Dress to impress: How to look incredible as a wedding guest
Knowing what to wear to a wedding can be hard for men. If you don’t have a strong understanding of suits, materials, colours and fits, you might think there’s a lack of options. But you’d be wrong.
To help open your eyes to the range of possibilities open to you, we’ve put together everything you need to know about suit styling for the big day. Learn about materials, colour options, seasonal styles and what to wear when there is a dress code in place. Achieve a look that you can wear time and time again with our guide on wedding guest dressing.
How to choose the right wedding suit
What counts as a wedding suit? Whether you opt for a more classic style like the reliable three-piece or want to stand out in bright blue hues or rustic tweed fabrics, a wedding guest suit can be anything you want it to be.
But choosing the right suit can be tricky. Being bold and adventurous means you’re unlikely to look exactly like the groom, all while letting you express a little more personality than your go-to grey polyester.
To fully understand the right suit style for you, first you’ll want to explore different fits.
Nothing dresses a man like a perfectly fitting suit. While you may find the standardised S, M & L in regular men’s sizing, suit sizing is extremely different. With sizes that detail both width and length, finding the perfect fit to suit your size is crucial.
To figure out your body measurements, you’ll need a measuring tape — or alternatively, head to a tailor. This way, you can guarantee that your suit will fit exactly as it should.
There are three main types of suit fits that you can choose from:
- Slim Fit — Streamlined and stylish, slim fit is the narrowest cut out of the three. Presenting a sharp silhouette, the suit jacket sits snug on the shoulders, chest and arms, while the suit trousers are tapered toward the ankle. Versatile and modern, a slim fit suit is a go-to for many on special occasions.
- Tailored Fit — Less fitted than its slim fit counterpart, a tailored suit is timeless. Featuring a shaped waist and clean lines, a tailored suit sits comfortably to define your chest, arms and shoulders. To finish off the suit smartly, the trouser leg is tapered off.
- Regular Fit — A traditional fit with a regular cut, a regular suit fits looser in the body. Featuring a broader fit through the arms, legs and shoulders, this fit guarantees comfort and style.
Whichever fit you choose, make sure you start with comfort before style. If you can’t look relaxed in your suit, it won’t look good no matter how nice the cut.
Following the dress code
Black Prince Edward Hirewear Outfit — £92.00
A white tie wedding is as formal as they come. For men, this means a black suit jacket with traditional tails and matching trousers. The trousers should match the fabric and colour of the coat and tails; they’ll often have a noticeable seam running through the front. This look is best worn with polished black dress shoes and a sharp pocket square. Although white tie weddings are uncommon, it’s always good to be prepared.
Two-Piece Black Dinner Suit — From £110
A formal and specific dress code. If you’re invited to a black-tie wedding, expect a monochrome colour scheme. From the cufflinks to the trousers, every detail of this dinner suit has to be crisp. Style with a matching black bowtie and this black dinner suit will leave you feeling like James Bond.
Fellini Trav. RD155L — £85.00
If you’re invited to the evening reception, class is key. While the wedding has already taken place, you still want to show up dressed dapper and ready to stand out. For this, we suggest a crisp blue suit with a matching tie and pocket square. If you’re attending a more relaxed event, opt for no tie and unbutton the top of the shirt for an acceptable laidback look.
Blue & Rust Check Slim Fit Three Piece Suit — From £225
If you’re wondering what exactly a cocktail dress code is, let us help you out. Simply put, a cocktail dress code means a suit that is well-fitting and in good condition. Ideally, you’re looking for a suit that is made with heavier fabric and structured in a way to appear broader across the shoulders, arms and chest. A classic three-piece suit with check detailing will help to show off your personality whilst still dressing to impress.
Spirit Of Bannockburn Hirewear Kilt Outfit — £110
Whether it’s family heritage or personal taste, wearing a kilt for a Highland wedding is a tradition. Ensure that you’re properly suited and booted for a Scottish wedding by matching your kilt to the family clan or incorporate the wedding colour scheme into your attire. Team this traditional garment with a Prince Charlie jacket, Sgian Dhu and Ghillie Brogues for an effortlessly stylish finish. Or why not reinvent this classic look and opt for a pair of tartan trousers for a relaxed style that still gives your outfit a sharp edge?
Navy Tapered Chino — £59.00
Beige Blazer — £59.00
Tailored Double Cuff Long Sleeve Textured Shirt — £19.00
If you’ve been hit with a ‘Smart Casual’ dress code, there’s no need to panic. Put simply, this dress code encourages guests to look polished, without having to go fully formal. Chinos work perfectly when teamed with a light-coloured or neutral-toned blazer, while a crisp, button-down white shirt complements the ensemble excellently. If you’re looking to accessorise, opt for a pair of sterling silver cufflinks and a tan leather belt.
Navy Linen Waistcoat- £39
Did someone say “destination wedding”? If the wedding party is getting married abroad, it’s time to think of linen and cotton as your main materials. A pair of lightweight cotton shorts in a cream or stone colourway is guaranteed to keep you cool and adds a level of breathability to your outfit. Style with a white, blue or cream short sleeve shirt and a pair of aviator sunglasses. If you’re wanting something a little more formal, throw on a linen blazer in a neutral tone so you won’t overheat in the sun.
Dress for the season
The fabric of a suit can make or break an outfit. While heavier materials are often associated with formidable price tags, lighter blends like polyester and linen have become popular in recent years. Choosing the right fabric is a crucial stage in your selection process: this is a suit you’re likely going to be wearing all day, after all. It has to be comfortable, breathable and wearable.
Spring & Summer
Stone Linen Tailored Blazer — £89.00
As the weather warms up, wedding attire becomes a little more relaxed. While the British weather can be unpredictable, spring and summer is the most common time of year for couples to tie the knot. Tailoring in light, neutral and pastel shades are a favourite for spring and summer weddings. A linen or cotton blend suit will keep you cool and allow the suit to breathe, should the sun be beating down. Finish this look with a pair of matching trousers and brown dress shoes to make you look the part.
Autumn & Winter
Grey Check Tailored Tweed Three Piece Suit — £145
Dressing for an autumn or winter wedding can be a challenge. Not only is the weather dropping below minus degrees, but the chance of rain or snow is also highly increased.
Fabrics like wool and tweed are essential for the colder months. The thick material helps to insulate heat, so it’s important that you go for a fully-lined suit in order to ensure maximum warmth. When picking your suit, think grey, navy blue, black or taupe as your main colour scheme, as darker tones are more commonly associated with winter weddings.
Dress like the perfect guest
Now that you know how to dress for a wedding as a guest, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Whether it be at a summer or winter wedding, on the beach or styling for a black-tie dress code, we’ve got you covered. At Slater Menswear, we have a huge selection of suits, shirts and trousers to suit every occasion in the calendar.
Head over to our style inspiration hub for more expert fashion advice.