Here’s how men should dress for a spring wedding
Everyone loves a good wedding, especially if you’re close friends or a relative of either the bride or groom. However, knowing what to wear on the day is a question that’s not as easy to answer. Will there be a black-tie event to attend as part of the festivities? Or, perhaps it’ll be black-tie optional? And sometimes its even necessary to ask: exactly how optional will black ties be?
Complicating things is that often, when it comes to the dress code and suitable attire, every happy couple has their own idea on the subject. If you’re unclear and the wedding invite hasn’t specified, it’s not a bad plan to approach either the wedding planner or the lucky couple for clarification. And of course, if a change of wardrobe is needed you can often find exactly what you need amongst our cotton shirting fabrics here at Acorn!
Black-tie dress is quite common for wedding events but it’s especially formal, which is important to bear in mind. Deviating from it is incredibly risky, even if you’re close friends with the couple. Nobody wants to appear like they’re upstaging the happy couple – it’s incredibly disrespectful! The style is very specific with a white shirt and a black bow tie contrasting it, a classic waistcoat to look dapper and a dinner jacket. Ironically, the “black-tie” doesn’t always come with the “black tie” or the jacket. It’s also possible to add a set of braces to hold up the trousers, a set of cufflinks and black shoes.
A black-tie optional attire suggestion means that the male attendees are permitted to choose whether to go dressed in a stricter black-tie styling or to opt for a suit jacket that’s navy blue or grey to mix things up. This is where you’re allowed a bit more freedom for experimentation.
While the jacket itself might have some tailoring that looks similar to the jacket from a black-tie ensemble, it’s still more relaxed. The jacket won’t usually have any shiny elements that make a black-tie jacket standout more. Also, wearing a bow tie is far less expected when black-tie is optional. Don’t forget though, that in terms of expectations, “black tie optional” is an indication that the men are still expected to dress well and put in the effort whether wearing a strictly black-tie or not. Don’t go too wild!
When directions for wedding attire state “Casual”, be careful! Unless the bride and groom are ultra-hip and never dress up for anything, “Casual” is smarter than you might expect at first. Casual attire for a wedding is closer to formal wear than casual. A blazer over a t-shirt still won’t cut the mustard.
Aim for a smart jacket or blazer (you can skip the waistcoat if you’d like) and a tie or black tie. It’s acceptable to mix and match a lighter-coloured jacket with a darker pair of trousers too. Alternatively, a lighter business suit that’s light enough for springtime, a stylish shirt and some dapper footwear will complete the look.
An outfit suitable for cocktails is fairly formal but less restrictive than black-tie.
There’s greater flexibility with your outfit, especially with the use of colour. A darker suit, maybe navy, matched to a colourful shirt with a strong collar provides a solid colour contrast to set the right tone. A pair of brown shoes with or without matching socks will be fine. You can add some cufflinks if you want to jazz things up a bit, and express yourself further.
And of course, don’t forget the most important advice of all – dress comfortably and to enjoy yourself! Unless it’s the strictest of black tie attire (and most weddings won’t be as strict as awards events), you might find there’s a fair bit of room to express yourself with pocket squares or accessories. As we’ve touched on above, you can find a fantastic range of choice amongst our cotton shirting fabrics here at Acorn. Feel free to browse your favourites from our solid white fabrics – ideal for dress shirts – or even something from our prestigious Savile Row collection.