What to Wear to: A Summer Wedding

Friends, the time is growing near when “have-nots” become “have-knots.” I refer, of course, to summer wedding season. The ultimate transitional season. After dispensing with the standard invocation that your navy suit with white shirt, conservative tie, and black shoes is always correct, let us now proceed to some more adventurous options.

Summer Black Tie


If you’re fancy enough to be invited to a black tie wedding, then you can rise to the occasion with a cream dinner jacket. There is, of course, nothing wrong with wearing a standard tuxedo, if you own one. But a cream dinner jacket is a refined summer alternative, and fully within the canon of acceptable black tie wear. You may worry that it’s not very versatile - how many summer black tie events does a man attend in a lifetime? But if you’re willing to try it, you’ll discover that the same dinner jacket worn with black trousers or even black jeans and an open-necked white shirt is a winning outfit at any nightspot fancier than a sports bar. 


The Navy Suit, But Cooler


If the wedding is a suit-and-tie type of occasion (and when in doubt, this is what you should assume), this navy seersucker suit preserves the formal colors of the standard navy suit while making every allowance for the summer weather. From a distance, people will think it’s just a very handsome navy suit. Then when people come up to say hello, they’ll ask, “is that seersucker? I thought it only came in blue and white stripes!” And they’ll be jealous. 


The Casual Wedding


On the other hand, if the wedding is on the beach and the couple tells everyone no ties allowed, then you must expand your horizons like the sun setting over the waves. If you wear a suit, it shouldn’t be navy. If you wear shoes, they shouldn’t have leather soles


The Super Casual Wedding


I don’t think I could bring myself to attend a wedding without even a button-up shirt. So I prefer to think of this outfit as “morning-after brunch” attire. But you know your friends better than I do. In any case, for super-casual wear, put this field jacket (still gotta have a jacket, for the pockets if nothing else) on top of cream cotton/linen trousers. Trousers like these are to spring/summer what grey flannels are to fall/winter - you can wear them in pretty much any situation. Add an interesting knit such as this one, and some espadrilles. There will be enough knots tied during the ceremony. No need to add more on your shoes.

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