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What Does a Guy Wear to a Wedding: The Ultimate Guide

man wearing stylish attire for a wedding - what does a guy wear to a wedding?
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Attending a wedding is a special occasion that requires appropriate dressing. Deciding what to wear can be a daunting task, especially for men who may not have as many options as women. However, with a little guidance, men can dress to impress and ensure they fit in with the wedding party. So if you’re wondering what does a guy wear to a wedding, this article provides tips and ideas for men to achieve a classy and stylish look for weddings.

Key Takeaways

  • Dressing appropriately for a wedding is important to show respect for the couple and the occasion.
  • Understanding the wedding dress code is necessary to select appropriate attire.
  • A suit is a timeless and classy option for formal weddings.
  • Stylish alternatives to suits, such as blazers and dress shirts, are perfect for men who want to deviate from traditional attire.
  • For casual weddings, men can achieve a polished look with khakis or a linen suit.
  • The right footwear is essential in completing the wedding outfit and should match the dress code and suit style.
  • Accessories like ties, pocket squares, and cufflinks add a touch of elegance to a man’s wedding attire.
  • Groomsmen attire should coordinate with the wedding party to create a cohesive look.

Understanding the Wedding Dress Code for Men

When it comes to what a guy should wear to a wedding, understanding the dress code is crucial. It sets the tone for the entire event and dictates what men should wear to fit the occasion. Here are the most common dress codes for weddings:

Dress CodeDescriptionAttire
Black Tie/FormalThe most formal dress code, usually reserved for evening weddings. It requires a tuxedo with a black bowtie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes.Tuxedo, black bowtie, cummerbund, patent leather shoes.
Semi-Formal/CocktailLess formal than black tie, semi-formal is appropriate for evening weddings and requires a dark suit and tie.Dark suit, dress shirt, tie, dress shoes.
CasualA more relaxed dress code, perfect for daytime weddings or outdoor events. It allows for more variety and creativity in attire.Dress pants, collared shirt, optional tie, dress shoes or loafers.

It’s important to note that some invitations may include specific attire instructions, such as ‘beach formal’ or ‘festive attire’. In these cases, it’s best to follow the instructions provided to ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the occasion.

Suit Up: Classic Wedding Attire for Men

A suit is a classic and timeless option for any wedding. When choosing a suit, it’s essential to consider the color, fabric, and fit to ensure a polished and sophisticated look.

Suit ColorSuit FabricSuit Fit
Black, navy, and gray are traditional suit colors appropriate for weddings.Choose a lightweight and breathable fabric to ensure comfort during the event. Wool, linen, or cotton are good options depending on the season.A well-tailored suit with a slim fit is ideal to achieve a contemporary and elegant look. Be sure to have it professionally tailored for the perfect fit.

Accessorizing the suit is also crucial. A classic tie and pocket square can add a pop of color and personality to the outfit. Avoid flashy accessories or anything too bold that may detract from the overall elegance of the suit.

For footwear, dress shoes are the go-to option for a suit. Black or brown leather shoes are suitable for any color suit. Consider matching the belt color to the shoes for a cohesive look.

Stylish Alternatives to Suits

While a suit is a classic and safe option for a wedding, some men may want to try something different. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to suits that can still look classy and stylish for a wedding. Here are some ideas:

Blazer with TrousersA blazer paired with trousers is a great alternative to a suit. Opt for a well-fitted blazer in a neutral color like navy, grey, or beige. Pair it with trousers in a complementary color, such as khaki or dress pants. Finish off the look with a button-down shirt and dress shoes.
Dress Shirt with Dress PantsIf you want a more relaxed look, try pairing a dress shirt with dress pants. Choose a shirt in a light color and pants in a darker color for contrast. Add a belt and dress shoes to complete the look.
Stylish SeparatesFor a more fashion-forward look, try mixing and matching stylish separates. Pair a patterned blazer with solid dress pants or vice versa. Add a dress shirt and dress shoes for a polished touch.

When it comes to accessories, keep them simple and understated. A nice watch, cufflinks, and a tie clip can add a touch of elegance to any outfit. Just remember not to overdo it, as less is often more.

Dressing for Casual Weddings

Attending a casual wedding doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. While you can leave the suit and tie at home, it’s still essential to dress appropriately for the occasion. Here are some ideas and tips for what a guy should wear to a casual wedding:

1. Opt for Light and Breathable Fabrics

Casual weddings often take place during the warmer months, so it’s essential to choose fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable. Cotton, linen, and seersucker are excellent options for a relaxed yet stylish look. For men’s shirts, a short-sleeved button-up is a great option that can be dressed up or down depending on the wedding’s dress code.

2. Choose the Right Pants

While jeans may be too casual for a wedding, there are other pants options that can still provide a laid-back vibe. Consider khaki or chino pants in a slim or tailored fit. These lighter colors will also pair well with a variety of shirt colors and patterns. If you prefer a more unique look, try patterned pants or shorts paired with a dress shirt or polo shirt.

3. Embrace Color

Casual weddings are an excellent opportunity to have some fun with color. Consider incorporating brighter hues into your outfit, such as a bold tie or pocket square. However, be sure not to go too overboard and clash with the wedding party’s colors or theme. If unsure, stick with neutral colors like beige, navy, or gray.

4. Footwear Matters

While sandals or flip-flops may seem like an obvious choice for a casual wedding, it’s best to avoid these options. Opt instead for loafers, boat shoes, or even canvas sneakers for a relaxed yet chic look. As with the rest of your outfit, consider the wedding’s location and theme when selecting footwear.

