Men's Wedding Guest Attire: A Guide to Every Season and Dress Code
Discover the perfect men’s wedding guest attire with our guide for any wedding event, dress code or season!
Being invited to a wedding celebrating your good friends or family guarantees a good time. However, the stress of what to wear, especially as a guy, may hinder some of that excitement. If you feel uncomfortable texting the bride or groom, then check the invitation. As we’ve repeatedly stated on our site, the wedding invitation sets the tone for the big day, including wedding attire for men (and women!)
All the major details are included to inform guests about the big day. The time of day, the venue, and the wording about the reception itself will help you know exactly how to dress. You can even scope out their wedding website for more information. Moreover, some brides and grooms even include a tagline about the dress code, which clears up any confusion.
Bottom line, you want to wear the proper attire so you can relax and feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.
Decoding Men’s Wedding Guest Attire Dress Code: From Formal to Casual
As mentioned earlier, the invitation is the key to decoding what men should wear to a wedding. Start with the time of day. If the wedding is taking place in the morning or afternoon, it is usually less formal. However, if the wedding is in the evening, err on the side of more formal. Also, take a look at the venue. You should dress up for a wedding or reception being held at a nice hotel ballroom compared to someone’s backyard.
But if there is an actual dress code on the invitation, you may still feel in the dark about what that actually means. Let’s break each down.
This is the most formal but least common among couples now. White tie means that women are required to wear floor length formal gowns and men should wear a tuxedo with tails with white bow ties and gloves. This is the peak of formality, think the Academy Awards or dinners with world leaders!
Black Tie or Black Tie Optional
This is also formal and fairly common for a couple or their family hosting a wedding in the evening. This would mean a tuxedo for the men and cocktail or formal gowns for the ladies. “Black Tie Optional” allows for a bit more flexibility and men can opt for a darker colored suit, preferably a three-piece suit for an added touch of class. Don’t forget, if you don’t own one you can always rent a tuxedo or suit.
Semi-formal Wedding or Cocktail
This is the most common dress code for weddings. A suit is the gold standard for a semi-formal outfit for men’s wedding guest attire. Obviously, the woman wears a cocktail dress. This would be the appropriate time to wear a three-piece suit or two-piece suit. A two-piece suit is probably the most common men’s wedding guest outfit.
Usually you’ll see this listed as casual or even dressy casual. This attire is typically dependent upon location like the beach, farm, courthouse, private residence or microwedding. Causal in this setting doesn’t mean jeans and a t-shirt. You should always stick with a nice dress shirt but could go with a lighter color pant or jacket with or without a tie.
If you still feel confused, we always recommend just asking someone in the wedding party. You’ll be glad you did.
Formal Men’s Wedding Guest Attire
Suits and tuxedos: distinguishing between the two.
Formal men’s wedding guest attire consists of either a suit or a tuxedo. The tuxedo, though like a suit, differs in the cut and fabrics. The jacket usually has a satin lapel and buttons. The lapel can be a notch or peak lapel, meaning it juts out at an angle at the top. While a patterned, collared or black bow tie can be worn with a suit, it is more commonly worn with a tuxedo. Tuxedo pants also have a satin stripe down the outside of the leg.
A formal three-piece suit consists of a jacket, pants, and a matching vest or waistcoat. A black, midnight blue or navy suit is a great color choice for formal wedding attire for men. Two-piece suits are acceptable but dress them up with accessories like cuff links or a tie clip!
Classic Black Tuxedo
Suit Shop • $199
Nothing says timeless like a classic black tuxedo. We love this tux! Pair with their classic black tuxedo pants and a vest to complete your black tie look.
Men’s Formal Viscose Men’s Suit
JJ’s House • $117
This midnight blue tuxedo is a dream. The set includes the jacket, vest and trousers. We love the added touch of intrigue with a black lapel.
Slim Fit Linen 3 Piece Suit
This suit opts for a softer shade of gray but still works for a formal event. The set includes the jacket, pants and vest. Other colors are available.
Black Jay Trim Fit Solid Wool Suit
Nordstrom • $848
Finely textured super 130s Italian wool defines a clean-cut suit featuring a two-button, notch-lapel jacket and smart flat-front trousers.
