overall quality of the gem you’re buying. A trusted jeweler will use an ideal-scope to let you inspect the cut pattern and make sure it’s a gem worthy of your money and for your love.

DO NOT fixate on the size of the diamond: if you are looking for a big rock but you can’t afford the carats required for it, you’ll end up buying a poorly cut diamond that will have little to no brilliance. Instead, look for the best cut you can afford, and you’ll be sure to deliver a gem that’s as blinding as your love for the lucky recipient.

Naturally, for the reasons I just illustrated, I strongly recommend shopping for a diamond ring locally and avoiding the Internet.


Suited for: educated and classy women with an appreciation for art.

These are my personal favorites, and something I always suggest to anyone who’s looking for something truly unique with which to promise eternal love. On the internet there is a wide variety of antique jewelry, and I find amazing that we can now own and promise love in the United States with a ring that belonged to some French dame two centuries ago.

As I pointed out earlier, diamonds didn’t become common gems in engagement rings until they started to appear at the fingers of Hollywood stars in the 20th century; before then, any gem was suitable – even semi-precious stones like garnets and peridots- and more attention was paid to the metalwork of the jewelry. For this reason, you can find quite old diamond rings dating all the way back to 1930s, but you’ll have a hard time finding antique solitaires.

If you’re willing, you can find outstanding pieces of excellent craftsmanship and rich in history and tradition; a cameo is a type of ring that has been in fashion since the Renaissance, and it makes a perfect gift for a refined woman who appreciates art and history; they consist of a shell on which lies a carved relief – usually the head of a woman. The technique dates back to Ancient Greece, but this type of ring became popular during the Renaissance, when the Medici women commissioned them to their favorite jewelers and sent them as gifts throughout Europe.

Art-deco rings can be incredibly beautiful and intricate: their style takes inspiration from nature, so it’s not uncommon to spot art-deco rings with intricate foliage engraved on the band, or with corals and other natural gems and materials mounted on them.

You can also find an abundance of Victorian rings online; these complemented the Victorians’ love for symbolism, and they often hide secret messages or mysterious meanings. Due to their popularity, you can find them in a variety of metals and gems, from the more precious (solid gold, rubies, etc) to more modest like rose gold, freshwater pearls, and semi-precious gems.



Suited for: free-spirited and artistic souls

I find this type of ring to be perfect for the artistic type of girl who doesn’t care for a shiny diamond to weigh down her hand. This type of ring was popular during the Victorian era, when feelings were hardly ever expressed in words and people sought symbols to speak their minds and hearts. Acrostic rings featured gems of which the initials formed words such as “love”(lapis lazuli-opal-vermarine-emerald) or “dearest” (diamond-emerald-amethyst-ruby-emerald-sapphire-topaz). If you’re lucky and your girl has a short name, you can even create your own, personalized acrostic ring. For instance: LISA (lapis lazuli-iolite-sapphire-amethyst).


Suited for: a woman with classic taste who wants something other than a diamond

It’s impossible to talk about gimmal rings without mentioning the most famous of them: Jean Cocteau created the Cartier Trinity for Cartier, a ring that has been worn by celebrities from the present and the past, in the Twenties. However, the gimmal ring was not Cocteau’s invention. Gimmal rings – in which two or more bands are intertwined – were common engagements rings during the Roman era (the word “gimmal” comes from the latin gemellus, which means “twin”). Each partner wore one band, and the two were reunited on the day of the wedding, where occasionally a third band was added to symbolize a third person protecting the couple (a god? a friend? who knows…)

The sinuous shape of the ring makes for a classy engagement ring with a beautiful symbolism for the union of souls.


Suited for: Irish descendants

This incredible ring, which is made of two hands holding a crowned heart, features three symbols: the hands symbolize friendship, the crown signifies loyalty, and the heart means love. For this reason, friends and brothers also use this highly symbolic ring to exchange vows of loyalty. The meaning is different according to how someone wears it: fiancés must wear it on the left hand, with the heart pointing to the wrist – otherwise it means friendship. Wife and Husband have to wear it on the right hand, with the heart pointed to the wrist – otherwise it means widowhood.


Suited for: a woman with a strong personality

Cocktail rings -characterized by huge and colorful gems- were popular during the Prohibition. Rich ladies would often gesticulate while drinking alcoholic beverages at a party to make their transgression more apparent and draw the attention to their glasses. Kate Middleton’s engagement ring – previously worn by Lady Diana Spencer – is a sort of mini-cocktail ring.

It’s the perfect ring for a powerful, strong, and confident woman

Whatever your choice will be, remember that buying an engagement ring is an act of love towards the woman of your life – and that she and only she should be the center of your thoughts when shopping for the perfect ring. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what magazines and websites tell you to buy – it should all come down to the tastes of the person you love.

Perhaps this article has given you an idea of less mainstream options you have to choose a symbol of your love and devotion. Even if not all of them can be classified as a “conventional” choice, you don’t necessarily have to buy into the 21st century conventions if these don’t meet your tastes and/or means.

Most of you will end up choosing a solitaire, because that’s the most obvious choice and many women “expect” it. However, this doesn’t mean that it cannot be a personal and intimate choice; remember that she will be wearing the ring for the rest of her life; she will be growing old wearing it.

Make it personal, and make it authentic. Make it a symbol of the experiences you shared, and a promise of many more that you’ll be living together.

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

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

2. Kent Wang Charcoal Suit – $795

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

3. Polo Ralph Lauren Wool Twill Suit – $995

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

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

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

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

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

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

styleforum wedding suits you'll wear after a wedding how to buy a wedding suit you'll wear after a wedding Wedding Suit You'll Wear After a Wedding

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