A Man’s Guide to Wedding Attire

Alrighty ladies, here we go! It’s finally time to toss your mans ill-fitting, hole ridden, cargo shorts in the g-a-r-b-a-g-e because it’s wedding time, baby! What does this mean?  Proper attire for the men at your wedding! Let’s be honest, sometimes men need a little push in the right direction, especially when your fiance is taking charge of the attire on his part. So if your fiance and his groomsmen need some fashion blueprints, then this article is perfect for them! Now if your man is like me, he’d fancy himself not too shabby of a dresser. However, when presented with a specific dress code, menswear can become somewhat of a foreign language, and today I’m going to impart upon you all the skills you need to not only learn this language but become fluent in the art of menswear. Well, sort of. Obviously we can’t jump into the nitty-gritty of it all because nobody wants to, nor has the time to read a five-hundred page article, so we’re gonna keep it simple and stick to some fundamental principles of attire. So grab your man and pull up a chair, because here is a man’s guide to wedding attire. 

The Dress Code

Arguably one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of any social function is the dress code. Why? Because how YOU interpret that incredibly simple-worded thesis for clothing can be the difference between a dynamite first impression and social suicide. The best weapon you have against gross misinterpretation is, well, knowledge! So, without further adieu, our men’s dress code breakdown!

White Tie

Even uttering the words “White Tie” should make you sit a little straighter and push those shoulders pack a tad, as this is the highest level of dress code you’ll ever encounter. “Oh yeah bro, I’ve got this sweet button down and some cool new, bright yellow pant-” STOP! Absolutely not! This tier of attire is the opposite of normal dressing. What does this mean? For starters you’ll need a tailcoat. Yes, you read that right, you’ll be expected to sport a crisp, black, well-fitted tailcoat. Beneath this outer layer you’ll need a white dress shirt ( with, of course, paired studs and cufflinks), a lovely white bowtie, clean white gloves, a white waistcoat OR cummerbund (I must say I’m rather partial to the cummerbund), freshly pressed black dress pants, and of course shined-and-scuffless black, leather dress shoes. When going to a white tie event, no expense may be spared, as this is the epitome of social class and formal fashion.

Black Tie

While less terrifyingly strict than white tie, black tie is just a step behind; think more along the lines of a James Bond-esque tuxedo. You’ll encounter this code in formal social events or perhaps a high-class evening of drinks and artificial laughter. What does black tie entail? Well,

first and foremost a tuxedo coat – in black, which should match your, again, freshly-pressed, tailored black dress pants. Underneath your coat will be a white dress shirt, also complete with accompanying studs and cufflinks. And to finish off the look, a black bowtie and some mirror-like black, leather shoes. See? Much less intimidating than the penguin-like costume from above. And look at yourself! Not even four paragraphs in and you’re already a certified expert in two of the most important genres of dress codes according to men!

Woo Hoo, we’re almost finished! Now it’s time for some themes that you and I are a little more familiar with!


Think of semi-formal wear like that regular customer at the hypothetical coffee shop you work at (unless, like me, you really DO work at a coffee shop, then this is a very real analogy) who you’re comfortable around, yet who’s name you just can’t quite get right. What does that strangely specific, hypothetical situation have to do with menswear? Well, like that loyal coffee shop patron, semi-formal dress is something you’re probably accustomed to, just not completely perfect at, and that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it’s what gives your formal style that little twang that makes you you! However as I’ve come here to educate you on proper style, I’m going to go ahead and break this bad boy down. First of all, let’s start with the coat. A well-fitting, neutral toned suit jacket is all we ask. Underneath that all you’ll need is nicely-pairing dress shirt and accompanying necktie (please tell me you at least know how to tie a tie…). All you’ll really need to complete this look are some nice dress shoes and pants to match the coat. That’s it! You’re now well prepared to handle any business meeting that makes its way into your future.

Business Casual

Now THIS is where a clean-cut man will really hit his stride! Talk about comfort and style, business casual is a man’s best friend (well, at least top ten?). To lead your top-tier business casual ensemble will be your favorite sport-coat, beneath which will be a spiffy dress shirt. Oh! And leave that top button unbuttoned because the dreaded throat-belt we know and love from semi-formal is no longer! At the waist will sit some trustee trousers, and on your feet you can spice it up with anything from horsebit loafers to some double-monks!


Congratulations, you’ve made it all the way to our final stop on this tour of your theoretically flawless wardrobe! *deep breath* Now let’s finish this sucker! All you’re gonna need to pull off this iconic fashion moment is an immaculately fitting polo, some fresh, deep blue jeans, and of course a pair of classy and clean shoes (boat shoes work fine, otherwise, again, you can’t go wrong with some Salvatore Ferragamo loafers!). If you’re feeling frisky, perhaps a slick timepiece and you are set! Now you’re ready to go meet your buds for some much needed adult-beverages and hearty conversation!

Clothing, while seemingly insignificant, plays an immense role in the light other’s see you, and in today’s world, image is crucial! So when you send that gold bedazzled invite to your friend hoping he’ll join you as you “tie the knot,” you and him will know exactly what to pack, and can focus on dumbfounding the crowds with your absolutely *sensational* dance moves, instead of some gnarly fashion faux pas. Not only that, but you will also woo away the love of your life with your fancy new fashion sense! 

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