I love receiving a wedding invitation in the post. But what I really love about wedding invitations is the sense of the day you get from the style and design of the invite. The invitation is usually a good indication of what the dress code might be too. Ceremony on the beach? You’ll want to skip the stilettos. Reception in a tipi in the woods in February? You might want to wrap up!
If you’re lucky couples might give you a hint of what they expect you to wear, providing lines such as ‘smart casual’ or ‘black tie’. Sometimes these descriptions can be confusing, and that’s where The Black Tux come in with their handy Wedding Guest Style Guide.
For the ladies there are a plethora of choices, for the Gents the options are a little more limited but guys take note, you can be as stylish as your lady friends with a little help from The Black Tux!
I asked my very own Mr LVS for more advice on dressing for weddings.
La Vie Sophie: You wear a two piece suit to work everyday. How do you ‘dress up’ a suit for a wedding to take it from everyday work wear to formal?
Mr LVS: If you wear a suit everyday the quick and easy way to smarten things up is with the addition of a waistcoat and a pocket square. Your waistcoat should match (in colour and fabric) the other pieces of your suit. Contrary to popular belief your pocket square should not match your tie! If that makes you feel uncomfortable, start by choosing complimentary colours or match the pattern.
What about less formal weddings, how do you approach dressing for those?
Mr LVS: Wearing a suit everyday means I relish being able to wear something more relaxed at the weekends. For a more relaxed style wedding try pairing coloured chinos with a blazer. In the summer opt for fun, lighter colours such as lilac, pale pink or pale blue – pair with a crisp white shirt and a navy blazer. Alternatively if you want a suit go for something like the ‘Tan Suit’ for a relaxed, beachy feel.
Should you try and match your outfit to you date?
Mr LVS: We never match our outfits but we definitely talk about what we’re wearing. For example if the Mrs decided to wear a darker hued dress I might opt for a navy suit with a tie that compliments her dress, perhaps something like ‘The Kennedy Outfit’.
What about Black Tie weddings?
Mr LVS: Black Tie weddings aren’t as popular in the UK as they are in the US. However for any Black Tie event you can’t go wrong with a well cut tux. There are many style options for tuxedo jackets including Shawl lapels, Peaked lapels, Notched lapels and double breasted jackets. Personally I think a Tux should always be black, whatever you choose find one that compliments your body shape and your personal style, it’s hard not to look good in a Tux! For something a bit different try a velvet jacket.
How should you accessorize a Tux?
Mr LVS: If you choose a good quality suit and shirt then let them do the talking. Keep everything else simple with a black or dark coloured bow tie (no outlandish patterns, please!), matching cummerbund (but only if you’re comfortable in one), and good quality patent leather shoes.
You’ve mentioned not matching your tie and pocket square, do you have any other tips for neckwear?
Mr LVS: A well tied tie is a work of art! Make sure once tied, the tie is the correct length for your torso, and learn how to tie a decent knot (my go-to is a Windsor – search YouTube for a tutorial). Add a tie pin to hold everything in place. As for bow ties, if you can teach yourself how to tie one then embrace the smugness, not many people can master it!
Check out The Black Tux’s wedding style jargon buster for more inspiration!