With these tips, you’ll be able to dress appropriately and stylishly for a casual wedding. Remember, it’s better to overdress than underdress, so when in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Choosing the Right Footwear

Footwear is an essential element of a man’s wedding attire, as it can make or break the outfit. The right shoes can elevate a suit or add a stylish touch to a more casual outfit. When selecting the perfect pair of shoes, consider the dress code and suit style.

For formal weddings, black or brown leather dress shoes are a classic choice. Oxfords or derby shoes with a polished finish are the go-to option for a black-tie or formal dress code. If the dress code is semi-formal, opt for brown leather dress shoes or loafers that complement the suit color.

For more casual weddings, consider suede or leather loafers, boat shoes, or even clean white sneakers. These options are perfect for a beach wedding or an outdoor ceremony. However, avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals as they are too casual for any wedding.

Lastly, remember to choose shoes that are comfortable and well-fitted to ensure you can enjoy the entire wedding day without any discomfort.

The Finishing Touches: Accessories for a Polished Look

In a man’s wedding attire, accessories play a crucial role in creating a polished and elegant look. Here are some tips and ideas for selecting the right accessories:

TiePocket SquareCufflinksWatch
When choosing a tie, consider the suit color and pattern. A plain tie is a safe option for a patterned suit, while a patterned tie works well with a plain-colored suit. Choose a tie that complements the color scheme of the wedding.A pocket square adds a touch of sophistication to a man’s suit. It’s essential to select a pocket square that complements the tie, suit, or shirt, but it doesn’t have to match them entirely. Experiment with different folds and fabrics to achieve the desired look.Cufflinks are an excellent accessory for men’s dress shirts. They come in various materials, such as metal, wood, or even precious stones. Choose a pair that complements the overall look of the outfit, but avoid going over the top with too much bling.A watch is a timeless accessory that ties the whole outfit together. Choose a watch that is appropriate for the dress code and complements the color scheme of the suit. A leather strap watch goes well with a more relaxed or casual suit, while a metal strap watch is perfect for a formal or black-tie wedding.

Other accessories that can add a touch of elegance to a man’s wedding outfit include belts, suspenders, or even boutonnieres. It’s essential to think about the overall look and ensure that all accessories work together to create a cohesive and polished appearance.

Groomsmen Attire: Coordinating with the Wedding Party

Being a groomsman at a wedding is an honor, but it also comes with the responsibility of dressing appropriately and coordinating with the rest of the wedding party. Here are some tips for groomsmen attire to create a cohesive look:

Dress CodeAttire
Black-TieA black tuxedo with a white dress shirt, black bow tie, and black dress shoes. Coordinating with the rest of the groomsmen to ensure everyone matches is crucial for a cohesive look.
FormalA dark-colored suit with a white dress shirt, complemented with a tie that coordinates with the wedding colors. Dress shoes should match the suit color.
Semi-FormalA lighter-colored suit with a dress shirt and tie that coordinates with the wedding colors. Dress shoes should match the suit color.
CasualA dress shirt with slacks or chinos in a coordinating color with a tie that matches the wedding colors. Dress shoes or dressy loafers should complete the look.

While it’s essential to match the wedding party’s theme or color scheme, it is also important to have individual elements that distinguish the groomsmen from the other guests. This could be done through a unique boutonniere or pocket square that matches the groom’s accessories, for example.

Overall, it’s crucial to communicate with the other groomsmen and the bride and groom to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards a cohesive look.


Dressing for a wedding can be effortless with the right guidance. By following the dress code, selecting the right suit or alternative outfit, choosing appropriate footwear and accessories, and coordinating with the wedding party, men can achieve a polished and stylish look for any wedding occasion.

Remember, the key is to dress appropriately and comfortably, ensuring you look your best without overshadowing the happy couple. With these tips and ideas, any man can achieve a classy wedding guest look with ease.


Q: What does a guy wear to a wedding?

A: It is important for men to dress appropriately for a wedding. The attire will depend on the dress code specified for the event.

Q: What are the different dress codes for men at weddings?

A: There are several common dress codes for weddings, including black-tie, formal, semi-formal, and casual. Each dress code has its own guidelines for appropriate attire.

Q: Can I wear a suit to a wedding?

A: Yes, wearing a suit is a classic and timeless option for men attending weddings. It is important to choose the right suit color, fabric, and fit for the occasion.

Q: Are there alternatives to suits for wedding attire?

A: Yes, there are stylish alternatives to suits for men who want to deviate from the traditional attire. Options like blazers paired with trousers or dress shirts with dress pants can create a fashionable look.

Q: What should I wear to a casual wedding?

A: For casual weddings, men can achieve a polished and put-together look without being overly formal. Suggested options include khaki pants with a button-down shirt or a linen suit for a more relaxed vibe.

Q: How important is footwear for a wedding outfit?

A: Footwear is an important aspect of a man’s wedding attire. It is essential to select the right shoes that match the dress code and suit style. Considerations for more casual or outdoor weddings may also be mentioned.

Q: What accessories should I consider for a polished look?

A: Accessories play a significant role in adding a touch of elegance to a man’s wedding attire. Consider choosing the right tie, pocket square, cufflinks, and watch to complement the overall look. Other accessories like belts or suspenders may also be mentioned.

Q: How can groomsmen coordinate their attire with the wedding party?

A: Groomsmen attire should be coordinated with the wedding party’s theme or color scheme. This may involve matching suits, accessories, or other elements to create a cohesive look among the groomsmen.

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