Huge/Genius Slim Fit Suit
Bloomingdale’s • $895
This blue suit is a classy option for a black tie wedding. It’s slim but not too fitted and features a peak lapel two button jacket and matching pants.
Hamilton Sharkskin Gray Suit
Indochino • $549
This gray suit jacket features fully canvassed lapels, bullhorn buttons, lightweight shoulder pads and high quality collar felts. Fully customized and features matching pants.
Accessories that elevate the formal look.
No men’s wedding guest outfit is complete without some added accessories like cufflinks, pocket squares, bow ties, studs, or patent leather shoes. Choose any of these extras to elevate your look to dapper Dan status.
Monogrammed Cuff Links
Mark and Graham • $185
These sterling silver cufflinks, in a classic square shape, are made in New York in small batches. Designed by Zahava, whose Sarah Chloe line of jewelry has become a favorite among those who understand next-generation personalization.
Sam Pocket Square
ShowMeYourMumu • $12
The Sam Pocket Square is a stylish addition to a matching Neck or Bow Tie and will be a man’s best friend! Get ready to sip and spin all night under the stars!
Herringbone Vow Black Bow Tie
TheTieBar • $24
Add the Herringbone Vow Black Bow Tie to your tuxedo or suit today. Psst. also available in several other colors if you want to shake it up.
Onyx Cufflink & Stud Set
Jos A Bank • $79.50
This classic formal cufflink set features smooth onyx inlays in silver-tone metal. They have a hinged back with logo etching detail.
Men’s Tux Plain-Toe Oxfords
Macys • $124.95
Luxurious patent leather creates a shiny finish to your formal look in Florsheim’s plain-toe tuxedo oxfords. This dress shoe is finished with memory foam inserts for exceptional comfort.
The fine line between looking polished and not overly formal for men’s wedding guest attire.
Semi-formal or cocktail attire is probably the easiest and most common wedding attire for men and women. Women are known for always having an LBD or little black dress to fall back on. So why not men? Shop from the selection below and have your classic semi-formal mens wedding guest outfit in your closet ready to go. You’ll want to look for the perfect blazer and trousers in wool fabrics. Don’t forget to match your dinner jacket with a nice necktie and comfortable loafers.
Pronto Uomo Modern Fit Texture Weave Blazer
Mens Wearhouse • $99.99
A navy blazer is a must-have in every man’s closet. A key piece when dressing, it pairs beautifully with khakis as well as your dress denim. The wool fabrics makes it a comfortable season-spanning choice.
Mens Windowpane Modern Fit Sport Coat
JCPenney • $97.49
If you want to elevate your dinner jacket consider a snazzy pattern. This windowpane sports coat is a sharp look.
Tapered Dressy Pants in Stone Prince of Wales Plaid
ASOS • $42
Refresh your style with these regular rise slim fit tapered trousers. We love the trendy plaid pattern that will dress up your outfit.
Eddyson Penny Loafer
Nordstrom • $130
A collapsible heel adds modern versatility to the timeless design of this apron-toe penny loafer crafted from velvety soft suede.
Marguerite Floral Light Champagne Tie
TheTieBar • $28
We’re raising a glass to toast this champagne-hued silk neck tie, which combines an elegant floral design with a popular wedding color.
Slim-Fit Tuxedo Jacket
Macys • $54.50
Make a lasting impression at your next sophisticated soirée with the tonal floral medallions and striking white hue of this slim-fit suit jacket from Alfani.
Canvas Plain Toe Lace Up Oxfords
Jos A Bank • $100
Lighten up for warm weather without missing a step in this casually cool Oxford from Florsheim. Leather details add rich contrast to the smooth canvas upper.
Skinny Suit Jacket in Crosshatch
ASOS • $150
Suit yourself! We love this skinny suit jacket in a crosshatch green pattern. The peak lapels and single button give it a trendy design.
Casual Men’s Wedding Guest Attire
Perfecting the art of looking laid-back yet wedding-appropriate.
