What Should a Man Wear to a Wedding?

Men’s Wedding Attire Dos and Don’ts

A lot of guys are clueless about what to wear to weddings.

They end up shopping with their girlfriends at the last minute, impulsively buying coats and ties and shoes they don’t want, all in the name of tradition.

And if traditions weren’t enough, the creative invitations make the situation even more perplexing.

The instructions tell you to dress casually, wear vintage, or color coordinate outfits with other guys. It can get a bit ridiculous.

But don’t let it stress you out! Use these 8 pearls of wedding wisdom as a guide for getting dressed this season, and you’ll do fine.

1. Do Wear Something Traditional

what men should not wear to wedding

Weddings are not fashion shows, and you’re not the center of attention. Wear something traditional and save the experimentation for later.

2. Don’t Underdress

people dancing at wedding attire rules

You could do worse than a shirt and tie, but you could also do better…

3. Do Wear a Suit

people at a wedding, one in suit, one not

As a man, you actually have it easy – because you can wear a suit. Wear one and you’ll understand why it’s practical. Without a suit, you’re a lost soul trying to piece together “dressy” items. A solid gray or navy suit looks great and simplifies the process of getting dressed. You can stop thinking so hard about what to wear to every wedding. Wear the same suit, and switch out your shirt, tie and shoes as needed.

4. Don’t Rent Your Clothing

tuxedo rented for wedding

“You look great in that rented tux” is something people never say. Just like men never say: “I love wearing this rental and might keep it.” If the groomsmen can’t make it happen by the big day, then sure – rent something. But if you have six months to figure out wedding attire, take the time to find a suit you actually like to wear.

5. Do Keep Your Clothes On…

what men wear to weddings

It shouldn’t be surprising that men in rented tuxedos want to tear them off as soon as they enter the reception hall. But try to keep your clothes on, at least until the older guests retire for the evening.

 6. Don’t Wear Denim

jeans at a wedding

Americans love jeans and wear them everywhere. But unless you’re attending a coal miner-themed wedding, jeans are not OK.

7. Do Wear Evening Wear (but only in the evening)

summer wedding style for men

“If a man’s suit ranks as his most articulate garment during the day, his formalwear should bespeak eloquence at night,” writes Alan Flusser in Dressing the Man, the famous guide to men’s style. Take note: if a wedding begins in the middle of the day, don’t wear your dinner jacket.

8. Do Wear a Wedding Appropriate Tie

best tie for a wedding

Traditional wedding ties are often a part of a groom or groomsmen’s attire. They come in black, white, silver, gray, or navy, with a checked pattern. You don’t need them to match.

Photos courtesy of Flickr users: Gordon Tarpley, Scott Brenner, Jesse Newland, Joe Shlabotnik, Stacey Huggins, B Rosen, Banjo Brown, Robyn Lee, Jorge Mejía Peralta