A Complete Guide to Wedding Attire for Men (2022)

The dress isn’t the only big fashion decision involved in a wedding! Fellas and folks who wear suits, listen up: What you wear should feel just as special—which means there’s no need to confine yourself to a black tuxedo or charcoal sport coat if that’s not your vibe.

“Find something that’s naturally you and that fits well,”says stylist Grant McNamara. “Beyond that, there’s always room to play with the dress code.” Still, it always helps to know the rules before you start bending them—and that’s precisely why we tapped McNamara for his seasoned sartorial wisdom.

Meet the Expert

Chicago-based men’s stylist and custom clothier Grant McNamara helps grooms and groomsmen develop their wedding-day looks through his company G ALXNDR.

Whether you’re a groom, groomsman, or wedding guest, consider his guidelines to men’s wedding attire a solid jumping off point for all your suiting decisions.

Men’s Wedding Attire by Dress Code

A wedding’s dress code will undoubtedly yield the most influence on what you wear. Here are McNamara’s suggestions for men’s wedding attire for some of the most common ones:

A Complete Guide to Wedding Attire for Men (1)

(Video) What to Wear to a Wedding As A Guest - DO's & DON'Ts for Proper Attire + Outfit Suggestions For Men

White Tie

White tie is the most formal of all event dress codes. “Absolutely wear a tuxedo, with a black or white formal jacket,” says McNamara. “You also must be in a bow tie, though it can be white or black.” This is also where you can wear tails (a jacket with a back that hits at knee length), but know this is a rare necessity for American celebrations. Shoes should be black, but they don’t have to be patent leather.

Should You Wear a Tuxedo or a Suit for Your Wedding?

Black Tie

If you see “black tie required,” “black tie requested,” or “black tie welcome” on an invitation, you’ll need to wear a formal outfit. That can mean a traditional matching tuxedo, but it doesn’t have to be black (navy, hunter green, and burgundy are all trending options), or trousers and a formal dinner jacket, which do not have to match. (i.e. a navy jacket and black pants). In black tie attire, a bow tie is still your best bet for neckwear—though, these days, you can occasionally get away with a regular necktie—and shoes should still be black.

Black Tie Optional

According to McNamara, “semi-formal” and “black-tie optional” are the same level of fancy. If you see either on an invite, know it is better to err on the side of formality, but don’t feel pressured to rent or buy a tuxedo if you don’t have easy access to one—a dark suit will work just fine.

Cocktail

“No one actually really knows what cocktail is,” McNamara says with a laugh. “Which means you can experiment.” That said, we’re not quite in casual territory yet, so you’ll still want to don a jacket. Neckwear, however, is optional—there’s no need for a bow tie or a tie; if you do wear one, colors and textures are welcome.

If you’re going the suit route and want to play it safe yet still stylish, McNamara suggests light gray or silver—it’s “something different,” but doesn’t dramatically stand out. If you do want to stand out, now’s the time—patterned and colored jackets and suits are welcome in cocktail attire. (As are non-black shoes.) Whatever you choose, respect is key for nailing a more risk-taking look. “If you think something might be inappropriate, don’t wear it—because it probably is,” says McNamara.

Beach-y or Beach Formal

Choose a suit in a lighter color (tan, light gray, light blue) or material (i.e. linen). Neckwear is typically not necessary; if the celebration veers more casual, you can also pair a solid white linen shirt—“it works 100 percent of the time,” says McNamara —with a lighter color trouser. As for Hawaiian and floral shirts? They can be a hit when done right, but if fashion isn’t your area of expertise, or you’re unsure of how dressy the wedding truly is, it’s better to avoid.

A Guide to Beach Wedding Attire for Men and Women

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Garden

This is another excellent opportunity to play with pattern and color. McNamara loves a suit or jacket in a Prince of Wales or plaid fabric for a garden wedding, and also encourages his clients to play with color: muted pastels, such as salmon red, sage, and slate blue, will all feel appropriately festive. If you’re donning a traditional gray or blue suit (avoid black), try a knit or patterned tie in a more colorful shade.

Casual

No matter how low-key a wedding may be, you want to show respect for the sanctity of the union and what you’re there to celebrate. At the very least, don trousers and a button-up.

A Complete Guide to Wedding Attire for Men (2)

Men’s Wedding Attire By Season

Winter

Now’s the time to play with heavier, textured fabrics—velvet being a big one. “Textures make an outfit dynamic,” says McNamara. “When you mix a plain dress shirt with a textured jacket and patterned neckwear, an outfit stands out beautifully—especially around the holidays.”

