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What To Wear To A Wedding

Up and coming wedding? We show you what to wear.
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If you’re someone who isn’t that interested in style, or if your daily attire consists of jeans and a t-shirt over a shirt and tie, going to a wedding might initially seem like your worst nightmare.

Why 90% of Men Get It Wrong

When you start to understand and after you start applying the style fundamentals, you’ll quickly realise that most guys get it horribly wrong.

Grooms in particular get it wrong on so many occasions, as they tend to go to the nearest ‘Wedding Hire’ shop and rent a suit for efficiency. After being sold by the shop assistant, they quickly find themselves looking like a poorly dressed character from Mad Men (although they think they look like Bond). Getting your style wrong on your wedding day is a regret you’ll carry for a while.

The thing is, wedding attire shouldn’t be difficult. It’s a formal occasion, and you’ll soon discover that there’s a set of rules that can be followed to make sure you get it right.

wedding 1

In today’s article, we’re going to highlight them rules for you to use as a guide whether you’re the groom or a guest.

Ready?

The Fit

Before we highlight some key elements to your potential wedding attire, we want to highlight a key fundamental of looking good.

Fit.

You could invest thousands into a good suit, but if it doesn’t fit as it should it’s not going to look good.

Fit applies to anyone. Whether you’re overweight, and regardless of your age, if you don’t focus on the fit of the garment you’re going to struggle to look good.

wedding 2

When dressing formally, getting clothing altered or tailored is highly recommended. You might not have the money to buy a Made to Measure or Bespoke suit, but buying a suit ‘off the rack’ and getting it altered is highly affordable and extremely effective.

But the key thing you want to remember is the less ‘unused’ fabric the better. What that means is if you’re wearing a shirt and you can grab a fistful of fabric from your stomach area, you’re going to want to get it taken in slightly.

The garment almost needs to skim your body. It shouldn’t look like it’s painted on, but it shouldn’t drape off you either.

Trousers shouldn’t scrunch up at the bottom where they’re too long, blazers should be taken in slightly at your midline to compliment your silhouette, and shirtsleeves should be slim fitting and finish at your wrist.

Hands down, fit is the number 1 thing guys get wrong when dressing for a wedding.

Don’t let that be you.

wedding 3

The Suit

Choosing a suit is the most important part when dressing for a wedding. It’s going to be the focal point to your look, and it’s going to be the main element for you to create an impression.

Keep it simple, and avoid any outlandish colours. You want to make a statement, but you want to make sure that statement is subtle. There’s no ‘peacocking’ involved here and no need to overstep the boundaries.

Opt for a simple Navy or Charcoal two-button suit, and make an impression with the details. Details include opting for a wider lapel, choosing a suit with a subtle pattern and also buying a suit made from a more premium fabric.

wedding 4

Keep it simple and classic, and make an impression with the finer details.

Other options of course include a double-breasted jacket, or wearing separates. (Find out How To Wear Separates) Separates really can make that impression you desire, as wearing a full suit can often look too corporate and almost like you’ve just stepped out of the office.

wedding 5

The Shirt

The most classic option is to go for a well-fitted, ‘Spread’ collar shirt. Keep it simple with a pale blue or white, and add colour with the accessories worn with it.

canali collar shirtsmilano white shirt

If you’ve gone for a Navy or Charcoal suit, and if you’re feeling confident don’t be shy to add some colour with the shirt you wear. A subtle stripe or check shirt are options, and even opting for a ‘Tab’ collar, a ‘Cutaway’ colour and even a more classic ‘Buttoned Down’ collar can all create different effects.

It’s important that the tie you wear (if you wear one) compliments the shirt you’re wearing. Follow our Shirt & Tie Guide below.

wedding 6

The Shoes

If you’re an avid reader of MFM, you know how important shoes are to a man. If you get the shoes right… your overall appearance is going to benefit dramatically.

Our advice would be to opt for a brown pair of well made, leather shoes. The Brogue is a classic, which works with most looks, and this is probably the safest option. But you can also go for an Oxford Shoe, a Monk Strap Shoe or even a Loafer.

wedding 7

Again, focus on the quality. Focus on the finer details, and make sure your shoes are polished.

The Accessories

Your obvious choice is a tie, and you want to go for something that compliments your chosen attire. Avoid any tie with a ‘shine finish’ and keep the knot in proportion to your collar.

With the collars we’ve recommended, you want to go for a quite a slim looking knot. The ‘School Boy’ Knot is a classic, and we advise opting for this over the Full Windsor.

Knitted ties are also an option, and wearing one will add some subtle detailing to your outfit.

Other accessories include a pocket square (make sure it doesn’t match your tie, and go for a simple Puff fold or Square fold) alongside lapel pins, tie bars and of course a good leather belt.

Don’t overdo it with the accessories though, keep it subtle but keep it classy.

garbo pocket squarebrioni knitted tie

stainless clipbrown look belts

Other Things To Remember

  • If you’re the groom, don’t try and outdo the bride – Look classy, but keep it subtle. There’s nothing wrong with being a guest though and outdoing the Groom. It’s there fault if they failed to impress…
  • Think about the conditions – Winter wedding? You might want to add in a Waistcoat or some trusted Knitwear to your look. An overcoat might also be needed, so opt for a classic such as the Trench coat. Again, same rules apply for anything else you decide to throw in to your outfit. Make sure it fits, and make sure it compliments your overall attire. If it’s a summer wedding opt for lighter fabrics to keep cool.
  • A suit is for life, not just for Christmas (or weddings in this case) – Don’t be afraid to invest, a good suit will last you years and can be worn on many occasions. Don’t go for the cheapest suit available because you ‘needed to wear one’, invest in quality and you’ll get a lot of wears from it.
  • Strip down – After a few glasses of Champagne, and after dancing embarrassingly to the Conga, you might want to loosen up a little. Undo your top bottom; loosen your tie and hand up your blazer. Get sweaty, and be the life of the party.

So there we have it. Wedding coming up? Don’t worry, follow these rules and you’re bound to make an impression.

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.

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