Navigating wedding dress codes

Black Tie? Morning Suits? Lounge Suits? All guests? Wedding Party only? Flexible? The Wedding Day is one of the few occasions when, as a guy, you have some difficult decisions to make regarding what to wear.

Deciphering dress code for your wedding

Of course there’s the outfit you choose for yourself, which is a whole different conversation but once you’ve decided what you want to wear you will need to decide what you’re going to ask all the other guys attending the wedding to wear. When you send your invites you will need to include a dress code so this is a decision you need to make fairly early on (and of course it is a decision that will impact and be impacted by what you’re wearing so you’ll actually need to think about that pretty early too). 

The most traditional dress code for men attending weddings is the morning suit. Strictly, if there is no dress code mentioned on the invite, etiquette dictates that traditional morning dress is to be worn. Historically this would have applied to all of the male guests – these days it’s more likely that it will apply just to the wedding party, simply for reasons of practicality. Gone are the days (sadly, perhaps) when every man over the age of 21 had their own morning suit.

Two very funky options for dress codes are Black Tie and White Tie. White Tie, much like morning dress, is relatively uncommonly owned and so is more likely to be a wedding party option. Black Tie, on the other hand, is something that more and more gents have in their wardrobe, so could well be a viable option if some uniformity is what you’re aiming for. These two dress codes are usually more appropriate for evening weddings and celebrations than for daytime affairs.

The most flexible option for the boys is the Lounge Suits option. This gives total flexibility and your guests are able to wear anything from a work suit to something a bit more special. What’s more – you can specify something a bit more special for the wedding party if you like, without alienating anyone. As always, we think a key thing to think about is how accessible the dress code you choose will be for your guests. Weddings aren’t days when people should feel uncomfortable in their own skin – trussing all of your friends up in penguin suits when they’re not used to it won’t help anyone enjoy the day.