Find out what to wear to a cocktail attire wedding, and get suggestions for creating both modern and classic cocktail wedding attire outfits.
Planning cocktail wedding attire isn’t difficult—the only challenging aspect is learning what the cocktail attire wedding dress code actually means, and we’ve got you covered.
Generally, we’re talking about an outfit you could wear to work in a formal office setting, but that you’d still feel comfortable cutting loose in later on. We’ll get more specific about what this dress code means for weddings below, and show you examples of modern and classic looks for guests, grooms, and groomsmen.
WHAT DOES “COCKTAIL WEDDING ATTIRE” MEAN?
Cocktail wedding attire isn’t as formal as the tuxedo-level dress codes, but it sits higher on the ladder than a semi-formal or casual dress code.
You’ll need an outfit that could naturally transition from work to cocktail hour without feeling awkward in either atmosphere, but skew away from the business vibes for a wedding. For men, a dark suit with stylish accessories will give you the right mix for cocktail wedding attire. Both neckties and bow ties are good to go, but black shoes (or dark brown) are recommended.
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Cocktail Wedding Attire
Tuxedos are too much for the cocktail attire dress code, but grooms can still stand out and feel like a VIP with the right look. Dress the groomsmen in more conservative looks and give the groom a little more color.
And by “a little more color,” we obviously mean a full burgundy suit—something anyone can totally pull off, and a look that has plenty of personality for a modern groom. Cap toe shoes add a little shine to the look, but keep everything else simple.
Navy suits are universally accepted as a more reserved color, but this blue suit has a little more oomph—it’s rich, and in natural sunlight, has a bright tone for a unique groom look. The vest keeps the look classic, as do the subtle accessories below.
for Wedding Parties
Your crew doesn’t need to overdo it, but a pop of wedding color here or there can help liven up their look.
The grey suit is a perfect blank canvas for a wedding outfit because it works so well with any color. For example, you wouldn’t dress groomsmen in full emerald suits—the groom would get lost in that human forest. Instead, choose accessories in the right shade and use color sparingly for a greater impact. Skip the vest for a modern look.
This classic charcoal suit look won’t compete with the groom’s outfit, but definitely holds its own. This particular cocktail attire coordinates perfectly with our pick for a classic groom’s look—the shades of blue would complement the groom’s blue suit, and the vest brings a traditional feel.
Cocktail Wedding Attire
Accessories are where it’s at when you’re a guest at a cocktail attire wedding—you don’t want to overshadow the wedding party or groom, but you still need some attention on the dance floor. Let’s make it happen.
Black suits are, basically, badass. They’ve been boxed in by society, but they’re breaking out with the help of some colorful accessories. White shirts are great, but for a modern look, try one in light pink or light blue, with complementary (but not matching) accessories.
Classic cocktail attire means black dress shoes, and in spite of what you’ve heard, you can wear them with a navy suit. Because you’re keeping the rest of your look fairly buttoned up, choose accessories that use color and pattern to make your outfit more personal and less business.
The Right Fit for Your Wedding
Understanding cocktail wedding attire can help you choose the right outfit for the dress code, but it’s also important that the suit you choose actually fits you. That’s why we design suits and tuxedos with a modern cut (for a better fit), and make it easy for everyone to look their best on the big day.
If you’re in the middle of planning a cocktail attire wedding and need to make sure your look is perfect, you can visit us in person. Or, just answer a few simple questions to find your sizes entirely online. It’ll only take 5 minutes to find the right fit.