Wedding Attire for Men: Complete Guide for the Big Day

Getting ready for the big day just got easier. Choosing men’s wedding attire can be intimidating, but our 2022 guide to wedding attire for men has the answers to your prenuptial style questions.

Wedding Attire for Men: Complete Guide for the Big Day Cover

Whether you’re trying to choose wedding attire for groom or for groomsmen, or just need some help with men’s wedding guest attire, we can point you in the right direction.

Need a shortcut to the perfect look? Check out the chart below and choose your destiny—then read on to get expert tips for selecting wedding attire for men.

 
What to wear to wedding chart
 

If you’re the groom (or planning the groom’s look), you need a wedding outfit men will admire for mere generations as they look back at your wedding photos. That feeling you’re feeling is pressure. Luckily, you’re in the driver’s seat. You can dictate the wedding attire vibe through a dress code, wedding theme, venue, or timing.

As a wedding guest, it’s reasonable to assume you’ll be tagged on some form of social media before the last dance at the reception. Learn what to wear to a wedding now with the wedding details you have, and save yourself hours of tediously untagging pics later.

Table of Contents

Wedding Attire by Dress Code
Wedding Attire by Season
Wedding Attire by Venue
Wedding Attire by Time of Day
Wedding Attire by Wedding Theme


Wedding Attire by Dress Code

Many couples choose a dress code for wedding guests (on the invitation) to set wedding attire expectations. While some are clear, wedding dress code options leave a lot up to individual choices. Put down that polo—we’ll bring you up to speed about what each wedding dress code means for men’s wedding attire.

BLACK TIE MEN’S ATTIRE

What It Means: This is a formal and specific, so stick to the list: black bow tie, black tuxedo, white tux shirt. Bright colors are riskier, as are neckties, but there are several ways you can set yourself apart. Try a tux shirt with a fold-down collar for a modern look, and 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.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Black Shawl Collar Tuxedo by The Black Tux

What to Wear: Black Tuxedo, Black Bow Tie, White Tuxedo Shirt, Cufflinks, Button Studs, White Pocket Square, Black Patent Leather Shoes, and Suspenders.

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BLACK TIE OPTIONAL ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means: The black tie in “Black Tie Optional” isn’t entirely optional. Basically, wedding guests are off the hook if they absolutely cannot wear a tuxedo. A dark suit and tie would be acceptable black tie optional wedding attire for men, but wear a tux if you can. Prefer to dress it down? Try a black satin necktie or a black and white bow tie in a pattern. You can even mix it up with a midnight blue tuxedo rather than black.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Black Peak Lapel Men's Wedding Attire

What to Wear: Black Tux or Midnight Blue Tuxedo, Black and White Satin Bow Tie or Necktie, White Tux Shirt or Dress Shirt, Cufflinks, Pocket Square, and Black Patent Leather Shoes.

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CREATIVE BLACK TIE MEN’S ATTIRE

What It Means: Creative Black Tie keeps the wedding vibe somewhat formal, but the rules are flexible. A tux is still the way to go, but you can branch out a little, too. Dinner jacket looks—a contrasting jacket with black tux pants—are a great choice, and both neckties and bow ties are welcome in patterns or low-key colors. You could also wear a colorful suit for this dress code.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

White Jacket Tux Wedding Attire by The Black Tux

What to Wear: White Dinner Jacket Tuxedo, White Tux Shirt or Dress Shirt, Cufflinks, Pocket Square, and Patent Leather Shoes or Velvet Loafers.

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COCKTAIL WEDDING ATTIRE

What It Means: Imagine your work attire is business casual, but you’re going out for cocktails (get it?) and can’t stop home to change your outfit first. Cocktail attire is that versatile dress code that covers all your bases, and a medium dark suit is usually best. This outfit should show a little more personality than your standard 9 to 5 look—a punchier necktie, a unique pocket square, or some killer shoes would do the trick.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Men's Blue Suit by The Black Tux

What to Wear: Navy or Blue Suit, Solid Color Dress Shirt, Patterned Necktie or Bow Tie, Tie Clip, Cufflinks, Pocket Square, and Black or Brown Leather Shoes.

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CASUAL MEN’S ATTIRE

What It Means: Seeing the word “casual” on an invitation can be confusing for the uninitiated, but most adult humans know better than to wear shorts or denim to a wedding. Casual wedding attire for men requires dress pants and a blazer at minimum, but a suit with a dress shirt and dress shoes is better. Weddings are a big deal, so a “casual” look should mesh appropriately in a relaxed atmosphere while respecting the gravity of the event.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

Light Grey Suit Wedding attire for Men

What to Wear: Suit (not black), Dress Shirt (solids or patterns), Necktie (optional but recommended), Pocket Square, Brown Suede Shoes, Cufflinks (optional), and matching Suede Belt (optional).

