Image from: junebugweddings.com
Deciding what to wear to a wedding is like politics:
No one can agree on one thing.
Everyone gets flustered trying to establish a consensus.
It mostly involves compromise between the 2 main parties.
Needless to say, the dress code must be adhered to. Whether you’re trying to be fashion forward or expected to be casual, there are rules. In this article, we’ll lay down the law and break down common types of attire for you.
We’ll go over the perennial rules of cool for weddings; be it formal or casual. We’ll also tell you specifically what to wear. From dresses to just plain ole suits, we’ve got the lowdown.
So let’s get started!
Things To Consider
In the words of Meek Mill, “there’s levels to this”.
Consider these things when interpreting the dress code of the beloved couple. They definitely want to see beauty. But, we’re confident they don’t want to see discomfort.
Ladies, there’s a lot you can play around with when it comes to the dress code. Men? We apologize in advance.
Image from: brides.com
Be it a formal, semi-formal, or an informal wedding celebration, they call for different kinds of attire.
For more formal weddings, you as a guest should look elegant and sophisticated. Ladies, strut your stuff with full-length dresses, a nice set of heels and an elegant purse.
For more informal weddings, don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Ladies, swap the full length dresses for knee length dresses that provide more flexibility. Swap out heels for comfortable shoes that befit the location.
Don’t be afraid to introduce a little color into the ensemble. Add a little of your personal style into the mix. Just, don’t overdo it.
Men? Suit and tie should do the trick.
Relationship to the couple
Image from: weddingideasmag.com
Relationships to the couple will vary. Be it family, friends or colleagues, each group will be expected to adhere to the dress code differently.
For immediate family members, more effort should be made. Especially if it’s your son or daughter getting married, you’ll want to dress up sharp. You’ll no doubt be making your rounds and playing host to every guest present.
If you’re a friend or colleague of the couple, make an effort to look good! The rules are more lax unless you are the bridesmaid or groomsmen. Then as they say “with great power comes great responsibility”.
So ladies, the closer you are, the more of an effort you should make. But don’t let your beauty outshine the brides’. Straddle the line between your personal touch and the dress code provided.
Men? Suit and tie should do the trick.
Image from: theweddingvowsg.com
The wedding venue should be the chief informant of what you should wear. Weddings are typically done in ballrooms and hotels. But, in the event it’s done on the beach, be sure to confirm whatever you read in the invitation.
Especially for outdoor weddings, one thing to take note of is to keep as cool as possible. Go for breathable and lightweight materials that don’t have you sweating bullets. Ladies, opt for a nice linen dress in neutral colors and simpler make up options.
Men? Suit and tie should do the trick.
What Not To Do
Image From: Cosmopolitan.com
Okay men, we gave you a pretty hard time in that previous section. To be clear, WE ARE JOKING.
Listen to your plus one, she’ll give you sufficient advice on how to dress and what shoes to wear. You’re not a penguin, don’t wear a suit and tie to every occasion.
For everything else, here’s a quick lowdown on what else you shouldn’t do.
1. Don't wear white
This is the only thing the bride cares about dress-code wise. Reason being, there’s a solid chance she’s wearing white. As for the guys, keep the power suits at home. The most strapping man of the night should be the groom.
2. Leave the sweats at home
The fact we have to make this clear is an embarrassment unto itself.
Please, just don’t.
3. Guys, no shorts
This applies mainly to the men out there. But unless otherwise stated, please stick with pants. Even chinos would be better than this!
Yes, the weather might be bad. But dress too casually and you might end up a casualty.
4. Cover your shoulders
Sometimes, weddings may call for a more modest dress code. Be respectful to things like religious weddings and bring a shawl or sweater to cover yourself.
Men, if you feel this applies to you… A suit and tie should do the trick.
5. Don’t go against the dress code
This is the instructional equivalent of coloring by the numbers. If you’re afraid of underdoing or overdoing with the dresses or the suits, get in touch with the bride and groom. Wear your personal style but not at the cost of the wedding.
6. Rips and holes are a no-go
You’re not Kanye. Just, don’t.
7. Nothing that sparkles
There are seldom awards for best dressed at weddings. Simply because it’s often the bride and groom. On that note, sparkles and unicorns also don’t belong. Not to mention it could be massively distracting when they're doing the wedding vows.
Ladies, this includes your shoes. It’s not Saturday Night Fever!
8. Be careful of your neckline
Just like your shoulders, a deep neckline is out of the question. Especially at a religious wedding ceremony. Please do dress slightly more conservatively.
Men, if you feel this applies to you… you know what to do.
9. No slippers
We get that comfort is important. But if you have to switch your footwear for the dance floor, please show some finesse.
Ladies, switch from high heels to fashion forward flats or pumps. Men, we grit and bear it like we normally do. But if you must, sneakers that look like Stan Smiths’ are a nice substitute.
10. Be careful about wearing a T-Shirt
Sometimes the dress code may call for something a bit more casual. But note, it’s “A BIT” more casual.
Rocking up in a simple tee will land you in hot water if you don’t have a blazer to go with it.
What To Wear To A Wedding Based On Dress Code
As we’ve mentioned many times before, they’re going to have a dress code.
Even the most laid back couple would not leave this to chance. Those wedding day candids don’t make themselves you know?
So, are you wondering what to wear based on the various sorts of dress code? We’ve got the lowdown right here!
Image from: gentlemangazette.com
This is the most formal wedding attire out there (think: dinner at the Istana). Women should wear a formal floor-length evening gown paired with jewelry, heels, and an elegant clutch.
Men are required to wear a tuxedo with tails (vents that fall below to the knees). With it, a white shirt, white vest, white bow tie, white gloves, and formal shoes. Oxfords, not brogues.
Pro tip: Don’t shop for these, you’re better off renting the whole get up.
Image from: polkadotwedding.com
This is the next most formal wedding dress code but fret not. No tails, vests or gloves are required.
Women should wear a formal floor-length gowns that do not reveal the ankles. If you’re feeling like a pantsuit, shop for or tailor one that fits well and isn’t too baggy.
Men must wear a tuxedo. This ensemble involves a black bow tie and black leather shoes. Feel free to accessorize your suit with a white pocket square and nice cufflinks. If you’d like to wear a normal tie, please ensure it matches the color of your suit.
Image from: nalan.com.sg
This straddles the formal and semi-formal dress codes. Cocktail attire allows you to accessorize a little more with a mix between elegant and your personal style. So swap out the floor-length dresses for something knee-length and maybe one or 2 stylish bangles.
Men are still required to wear a suit and tie, this one is non-negotiable. However, do feel free to shop for nice silk ties and pocket squares that are a little more colorful! But keep to the dress code and wear neutral colored suits.
Image from: weddingomania.com
This indicates the wedding will likely be held outdoors or on a beach. This means that this one will be much more laid-back, especially when it comes to attire. That being said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are still not a good idea.
For the ladies, keep to summer sun dresses that aren’t too revealing. Wedges or gladiator sandals are the perfect footwear for this sort of casual setting.
For the men, wear dress or khaki pants with a collared shirt. You can add a tie or linen jacket if you'd like, but it's not required. In terms of shoes, please do not wear sports shoes or sandals.
It’s casual, yes. But that's just too casual.