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What To Wear To A Wedding

Posted 28.03.14  - Style

If attending a wedding as a guest, make sure you read the invitation properly, for it will either explicitly spell out the dress code, or imply it through its form of words and choice of stationery. If you are in any doubt, there is much less embarrassment in asking beforehand than being the only man present not wearing a morning suit.

The main rule as a guest is simply to make an effort without stealing the limelight. Unless a more formal dress code is specified, you should wear a jacket and tie and smart shoes at the very least. Keep it cheerful – this is a joyous occasion, not a board meeting, so perhaps a pastel-coloured shirt that co-ordinates with the minor colour in a patterned or striped tie. Turnbull & Asser’s gold and blue spot lace spot tie would go nicely with the light blue Royal Oxford shirt with button-down collar and Fenrow navy blazer, for example. Beware, however, that on hot days, pastel colours show up perspiration more readily than plain white ones.

If you are the groom, firstly congratulations. What you’re after is an outfit that will not date horribly in the wedding photos on your mantelpiece. Stick to traditional colours – a navy or grey suit, white shirt and polished shoes with a rounded toe. Avoid anything overtly trendy such as skinny ties or collar bars. And consider how your hairstyle or facial hair might look to your future grandchildren. There’s a lot to be said for the timelessness of a clean shave and a neatly groomed short-back-and-sides.

Wear a traditional white shirt such as Turnbull & Asser’s classic plain white shirt with classic T&A collar. Consider buying two so you have a change of shirt for the reception. Launder them beforehand so they are comfortable on the day.

When tying the knot, opt for a tightly sculpted four-in-hand or half-Windsor with a dimple just below it. The tie colour should co-ordinate with, but not necessarily match, the wedding’s colour scheme. Stick to traditional patterns such as houndstooth or polka dot. I rather like Turnbull & Asser’s large houndstooth tie in navy and white. Choose a pair of cufflinks that will agree with the metal of your watch – most likely silver.

If you are the father of the bride, your job is not to embarrass the happy couple – and that goes for what you wear as well as what you say in your speech. You cannot go wrong with a well-cut, single-breasted, two-button suit in navy or grey. Take it to a good alteration tailor to ensure it fits you properly. Choose highly polished black or brown shoes – a Derby, Oxford or brogue. A new white shirt provides a neutral frame for whatever tie the groom would like you to wear.

That said, as an elder statesman, you also have a duty of care. So if, for example, your future son-in-law has decided that the groomsmen will wear those horrific matching scrunched wedding cravats in shiny satin that you see advertised cheesily in the back of Sunday supplements, it is your responsibility to have a quiet word. That word being: no. You haven’t given your daughter away just yet.

Dan Rookwood - US Editor of Mr Porter

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