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WHITE TIE ATTIRE FOR MEN

What It Means: First of all, just know that you simply cannot burp during this event. Hold it in. This is the most formal dress code, which means tails on the jacket, and possibly a monocle on the eye (just kidding… sort of). Our version below comes close to checking the boxes, but if you get an invite to a White Tie event, you should probably seek stylist guidance.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

White Tie Wedding Attire for Men

What to Wear: Black Tailcoat, White Bow Tie, Wing Tip Tuxedo Shirt, Button Studs, White Waistcoat (a sort of vest with lapels), Black Tuxedo Pants, and Black Patent Leather Shoes.

NO DRESS CODE

What It Means: If you’re the one planning this wedding, we strongly recommend offering guests a dress code to help them prepare with confidence. If you’re a wedding guest, proceed with caution—you don’t want to outshine the wedding party. A tuxedo could be overdoing it, so aim somewhere between a casual and cocktail attire dress code outfit. You could also check the wedding venue for clues on how to dress.

Recommended Wedding Attire:

3-Piece Grey Men's Wedding Suit

What to Wear: Charcoal or Navy Suit, White or Solid Color Dress Shirt, Patterned Necktie, Bow Tie, or no tie. White Pocket Square, Cufflinks, and Brown Leather Shoes.

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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 leaf icon

FALL WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

We all love bundling up in the fall, but on any given day, this season could serve up temps from 48° to 84°. The key 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.

Fall Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Fall Wedding Attire for Men Navy Suit

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

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Winter snowflake icon

MEN’S WINTER WEDDING ATTIRE

We’re not totally sure there’s still such a thing as “winter” (#climatechange), but we do have some seasonal suggestions for your look. Many winter weddings are formal, and velvet is a warm texture that can even bring some festive cheer to an otherwise low-key black and white tux.

Winter Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Winter Wedding Attire for Men velvet 3 tuxedos

What to Wear: Velvet Jacket Tuxedo, White Dress Shirt, Black Pin Dot Bow Tie, White Pocket Square, Black and White Cufflinks, and Grosgrain Loafers.

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Spring flower icon

SPRING WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Weather-wise, spring is a lot like fall—it could be warm or it could be chilly, maybe in the same 24-hour span. 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.

Spring Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Spring Men's Wedding Attire

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

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Summer beach ball icon

MEN’S SUMMER WEDDING ATTIRE

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.

Summer Wedding Attire Inspiration:

Tan Suit Summer Wedding Attire for Men

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

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Wedding Attire by Venue

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

Beach icon

WHAT TO WEAR TO A BEACH WEDDING

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.

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Cruise ship icon

WHAT TO WEAR TO A CRUISE SHIP WEDDING

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.

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Mountaintop icon

WHAT TO WEAR TO A MOUNTAINTOP WEDDING

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.

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Plant icon

WHAT TO WEAR TO A GARDEN WEDDING

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.

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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.

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DAYTIME WEDDING ATTIRE FOR MEN

Black fabric will soak up the sun’s heat, so wearing a tuxedo in the daytime can get toasty and roasty. 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 to Daytime Weddings:

Blue 3-Piece Suit Wedding Attire

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Moon icon

NIGHTTIME MEN’S WEDDING ATTIRE

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 to Night Weddings:

Charcoal Men's Wedding Attire

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Attire by Wedding Theme

If you’re new to weddings, there’s a surprisingly wide array of wedding themes that are actually incorporated into the wedding attire and decor. We’ve covered the most popular wedding themes below, but there are so many different ways a couple could go. Work with the details you have to use a wedding’s theme to choose your look.

Logs and ax icon

RUSTIC ATTIRE FOR MEN

When planning a rustic wedding, it is required that the couple 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. Don’t forget the shoes–this is a great opportunity for a footwear flex. Something in brown suede, or a black leather shoe with a wood sole.

What to Wear to a Rustic Wedding:

Rustic Shoes Wedding Attire for Men

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Sailor anchor icon

NAUTICAL MEN’S WEDDING ATTIRE


There are a few guidelines here, including a strict policy against using phrases like “Ahoy, matey!” Just say “hello,” and 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 to a Nautical Wedding:

Nautical Ties Men's Wedding Attire

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Feather icon

VINTAGE ATTIRE FOR MEN


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 to a Vintage Wedding:

Vintage Accessories Wedding Attire for Men

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Gift icon

FESTIVE ATTIRE


Festive or 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. Don’t even go Santa beard you… lucky, beard-growing machine. Go full emerald suit.

What to Wear to a Festive Wedding:

Holiday Wedding Attire for Men

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Modern men’s wedding attire, on demand.

In a perfect world, each of us would all have wardrobes 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 from time to time, and renting can be a hassle. That’s why we made it simple. Whether you want that suit for a week or for keeps, just answer a few questions to find the perfect sizes, order entirely online, and we’ll deliver your outfit to your door—no tux shop required.

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