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Style Guide: How to Dress for Every Wedding

A well-tailored suit goes a long way.

Judy Pak

The vast range in types of weddings can be daunting — beach destination, indoor ceremony / outdoor reception, Daddy-owns-the-country-club formal, rustic casual — but thankfully, despite the countless wedding types, there are only a few dress codes. Here’s the mix: black tie, semi-formal and relaxed. And though they’ll be called by any name, it is just this spectrum that ranges from beach-friendly suits to tailored black tuxes. For each code, you get your money’s worth by staying classic and simple — look good and show respect, but don’t draw too much attention to yourself. A nice pair of shoes and a tailored suit will anchor your style, so purchase these first, and then build out the rest of your outfit so you’re ready for any variety of ceremonies and receptions, all season long.

Black-Tie Wedding


When the invitation says black tie, make sure to bring your best. It’s not a time to get creative, but rather, a place to show off an impeccably tailored tux.

Black Wool Tuxedo by Canali $1,975
White Cotton Shirt by Brioni $500
Silk Bow Tie by Hackett $75
Dubai Oxford Shoes by Church’s $650
Clubmaster Round-Frame Sunglasses by Ray-Ban $160

Semi-Formal Wedding


You have more freedom here, but the best options are a gray or navy suit. Though you have more tie options and a wider color palette, simple is better.

Gray Wool Suit by Thom Browne $2,500
London Slim-Fit Shirt by Burberry $385
Patterned Silk-Faille Tie by Drake’s $155
William Monk-Strap Shoes by John Lobb $1,300
Wilson Round-Frame Sunglasses by Garrett Leight California Optical $340

Destination Wedding


Outdoor weddings in warm-weather climates tend to throw the dress code out with the shoes. But, if at all possible, keep things tailored and breathable (e.g. a linen suit), and explore the range of lighter colors.

Stone Linen Suit Jacket by Boglioli $1,045
Linen Suit Trousers by Boglioli $450
Penny-Collar Linen Shirt by Caruso $235
Chelsea Oxford Shoes by Edward Green $1,220
Brown Braided Leather Belt by Saint Laurent $445
Mitsu Round-Frame Sunglasses by Saturdays NYC $295

An Affordable Alternative


Outfit yourself with a navy suit and white shirt for a classic wedding-ready combination, but splurge on some shoes to elevate the entire ensemble.

Blue Grant Linen Suit Jacket by Club Monaco $425
Clue Grant Linen Suit Trousers by Club Monaco $200
Reed Cotton Oxford Shirt by Saturdays NYC $150
Selvedge Chambray Pointed Tie by The Hill-Side $95
The Cagney Cap-Toe Oxford by Paul Evans $369
Nelson Sunglasses by Monokel $109

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