Which suit is appropriate for a summer wedding?
July 25, 2011 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Two weddings coming up: Wedding A is outside at night, and wedding B is indoors at night and the invitation states that it is "formal." I own two suits: a black wool traditional suit, and this one: http://www.mrporter.com/product/301855

The groomsmen are apparently wearing tan suits for wedding A, so I assume I'm well-dressed in the summer suit with a crisp blue shirt and light black tie, with brown loafers. Can I wear the summer suit for wedding B? If so, what color tie, shirt, shoes are appropriate? Do brown vs. black shoes denote formality? Type of shoe (loafer vs. oxford vs. desert boot)?

I'm looking for rules/etiquette/opinions. Thanks!
posted by rbf1138 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
If the wedding will truly be "formal", I think the summer suit will be too casual. Given that the wedding is inside, the black suit should be an OK choice. Wear a white shirt and a black tie and black shoes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:07 AM on July 25, 2011

No, go for the black suit with black oxfords. White shirt and a sharp dressier tie.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 8:08 AM on July 25, 2011

Black shoes are more formal than brown. Oxfords are more formal than loafers.

Normally, I'd say keep the same suit for both weddings, but since wedding B is "formal," you're going to look out of place is that light colored suit. Switch it out for the black suit, change to a white shirt, and put on the black Oxfords.
posted by deanc at 8:10 AM on July 25, 2011

Yep. Black suit for wedding B with white shirt, black Oxfords. Summer suit's perfect for wedding A.
posted by penduluum at 8:12 AM on July 25, 2011

The J. Crew suit will be lovely for the outdoor wedding (although I'm iffy about the blue shirt/black tie combo but it really depends on the colors), but definitely too casual for the formal indoor one. Stick to your black wool for the dressier wedding with polished shoes and a fabulous tie.
posted by like_neon at 8:14 AM on July 25, 2011

Can I wear the summer suit for wedding B?

If the invitations specify "formal" for an evening event then traditionally that would actually mean black tie (tuxedo) (Or actually, very traditionally white tie, with black tie described as "semi-formal"). I would call the best man and clarify what the bridal party is wearing and then wear that or a step below it.

If so, what color tie, shirt, shoes are appropriate?

Assuming they actually mean "formal", that is that the groom and groomsmen are wearing tuxedo's then you should wear a dark suit, black shoes, and probably a white shirt.

If they're wearing dark suits, you can be a little less formal then them.

Do brown vs. black shoes denote formality? Type of shoe (loafer vs. oxford vs. desert boot)?

Brown shoes are less formal than black shoes. Oxford, Loafer, desert boot from "semi-formal" to very informal. None of these options are properly formal, which means white tie or black tie and you'd wear evening pumps or patent leather oxfords or very shiny oxfords. (and by oxfords here, we really should mean proper oxfords, not bl├╝chers, which are slightly less formal.
posted by Jahaza at 8:17 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure I would wear a black tie with brown loafers. Some people argue that brown and black clash, and while I don't agree, I think that a combination of grey suit, blue shirt, black tie and brown shoes just has too much going on. However, as always, it's hard to say whether it actually looks too busy or whether it looks great without having the items in front of you.

Formal dress, normally demands a tuxedo and its attendant accessories. So, expect most/all men to be wearing those. On occasion you can get away with a standard black suit, white shirt, black accessories (if you can't afford a tuxedo, for example), but that should be an exception (not just a matter of convenience or taste). Ask the wedding party whether it's white tie or black tie, that should give you a chance to measure how serious they are about the dress code. (If they aren't very serious about the men attending in tuxes, they'll likely say something like "Well it's black tie, but a black suit will be fine.")

You didn't ask, but the women will be very differently attired at an outdoor wedding then they will be at an indoor formal wedding.
posted by oddman at 8:19 AM on July 25, 2011

Wedding Attire for Guests, courtesy of Put This On from MeFi's own YoungAmerican Jesse Thorn. Essentially, your summer suit is fine for wedding A; buy a tux for wedding B unless you absolutely can't afford it, in which case wear the black suit and black oxfords.
posted by The Michael The at 8:57 AM on July 25, 2011

Response by poster: For wedding A, this tie: http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/tiesandpocketsquares/thehillside/PRDOVR~27086/27086.jsp
in the black color ok?

Or do I need to go with something more formal/traditional, like a Glen Plaid black tie.
posted by rbf1138 at 9:12 AM on July 25, 2011

Or do I need to go with something more formal/traditional

So not right for a "formal" wedding. I've been a guy in my 20s lacking a tuxedo for these format weddings. What I did do was wear a dark suit with a plan black silk tie with a white shirt. A plain silk tie can be had for cheap at any of those numerous "Tie Rack" chain stores.

(for future reference, thrift stores seem to be overloaded with used tuxedos. I got a Joseph A. Bank tuxedo in my size for $15 at Goodwill)
posted by deanc at 12:25 PM on July 25, 2011

For wedding A (that's the outdoor wedding right?) I'd go with a really flashy tie. It's outdoors, it's not formal. You can have a little more fun with it. A light-grey suit with brown shoes and belts and bright pink tie. (Ditch the blue shirt for a white one and you can do some really outrageous colors.)

Here's a good one, not too loud.

This is great.

Almost perfect.

That wedding attire link is full of great advice.
posted by oddman at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oooh I really love oddman's tie choices for your light grey suit with a white shirt and brown loafers. Very summer at the polo kind of chic. I also think the combo of a blue shirt, grey tie and brown loafers is maybe more work appropriate than for a wedding but if you want to stick with the tie you got (which is nice) I'd go with a white shirt.
posted by like_neon at 1:43 PM on July 25, 2011

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