The Summer Wedding Survival Guide For Guys

Weddings can be difficult to navigate. What exactly is cocktail-black-tie-semi-formal attire? But worse even than this jumble of words are the invitations with no directions at all. You’re on your own. And you better not screw up. This couple’s wedded bliss depends upon you picking the right pocket square.

That was a joke. Keep breathing. And keep reading. We've been slowly gathering every wedding tip and trick we can find from every Cladwell employee in the land (who knew you could have a heated discussion about dress shoes vs. leather lace ups?), and here's the wealth of wedding guest wisdom we've collected.

Cladwell's Wedding Tips:

1. Begin with what you own.

           We’re about to give you a wealth of inspiration in our casual to formal looks - so start where you’re at. If the wedding is casual and you own pants, shirt, and bowtie, then you're set. 

2. If you need to add, add – but get creative.

           If you’re going to a formal wedding and you need a suit, then go get a suit. Sorry, no other option (see suit search tips below). But that doesn’t mean you need to go drop crazy amounts of dollars. Ask around to see if you can borrow from a friend. Try renting a suit or shoes

Here are some looks you can create, starting with what you already own.  

 Summer Weddings - Dressed Down: 

These looks are appropriate for "casual" weddings. Casual looks in the summer usually go along with morning or afternoon weddings that are outdoors or in more low-key venues. If you're unsure of the dress code, then throw on a blazer to dress it up (it's always better to be a little overdressed, because you can always ditch the blazer). 

Look 1  

  • Patterned button down

  • Navy dress pants

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned tie

Note: You probably already own these items for work. Don't be afraid to try a little pattern mixing and wear some color.

Look 2

  • White button down

  • Khaki chinos

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned bowtie

Note: Dress up your chinos with a classic button down and bowtie. 

Look 3

  • Blue patterned blazer

  • White button down

  • Khaki chinos

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned bowtie

Note: You don't need to own a suit to dress up your casual wedding look. Sometimes you only need a blazer. Here are some tips for finding one you love.

Summer Weddings - Dressed Up

For your semi-formal and formal weddings, chinos won't cut it. These will all involve a nice suit. Here's where to find one: 

1. Your local shop ($$$).

This is your most expensive and best quality option. You'll pay the big bucks, but you'll also leave with a suit that's perfectly tailored to you - that's gonna last for quite some time.

2. Online tailored suit options ($$).

These options allow you to order suits tailored to your measurements without quite the expense of a local shop. We recommend Suit Supply and IndoChino. These sites let you pick out your suit and then walk you through how to send in your measurements.

3. Local retailers ($).

Men's Wearhouse: the store's more tailored, modern cuts are limited but it's a good location for a classic affordable suit. 

Here are some looks you can create, starting with your brand new (or old favorite) suit.  

Look 1

  • Blue suit

  • patterned button down

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

Note: The no-tie look can work for outdoor afternoon occasions (but when in doubt, go with the tie). 

Look 2

  • Blue suit

  • White button down

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

 

Look 3

  • Blue suit

  • White button down

  • Blue tie

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

Note: This look can work for your formal afternoon or evening weddings.  

Look 4

  • Black suit

  • White button down

  • Black bowtie

  • Black leather belt

  • Black leather dress shoes

Note: This is for your nicest evening weddings if black-tie isn't mentioned on the invitation. If it is, then you just have to suck it up, rent a tuxedo, and pretend to be James Bond for the evening. Rough life.

We get that wedding attire is hard to navigate, so check out some more articles if you need a little more inspiration or guidance. Go here for a specific wedding dress code guide, here for a live conversations about all things related to weddings for the guys, and here and here for some tips for the ladies. 


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