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What To Wear to Your Next Summer Wedding

Here’s how to make sense of the dress code printed on that invitation.

Date: 2021-08-03

Ready, set, weddings! Many of us have come out of the last year and a half with a stack of wedding invitations. These invitations often include hints at what you should wear. Sometimes they’re clear, sometimes they’re cryptic (“Rustic Elegance?”), but one suit does not fit all weddings. So, to help you avoid showing up to a “Beach Formal” wedding in “Black Tie”, here’s a quick guide on how to look your best no matter the wedding dress code.

Black Tie, Formal

While we don’t know that there will be a lot of black tie events scheduled over the next two or three months, there is value in knowing the nuances. Black tie means a tuxedo or cocktail jacket with a bow tie. We recommend patent leather shoes or evening slippers. However, black tie doesn’t always mean you must wear black. A handsome navy or ivory could work as well. Exuberant cocktail jackets from Etro and TOM FORD are onside as well.

Does your invitation say “Formal” (a.k.a. black tie optional)? This usually implies that you wear a simple suit-and-tie outfit – a nice navy or grey is usually a safe bet, keeping the underpinnings on formal side.

Semiformal, Cocktail Attire

Semiformal will usually call for the same navy or grey suit we mentioned above. For the summer months, we suggest you opt for a piece of tailoring in a linen or a cotton to keep your cool. This dress code will also allow for more vibrant underpinnings. Perhaps you mix in a gingham or striped dress shirt (feel free to do a button-down collar). A patterned tie is also called for. Looking for something a little more summer-appropriate?. We also love a more casual knit tie in a neutral colour. Finish things off with smart loafers or other slip-on footwear.

Dressy Casual, Casual

Invitations with dress codes on the more casual side obviously mean you can leave your tuxedo at home, but you should still honour special day. Khakis or slim dress trousers with a soft button-up shirt (without a tie) or a logoless polo shirt. We would suggest something more formal than a pique polo; the below cotton-silk style from ZEGNA won’t fail you. And on your feet? Slip-on shoes, leather sneakers or espadrilles will bring casual elegance to the occasion.