Are you curious about what you should wear to your sibling's, cousin's, or, if you are the groom, even your own wedding?
Perhaps you are even a little nervous about dressing in attire that isn’t appropriate for men attending a wedding.
There are a lot of options you have to consider. Do you rent or do you buy a suit? What kind of suit do you get? A three piece? A tuxedo? What colours? What fabrics? And once you have that suit, what do you wear with it? A necktie? Bow tie?
Nathon Kong has guided many of his clients to successfully dressing in wedding attire, giving concrete advice for every man’s unique situation. Here, we will outline a complete guide of everything you should wear to your next wedding by going over all of your options piece by piece.
Overall Wedding Attire Guide for Men
1. Men’s Wedding suit
The wedding suit is the basis of all wedding attire for men.
Even if you are neither a groomsman or a groom, you really should wear a suit. Across the board, suits are generally considered the most appropriate form of wedding attire for men.
What you have to consider when choosing your wedding attire is how comfortable you would feel around the other guests at the wedding. If you were to wear something really nontraditional, would you feel out of place in a room of men wearing suits? If so, you will probably want to stick to a suit.
Now, the question is, should you rent a suit, buy one off the rack, or have one custom made?
It is a very complex question, and the answer will vary from person to person. One of the big things to consider is the cost and how often you see yourself using a suit.
Will this wedding be the one and only time you use a suit for the foreseeable future? Then it would perhaps be better and less expensive to rent a wedding guest suit or a tuxedo.
On the other hand, if you will need a suit again and you’re sure your body won’t change much between wearing a suit now and then, it would make more sense to buy a suit or even a custom made suit.
Renting or buying an off the rack suit does have their drawbacks.
Suits that are rented and off the rack suits are premade. This is what the term off the rack means. It is a suit that is already on a clothing rack and waiting to be bought. It is made in a standard size, but not really made to fit a man well.
Custom, bespoke suits or tuxedos are of a higher quality than premade suits and usually what you want to wear to a wedding. In general, grooms will want their suits custom made, but this can also be an option for wedding guests. Weddings are special, unique, and formal occasions. A higher quality of attire is appropriate.
At weddings, a lot of pictures are going to be taken. You're going to want to look your best, and nothing looks better than a tailored made suit that fits you perfectly.
For men, designing a bespoke suit for your wedding attire is an experience that can be very enjoyable as you choose what you want your suit to look like.
Tell Your Story With Nathon Kong
Design a suit unique to you.
When you design a suit with Nathon Kong, you work with a fashion designer to create a suit that is uniquely yours. The lining of each Nathon Kong suit incorporates exclusive art by a member of Les Impatients.
Les Impatients is a nonprofit organisation that supports artists with mental health troubles through therapeutic art programs. We donate 10% of the profits made from the sale of suits to Les Impatients so support their project and participants.
Each artwork tells the story of the artist's journey to mental wellness. When you wear a Nathon Kong suit, you share and become a part of that story.
Let Nathon Kong be a part of your story.
2. Wedding Shirt
A nice shirt is a must have for a man’s wedding attire, regardless of what else they are wearing with their outfit.
If you are going to wear a bespoke suit as your wedding guest or groom suit, you may want a bespoke shirt that fits you as comfortably as your suit. Most bespoke shirts are either single-ply or two-ply.
Ply refers to the number of yarns that are twisted together to make a thread. 1 ply shirts are light and breathable. 2 ply shirts are thicker but are stretchier and smoother. Both are comfortable to wear under a bespoke suit.
You need a good wedding shirt for your suit.
Men’s Accessories for Weddings
1. Protective Silk Face Masks for Men
Make the most of protective face masks by adding them to your attire.
Some weddings and venues may require you to wear a protective face mask.
Medical masks may not go well with the rest of your wedding attire, but Nathon Kong offers protective silk face masks that look great with men’s suits. As with the other silk fashion accessories, silk face masks have a shine that makes them look beautiful with suits and at weddings.
2. Wedding Ties
Neckties are classic fashion accessories to wear for a wedding and with a suit. It’s hard to go wrong wearing one as part of your wedding attire.
When it comes to picking a tie for your suit as a wedding guest, silk neckties are especially appropriate for men because of their glossy appearance.
Silk neckties are perfect accessories for weddings.
3. Wedding Bow Ties
A wedding is a great time to wear a bow tie.
When would you wear a bow tie instead of a necktie? In most cases, you can wear one or the other interchangeably.
However, bow ties tend to be considered a much more formal men’s accessory than neckties. Most men reserve bow ties for special occasions while others make it a part of their everyday outfit.
Either way, wearing a silk bow tie with a suit as a wedding guest can be an excellent replacement for a tie.
Bow ties can replace neckties for weddings.
4. Wedding Pocket Squares
Pocket squares are a great fashion accessory to wear to a wedding. They are almost necessary when wearing a bespoke suit or a tuxedo.
Pocket squares can add colour and variation to the usual monotony of a suit blazer. You can keep it simple with a white or solid pocket square, but since a wedding is a special event, you can also get very fancy with it.
There are options for silk pocket squares with intricate designs that can add more to a man's wedding attire. How you fold the pocket square for a wedding can also change the way this accessory appears on your suit.
A silk pocket square can add a lot to your suit.
5. Men’s Silk Scarf
If you want to wear a wedding outfit that is perhaps a little less traditional, you can do it by wearing a silk scarf.
