Wedding Attire Do’s and Don'ts for Guests | A Men's Guide

Remember that time you were invited to a wedding - with a wildly foreign dress code, like “yacht-club chic”? If you’ve never been on a yacht, been a part of a club, or ever felt chic, it was confusing. When we surveyed the team at Tip Top, most of the group had no idea what we were talking about.

How did we get here, on such contentious wedding attire territory? As long as we can remember, dress codes have marked different places, events, and private clubs/classes - like aristocracy or philosophers. You know togas? They were the attire of upper class Romans, and also worn for special occasions.

Today, this uniformity is seen in our modern military, school systems, and sports teams. These attire expectations are also at places like political assembly and weddings. Yawn, boring!

Seeing how it’s the 21st century, we’re living in a time with a bit of wiggle room.

The divide between pretentious staunch and streetwear is crumbling and we’re seeing them influence each other. Just take a look at modern-day fashion icons such as A$AP Rocky, Ryan Gosling, Pharrell, and Frank Ocean.

So how does this apply to choosing your wedding attire? Well, we all want to wear casual clothing to formal events. But there are some rules that need to be considered so that you don’t awkwardly stick out in wedding pictures.

As singer and songwriter, Brian McKnight says, “I was brought up to be a gentleman. That means you know how to walk, talk, and dress the part.”

To avoid getting an earful from your relatives, here are some wedding guest style tips.

Do understand the dress code. Don’t show up unprepared.

The biggest clue to getting dressed as a guest is understanding the overall vibe of the wedding. Instead of guessing, sometimes the clue’s right in front of you - on the invitation, under “dress code".

Also, some weddings are themed. If it’s a thematic wedding, for example a specific movie or sport, then you don’t have to worry about tradition. Clearly the bride and groom are thinking outside the box, you should too!

If you’re concerned about the dress code, just send the bride or groom a text.

Do wear a suit. Don’t outshine the wedding party.

Whenever in doubt, you can’t go wrong in a suit, regardless of the location and the season. And with moderate changes, you can adjust the level of formality.

If you’re going to something more formal, you can’t miss wearing a black or navy suit. If it’s a casual affair, or in the middle of the summer, a light blue or tan colour will help keep you cool.

Plus there’s a whole range of materials. Light wools and linens will air you out even in the hottest of temperatures.

But the biggest pointer: do not outshine the wedding party. It is their day and drawing attention away from them is not only distracting, but quite often seen as rude. Even Lionel Messi’s mother was under the microscope.

Keep your look subtle but well-tailored, like the suits we offer at Tip Top. You’ll still make the impression that you want without stealing eyeballs from those who you’re there to celebrate.

Do wear a collared shirt. Don’t wear just a t-shirt.

Remember that this is still a special occasion - not a backyard birthday party. Sure you may have seen Brad Pitt or Will Smith pull off the look, but they’ve also worn well fitting dress shirts. It’s all about the occasion, gents.

If your concern is warm temperatures, look for dress shirts made of moisture-wicking materials. If you don’t want to buy a new button-up, look for technical undershirts that will keep your pits dry. Or you might end up like this guy.

And while we’re talking about casual wear at weddings, please don’t wear denim. Even your “good jeans”, unless the wedding is a rodeo.

Do wear accessories. Don’t look like a prom date.

It was Oscar Wilde who said, “Everything in moderation. Including moderation.” And that couldn’t be truer with accessories at weddings.

Have one or two subtle pieces to stand out in. Try putting on a leather-strapped watch or braided bracelet. These simple accessories will tie together your look without drawing too much attention.

Speaking of tying things together, let’s not forget about the matching tie and pocket square. It’s a classic pairing.

Going to a semi-casual wedding? You can forego your suit jacket and wear suspenders instead.

When in doubt, refrain from looking like a braggadocio celeb with excessive jewelry, or like a prom date who’s trying to stand out for the sake of standing out.

Leave the extra accessories up to the bride and the wedding party.

Maintaining Wedding Outfit Decorum

Not only is it important for your personal image but remember that this is someone else’s special day. The spotlight should be on them…

...unless it’s on the dance floor. If no one can keep up with your groove, that’s their fault.

If you have any wedding questions - or want to show us your dance moves - feel free to swing by one of our locations across Canada, or tag us in your posts on social media! #TipTopWedding

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