Spring

Lighter color suits—light gray, light blue—are a great option for this transitional season. Another idea: Try a pink or lavender dress shirt underneath your go-to navy or charcoal number.

Summer

Breathable fabrics such as linen, wool-linen blend, and even silk-linen blend are key for surviving outdoor weddings in the summer heat.

Don’t over-do it on the dry-cleaning. “Dry-cleaning suits and jackets can give them a weird sheen,” says McNamara. “Unless you’ve got a stain or profusely sweated through a piece, you’ll save a lot of time and money if you buy a steamer to keep at home. Otherwise, take it to the cleaners and ask for ‘steam press only.’”

(Video) Wedding Dress Codes For Men | What To Wear

Fall

“Flannels are amazing,” says McNamara. “They drape well because it’s a heavier fabric, there are beautiful colors and shades, and they feel like pajamas.” They also come in delightful plaid patterns, which work wonderfully for cocktail attire dress codes. Pair a flannel sport coat with a more traditional trouser for a winning fall wedding look.

Men’s Wedding Attire by Time of Day

Evening

For wedding-related events that take place at night (i.e. the rehearsal dinner), think dressy cocktail—unless the event has a specific dress code. A light gray or silver suit really shines in this moment, as do gray trousers paired with a sports jacket. “If you want to do something really cool, play with the details,” adds McNamara. “Add a funky tie or a funky pocket square, and have fun with the shoes.”

For a welcome party, dark denim can be acceptable if the location is a bar or restaurant, but pair it with a button-up shirt or a jacket. “Dress like you’re going on a really nice date,” he suggests.“You could even do a bomber jacket with trousers or slacks.”

Daytime

For a daytime wedding, follow the dress codes for casual or garden affairs as described above, and don’t wear black shoes. (They’ll feel out of place.) If it’s a post-wedding brunch you’re attending, jeans are likely acceptable, but sweatpants will always be a no-go—no matter how hungover you are.

A Complete Guide to Wedding Attire for Men (3)

Men’s Wedding Attire By Venue

If the dress code is unclear, your next best wardrobe cue is where the wedding takes place. Here, McNamara’s suggestions for men’s wedding attire according to venue:

Ballroom

At minimum, think black tie optional, or go with a dark suit (navy, charcoal, black) and dark necktie. “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed,” says McNamara.

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Industrial Space

When it comes to offbeat venues such as breweries and art galleries, “cocktail attire is perfect,” says McNamara. “Think cool plaids, cool textures, and different colors, such as rust and red.”

Beach Resort

If the ceremony is directly on the sand, you can likely go more casual. If it’s not, do a mix of cocktail and beach attire. “Wear a jacket and trousers, but they can be lighter colors or linen,” says McNamara.

Religious Institution

For a wedding in a more traditional institution, veer formal: dark colors, jacket and trousers, and definitely neckwear. “You can always take the tie off later on,” says McNamara.

Vineyard or Outdoor Venue

Cocktail or garden attire works here. The alfresco nature of the space makes it a touch more casual than a ballroom, but settings can vary widely in terms of formality, so be sure to do your research. Google past weddings that have occurred at the venue and make your decisions from there.

Backyard

2020 saw a surge in at-home weddings. And while the trend was born out of necessity, it will likely stick around as an option for couples looking for a more intimate way to celebrate. For a backyard wedding, McNamara recommends going with cocktail attire if you want to dress up, but otherwise sticking with the garden or casual dress code.

22 Wedding Suits for Grooms, Groomsmen, and Guests

FAQs

What is appropriate attire for a man at a wedding? ›

A tux is still a fantastic choice here, but it's a little bit less formal than a black-tie event. It's also the best bet for what men should wear to a wedding with no stated dress code. Tuxedos are optional, but they will expect a full formal suit at the very least.

What should a man wear to a 5 pm wedding? ›

Evening wear is most appropriate here. For men, this typically means a dark tuxedo, a white dress shirt, a coordinating bow tie, a cummerbund, and suspenders (optional), says Corry. Dress shoes, like oxfords, are suitable.

What Colour should a male guest wear to a wedding? ›

Wedding guest outfits for men for every location

At a church wedding, the right wedding guest outfit for the man is a traditional look. A classic dark suit with a white shirt and tie or bow tie is the right choice here. Alternatively, you can also use grey or dark blue.

Can a man wear a navy suit to a formal wedding? ›

A navy blue suit can be worn by grooms, groomsmen, wedding guests, and can go from day to evening events. Here, we've collected some of the best navy blue suits we've seen out and about for you to wear to your next wedding as a guest, groomsman, or as the father of the bride or groom.

