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Dec, 11 2023

The Ultimate Wedding Guest Suit Guide for 2024

Wedding guest wearing a blue suit and gold tie for a wedding

Wedding preparations are always an exciting time for the bride and groom. However, wedding guests often have much to do before the big day, especially regarding dressing choices. Will you wear a suit or a tux? And which colors to pick? These questions can get quite bothersome as the important date grows closer.

Luckily, we’re here to offer you the ultimate comprehensive guide for wedding guest suits. Moreover, our suggestions will be tailored for the current year to help you make the most out of your 2024 style. Before we explain the ultimate suit choices for the new year, we’ll examine what a wedding dress code means and why it matters.

Decoding the Wedding Dress Code

A white and gold wedding invitation

A wedding dress code represents the desired style that the bride and groom want to see on their big day. Since the wedding season takes place in the summer or early fall, the mild weather leaves plenty of choice regarding dress code, as it’s usually neither too hot nor too cold outside. Naturally, the weather will depend on where you live, and it may dictate the dress code to a large extent.

The most common wedding dress codes will be casual, semi-formal, formal, and black-tie. These terms are largely self-explanatory:  a casual wedding will call for relaxed clothing combinations with more room for self-expression and personal styles. On the other hand, a black-tie wedding will be more formal, often calling for a standard combination of a black tuxedo, a white shirt, and the eponymous black tie.

The Essentials of a Wedding Guest Suit

A man in a black tuxedo

The suit is usually an unavoidable part of wedding attire. Yet, the exact look and style of your suit can vary depending on the occasion. In some cases, a wedding guest can get by with a streamlined outfit that consists of a regular jacket and trouser combination. On other occasions, though, you’ll need to pay special attention to the details.

Regardless of the event’s formality, it would be ideal to get a tailored fit suit. This will ensure your comfort and make the suit look custom-made for you. Naturally, getting bespoke apparel will be a great way to achieve this effect, but this may be too costly for many wedding guests. Luckily, specialized retailers like Generation Tux have an excellent selection of suits for rent or sale, so you probably won’t run out of options in this department.

Certain special touches will be necessary if the wedding you’re attending is more formal. For instance, lapel size and shape will matter greatly in your suit jacket. Casual events will allow for more freedom, but attending a formal wedding will mean your lapels can’t go overboard in size, shape, or color. Likewise, throwing in a pocket square would be a good idea, even for semi-formal events.

The Tuxedo: When and How to Wear It

A man in a black tuxedo standing

Traditionally, the tuxedo is primarily associated with formal events. On such occasions, the term doesn’t only refer to the jacket but includes a black bow tie and a specific tuxedo shirt. Indeed, if you’re going to a wedding where the dress code mandates a tux, the mentioned combination would be the best way to pull off this look.

However, the opportunities to wear a tuxedo are much broader in modern times. This has less to do with our society embracing the tux again and more with the tuxedo design evolving with the times. You can find many tuxedo styles that look more personal and authentic than strictly formal, making them suitable even for semi-casual occasions.

Best of all, if you’re willing to rock a tux, you don’t necessarily need to purchase one. You can find a tux rental for wedding events and get the perfect piece you’ll use only once. That being said, if you can imagine wearing a tux more than once, investing in a tuxedo of your own will always be a good idea.

Suits for Summer Weddings

 A man in a gray tuxedo and a teal tie

A summer wedding is usually a specific occasion due to higher temperatures, but that’s not the only reason weddings in this season stand out. Summer is a special time that people often associate with a laid-back atmosphere, fun, and good vibes. As a result, summer weddings tend to be more relaxed in terms of attire.

The choice of materials also reinforces this notion. Linen is a common option because it’s light and breezy, and a linen suit can easily turn out more casual. Furthermore, summer wedding suits should be unlined, making them even less formal. Lining adds form and weight to the suit, so the overall impression will be lighter without this element.

When choosing your suit for a summer wedding, the main question you should be asking is: what is cocktail attire for a wedding? The reason is that cocktail attire might be precisely what you’ll wear for the occasion.

Suits for Beach and Destination Weddings

A man in a tan tuxedo and a blue tie

A beach or destination wedding is another specific event calling for particular clothing. These events usually include a relaxed dress code to go with the casual setting of a beach or an exotic destination. Beach wedding attire for men usually consists of light suits and equally light footwear. These choices accommodate the relaxed environment and simultaneously help stave off the heat.

