Wedding Attire for Men: The Complete Guide for 2018

In the future, robots will pick out wedding attire for men. This is just a terrifying fact, but don’t surrender to the machines just yet. We humans still have a few solid years of choosing men’s wedding attire left in the tank.

Men's Wedding Attire: The Complete Guide for 2018

As a groom, your goal should be a wedding outfit men will admire and photographers will… well, want to photograph. As a guest, the stakes aren’t quite as high—unless you’ve scored an invite to witness vows aboard a seafaring vessel, enjoy handcrafted cocktails made with artisanal rums, and feast on sweet sticky ribs. In which case you’ll need to carefully choose what to wear to a wedding men would sell their souls to attend. Or maybe that’s just us.

Whether you’re trying to choose wedding attire for groom or groomsmen, or you need some tips on the right men’s wedding guest attire, we can guide you in the right direction.

Believe it or not, the chart above is a shortcut for choosing wedding attire. But while it’s not definitive, this chart won’t steer you wrong either. Choose your destiny, or read on to learn about the subtleties of selecting wedding attire.

Table of Contents

Men’s Wedding Attire by Dress Code
Men’s Wedding Attire by Season
Men’s Wedding Attire by Location
Men’s Wedding Attire by Time of Day
Men’s Wedding Attire by Theme


Men’s Wedding Attire by Dress Code

Many couples choose a dress code for wedding attendees to set expectations, but while some codes are clear, other wedding dress code options leave a lot up to individual interpretation. Don’t let a wedding dress code scare you into your go-to polo shirt. Instead, let us bring you up to speed about what each code means for your wedding attire.

BLACK TIE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
This is a highly formal and specific dress code, so stick to the list: black bow tie, black tuxedo, white tux shirt. Bright colors are a no-go, as are neckties, but there are several other ways you can set yourself apart. Try a tuxedo shirt with a fold-down collar for a modern look, and take the opportunity to accessorize in small ways. Add a pocket square, suspenders, or button studs to your outfit. Black tie wedding attire for men is all about low-key personalization.

What to Wear
Black tuxedo
Black bow tie
White tuxedo shirt
Cufflinks
Button studs (optional)
Pocket square (optional, in black and white)
Black patent leather shoes
Suspenders (optional)

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Black tie wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
The black tie in “Black Tie Optional” isn’t as optional as it sounds. Basically, this is a dress code that lets wedding guests off the hook if they can’t wear a tuxedo. In that case, a dark suit and tie would be acceptable black tie optional wedding attire for men, but wear a tux if you can. You can dress it down, though—try a black satin necktie or a black and white bow tie in a pattern. You can even mix it up with a tux in midnight blue.

What to Wear
Black or midnight blue tuxedo
Black and white satin bow tie or necktie
White tuxedo shirt or dress shirt
Cufflinks
Pocket square (optional)
Black patent leather shoes

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Black tie optional wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

CREATIVE BLACK TIE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
This code keeps the wedding formal, but easing up on all the “rules” is the name of the game here. A tuxedo will fit in nicely with Creative Black Tie, but you can branch out a little, too. Dinner jackets are a good choice, and both neckties and bow ties are welcome in patterns or low-key colors. If you opt for a suit instead, just make sure you dress it up to keep up.

What to Wear
Dinner jacket tuxedo
White tuxedo shirt or dress shirt
Cufflinks
Pocket square
Patent leather shoes or velvet loafers

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Creative black tie wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

COCKTAIL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
Imagine your work is business casual, but you’re going out for the evening and can’t stop home to change your outfit first. Cocktail attire is that happy medium dress code that covers both bases. Aim for a look that can wear it to the office, but one that’s simultaneously dressed up enough for a formal event. If that’s too vague, just make sure your outfit shows a little more personality than your 9 to 5 would merit.

What to Wear
Navy or blue suit
Solid color dress shirt
Necktie or bow tie (patterns optional)
Tie clip (optional)
Cufflinks
Pocket square
Black or brown leather shoes

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Cocktail wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

CASUAL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
While printing the word “casual” on a wedding invitation is admittedly risky, it’s your job (as an adult human) to know better than to wear shorts, denim, or a (gasp) t-shirt to a wedding. Casual wedding attire for men calls for (at least) dress slacks and a blazer, but a suit and dress shirt will definitely cover all your bases. Your look should mesh appropriately in a relaxed atmosphere while respecting the momentous event of a wedding.

