Hello everyone, and welcome to The Rakish Man. My name is Léon Philippe and I am here with all the right responses to your sartorial queries. I’ve poured my first glass of Grand Marnier, so let’s get started.

Hi Lèon,

I’m getting married in June, and struggling a bit to make a final decision on my attire. It’ll be an outdoor ceremony (indoor reception), so definitely an informal wedding. As such, I’m planning to wear a suit – ideally something somewhat breathable for a summer wedding.

My current suit is navy, which I got two years ago and am overall pleased with. Since that suit fits me well, it seems logical to get my new wedding suit in mid-dark grey. But there’s a part of me that believes navy is better for spring/summer, and gray for fall/winter.

I work in PR, and wear a suit approximately 1x per month. In my mind, in the future I can use my current for work travel, while using the new suit for more special occasions.

Is that crazy? Would you recommend I do grey instead?

-Betrothed in Bethesda

Dear Betrothed,

Thank you for your query. First of all, do not use the word “attire”. Attire is something a limo driver changes between shifts. You will have a wedding "suit", or, if you happen to post on the Internet a picture of yourself wearing this suit in a public bathroom, a wedding “fit”.

But moving on, remember the main goal of the wedding: to make your bride happy. Then remember that brides are not happy unless they are envied by the other guests, in particular the bridesmaids. I think you can see where this is going: your goal is to make the bridesmaids want to take you home. This will have the happy side effect for your single friends attending to the wedding that the bridesmaids may be more open to taking one of them home as a compromise. Everyone wins.

Now, how to achieve this goal? Your thinking about this case has become very up-tight. It’s not a matter of color or seasonality. Navy and grey are both completely appropriate at any time of year, which is what makes them staples. The key is that this is your “special occasions” suit, not your work suit. Not for this suit the trappings of Protestant work ethic and all that rot. Your special occasions suit should instead be imbued with the aroma of fine, fine, diamonds. The delicate taste of your favorite Teddy Pendergrass album. The soft caress of a poem.

How doth caress a poem when a poem be emobidieth in a suit? As with most poets, your first inclinations will be towards Rococo embellishments. Resist these urges. Instead borrow details from the true “special occasions” suit, the tuxedo. Peak lapels, jetted pockets, single button closure, and a bit of silk or mohair in the fabric to provide a lustrous glow in the candlelit eve. Such a suit is more elegant than your standard office suit, but timeless enough that you can wear it every time you get married.

Enjoy your wedding, Betrothed. Just be careful of the bridesmaids. The line between them being jealous of your bride and her being jealous of them is thin, and for you, possibly a matter of life and death.


Ed. note: If you have a query for The Rakish Man, please send an email to david at nomanwalksalone  dot com and I will make sure he sees it.