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Celebrating love is nice and all, but figuring out what to wear to an event of that magnitude can be quite the dilemma. Around this time of year, incredibly popular people can be left with approximately 99 problems while trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding as a groom, a groomsmen, or a guest — and maybe all three in one summer.
There are a lot of different factors to consider when getting dressed for a wedding. One day you’re a groomsmen in a wedding at a church, and the next weekend you’re sitting on a stool in a barn watching your coworker recite their vows over a chorus of pig and chicken noises (jk). Here, a guide that is hopefully the least painless way for you to either a) remix what you have for any situation, or b) make the investment that makes the most sense for you.
If You’re a Guest
This is a loaded question, because there isn’t just one type of wedding anymore. Sure, if we were all attending religious ceremonies this wedding season, I’d tell you to buy a suit in a dark color and be done with it. But there’s always the friend who wants you to get on a plane, or drive deep into the middle of nowhere. Those weddings also come with all sorts of funky dress codes, but if there’s one lesson to learn, it’s that even Barnyard Casual Old McDonald Chic probably still means a suit, or at least a jacket and some nice pants.
And you don’t own a good suit yet.
If you’re in the market for a suit you can wear to every event on your calendar, start with something in navy or gray. It’s boring advice, but it works. Buy a starter suit from a place like Suitsupply, Bonobos, Indochino, J.Crew, or Todd Snyder, and then use accessories to make it work for whatever setting you’re in.
Or you’re going to be baking in the sun.
Meet your new best friends in the whole world, linen and seersucker.
Or you’re going to a beach wedding.
Think light colors and even lighter fabrics. If you already own a suit that you like, try accessories and shirts that match your tropical surroundings.
Or you’re going to a wedding in a barn.
Be like Obama and go with a tan suit, and then add in some old-fashioned details.
Or headed out to the forest.
Earthy colors like green and brown will help you fit right in.
If You’re the Groom
You, or at least the person you’re marrying, set the stakes here. If the wedding is black tie, wear a traditional tux with a bow tie and have fun with it. Tux rental upstarts like The Black Tux and Generation Tux have options outside tried-and-true (read: boring) black, like a White Dinner Jacket Tuxedo ($125) or Double Breasted Tuxedo ($125).
If you really want to go crazy, there’s also Chambray ($145) and Rose ($145) tuxes — although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these for your wedding. The tuxes from these start-ups also have a more modern fit than a place like Men’s Wearhouse.
If the wedding’s not black tie, you probably still shouldn’t wear anything less than a suit. Plus, this is your big day, so it’s the best excuse you’ll ever have to invest in something awesome. A place like Freeman’s Sporting Club makes it (more) affordable to get a custom tailored suit, with options starting at just $1,000.
If You’re One of the Groomsmen
Don’t look at me. Listen to the groom and match with the rest of the party.