Weddings come with a myriad of issues. Few are more pressing than “What do I wear?” Whether you’re a member of the bridal party or an attendee, the pressure to look your best is immense. In an effort to help alleviate some of that pressure, we have assembled a few tips and tricks to make you the best dressed guest at the wedding.
The Big Picture
As a guest, it’s best to think of yourself as part of the wedding’s landscape. In landscape paintings everything is working together to create one big picture so you don’t want to fall flat or be flashy. Instead, focus your efforts on adding to the image while keeping with the overarching aesthetic. Thinking of yourself as a piece of a greater whole will help guide your decision making.
Let’s start with the basics. A well-fitting suit is a must. We recommend finding a good tailor for a custom-made suit. If you’re in Philly, we suggest looking at Commonwealth Proper, Henry A. Davidson or Enzo Custom. Don’t worry, if you’re not from the area, we’ll be putting together a tailor guide soon.
If custom is not an option, a good made to measure suit will also work, you’ll want something that is fitted in all the right places and doesn’t hang or sag. As a general rule, it’s best to stick with solid, neutral colors, like white and gray. This allows you to save patterns and bright hues for the accessories. The bright colors found in some accessories are the perfect way to add a pop of color or texture while staying appropriately dressed for the occasion.
Reading Between the Lines
Although you may not know the décor of the wedding, the invitation can tell you a lot. Generally, the colors of the invitation are indicative of the color scheme of the wedding. Fabric and paper choice help determine the level of formality. Lace suggests upscale, while burlap suggests casual. Don’t be afraid to ask what is appropriate for the wedding, each occasion is different!
Keep It Simple
Although pattern clashing can be powerful, at a wedding pattern and texture mixtures are preferred. If you must mix patterns, be sure to pick two that are complementary and understated. If both are extravagant they will compete with one another and if one is too loud, it will overpower its counterpoint. Wedding attire is all about balance.
Accessories are your opportunity to play around and show off your unique personality. Depending on the type of wedding, you have as many as six accessories to mix and match: shirt, tie, tie bar, lapel pin, pocket square and cufflinks. A good rule of thumb is this, the smaller the accessory, the bolder it can be. That is to say that the turquoise shirt may be a little heavy handed, but a tie of the same color with a neutral shirt may give your ensemble just the kick that it needs.
We don’t think that you can ever wear too many accessories as long as they are balanced well and stay complementary. A large lapel pin and an over sized pocket square will make you look clownish. A small hint of a pocket square with a sharp looking lapel pin and crisp tie can make you look dapper and polished.
Confidence is Key
Cufflinks, pocket squares, lapel pins and tie bars are a great way to elevate your look without breaking the bank. Attention to detail is always good, but it is especially appreciated on someone’s special day. The bride and groom spend a lot of time and money making sure they look their best, so it means a lot when their guests attempt to do the same.
Most importantly, complete your ensemble with confidence. No matter what you end up wearing, it is vital that you feel good in it. If you aren’t comfortable accessorizing, feel free to stick with a classic suit. If you live for lapel pins and pocket squares, don’t be afraid to flaunt it! You’ll feel great knowing that you are dressed well and have the best accessories, behind the bride and groom of course!