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Dress Codes For Men Decoded: What To Wear To A Wedding Based On The Invitation

Katrina_Mitzeliotis Wed, March 16, 2016 7:47pm EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis 1 Comment
what to wear wedding dress code
Pacific Coast News/Image Courtesy of The Black Tux

Don’t know what to wear to a black tie wedding, semi-formal affair or rehearsal dinner? We chatted with The Black Tux experts who offered up tips and decoded the dress code. Read on and SHOP!

While we’re always offering up tips and tricks to keep our fashionable female readers looking great, we often forget about the dapper dudes — and sometimes they need more help than the ladies! When it comes to formal dressing, (whether it be for a wedding or prom), sometimes finding the perfect get-up can be quite anxiety-inducing — but it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to clue you in on what to wear, regardless of the occasion — and that includes if you’re heading to a black tie wedding! We chatted with Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne, co-founders of the online rental service The Black Tux, who decoded the dress codes for the fellas. Read on if you want to look as effortless and cool as Ryan Gosling the next time you step out all dressed up.

The Black Tux is totally changing the game when it comes to tuxedo rentals, both for individuals and for bridal parties, (think: Rent the Runway for guys). Any dude out there can share a horror story that involves suiting up in an ill-fitting get-up, getting hit with a pricey late charge when they didn’t make it back to the rental place in time and suffering through a formal affair, all while wearing a totally cheesy suit. Their convenient service and sharp suits totally caught our attention, and that’s why we turned to them to break down the stressful dressing situations guys often find themselves in.

Let’s break down the wedding dress codes — what do they mean and what should men wear?
“While a few of these dress codes are open to interpretation and influenced more by individual style, others should be closely observed. Whatever the dress code, we suggest erring on the side of formality. It’s hard to apologize for looking like you give a damn.”

Black Tie:

Wear a tux in black or midnight blue. Don’t worry about the lapel style—notch, peak, or shawl collar are all appropriate. Keep accessories black, and opt for a bow tie over a necktie. Black patent leather shoes are highly recommended.”

Black Tie Optional:

“Try a charcoal or navy suit with a black tie and polished pair of lace-ups, or play it safe and go with a classic tuxedo. It’s still a formal event, so you’re not at risk of being overdressed.”

Creative Black Tie:

“Have fun with it. Try a cool dinner jacket, and add flair with a patterned necktie and pocket square.”

Semi-Formal:

“Wear a gray, navy, or charcoal suit with a conservative tie, pocket square, and a crisp dress shirt. Black or brown leather oxfords are a great way to finish the look.”

What new trends are you seeing in tuxes?
“Grooms wear a full tuxedo for their wedding and change into a separate dinner jacket just for the reception—most often a white dinner jacket. As an alternative to a vest, suspenders can add personality to an outfit while keeping your waistline where it belongs.”

Is it okay for the groom to wear a different tux than the bridal party?
“By all means, mix it up! We see many grooms going for a different suit style than the rest of the bridal party. There are many ways to differentiate the groom from his groomsmen—varied tux or tie style or color are easy solutions.”

What’s the most popular look for a groom and for a bridal party right now?
“Midnight blue and navy tuxedos have grown in popularity lately. Technically this is a comeback for midnight blue tuxedos, as they were a staple from the 1930s to the 1950s and just as popular as black tuxedos.”

What do you think the next big look will be?
“Fashion is cyclical, which is why you can find photos of Paul Newman from the 1960s that look like they were taken in the last year or two. We’re not putting forward a bold, sweeping prediction, but based on the trend toward skinny fit over the last 10 years, we would expect fashion to respond by gently loosening its grip on men’s thighs.” Join Amazon Prime For Free – Thousands of Movies & Shows Anytime

What does every bride and groom need to know and what should they avoid when outfitting the bridal party?
“Fit is everything. Make sure everything fits precisely. Fit has a bigger impact on beauty than style.”

What’s appropriate for a guy to wear to a rehearsal dinner?
“Match the tone of the event, and use location to inform your choice. Is it a sit-down dinner at a hotel or restaurant? A suit and tie will keep you on point. Less formal? A jacket and collared shirt with dress pants will do well.” Stream music, completely unlimited and ad-free, RIGHT HERE

What conveniences can be had by ordering online as opposed to going to a rental place?
“Traditional tux shops require a minimum of 3 trips (first fitting, pickup, and return), and at pickup, what you see is what you get. Online, you have the power to find the look you want, order, and try on your rental without ever visiting a brick-and-mortar location. Every order from The Black Tux is covered by our fit guarantee. We also deliver to you for free, and return shipping is included. You can even schedule a pickup for your return package.”

How trendy can you get with your formalwear options? When is it a good idea/when isn’t it a good idea?
“As a guest, approach trends cautiously when you’re not a close friend of the host. If the dress code is “black tie” or “black tie optional,” stick with a classic style and save your “trendy” for the tailoring.”

“For your own wedding, consider how long photographs last. That’s how long your choices should resonate. Twenty years from now you’ll be flipping through your wedding photos—make it a source of pride, not regret. While that sounds like a tall order, it can be accomplished in 3 steps:
1. Aim for timeless and tested.
2. Avoid trendy (slim, not skinny).
3. Thank yourself later.”