What to Wear
Suit (anything but black)
Dress shirt (solids or patterns)
Necktie (optional but recommended)
Pocket Square
Brown suede shoes
Cufflinks (optional)
Suede belt (optional)

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Casual wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

WHITE TIE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means
First of all, who are you? If you’re invited to—or participating in—an event requiring white tie wedding attire, you’re kind of a big deal, and you should probably arrive early… to get through security. This is the most formal dress code, which means tails on the jacket, and possibly a monocle on the eye (just kidding, sort of).

What to Wear
Black tailcoat
White bow tie
Wing tip tuxedo shirt
Button studs
Waistcoat (a sort of vest with lapels)
Black tuxedo pants
Black patent leather shoes

Recommended Wedding Attire:

White tie wedding attire for men

NO DRESS CODE

What It Means
Wow, so much trust here. You want to dress well, but use caution if you’re a guest—you don’t want to outshine the wedding party. Obviously a tuxedo is dangerous territory, so aim somewhere between a Casual and Cocktail dress code outfit.

What to Wear
Charcoal or navy suit
White or solid color dress shirt
Patterned necktie, bow tie, or no tie
White pocket square
Cufflinks
Brown leather shoes

Recommended Wedding Attire:

What to wear when there is no wedding dress code for men
Shop the Look 

Go back to Table of Contents

The Blog Newsletter
Good advice never goes out of style.
Expect magic in your inbox ✨


Men’s Wedding Attire by Season

If you don’t have a dress code to work from, you can take cues from the season and work those vibes into your wedding attire in subtle ways.

FALL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Fall leaf.
You want to start bundle up, but on any given day, this season could serve up temps from 48° to 84°. The key to fall wedding suits or fall wedding tuxedos is layering. Wear a vest that you can easily lose if it gets too warm. If the dress code is casual, let the colors of the season play into your outfit. Choose a pocket square and tie in complementary colors, and find a nice pair of brown leather or suede shoes.

What to Wear:
Navy Suit and Vest
White Dress Shirt
Black Watch Tartan Bow Tie
White Linen Shoestring Pocket Square
Brown Suede Belt
Brown Suede Shoes

Fall Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Fall wedding attire for men

WINTER WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Winter snowflake.
While we’re not totally sure there’s still such a thing as “winter” (P.S. water and food are also on the chopping block, #climatechange) we do have some seasonal recommendations for your look. Many winter weddings are formal, and velvet and corduroy are warm textures that remain low-key when you’re wearing black and white.

What to Wear:
Corduroy Jacket Tuxedo
White Dress Shirt
Menzies Tartan Bow Tie
White Pocket Square
Black and White Cufflinks
Grosgrain Loafers

Winter Wedding Attire Inspiration

Winter wedding attire for men

SPRING WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Spring flower.
Spring is a lot like fall, and depending on where the wedding is happening, it could be warm or chilly. If the forecast looks warm, add some color to your look with accessories, and wear a light colored suit. If it looks to be a colder day, try a grey or blue suit.

What to Wear:
Light Grey Suit
Pink Dress Shirt
Grey Cotton Necktie
Banana Leaf Pocket Square
Brown Belt
Brown Leather Shoes

Spring Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Spring wedding attire for men

SUMMER WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Summer beach ball.
SPF does not stand for Suit Pants-Free. The summer heat means a light colored suit or a white dinner jacket to combat the rays. Also, try to add some texture to your outfit with accessories in chambray, linen, or seersucker, and feel free to skip the socks.

What to Wear:
Tan Suit
Blue Dress Shirt
Seersucker Necktie
Navy Plaid Linen Pocket Square
Brown Suede Shoes

Summer Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Summer wedding attire for men

Go back to Table of Contents


Men’s Wedding Attire by Location

Some locations lend themselves to a very casual atmosphere. If all you have to go on is the location of the wedding, here are your best moves.

BEACH WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Beach ball.
If you’ve been to a beach wedding, you know it’s pretty much the Superbowl of tan or khaki suits. There’s nothing wrong with joining that crowd (although a tan suit at the beach might as well be camouflage), but if you want to do your own thing, consider a light grey or blue suit.

Beach Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Beach wedding attire for men (what to wear to a beach wedding)
Shop the Look 

CRUISE SHIP WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Cruise ship.
Depending on the formality of the wedding, a cruise ship wedding is the perfect opportunity to bust out a white dinner jacket. The ivory jacket was actually invented for use in tropical climates, where, we’ve heard, cruise ships tend to sail. But even if you’re on one of those Alaskan cruises, a white dinner jacket will stand out at a black tie optional cruise ship wedding. If the dress code is more relaxed, watch the weather and dress accordingly: Lighter suit colors for warm weather, darker suit colors for cool weather.