What are men wearing to weddings in 2022? ›

Instead of a tuxedo, formal attire calls for a dark suit that is either charcoal gray, black, or dark blue, collared dress shirt, and necktie. Pants should be flat dress pants with a straight fit and shoes should be either black or brown leather, depending on the color of your suit.

What is considered formal attire for a man? ›

For men, formal clothing includes trousers, a dress shirt (and maybe a waistcoat or vest), a suit or a tuxedo jacket, some form of neckwear suit accessory, and dress shoes.

What is semi formal wedding attire for a man? ›

A semi-formal dress code means it is time to do away with the tuxedo or the dinner jackets for men. Instead, you can opt to match a blazer or suit jacket with dress pants. An elegant dress shirt and a jacket are a perfect pick for a semi-formal event.

What do you wear to a wedding after 50? ›

According to Bride's Magazine “Weddings will become more casual with less of a black-tie- feel”, and “we will see more guests wearing midi and mini-length dresses”. Dresses with patterns and floral designs are very popular this season. Make sure to dress appropriately for the venue and attire specified.

What guests should not wear to a wedding? ›

By avoiding these fashion faux-pas, you will make a tasteful fashion statement and show respect for the bride and groom.
  • White. One of the most obvious mistakes at a wedding is to match the bride. ...
  • A Black Tuxedo. ...
  • Anything Too Revealing. ...
  • Denim or Jeans. ...
  • Low-Cut Outfits. ...
  • Sheer Material. ...
  • All Black. ...
  • Flip Flops.
31 May 2018

Do men have to wear a suit to a wedding? ›

At weddings, one dress code is unquestionable. “If it says 'suits' on the invite, then yes, you have to wear a suit,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. But modern nuptials tend to be less demanding of their guests. Which offers some room to experiment with alternative men's wedding outfits.

Can you wear a suit without a tie to a wedding? ›

It depends on the occasion, however the answer is generally no. Not wearing a tie with a suit, would be like not wearing socks with your shoes or not wearing cuff links with your cuffs! The suit is designed for the tie and would be lost without it.

Can men wear black to a wedding? ›

As a wedding guest, you can wear black to a wedding as long as it fits the dress code. For men, what to wear as a wedding guest is usually pretty simple: a suit or a tux, most commonly in black. Wearing black to a wedding is common for most men.

Is it OK to wear a grey suit to a wedding? ›

Can grooms wear gray or charcoal to their wedding? Absolutely! If the bride and groom both agree on the color, wearing a gray or charcoal suit (and even a tuxedo) is a suitable option for all weddings.

Can you wear a grey suit to a black tie wedding? ›

"Men can wear a tux, but are also fine to wear a nice black, gray or navy suit," says Mayer. If you're wearing a suit, you should plan to keep it minimal, choose a dark color and wear a bow tie.

Can you wear brown shoes with a navy suit for a wedding? ›

Brown shoes are more relaxed than black; and brown shoes with a navy suit is a classic combination to pull off. It's essentially a fool-proof look, more casual than black but still smart enough to wear to work or other formal occasions.

Is a black suit too formal for a wedding? ›

While a black dress or jumpsuit is appropriate for women, black suits and accessories are perfectly fine options for men as well. "Anything from a black tie, a black shirt or a black suit is definitely appropriate to wear to a wedding," says Onyx Martinez, Lead Stylist for The Tie Bar.

Can a man wear white pants to a wedding? ›

"If a man showed up to a wedding wearing white, it would garner attention just like it would if a woman was wearing that symbolic color," she says. Put this way, the rule isn't a gendered one so much as it's an all-inclusive etiquette rule.

Can a man wear a white shirt to a wedding? ›

You might wonder if men can wear white to a wedding, or if you can wear a dress with a white print. It is perfectly appropriate to wear a white dress shirt under a tuxedo or suit jacket. Similarly, it's also acceptable to wear a dress or a jumpsuit with a hint of white as long as it's not the main color.

What does formal but not black tie mean? ›

Formal or Black-Tie Optional

The wording here indicates something slightly less formal than black-tie is acceptable. So, a tuxedo isn't required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. The choices are the same as with black-tie: a floor-length gown, a fancy cocktail dress, or a dressy pantsuit.

What does formal attire on a wedding invitation mean? ›

"A formal wedding might include a jacket and tie or a traditional suit," he suggests. "An elegant dress or a nice pantsuit would also be appropriate."

What is the difference between black tie and formal? ›

Black Tie events are strictly formal affairs, tuxedos & ball gowns or elegant long dresses. For men, a dinner jacket is essential with an optional cummerbund, braces or waistcoat and a black bow tie, normally a dark or midnight blue is a great alternative to black.

