questionswhat is proper men's attire for a wedding?

vote-for9vote-against gotta wear clothes!


I don't even know if I'm allowed to take off my jacket if I get too hot...

I know these are my friends and the day is not about me, but I don't want to attract attention for wearing something too formal/too casual or as I mentioned, being noticed by being covered in so much sweat that it looks like I just dove into a pool fully dressed.

I immediately thought of going navy suit, gray shirt, silver/gray striped tie because I like the contrast and it's not as boring as black suit/white shirt/black tie, but it's the type of gray that could really show sweat.

Should I bring an extra pair of khakis to change into just in case it's casual? An extra shirt if I sweat through the first one? A towel so I can mop myself off?


I would go with a navy blazer, subdued patterned shirt and some nice khaki pants. Proper leather shoes, of course. I think a suit in the summertime is too much unless you're going to go for some seersucker. That's always a win.

edit: skip the tie, ties are ridiculous in the heat. you're not in the wedding party so no need to overdo it.


@zuiquan: :| I named literally everything in my clothing arsenal. Perhaps I should have named this thread "What should I wear to a wedding?"

I have heard that wearing a suit jacket with khakis is a no-go as it appears very obvious it is not a blazer. Should I go no coat at all? Or is that too casual?

Thanks for the advice on the tie. I was planning on wearing one and if I saw people without one, I would take it off. Seems easier than having to tie one as the wedding party is making their way down the aisle.

I do have my polished leather black oxfords ready to go!


@curtisuxor: That's a tough one. I'd bite the bullet and go buy a blazer just so I'd be comfortable but that's me. I can't stand wearing a suit if I don't have to. Also, they're hard to dress down, you're going to look like you're wearing suit separates no matter how you put them together. Which can look awfully strange depending on the cut and style of the suit.


@curtisuxor: Call the country club, and ask what the normal expected attire might be for this event. They may or may not be helpful, but it's a really good start on what will be acceptable.

I may be back later with more concrete suggestions.


Got a lady friend? Ask her, she'll know. Otherwise a black suit is always acceptable to something like this. That's what I'd probably wear, honestly, and most churches are air conditioned so you're not going to die. At least something with a jacket.


The odds are that both the church and the country club will be air conditioned, and I assume you have air conditioning in your car. So mostly where you are vulnerable is moving from the car to the buildings. I live in the desert so I know that even that little bit of exposure can still bring on the sweat, especially if you had to leave your car in the sun and have to wait for it to cool down. However, while you don't want to stand out, most people would rather stand out for being better dressed than those around them rather than worse. So unless you are able to poll some of the other male guests as to what they will be wearing, I'd go with the outfit you planned. Maybe wear a white shirt to the wedding and change to a colored shirt for the reception, making you feel fresher and giving you a more "party" look. I also agree you should start with a tie and adjust as seems appropriate.


The new trend is a vest for summer. You can get a formal/business vest cheap at like JCPor TJMAX or Marshals. I think a tie is a must at least for the church, you can take it off after the toast at the reception. And don't go with khaki's to a weeding unless you know it is casual, buy a pair of black slacks/pants.

Another option is that many small tux shops will rent you a suite for like 40 bucks. Get a 3 peice, so you can take off the jacket and still look good. Usually if you are going to a country club for a reception IMHO it is usually nicer than casual.

Edit: Sears has a vest right now for ~$25 Link


Definitely go with a suit; it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. The black one might be a better call if you are worried about visibly sweating, but the church and country club should both be air conditioned, so hopefully it won't be an issue.


Go with a suit, but not a white shirt/black tie combination - that's a little too old-school. Wear one of the grey or colored shirts and a tie that matches, and feel free to remove the jacket at any time if it's too hot. Being a guest not in the wedding party, you're probably really fine to skip the jacket, except for the country club reception, it's possible they have a stricter dress code.

Plan on spending most of your time at the reception with your jacket hanging on the back of a chair, but do wear it as you walk in.

Edit - also feel free to loosen up or remove your tie once the reception starts, but I'd wear it for the ceremony.


Go with the suit. The rule of thumb is to start more formal than might be necessary; you can always ditch the jacket at the reception. Unless otherwise specified, weddings are pretty much grown-up-dress-up affairs, and it's always better to be a little over-dressed than too casual.

I like the suggestion of taking a second shirt along as a back-up if the reception is more casual or if you just want to feel refreshed.

If the reception is like many/most I've been to, the women will end up kicking off their shoes so they can dance better, men will shuck their ties, and everyone will be comfortable. It's really just a big party of folks there to share the bridal couple's happy day.


It is easy for guys, they just need a suit.


Suit it up. Don't be afraid to get very very formal. Worst case scenario, you might attract a bit of attention, but the only thing people will be saying is, "check out that guy with the snappy outfit". Unless you wear a clown suit or a full on tux with a gold cummerbund or some nonsense, nobody will think you are stealing attention. It is very normal to dress up. Even if you are going to a wedding for hippies, you might look a little conservative (easily rectified with some mannerism tweaks if you're concerned about that image), but hopefully not out of place.

Plus you always shed layers at reception anyway. Make sure to wear a decent undershirt if you're worried about getting hot, that way you can even unbutton your dress shirt all the way (I dance a lot at weddings, it gets hot).


@countdown: Agreed, definitely wear an undershirt (a real undershirt with sleeves, not a "wife-beater" tank), it can soak up a lot of sweat and prevent embarrassing wet spots on your dress shirt.


I wouldn't worry about the heat both venues should be air-conditioned.

I agree with those who said it is better to overdress than underdress. When in doubt, wear a dark suit with a white or light blue shirt and a contrasting tie. Polished dress shoes and matching belt. Getting a haircut a few days before the event is a good idea too.

With a dress shirt, regardless of how hot it is, you need to wear a white tshirt underneath.


@hessem: Oh, actually with a white shirt if you're counting on taking off the jacket later, you want to be careful that your undershirt isn't going to show through your dress shirt. Thicker dress shirts are fine & won't show, but otherwise it's a bit of a faux pas to see a guy's undershirt under the dress shirt. HOWEVER, if the dress shirt is a thin enough fabric where that's happening, it's likely that while you're darting quickly from A/C building to A/C building, you likely won't build up much of a sweat and you'll be good. Bring another shirt and antiperspirant just in case though.


Don't assume the church is air conditioned; check first. I went to 2 summer weddings and the both weren't air conditioned!

We've been to lots of weddings. DH always picks out one of his two suits. Changes it up with a different shirt and/or tie. I'm jealous. Very jealous.


Another point to consider: What time of day is the wedding? Usually the later in the day (evening), the more formal your attire should be.


@figgers3036: If the shirt's that thin, isn't it more of a faux pas to see the guy's nipple through the shirt?


As a woman, I find men's limited clothing choices depressing. In a perfect world, you should be able to wear a seersucker suit in hot weather without feeling like a fool. Straw hat optional.