Decoding the Dress Code - Suits and Tuxes

As wedding season is quickly approaching, the question for every big event is always “what do I wear?” While women’s clothing tends to be the focus of most fashion conversations, we’d be remiss to forget about the gentlemen. Contrary to popular belief, men often have just as many wardrobe choices as women do - especially when it comes to formal events. I had the opportunity to speak with the experts over at The Black Tux, namely Fashion Director Brice Pattison, to give you the lowdown on wedding attire for men.

The first step to making a decision on your wedding attire is knowing what the dress code is for the event. While you may not always be a suit and tie kind of guy, a black tie wedding may call for just that. Pattison warns not to let a dress code stipulation be an imposition. Instead, see it as a way to express “nonverbal respect for the hosts.” The couple is likely spending a large amount of money on hosting their reception, so following their dress code wish is almost like saying “thank you.”

  Photo by  Alicia King Photography ; groomsmen suits by  The Black Tux

Photo by Alicia King Photography; groomsmen suits by The Black Tux

Dress codes can range from casual all the way up to white tie, which is typically reserved for diplomatic galas or events like the royal wedding. Pattison and The Black Tux team have been kind enough to put together an all encompassing style guide detailing just what each level of dress code requires. If you’ve never been sure what the difference between black-tie and black-tie optional is, The Black Tux has broken it all down for you. Now you have no excuse for looking like the odd person out at the next wedding that you attend.

  Photo by  Robert Carlo

Photo by Robert Carlo

Once you’ve narrowed in on the appropriate level of dress, finding an option that fits within the season is next. In the summer, suits with wide stripes or paired with a linen shirt work well while a deep tartan pattern is a great look for fall. In terms of fabrics, linens or cottons are recommended by Pattison for spring or summer, but wools or silk blends are go-to’s for fall and winter.

Although the focus of the wedding is on the beautiful couple exchanging vows, every guest still wants to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Even Pattison admits that “to some degree all suits and tuxedos are the same,” but there are still ways to make your look your own. He recommends focusing on the smaller details, like cufflinks, bow ties, and socks to help differentiate your ensemble. Seasonal prints, monograms, or unexpected pops of color are also options to help create a unique look. Consider your suit or tux as a blank canvas and the accessories or fun design details as the paint to create a complete work of art.