As one of the most joyful life events, a wedding should be a cause for excitement and celebration. However, it’s also perfectly understandable to feel anxious about your attire as a guest. After all, choosing what to wear to a party or a dinner can sometimes give you a headache, let alone an event as special as a wedding.
More fashion-forward individuals who always like to look their best might ask: “Can I wear a tuxedo to a wedding as a guest?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a bit more complex than a simple “yes” or “no.” But don’t worry; by the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly what to wear to the next wedding.
To determine whether a tuxedo is wedding-appropriate, you should ask yourself (or the happy couple) the following questions:
Let’s say your invitation states “black-tie optional” or “formal” under the dress code. This means that you can probably show up in a tuxedo. But what if you don’t want to wear a tuxedo?
Luckily, there are plenty of formal alternatives to a tuxedo that will have you looking dapper without feeling overdressed.
Find a well-tailored suit, and you’ll fit right in. You’ll look elegant yet won’t draw too much attention to yourself. For some men, even wearing a suit is doing too much. And that’s perfectly fine. If you feel the same, find a stylish blazer, pair it with some elegant dress pants, and you’re good to go. You can even ditch the blazer later on to feel more comfortable.
When it comes to a tuxedo, the rules are pretty strict. There are as many as 13 tuxedo parts, and each of them should be worn in an appropriate manner. But unless you’re going to a royal wedding, you can have some fun with certain aspects of your ensemble.
Sure, the tuxedo jacket, shirt, and trousers must abide by the formal rules, but the same doesn’t apply to your neckwear, footwear, and accessories.
For neckwear, you can experiment with your bow tie a bit. Choose a different color or even a pattern that shows off your personality. Do the same with your pocket square, and jazz up your tuxedo with a little pop of color.
You can also add personal touches to your look through a lapel pin, cufflinks, and buttons.
But whatever you do, don’t overdo it. With a tuxedo, it’s best to keep things simple and add subtle accessories and details. Otherwise, you might end up looking too over the top, which is the opposite of what a tuxedo represents.
The bad news is that it might take you some time to decide what to wear to a wedding. But the good news is that once you do, you’ll have no shortage of places to buy or rent it.
In recent years, online stores and rentals have become the go-to choice for shopping, and wedding attire is no different. You might fear that you’ll get the wrong size or style when ordering online, but there’s no reason for it. Platforms like Generation Tux offer you a few foolproof ways to find your perfect tuxedo fit. Rely on the company’s innovative fit technology or opt for a home try-on. Either way, your tuxedo will end up fitting like a glove! Just make sure to order it on time.
If you’re stuck in the old-fashioned ways, that’s perfectly fine too. You’ll find plenty of online tuxedo sales and rental companies that also have a brick-and-mortar store. Getting fitted in person and being able to see and feel your options has its advantages. But this option will also be more costly and time-consuming, as individual physical stores offer a more limited selection of tuxedos.
Let’s get one thing straight – unless it’s your wedding, this event isn’t about you! So, when attending a wedding, do your best to be mindful and respectful of the happy couple. In other words, avoid the following:
But that’s enough with the don’ts. Let’s talk about the dos. Keep reading to receive specific guidelines on your attire, depending on the wedding you’re attending.
There’s no clear winner in the ever-so-popular tuxedo vs. suit debate. Again, it all depends on the specific circumstances. You’ll look amazing in either, as long as you feel good and dress in accordance with the occasion.
But what does this mean in practice?
The first thing you must consider is the dress code. After all, one of its purposes is to make your choice easier. For a black-tie wedding, a tuxedo is the clear winner. Things get a bit more vague with a formal wedding. In that case, consider the time and the place of the wedding. An evening wedding happening indoors is the perfect opportunity to don a classic tuxedo. But an outdoor wedding in daylight will call for an elegant suit, preferably a light-colored one.
Thanks to all the rules surrounding tuxedos, everyone wearing them can look pretty much the same. But luckily, there’s a way to stand out without messing with the basic principles of a tuxedo – accessorizing.
Of course, the goal is to create a cohesive look, so try not to overdo it. You can add a striking lapel pin, matching it to your buttons and cufflinks. Add a pop of color with your pocket square and bow tie, but make them the same color or pattern. Replacing your buttons with decorative studs can also give your tuxedo a bit of flair while keeping the overall look stylish.
As magical as a forest or a beach wedding can be, outdoor venues come with the possibility of some unforeseen circumstances. Of course, weather conditions are the most important consideration, both for the couple getting married and the guests.
An outdoor wedding calls for attire that strikes the perfect balance between style and comfort. Choose suits made with lightweight, breathable fabrics like linen and cotton. For a beach wedding, consider incorporating elements like summer blazers, trousers, and loafers to achieve a polished yet weather-appropriate look.
With a daytime wedding, there’s no room for the dark, monochromatic looks that tuxedos usually bring to the table. Factor in the tuxedo’s typical shine, and you’ll understand why such attire isn’t appropriate for most daytime weddings. After all, your goal is to look like a presentable wedding guest, not the wedding entertainer.
So, when faced with a wedding in daylight, opt for lighter colors and casual fabrics. And of course, don’t forget to have fun with the accessories! Jazz up your suit by adding a colorful tie or an interesting lapel pin.
The black-tie dress code doesn’t give you much wiggle room. This might seem overbearing at first, but as soon as you put your tuxedo on, you’ll understand that it was all worth it.
For a high-end wedding, it’s best to go for a classic tuxedo look. This entails wearing a black tuxedo jacket, a plain white shirt, black trousers, and patent leather oxfords. Few colors can replace black in this regard, but navy blue à la Tom Hiddleston at the Tony Awards is one of them.
Add a carefully selected cummerbund, cufflinks, and studs for a touch of timeless elegance. If you’d like to add a bit of your personality to the overall look, you can do so by choosing a visually appealing bow tie and a matching pocket square.
Given how formal tuxedos are, most people will get only a handful of chances to wear them. For this reason, renting a tuxedo might be a better option than buying it. Plus, you get the chance to wear a new tuxedo each time instead of reusing one model. Throw a significantly lower cost into the mix, and this option becomes even more appealing.
Of course, buying a tuxedo also has its advantages. If you can afford a new tuxedo, you’ll be able to fully customize it to your preferences and alter it for a perfect fit.
Whether throwing them or attending them, one fact remains the same – weddings are a costly affair. But don’t worry; you can find stylish wedding attire without breaking the bank. Here’s how:
When it comes to formal weddings, putting your best foot forward is a must. This entails choosing footwear that complements your wedding attire in terms of color, style, and material. For a black-tie wedding, you can never go wrong with patent leather oxfords. If you’re looking for something equally elegant yet less rigid, try velvet slippers. Attending an outdoor formal wedding? A pair of light derbies or suede loafers will do the trick.
When it comes to suits, even the smallest details make a huge difference. Just ask Ryan Reynolds, who regularly demonstrates that something as small as a pocket square can take your look to the next level.
Besides the pocket square, you can add a touch of sophistication with gold cufflinks or elevate your suit with a stylish bow tie.
In almost any other situation, choosing your outfit completely boils down to your preferences and personality. While it’s important to always stay true to your style, a wedding throws a few more considerations into the mix.
But as long as you follow the happy couple’s dress code and the wedding’s formality level, you shouldn’t have any issues. Even something as formal as a tuxedo can be acceptable for a wedding, provided it checks the boxes mentioned above.
And hey, if you ever feel like your look doesn’t stand out in any way, you can always accessorize. With some careful placement and coordination, your wedding outfit will be attention-grabbing without being over the top.