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How to choose a wedding suit

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

That time has finally arrived.  That rivalry turned love relationship you had with the obnoxious track star or frat brother in college has you  on the verge of witnessing the nupitals of a man you have come to adore. 

Yes, my friends, I’m assuming that wedding BROmance is around the corner, and yourself, along with potentially a couple hundred other invitees that have been delicately placed outside of the groom’s circle of trust, aka the ‘groomsmen’, are now faced with a dilemma of epic proportions. 

Do you try and resemble what the groom and his groomsmen are wearing, do you go so far out the end of the spectrum that you look like Luke Walton playing hoops at Staples Center or anywhere for that matter (wait, who said he was a misfit?), or do you strike a fine balance by wearing something in between.  And by extension of that, maintain your respect of the friend you once hated, all while looking socially acceptable. 

All of this rhetoric has basically been a fancy way of saying: How the hell do I dress for a friend’s wedding?  Yes, indeed, this question can continue to confound even the most sartorially inclined gentleman.  So with that established, let’s look at what our options are next time we need to figure out how to choose a wedding suit.

Dressing by Location / Wedding Type:

Dressing for a City Wedding:

City weddings are generally better suited (no pun intended!) with darker colored suits.  A suit that is functional year around, such as one of your super 100’s or above woolen suits that is in a darker, navy blue or pinstripe charcoal grey would complement the occasion extremely well.  While your canvas (i.e the suit) is best off being fairly conservative, you can add some color to the mix with your shirt and / or accessories. 

Even though a blue or white shirt is generally your best bet, you could opt for a pinstriped shirt.  How about adding some color combinations that make the outfit look interesting, such as a red or pink tie against the blue shirt.  An animal print motif even? 

As mentioned in our article on matching ties, remember to keep patterns of similar style in different proportions so as to ensure that the outfit does not look overly busy. 

While contrasting colors such as an orange tie against a blue shirt are usually embraced by bolder sartorialists, its best to keep your combination somewhat muted so that it doesn’t overshadow the groom. Remember, it is his and her special day.  As well as you may want to dress, you can always look elegant and on point without appearing to be that obnoxious dude who’s simply trying to outshine the couple of the hour.  So remember, sophisticated, elegant and muted for a City Wedding!

Feel free to check out our range of foulard / abstract silk ties, which make for great wedding neckwear, over here.

City wedding suit

A darker colored suit with a muted but sophisticated tie is the perfect ensemble for a city wedding!

Country Wedding

For a country wedding, the attire can be dimmed down accordingly.  A pale grey, pale blue or cream suit would work perfectly in this situation, especially if you envision yourself, as most country weddings should be, standing on someone’s lawn or on the lawn of an esteemed country club. 

Hence, you generally should have more flexibility with your suit colors and choice of fabric.  Now would be a great time to experiment with a linen or cotton suit, especially if it’s during the summer. As for your shoes, semi -formal, such as loafers will work well.  There is no necessity for lace-ups as you would during a city wedding!

Country Wedding Suit

A lighter colored suit with a relaxed vibe will have you blend in perfectly at a country wedding!

Beach Wedding

Need we say more?  A Linen, or Seersucker suit with a pastel colored tie is your ideal ensemble for a beach wedding.  We would hope that it goes without saying that brogues or extremely formal shoes are generally not considered a man’s pre-requisite for a beach wedding!

Are you looking for ideal summer season / beach wedding ties? Feel free to check out our novelty and fun animal print tie collection!

Beach Wedding Suit

A linen suit with a pastel colored shirt and tie is the ideal option  for a beach wedding

Black Tie versus Black Tie Optional Vs Cocktail Attire

Black Tie

As the name would suggest, and I would hope I’ve brought across effectively with this blog, the name black tie connotes the wearing of a tuxedo.  A single breasted tuxedo with a notched lapel, will flatter any body type, while a shawl lapel will complement a leaner frame.  A formal tuxedo shirt will have a pleated front (to the waist only, so that it doesn’t buckle when you sit down).  The waist is always covered with either a cummerbund or waistcoat or double breasted dinner jacket, which should remain buttoned in public at all times.

Tuxedo trousers typically have a stripe up the outside leg of the seam of satin, silk or grosgrain (ribbed fabric), that matching the lapel and button facing of the jacket.  While tuxedo pants can be pleated,  given the modern man’s inclination towards fitted jackets, for both suits and tuxedos, flat front pants would be an ideal option.  Oh, and please…never opt for cuffs on your tuxedo pants!

George Clooney Black Tie

Black Tie Optional

When Black Tie Optional appears on an invitation, while guests do have options, there are a few guidelines to keep mind as you prepare to dress for your friend’s or family member’s upcoming wedding.  In the case of Black Tie Optional, while members of the wedding will be dressed in a tuxedo, one has the option of dressing slightly more relaxed.  Hence, men can opt for elegant, dark suits that are generally either black, darker grey or navy.

To view The Dark Knot's Black Ties, please click here.


Cocktail Attire, by definition, is a notch down from a black tie event.  Cocktail party attendees will typically wear a suit with a tie, with dark colored suits being standard fare for cocktail attire.  Shirt color should typically be white or a lighter color, and it is best to go with a solid colored tie at a cocktail event.  Leave the more whimsical or fancy ties for a more festive attire based wedding, where black tie or cocktail have not been listed as the preferred dress code.

To view our range of Solid Silk Ties at The Dark Knot, please click here.

Cocktail wedding attire suit

A darker colored suit with a solid colored tie is a strong candidate for a cocktail attired wedding dress code!

Seasonal considerations regarding color

Depending on the time of year the wedding is at, seasonal considerations can help point you in an appropriate direction regarding colors for your suit.  Lighter colored options can be used for accessories, if not the suit and shirt itself, during spring and summer months, and darker colored ties can be used during fall and winter such as navy blue’s, olive greens and burgundy. 

The time of day the wedding is taking place at can also prove to be helpful when discerning which colors to strut to your next wedding!  Again, lighter colors generally work better during the day and darker colors look more appropriate at night. 

Summertime wedding suit

Lighter colors look fantastic during a summertime wedding!

Ties and Accessories

When deciding what knot to wear, establish the dress code first.  A Windsor knot is best worn with a spread collar for more formal occasions, while the four-in-hand can be used for more casual wedding settings (though, for the record, I am a huge fan of Windsor and half-windsor knots – they just add an extra level of sophistication).

Regarding bow ties, they do not suit everyone and can come off the wrong way, unless you’re dressing black tie.  Otherwise, it’s best to err on the side of conservative and opt for a necktie.

And remember, get creative and be bold with your accessories!  Pocket squares, ties, cuff links, belts and shoes can all make an outfit seem more interesting and original!  It’s the details that count!

And that's a wrap for this one!  I hope you have had as much fun reading this article as I have had writing it!

Feel free to check out our extensive range of wedding ties here at The Dark Knot! Additionally, our extensive range of Pocket Squares and Lapel Flowers can give you the perfect finishing touches that your ensemble will need on wedding day!

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