Wedding season is in full swing and one of the main issues that men have when it comes to attire is the apparent lack of options. Additionally, in the warmer climates and less formal weddings, we often wonder what options we have apart from the traditional dark wool suit. Well if you're a guy and you've asked this question, or if you're a woman (friend, girlfriend, fiancé or wife) who has been asked for advice, this guide has a few recommendations that won't stray too far from tradition but keep you cooler on those hot summer days.
During a summer wedding, you will most likely be outdoors at some point and while you may still choose to wear a suit or a blazer, the choice of fabric and construction is where you can get creative. One option is to turn to a linen-wool or linen-cotton blend. For example, this linen-cotton unconstructed blazer from J.Crew Factory would be perfect for a less formal summer wedding. Unconstructed (sometimes called unstructured) means it has no extra lining inside to keep you from feeling that occasional breeze if the wedding happens to be by the beach (a common occurrence in a place like San Diego, where we live). For a little more, you could pick up the J. Crew equivalent if you want something that is a bit higher in quality. Both options come in a slimmer fit (Ludlow for J.Crew, and Slim Thompson for J.Crew factory) or a more traditional fit (Crosby for J.Crew, and Thompson for J.Crew factory).
If you want to invest in something a little more versatile, with higher quality and custom fit, Black Lapel is an affordable custom suit maker that has a line of Fresco Wool suits that you could wear at even more formal weddings but will leave you cooler than other wool suits because of the open weave fabric. Wool also has the added benefit of being better at wicking away moisture than cotton, which is a huge plus in places with humid climates or if you sweat a lot. They also carry some linen blazers for a more casual option. Either way, you'd be getting custom made suiting, from the measurements right down to the type of lapel, pockets and type of vent. (Bonus: if you are getting married and you want to outfit all your groomsmen with custom suiting, check out Black Lapel's wedding page).
You can pair any of the above options with a light poplin-weave shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt. If you want something a little more casual, you can't go wrong with this J.Crew OCBD (Oxford Cotton Button-Down) shirt.
For shoes, our favorite brand is Allen Edmonds (the classic Park Avenue will fit in at any wedding and their Cavanaugh penny loafer is a great option if you want to go more casual). Some more affordable (but still well-made) options to check out are Jack Erwin and Nisolo.
Lastly, when it comes to ties, keep it simple. Do yourself a favor and order a couple Italian Grenadine Ties from Chipp Neckwear (blue, black or navy are good starters). For a more casual option, you can grab a silk knit tie instead.
While this is by no means an exhaustive guide, we hope that this can at least get you started if you're having trouble figuring out what to wear for an upcoming summer wedding or two. For some additional tips, check out this article from Dappered.com (one of our favorite men's affordable style blogs) and this J. Crew article about some new summer wedding wear rules, which even suggests that socks are optional. What a world we live in!
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