What You Should Wear: Men's Wedding Guest Attire Dos and Don’ts

Going to a wedding and unsure what to wear? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Consider us your menswear consultants. 

What exactly qualifies men’s wedding guest attire? From men’s suits to tuxedos to loafers and shorts, here’s what you should be wearing. 

For the Formal Wedding 

The formal wedding is just short of going all out to the nines. Keep it classy without looking like you just rolled in from a Hedge Fund party. 

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What to Wear 

If you’re thinking of traditional wedding wear, for men, that includes:

  • Dark colored suit or tuxedo
  • A collared dress shirt without a pattern
  • Dress shoes that match the color of your suit
  • A suitable necktie – this is where you can add some flair, if you want

What You Shouldn’t Do

Here’s the exact things to avoid: 

  • Suit jackets and pants that don’t match
  • Casual shoes 
  • Flashy colors that could upstage the groom
  • Metal accessories that don’t match – e.g., gold cufflinks, a black zirconium ring and a silver face with a brown watch band 

The Relaxed-Yet-Formal Wedding 

So you’re keeping it cool without going for the backyard wedding look? Here’s what you need to do. 

What to Wear

Here’s your best choice, short and simple: Wear a suit, a dress shirt, a necktie and loafers. That’s it. Keep it casual while still hitting the mark.  

Know Your Limits

You want to keep it cool without overdoing it and without going too simple. Rules of thumb? Don’t wear a tux, do not wear sneakers, leave the jeans at home and forget the cufflinks. Think of it as being middle of the road – the guy who doesn’t overdo it, who hits it just right.

portrait man wearing tuxedo

The Backyard Wedding 

Sometimes a couple wants a simple wedding. This calls for simple outfits, so keep it simple – without looking too casual. 

What You Should Do

Don’t go too simple. Rather, stay comfortable without looking like you’re relaxing at home. We recommend a pair of khakis or chinos, a collared button-up shirt or polo and a pair of comfortable dress shoes.  

Don’t Do This, Please

First and foremost, you may want to wear your best t-shirt, but leave it at home. Go with a polo or a short-sleeve button-up. Second, leave the tie at home. They’re asking you to keep it relaxed, and no one wants to feel like it’s casual Friday in the financial district. Lastly, do not wear sandals. You may be able to get away with it for a beach wedding, but you should still aim for something like loafers. You’ll still look good without looking like you just rolled in from a good surf. 

Grab the Fancy Pants 

Are your friends or family throwing a black-tie affair? If so, now is the time to get fancy, but never to a point of overdoing it. Here’s how you can nail the look without looking like Mr. MoneyShoes. 

What to Do 

If the wedding calls for black-tie, you should wear black. Get a black tuxedo and run with it. If you can’t get a black tux or don’t own one, consider going for dark blue. It’s not perfect, but it will allow you to get as close to the look as possible. 

Next, make sure you’re pairing the right shoes with your tuxedo. Your best choice is pairing dark shoes with your tuxedo – something that blends in. Velvet and leather are great choices when it comes to material. For style, choose traditional tuxedo shoes, oxfords or loafers. If you must, short Chelsea boots can work just as well. 

Lastly, wear a classic, collared dress shirt with your tuxedo. The color depends on your choosing, although white can’t be beat. You should always pair a tux with a collared dress shirt. It’s just the right look. 

photo shoot of groomsmen dancing

What to Avoid 

The few rules when it comes to black-tie events can be simplified into one rule to follow: don’t overdo it. Black-tie calls for keeping it simple. So don’t overthink it. No flashy jacket, no frilly clothing, no bright additions – nothing that brings more attention to you over the groom. 

Find the Manliest Ring for Your Finger

If you’re looking to get the most out of the next wedding you attend, you need to make sure you’re wearing exactly what you’re supposed to. It doesn’t hurt to offer some good tips to the groom either, whether it’s related to their tuxedo choice or the wedding ring they’re looking for.

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