Beach weddings provide great freedom of choice, allowing you to don various types of casual wedding attire, from jackets, pants, and footwear selections to particular accessories. For instance, this wedding type will be an excellent time and place for a silk scarf and similar details.

The Groom vs. the Guest: What’s the Difference?

One universal rule applies to all weddings: the bride and groom must be the most noticeable people in the event. In other words, whatever you do, you don’t want to upstage the groom. If you don’t know what the groom will wear, the safest option would be to dress down just to be safe.

The matter might be a bit more complex for groomsmen, who’ll play an important role in the ceremony. However, this role will likely mean you’ll have more insight into what the groom will have on, so you’ll have a better chance at adjusting your look. The sweet spot here should be somewhere in the middle: you should be dressed down compared to the groom but a bit dressed up compared to the rest of the attendees.

Tweed and Other Fabric Choices

a close-up of a black and gray tuxedo

If you’re considering the materials for your wedding suit, you shouldn’t disregard tweed as a viable option. This material was quite common in the past, and now it’s returning. It’s an interesting alternative to cotton; the same goes for wool suit types.

Wool is often associated with additional warmth, but the truth about the material is that it serves as an excellent temperature isolator. In other words, wearing a suit made of wool doesn’t mean you’ll boil inside of it on warmer days. And if you want to make sure your apparel is light enough, you can always opt for a wool-blend suit.

The Three-Piece and Double-Breasted Suits

A man in a navy tuxedo

The three-piece suit is a great answer to the question, “What is formal wedding attire?” After all, you can’t get much more formal than a three-piece or double-breasted suit. Combine it with a classy waistcoat for maximum effect.

It’s worth noting that a two-piece suit can be formal, too. The good thing about these suits is that they provide more opportunities for dressing up or down. In other words, if you want to look classy, a three-piece suit isn’t necessary – you can pull off the look if you make the right choices with a two-piece variant.

Accessorizing Your Wedding Guest Suit

A dusty blue color fabric set

Depending on the nature of the wedding, accessories can play a huge role in your outfit or serve as discreet details to emphasize your overall look. But if you’re looking for standard solutions, especially for bowtie events, certain items will need to find their way into your outfit:

  • A bow tie (of course)
  • White dress shirt
  • A leather belt
  • Wear leather shoes (preferably made of black patent leather)

Tips for Buying the Perfect Wedding Guest Suit

A tuxedo and suit shop

When you start searching for the perfect wedding guest suit, the last thing you want to do is buy something that doesn’t fit you perfectly. But does that mean you need to get a tailored suit? Not necessarily.

The crucial thing is that the suit is cut to fit your build, and that’s something you can find with the designs available at reputable retailers. For example, you can browse Generation Tux for the ideal wedding guest suit.

Choose a Spot-On Wedding Suit

A tuxedo shop close up

Making sure you have good wedding clothes is pivotal when getting ready to attend a wedding. Your suit will be the foundation of your attire – choose a poorly made model, and no amount of accessories will save your look.

This ultimate wedding guest suit guide gives you everything you need to know to make the right choice. Follow the advice above, and you won’t only be a guest at the ceremony – you’ll be the best guest when attire is concerned. The only thing left will be to apply your charm to match your perfect outfit.


A close up of a black tuxedo

What suit should a wedding guest wear?

The choice of an ideal suit for a wedding will largely depend on the nature of the occasion. Generally speaking, weddings are usually formal, semi-formal, or semi-casual, and your suit should follow the desired convention. Some weddings will have a defined dress code, so it will be much easier to decide on the suit type – it will be stated in the invitation.

Do guests wear suits to weddings?

While it doesn’t have to be a strict rule, wedding guests usually wear suits. However, this doesn’t mean the attire is necessarily formal. You can find various kinds of suits to wear at a wedding, from black-tie variants to semi-casual, light suits, which are particularly appropriate for beach weddings.

What is the best color suit for a wedding guest?

The preferred suit color will depend on the setting of the wedding. If you’re going to a classic indoor event, opting for darker shades will always be a safe bet. On the other hand, weddings under the sun will be the perfect opportunity to dress in lighter shades. And if the dress code allows it, you could even make some bolder suit color choices like red.

Should wedding guests wear suits or tuxes?

Suits are generally regarded as the standard for weddings. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t wear a tux, even if the stated dress code doesn’t call for it explicitly. Modern tuxedos are made in various styles, and some won’t seem as formal as the traditional tux.

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