Nathon is sometimes asked about his style and how he looks so nice while keeping his attire simple. His answer: wear a scarf.
A silk scarf is an easy way to to make a suit look nice.
Scarves can go really well with a man’s suit, making your outfit look different while keeping it recognizable as wedding attire.
Michel LeBlanc, Canadian Entrepreneur and Nathon Kong Ambassador
Always Check the Wedding Invitation
We’ve gone over some of the basics to men’s wedding attire:
However, your attire for a coming wedding may have already been decided for you.
Many brides and grooms will specify what sort of attire or look they will want their wedding to have in their wedding invitations.
A lot of these terms can be vague and unspecific, like ‘black tie,’ or ‘semi formal.’
So… what do those styles of suit combinations mean?
We’ll go over some of the most common ones right now. Brides and grooms looking for wedding inspiration on how they want their guests to dress can find some in this list.
This is the most common type of wedding attire worn by men for weddings. A black tie event is very formal and usually means you want to wear a tuxedo with a, well, black tie.
The neckwear worn with this outfit is usually a bow tie, since bow ties go best with tuxedos. However, you can also wear a black necktie.
Grooms should definitely wear a pocket square. Whether or not you want to wear a pocket square as a wedding guest is up to you. You may choose to do so if you feel your attire needs a little bit of colour, but stick to a simple white pocket square folded into a square fold.
The sort of tuxedo you wear to the wedding will depend on a lot of different factors. Who is going to the wedding? Where is it taking place?
If the wedding is taking place in a reception hall or somewhere equally fancy, you may want to wear a men’s luxury tuxedo, like a smoking jacket. Either way, you will want to wear some sort of waist coat with the tuxedo.
A Word on Black Wedding Tuxedos
We’ve spoken before about how men should avoid wearing black to a wedding. Black tends to be associated with funerals, and may not be an appropriate choice of colour for most weddings.
Some online sources may also say tuxedos are too formal for weddings.
In most cases, these are good instincts. However, when the bride and groom ask men to dress in a certain way–in black tie, for example–you have to throw these instincts aside.
This is the bride and groom’s day, and you should respect their vision of their wedding and the attire they want their guests to wear.
Some wedding invitations may also say that the guest dress code is black tie optional. This gives you a little more breathing room when deciding what kind of suit to wear.
Black tie optional basically means you can choose if you want to wear a black tie or a tuxedo or not.
If you decide not to, you should try to keep your outfit as close to black tie as possible.
You can wear a dark suit (black, dark grey, or navy work here) instead of a tuxedo.
While you may not exactly be wearing a black bow tie or necktie, you should wear some sort of neckwear and keep its style as close to black as possible.
If a wedding invitation asks for semi formal attire, then a tuxedo would be much too formal for men to wear. You will want to stick to a suit and a necktie.
The details of the suit will really depend on where the wedding is taking place and when.
Here are some rules of thumb you can follow. For colour, lighter colours are better for spring and summer wedding attire for men, while darker colours are for the fall and winter. For fabrics, lighter for spring and summer, heavier for fall and winter.
You will usually want to wear some sort of tie for your outfit, and you may even want to wear a pocket square with it to make your wedding outfit even more formal.
Casual Wedding Attire
Casual wedding attire is a lot more relaxed than other forms of wedding attire while still remaining formal.
Casual wedding attire is very common for weddings taking place during the summer, when the wedding is more likely to be outdoors or even on a beach.
Men have a little more freedom in choosing what kind of suit combination they would like to wear.
You can wear lighter colours for these weddings, like beige, and your dress shirt can be of a colour other than white. Your wedding shirt can also have a simple, printed pattern, like plaid.
Casual weddings are where you want to accessorise. This may be the one occasion where you want to avoid wearing a necktie, which can be seen as too formal for this event.
Instead, wedding guests should wear creative but formal accessories with their suits: bow ties with patterns or silk scarves. With suits, wear an interesting pocket square.
How will you be dressing for your wedding?
Does your wedding invitation have no instructions about the dress code? Or is it something odd, like the ever elusive ‘cowboy themed’ wedding?
You should talk with the bride and groom about your wedding attire and ask them what they prefer the men wedding guests to wear. If they don’t have any suggestions or preferences, then consider some of the recommendations we talked about above. But always keep in mind…
Every Wedding is Formal
Even when a wedding invitation says the wedding is supposed to be a ‘casual’ event, you still should always aim to dress in formal attire. Men should try to wear a suit and tie in some form.
Weddings don’t happen very often. You are often meeting extended family and new family at these events. Wearing proper wedding attire for men makes sure you look good and are making a good impression.
Fashion Accessories With a Purpose
As with bespoke suits, Nathon Kong's fashion accessories incorporate art by participants of Les Impatients. Each work tells a story of mental health recovery.
Silk fashion accessories can be bought online and shipped to anywhere in Canada or the United States. Each art piece is made in limited edition and shipped in a gift box with a certificate of authenticity recounting the story of the artist.
Have a question about men’s clothing or something you want to tell us? Be sure to leave a comment or read some of the related articles below.
Read about how to best match a designer tie with a dress suit.
Read advice on picking out a luxury silk pocket square to go with your suit or tuxedo.
Why mulberry silk and premium cotton combined are the best filtering fabrics for a reusable face mask?
Read some of our advice on wearing a face mask in your work place.
Read about how face masks are becoming a fashion item and about our stylish face masks with printed artworks and purpose.