Do you have to wear a jacket to a semi-formal wedding? ›

The biggest mistake we see with semi-formal is that most men will be under dressed for this particular dress code. With any formal dress code, a jacket is required. Whether it be a full suit, dressy blazer or sport jacket, you always want to put your best fashion foot forward.

Is a shirt and tie semi-formal? ›

Semi-formal attire is a more casual version of a formal event. Semi-formals are parties where men may wear dark dress pants, preferably with a buttoned shirt, tie, and jacket. Women may wear anything from a dress to some nice slacks and a blouse.

Is it OK to wear pants to a wedding? ›

Don't go too casual with pants.

So you wanna wear pants? Totally fine! Just make sure they're dressy enough for the nuptials. Start with tailored trousers and a polished blouse, or make things easy for yourself by grabbing a matching blazer.

What should a 80 year old woman wear to a wedding? ›

For a formal or semi-formal wedding, grandmothers may choose a formal gown, a longer style dress, or an elegant suit-like style. For a casual wedding, a dress is still appropriate, as is a pantsuit, or skirt and blouse or dress and jacket combination!

What do you give as a wedding gift if not attending? ›

If they don't have a registry, a practical keepsake is always a safe bet, think glass or barware, a beautiful bowl, cutlery, a cake slice, a blanket, a picnic basket or an oven dish. Coffee table books or art prints are a more contemporary choice.

Do grandparents go to wedding rehearsal? ›

Who attends the Ceremony rehearsal? The wedding couple, the bridal party and their significant others, child attendants (flower girls and ring bearers) and their parents, the wedding couple's parents, and any other family members, including grandparents who will be participating in the processional.

What color can you not wear to a wedding? ›

Unless requested by the couple, visitors should not wear all white to the wedding. Please refrain from wearing anything that could be mistaken for a wedding dress, such as white, off-white, beige, cream, or white lace.

What do men wear to a wedding without a dress code? ›

If no dress code has been set, you can't really go amiss with a charcoal grey or navy suit. These work for both day and evening and the accessories you choose can help them fit the venue, the wedding couple's style, season and formality.”

How much money do I put in a wedding card? ›

She offers these guidelines to wedding-goers wherever they might be: A distant relative or co-worker should give $75-$100; a friend or relative, $100-$125; a closer relative, up to $150. If you are wealthy, are you expected to inflate the gift? No, Cooper says. “If they do, it's because they're just generous people.”

Is it OK to not wear a jacket to a wedding? ›

Usually, weddings are considered formal events requiring its guests to wear a suit jacket, but that's not always the case. Maybe you know that the wedding you are attending is supposed to be a very intimate event, with only a few close friends and family members being invited.

Can I wear chinos to a wedding? ›

Yes, even if they're "dressy" shorts and sneakers. The Suit: It doesn't necessarily have to be a suit, actually. You could opt for trousers or nice chinos below and a crewneck with a blazer, or just a button-down, on top.

How can I look sharp without a suit? ›

No Suit? No Problem | How To Look Sharp Without Suits - YouTube

What collar looks best without a tie? ›

Band Collar

Technically just a neckband, this point-less collar is meant to be worn without a tie. It's a simple, clean style that is a perfect choice for business casual. The band collar still looks dressy without looking stiff. Band collars give off a modern look, and look great when worn under blazers.

Should shirt collar be in or out of blazer? ›

The thing is that it's more modern for you to wear collars of your shirt inside the blazer, especially if your blazer has lapels. Because it stays there without any problems. What is this? But you can put your blouse collars out of the suit only when it has more like a stand-up collar.

What Colour tie goes with a GREY suit? ›

In general, a grey suit will always look good with a crisp white shirt and a black tie.

Can you wear navy to a wedding? ›

Navy is a classic neutral that you can rely on for all dress codes and types of wedding attire. This shade pairs particularly well with evening celebrations as well as black tie, formal and semi-formal nuptials.

Is it rude to wear red to a wedding? ›

It's Okay To Wear Red

The most important thing is that you don't look like you're trying to upstage the bride, which would be very, very rude. Happily, red dresses won't give off this impression unless they are the brightest of scarlet or otherwise too flashy or “too much”.

Can you wear a navy suit to a black tie wedding? ›

When going to a black tie event, always choose a black or dark navy suit. It is classic, versatile and the best colour to wear for these events.

What do men wear to a wedding without a dress code? ›

If no dress code has been set, you can't really go amiss with a charcoal grey or navy suit. These work for both day and evening and the accessories you choose can help them fit the venue, the wedding couple's style, season and formality.”