When it comes to casual mens wedding guest attire you want to still look polished. This is a day that your friends or family members have been planning for a while and while it’s okay to look laid back let’s not look like we’re going to watch a baseball game with the bros. Leave the jeans, ball caps and t-shirts at the house. Instead opt for a nice pair of chinos and polo shirt. Check out some of our suggestions below for how to perfect the casual wedding look.
Men’s Slim Fit Tech Chino Pants
Target • $34.99
Take on the casual wedding day in dapper style in these Slim-Fit Tech Chino Pants from Goodfellow & Co™. Tailored in a slim fit with slim legs, these mid-rise chino pants are crafted from a lightweight fabric with added spandex for stretchy comfort.
Regular Fit Piqué Polo Shirt
H&M • $19.99
This regular-fit polo shirt in cotton piqué features a ribbed collar, button placket, with short sleeves with ribbed cuffs. Available in several colors.
Men’s Grayson Lace-Up Sneakers
Macys • $41.99
Supple sheen and neat lacing adds a dressy hint to these sneakers. You’ll rock the dressed-down look in the laced Grayson sneakers by Alfani.
Men’s Casual Linen Short Sleeve Shirt
This is a great option for a beach or outdoor wedding. Breezy linen with a a collar detail adds a nice touch to jazz up a casual wedding outfit.
Flat Front Performance Chinos
Nordstrom • $79.50
Stretchy, moisture-wicking twill keeps you comfortable as the temperatures rise in classic flat-front chinos tailored handsomely in a slim, lightly tapered fit.
Beach Men’s Wedding Guest Attire
What to wear when the venue is sandy
Not every beach wedding is low-key casual but you do want to facture in the terrain and conditions. Choose clothing that is breathable and can withstand the elements. Linen and seersucker is a great fabric option for a beach venue or a destination wedding. You may even need to consider multiple footwear options. Pick up a nice newer pair of flip-flops for the beach ceremony, and then grab your dressed up sneakers for dancing at the reception venue!
Oversized Short Sleeve Linen Mix Shirt
ASOS • $27
This oversized linen shirt with a camp collar is an immediate add to cart. You’ll have the ocean breeze blowing through your hair and stay cool toasting your friends!
Dockers Elevated Casual Mens Flip-Flops
JCPenney • $19.99
Don’t wear your bath or pool flip-flops to the wedding. Grab a pair of new sandals that you can rock at the wedding, and it also doesn’t hurt to consider a pedicure!
Flex Stretch Plaid Dress Pants
Macys • $37.99
Go for comfort and style with Tommy Hilfiger’s modern fit plaid dress pants. Enhanced with TH Flex stretch performance fabric, this pair features a slim cut through the hips and thighs with a slightly tapered leg.
Linen 3-Piece Slim Fit Tuxedo
This linen 3-piece tuxedo is a dressier option but can be dressed up or down depending on the wedding. You can take off the jacket and rock the pants and dress shirt or add the vest for a nice beachy look.
Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt
Target • $33
From work meetings to beach weddings, stay cool, comfy and stylish in this Performance Dress Long-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt from Goodfellow & Co™. Tailored in a standard fit, this button-down shirt is crafted from a soft fabric blend with a hint of spandex for stretchy comfort.
Seasonal Men’s Wedding Guest Attire: Summer to Winter
Adapting your outfit according to the season.
As the old adage goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather only unsuitable clothing.” The same can be said for men’s wedding guest attire. As the weather changes make sure your clothing adapts to the season so you can be comfortable, confident and focus on celebrating your friends and family. Men’s summer wedding guest attire will look a little different from men’s wedding guest attire winter ensembles especially if the venue is at a beach or even outdoors in the cold. Fabrics such as seersucker, linen and cotton work well in the spring and summer. Corduroy, wool, tweed, even velvet are nice options for winter and fall fabrics. Here are a few examples of some seasonal wedding attire that we approve of!
Casual Summer Wedding Attire
This is a great example of beach wedding attire for men. This would not work if the wedding was held in a house of worship but you could swing this look if you were witnessing nuptials on the beach or in a family backyard. Just make sure you check the dress code to make sure shorts are acceptable.