Cruise Ship Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Cruise ship wedding attire
Shop the Look 

MOUNTAIN TOP WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Mountain top.
You probably won’t feel like you’re climbing Everest—unless you’re actually climbing Everest (how romantic/dangerous!)—but it’s going to be colder in high altitudes than it is at the base of the mountain. Even if the dress code isn’t tux-level formal, you’ll want to stick to dark colors, and a 3-piece suit isn’t a bad move for some extra warmth. And add a tie with an appropriately rugged texture to your look.

Mountain Top Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Mountain wedding attire for men

GARDEN WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Flower.
The obvious move here is a floral tie with a light colored suit, but try to find a tie with a subtle floral pattern—if such a thing exists. Otherwise, a not-too-dark suit in grey or blue is a good base to work from, and those suit colors will complement almost any accessory or tie you can throw at them.

Garden Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Garden wedding attire for men

Go back to Table of Contents


Men’s Wedding Attire by Time of Day

Time is on your side when you’re choosing wedding attire. If you know when the wedding starts (and you probably will if you’re attending), you can dress accordingly.

DAYTIME WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Sun.
Wearing a black tux at a daytime wedding is risky, as the black fabric will soak up the sun’s heat. That’s not to say a tuxedo is completely off-limits for daytime wedding attire, but the later in the afternoon the better when it comes to a tux. If the wedding is earlier in the day, a lighter colored suit is a safe, smart bet.

What to Wear:

Daytime wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

NIGHTTIME WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Moon.
Night time is the right time for a dark suit and tie. Night time is also the right time for greasy after-hours snacks, but let’s focus on your outfit. If you’re the groom, or you know the couple’s style, a tuxedo might even be a safe option, but a charcoal or navy suit is always a good choice for evening wedding attire.

What to Wear:

Nighttime wedding attire for men.
Shop the Look 

Go back to Table of Contents


Men’s Wedding Attire by Theme

If you’ve never planned a wedding before, you might be surprised to discover the wide array of wedding themes that actually happen every single weekend of the year. As you’ll see, we selected a few of the most popular wedding themes to cover here, but there are obviously so many more ways a couple could go. At the very least, use this primer as a pattern for identifying ways to use a wedding’s theme to choose your wedding attire.

RUSTIC WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Logs.
It is required that the couple planning a rustic wedding have a passionate love of wood (and ideally, each other). What does that have to do with your outfit? It tells you that it’d be a good move to incorporate varying textures, like a wool necktie, or a simple plaid linen bow tie . It’d also be wise to opt for a darker suit if you’re a guest—tan and khaki is a popular suit color for the wedding party at these weddings. Besides, a charcoal or navy suit will let those brass cufflinks (that you should wear) shine. And this is the perfect time for a 3-piece suit, so don’t forget the vest.

What to Wear:

Rustic wedding attire for men

NAUTICAL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Sailor anchor.
There are a few guidelines here, including a strict policy against using phrases like “Land, ho!” and “Ahoy, matey!” and “Shiver me timbers”—okay, so maybe that’s more pirate than nautical, but we understand each other. Instead, let your clothes do the talking. Work some stripes into your outfit, and make sure to build your look from the colors navy, blue, and white. But if you were thinking about wearing boat shoes with a suit? Well, you’d be better off tossing those in the stokehold (#BoatJokes).

What to Wear:

Nautical wedding attire for men

VINTAGE WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Leaf.
Wrangling the chaos of an upscale vintage flea market into an orderly, coordinated event takes a lot of careful consideration. It won’t take nearly as much effort to put together a look that honors the aesthetic of the day. Vintage weddings invite color and pattern in ways very traditional weddings do not. This is also the right time to bust out unique accessories, like your grandfather’s cufflinks or a funky boutonniere lapel pin. Have fun, but think of your outfit like an old turntable console: Play your favorites, but don’t play them too loud.

What to Wear:

Vintage wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

HOLIDAY WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Present.
Holiday weddings work best when they include subtle reminders of the day’s festive motifs, and the same goes for your outfit. Holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day should inform your look, but don’t go full Santa suit. I repeat, do not go full Santa suit. Don’t even go Santa beard you… lucky, beard-growing machine.

What to Wear:

Holiday wedding attire for men
Shop the Look 

Go back to Table of Contents


 

In a perfect world, we would all have closets overflowing with gorgeous, high-end suits and tuxedos for every possible occasion. If you live in that world, take me there.

The rest of us might need to rent that ruby velvet jacket when we need it, and as most of us know, renting can be a hassle. That’s why we made it simple. Just answer a few questions, order online, and we’ll deliver your outfit to your door—no tux shop required. Plus, it’ll actually fit. Sound good?

Get started here.