Dissecting Summer Wedding Dress Codes

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For many people, the summer season is full of beach trips, barbecues, and weddings, lots of weddings! This can leave guys that receive multiple wedding invites with a lot of outfit requirements and a little bit of confusion depending on the dress code asks of each couple. Don’t fear, QG fashion team is here to break down some of the more common summer wedding dress codes and ways to tackle each to ensure you look appropriate (and dapper) for every type of occasion.

Black Tie Required

Canali Black Slim-Fit Satin-Trimmed Tuxedo

The most formal dress code for weddings is black tie required, which basically means wear a full tuxedo or don’t show up.  These weddings usually take place in the evening and at a venue where you probably won’t want to bump into anything, which means you should dress so “clean” that people won’t want to bump into you.  For this type of wedding, a classic, black tuxedo with a white shirt and black formal tie would be most appropriate. A way you can have a little fun is by playing with the style of jacket. For example, instead of the standard single breasted notch lapel jacket, try a double breasted peak lapel version instead.

Black Tie Optional

Kingsman Prince of Wales Checked Dinner Jacket

Still formal but not as strict is the black tie optional dress code.  Also usually in the evening, this wedding has more of a mismatched vibe with regard to guest fashions.  However, although the code includes the word “optional,” in this case one should go for being overdressed rather than underdressed.  Gentleman should still wear evening attire, but instead of a full tuxedo guys can opt for a dinner jacket in a unique color or pattern to compliment their black tuxedo pants.  Many dinner jackets come in velvet, but because of summer temperatures velvet may not be the most practical (or sweat-resistant) choice. Instead, linen or cotton silk options are the way to go.

Festive Attire

Suitsupply Striped Navy Suit
Kingsman + Turnbull & Asser Rocketman Silk Tie

Out of all of the wedding dress codes, festive attire is probably the one you can have the most fun with and interpret to fit your personal style.  Festive attire is usually attributed to weddings that want a dressy feel without the perceived stuffiness of a tuxedo requirement. Similar to black tie optional, men have the freedom to take more risks with regard to color and pattern.  The key here is balancing the festive with the appropriate, such as taking into consideration things like the wedding venue and time of day (one generally should not wear velvet in the daytime or khakis in the evening, for example). An option is to wear a dark-colored, double-breasted suit (possibly in a subtle pattern), with a white shirt and bold silk necktie.

Daytime Formal

Rubinacci Brown Double-Breasted Suit (Pants Not Pictured)

One of the more standard wedding dress codes, particularly during the summertime, is daytime formal.  As the name suggests, the ceremony for this type of wedding takes place before five PM, calling for guests to dress in a more relaxed way than for an evening event.  For this type of wedding, a light colored suit in a brown or tan shade, accompanied by a blue and white striped shirt and a corresponding neck or (non-formal) bowtie will help you win the style stakes.

Casual/Beach Code

Hamilton and Hare Cotton-Pique Shirt
Gucci Beige Logo Trousers

When the couple is going for complete ease, or is getting married on the beach or at a tropical destination, they may opt for a casual dress code to fit the mood.  As with daytime formal, light colors are generally more appropriate for this type of wedding; this also might be one of the few weddings where you can wear white or cream and not look inappropriate.  Being overdressed when the invitation says casual is a big no-no as you don’t want to outshine or be more formal than the groom. A safe bet may be a light linen suit with a polo, or pair of khakis or slacks with an open, button-down shirt (never wear jeans to a wedding unless the invitation explicitly indicates to do so).

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