Fashion, Lifestyle, Style

Our Modern Guide To Dressing For Wedding Season

Wedding season is upon us and chances are you’re going to be a guest or a groom. But there’s more to a wedding than bottomless booze and teary speeches — there are sartorial rules. What’s more, these aren’t the kind of rules that can easily be ignored, like office attire regulations or costume party themes. This is an event the people pay a lot of money to have beautiful pictures taken at. The rules are also there for your protection — no one wants to be the odd one out, hiding behind a flower wall for fear of embarrassment. So pay attention as we’ve compiled the definitive dos and don’ts for modern wedding dressing.


DO accessorise with thoughtful, subtle details. Try a stickpin in your tie and let it hold up a slight fold for an air of sophistication. Braces can be a nice touch if you’re the type to take a jacket off. Colour-block socks — not novelty socks — and sunglasses can be a subtle way to channel your personality.

DON’T wear the suit you wear every day. Opt for peak lapels – as opposed to the more ordinary notch lapels – to help usher in the air of occasion. So do one or two button jackets, rather than the more corporate three-button style.

DO follow the dress code. If there isn’t one, ask. And if the invite is a tastefully thick card with exquisite calligraphy, our bet is that it’s going to be a formal affair, so be prepared.

DON’T match your pocket square to your tie. George Clooney made the mistake of doing that at the recent Royal Wedding and he stood out like a sore thumb.

DO press your suit before you leave. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a wedding in a crumpled shirt and trousers, which can be easily done if you’ve just gotten off a plane and dumped your bags at the hotel room. If you’re rushed for time, hang up your suit and shirt in the bathroom while you’re having a hot shower and the steam will help iron out creases. Or just give it an iron for real crispness.

DON’T wear brogues or any other casual shoes unless the dress code is informal. Oxfords are smarter. If you’re changing into a tux, pair it with patent lace-ups for a slick finish to your shoes. And don’t forget to polish and shine – the more tired your arms are, the brighter they’ll sparkle.

DO know your audience and respect tradition. If it’s a traditional English wedding, a morning suit (tails, striped trousers and waistcoat) is a must and there’s not much room for personalisation. It should be well fitted and streamlined, so if you’re renting one you might want to try a smaller size than your regular fit. If it’s a non-Western wedding, a nod to the culture won’t go amiss. Just don’t take it too far – ask for tips from those whose culture it is.

DON’T wear a tux until after 6PM. It’s like drinking whisky in the morning or wearing pyjamas in the afternoon, both of which you definitely shouldn’t do. Take your cue from the dress code, as you don’t want to be overdressed and upstage the groom. Black tie means a tux. White tie means a white tux jacket.

DO tie your own bow tie. Look at YouTube tutorials for how to tie one, as it will always looks better than a clip-on.

DON’T leave your wedding suit shopping to the last minute. That’s a rookie mistake. Failure to prepare is preparation to fail.

DO shave or trim your beard. It’s the right thing to do. Clean-shaven is best, but a beard should look less ‘caveman’ and more Edwardian nobleman.

DON’T wear a black suit – it may make you look like a waiter. Grey or blue are universally recognised as more suitable (pun intended) options.

DO leave your wallet at home. All you’ll need is your phone and credit card. Minimal bulk for maximum impact.

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