Photo Creds: Justin Swindle
Summer Wedding Attire
We love this look for men’s summer wedding guest attire. It’s polished but also is fresh and modern with lighter colors. You’ll look put together but not feel weighed down by heavy fabrics.
Photo Creds: JamesMollison
Spring Wedding Attire
Sping is a great time to break out the lighter colored suits especially for a dressier event. We love how this ensemble is paired with loafers,a necktie and pocket square. The perfect accessories for a classy spring wedding.
Photo Creds: FashionBeans
Spring Wedding Attire
Here is another great example of a more laidback vibe for a spring wedding. The lighter dress coat and trouser combo works well for the spring and summer months. We also like how this look accessorizes with a pocket square sans tie.
Photo Creds: MelodieMcDaniel
Men’s Fall Wedding Attire
This look works well for men’s fall wedding guest attire. The darker colors are an excellent choice but adding a patterned blazer elevates this entire outfit.
Photo Creds: AlexJohnBeck
Men’s Fall Wedding Guest Attire
We love the mix and match of this men’s fall wedding guest outfit. The gray wool blazer paried with dark blue pants and a plaid button down no tie are a perfect way to do a business dressy look for a wedding without dressing down too much.
Photo creds: Lindsay Dobbs
Mens Winter Wedding Guest Attire
Depending on the region and venue this look is screaming men’s wedding guest attire winter perfection. You’ve got a long wool coat that is perfect for any outside cocktail hours or offering to your date to stay warm. The turtleneck is another great option that is modern and fresh and you’ll stay warm!
Photo creds: Daniel Blake
Winter Wedding Guest Attire
Finally, we like this midnight blue suit. It’s a nice color choice for a winter wedding that isn’t black. Perfect for the colder months!
Photo creds: ProperCloth
Final Tips: Making a Statement Without Overshadowing the Groom
Ensuring you look your best without taking attention away from the groom.
Men have plenty of options to make a statement when it comes to wedding guest attire. You are no longer limited to just a black suit or tuxedo you can wear blues, browns or even add a colorful tie or other accessories. However, while those are good options you also want to make sure you don’t overshadow the groom! Make sure you leave the really bold patterns and colors at home. You want to stay in that neutral ground of looking sharp without drawing too much attention. If you don’t want to wear a white dress shirt you can always opt for another muted color or one with a subtle texture. A straight collar style is always acceptable tucked into chinos or dress pants. You’ll look sharp without looking too sharp. Your rule of thumb should be to try to be best dressed guy in the room BESIDES the groom!
Common Questions on Men’s Wedding Guest Attire
Can men wear white to a wedding?
I think we can all agree the universal rule of not wearing white to a wedding applies to all genders. Unless specified on the invitation then it’s best to stay away from this color.
What is men’s formal attire for a wedding?
Men’s formal attire for a wedding would be a tuxedo or a black or dark colored suit and tie.
What should a man wear to a wedding as a guest?
A suit is always a good idea. Depending on the dress code you can elevate the suit to be more formal or you can dress it down to be more casual and relaxed. But you can never go wrong if you opt for a suit.
Do men need to wear a tie to a wedding?
Ties are optional when the wedding dress code isn’t formal. If the wedding dress code is black tie or black tie optional then you should always wear a tie.
Do men have to wear a suit jacket to a wedding as a guest?
When it comes to wearing a suit jacket it all depends on the time of day or dress code. If the wedding is formal then you should wear your suit jacket. If the wedding isn’t specified as formal then wearing a suit jacket with or without a tie is always a good look for a man!
How should a man dress for a casual wedding?
A casual wedding has more flexibility especially depending on the venue and season. If the wedding is outside, at a private residence, or on the beach then you may be able to be less buttoned up so to speak. If the ceremony takes place at a house of worship you may want to err on the side of more business than casual. Also, unless someone has told you its okay to wear denim to a wedding, we would advise to leave your jeans at home!
Do men need to wear a tie to a wedding?
Ties are a must if it is a formal wedding but other than that the tie can be a great accessory to show off your personality or to leave at home. It’s a nice way to dress up an otherwise basic suit.
Have you successfully found budget-savvy men’s wedding guest attire for your wedding? Join us in our community to talk about all things men’s wedding guest attire and more!