What do you wear to a wedding after 50? ›

According to Bride's Magazine “Weddings will become more casual with less of a black-tie- feel”, and “we will see more guests wearing midi and mini-length dresses”. Dresses with patterns and floral designs are very popular this season. Make sure to dress appropriately for the venue and attire specified.

Do I need to wear a suit to a wedding? ›

At weddings, one dress code is unquestionable. “If it says 'suits' on the invite, then yes, you have to wear a suit,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. But modern nuptials tend to be less demanding of their guests. Which offers some room to experiment with alternative men's wedding outfits.

What should guys wear to an outdoor wedding? ›

Men should absolutely wear a tuxedo with a black or white jacket with tails, "formal trousers, a crisp white shirt, white vest, and a bowtie," notes the stylist, adding that they should also wear appropriate cufflinks and patent leather shoes.

What guests should not wear to a wedding? ›

By avoiding these fashion faux-pas, you will make a tasteful fashion statement and show respect for the bride and groom.
  • White. One of the most obvious mistakes at a wedding is to match the bride. ...
  • A Black Tuxedo. ...
  • Anything Too Revealing. ...
  • Denim or Jeans. ...
  • Low-Cut Outfits. ...
  • Sheer Material. ...
  • All Black. ...
  • Flip Flops.
31 May 2018

Can men wear black to a wedding? ›

While a black dress or jumpsuit is appropriate for women, black suits and accessories are perfectly fine options for men as well. "Anything from a black tie, a black shirt or a black suit is definitely appropriate to wear to a wedding," says Onyx Martinez, Lead Stylist for The Tie Bar.

What should 50 year old men wear to a wedding? ›

You might wonder if men can wear white to a wedding, or if you can wear a dress with a white print. It is perfectly appropriate to wear a white dress shirt under a tuxedo or suit jacket. Similarly, it's also acceptable to wear a dress or a jumpsuit with a hint of white as long as it's not the main color.

What should a 80 year old woman wear to a wedding? ›

For a formal or semi-formal wedding, grandmothers may choose a formal gown, a longer style dress, or an elegant suit-like style. For a casual wedding, a dress is still appropriate, as is a pantsuit, or skirt and blouse or dress and jacket combination!

What do you give as a wedding gift if not attending? ›

If they don't have a registry, a practical keepsake is always a safe bet, think glass or barware, a beautiful bowl, cutlery, a cake slice, a blanket, a picnic basket or an oven dish. Coffee table books or art prints are a more contemporary choice.

Is it OK to not wear a tie to a wedding? ›

Rocking up to a wedding without a tie especially without checking first can come across as sloppy and even disrespectful depending on the individual. Unless told otherwise that the wedding is more relaxed and a tie is optional, wear the tie!

Can you go to a wedding without a blazer? ›

Yes, it is possible for someone to attend a wedding without wearing a blazer. A guest may not wish to wear one of these suits, or they could simply be out of place. There are various styles of weddings, some more formal than others.

What can I wear to a wedding instead of a suit? ›

You may wear a bow tie or necktie. Wear a collared dress shirt- T-shirts, polo shirts, and banded collar shirts are not acceptable for a formal dress code. If appropriate for the wedding venue and theme, consider a dress shirt in a different color, texture, or pattern (ex.

Can I wear a navy suit to a wedding? ›

When it comes to color, in most cases wedding cocktail attire calls for a charcoal or navy suit, especially for late afternoon and evening weddings. Pair a charcoal or navy suit with a solid white button down shirt, tie or bowtie, and simple black leather shoes.

What is semi formal wedding attire for a man? ›

A semi-formal dress code means it is time to do away with the tuxedo or the dinner jackets for men. Instead, you can opt to match a blazer or suit jacket with dress pants. An elegant dress shirt and a jacket are a perfect pick for a semi-formal event.

What is summer formal wedding attire for men? ›

Instead of a tux, this attire opts for a classic suit and tie. Although there is room for different color and footwear options, you should still wear a collared shirt.

Videos

1. Cocktail Attire for Men - Wedding, Party & Event Dress Code Guide
(Gentleman's Gazette)
2. Men's Wedding Guest Attire | Explained: Menswear For A Wedding
(Sunjeev Prasad - Street Gentlemen)
3. Groom's Wedding Attire - What To Wear As A Groom, Suit, Tuxedo... & What Mistakes To Avoid
(Gentleman's Gazette)
4. Ultimate grooms wedding suit.
(Anthony Formal Wear)
5. A Complete Guide To Wearing Men's Jewellery | How to Style Jewellery
(The Logbook)
6. What to Wear to a Wedding | Men's Wedding Guest Outfits
(Carl Thompson)

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