The Best Suit Colors for Weddings by Season and Dress Code

Figure out which color fits the bill with our definitive guide to suit colors.
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
by
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Nov 27, 2023
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Break outside of the suiting norms and incorporate some suit colors into your closet. Whether you're aiming for a classic neutral like navy or gray, a primary color like a blue suit, or trying to really go for something bold like burgundy, suit colors are a way to make a fashion statement, express yourself, and stand out in a crowd

(in a good way, without overshadowing the wedding party). Every season and every occasion comes with its own rotation of suit colors and leaning into them can bring your fit to the next level.

In this article:

What Suit Color is Best for a Wedding?

The best suit color for a wedding depends entirely on what kind of wedding you're attending. This means taking both the dress code and the season into consideration. A white-tie wedding is going to require a black tux with tails, while a semi-formal one will be far less prescriptive. Is the wedding in the spring? Lean into bright colors or light grey. Is it in the fall? Give some earthy neutrals or dusky hues a shot.

That said, these days there are fewer and fewer "rules" surrounding dress codes and suit colors. Seasonal attire guidelines go out the window if the wedding you're holding or attending is in Bali–in that case, it doesn't matter if it's May or November, you'll want to go with warm-weather attire and that often means summery colors and fabrics. Tuxedos come in any number of colors these days and formal weddings generally just require a suit and tie. The color only matters in relation to what the couple is wearing (again, you generally don't want to show up matching the wedding party).

If you're looking for a safe bet, neutrals like gray, brown, and navy are always a good call. Otherwise, embrace your personal and try something new, and when in doubt, ask your hosts.

Navy blue suit for your wedding day
Photo: UNIQUE LAPIN Photography

Dos and Don'ts for Wedding Suit and Tuxedo Colors

If you're thinking about wearing a colored suit or tux to a wedding, make sure to do it right. Follow these simple dos and don'ts to nail your look and make sure you follow wedding etiquette with ease.

Don't Wear White Without Checking With The Couple

White suits aren't totally off-limits at weddings but you still shouldn't wear one without asking the couple first. Generally, the "don't wear white" rule is aimed at attendees who'll be wearing dresses but it's still always pertinent to ask ahead of time to avoid showing up in an embarrassing fit.

Do Pair Loud Accessories With Neutral Suits

Showing up in a classic neutral like navy, gray, or brown? Take the opportunity to accessorize with style. Bring a pop of color to your suit with a bright pocket square, a patterned tie, or a fun lapel pin. Treat neutral suits like a canvas and use accessories as your paint.

Don't Think Black Tie Means Black Tuxedo

Black-tie attire dictates that you show up wearing a tuxedo. However, keep in mind that the "black" in black-tie isn't prescriptive–you can wear a tuxedo in any number of colors, from dark blue to violet to burgundy (just make sure you aren't wearing the same color tux as the groom, black notwithstanding).

Do Mix and Match Colors When Allowed

When you're attending a semi-formal wedding, mixing suit separates is allowed. It's a great opportunity to mix and match colors. You can throw on a forest-green sports coat with chocolate brown trousers or a navy jacket with gray trousers. Variance in colors can make an outfit more unique and more dynamic. If you have the chance to do it, take it.

Don't Be Afraid of Patterns

Colors can make an outfit pop, but so can patterns. The latter doesn't need to be neutral if you're aiming to wear a bold suit color. Incorporate red plaids, blue stripes, and dark green herringbone weaves into your suit. It'll only look better for it.

Don't Wear Colors Out of Season

Bright blue looks great in the spring. Come November though, it's best left in the closet in favor of more seasonally appropriate greens or navy. The rule isn't unique to that color, either–you should make sure the suit color you're wearing is right for the season in which you're wearing it. If you need help figuring that out, keep reading–we're getting there.

Wedding Suit Colors and When to Wear Them

From suit colors to tux colors, the right choice comes down to occasion and season. Your suit color can set the tone for your outfit's vibe, and the accessories you wear with it, and provide a chance to show off your own interpretation of a dress code. Here are some of our favorite suit colors, when to wear them, and how to style them.

Can I Wear A Colored Tuxedo to a Black Tie Wedding?

Short answer: absolutely. Black-tie doesn't mean a black tux. These days tuxedos come in any and all colors you can imagine. Some are certainly less common than others (I personally have yet to see a gray tuxedo available for purchase) but you can find a tuxedo in nearly every color. I'd just advise checking in with the couple before selecting yours if you aren't the one getting married. If the groom is in a black tux, don't sweat it, but if the groom has selected a specific color like navy or burgundy it's probably best to not match.

Neutral Suits

Gray Suit

Season: Year-Round

Gray, like navy, is an effortless color to style and can be worn year-round, though you may want to go with lighter shades for the summer and darker shades for the winter. Gray tuxes are uncommon but the color works great for formal dress codes and anything more casual than that.

Brown Suit

Two grooms smile at the camera in grey and brown suits
Photo: Pat Robinson Photography
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Suits: J.CREW, ASOS.COM

Season: Year-Round

Brown rounds out the classic neutral suit colors. Different shades work better for different seasons but brown never goes out of style. Go with lighter shades for the spring and summer and darker ones for the fall and winter.

Light Brown or Tan Suit

Season: Spring and Summer

Light brown suits tend to come in linen and cotton, warm-weather fabrics that come out in the spring and summer (though if you're having a destination wedding somewhere like Hawaii they're a good call year-round). You're not likely to find tuxedos that match this make or color but it's perfect for formal, semi-formal, and destination weddings.

Blue Suits

Season: Year-Round

Navy is one of the most popular suit colors for a reason. It's timeless, it's always in style, and it's neutral so it's easy to style. You can wear a navy tux, a navy blazer with suit separates at a semi-formal wedding or a navy suit for a cocktail attire gathering. With this one, you can't go wrong.

Light Blue Suit

Season: Spring and Summer

Light blue suits are a great move during the warmer months of the year. Come spring and summer they're a suiting staple. Wear these to cocktail attire and semi-formal weddings and style them with pastels to really lean into the shade.

Royal Blue Suit

Season: Spring and Summer

Like light blue, royal blue is a prime call for spring and summer. Because it's deeper rather than brighter, save the pastel accessories for a different suit. Instead, pair this one with neutrals or colors that match the depths of the blue.

Green Suits

Dark Green Suit

Season: Fall and Winter

Darker shades of green suits are a great move if you're suiting up for a fall or winter wedding. Whether it's a deep green tweed sportcoat or an olive suit, leaning into the earthier and richer shades of green makes for a great seasonal look. Style these suits with rich brown dress shoes and other earthy-toned accessories to really nail the look.

Emerald Green Suit

Season: Winter

Emerald green really pops in the winter thanks to holiday vibes. It'll look as good at a winter wedding as it will at an office holiday party. Style this one with black shoes to make the green pop even more–but don't worry, you don't have to go full red-and-green and look like a Christmas tree. Try pairing this one with a navy tie.

Light Green Suit

Season: Spring and Summer

Like light blue, light green is going to be a good call in the spring and summer. Even if the suit itself isn't in a pastel tone, try pairing accessories that are with it to complete the spring-ready look.

Red and Purple Suits

Plum/Violet Suit

Season: Fall and Winter

A purple suit can be a little harder to pull off than some of its colored counterparts but it isn't impossible with the right shade in the right season. If you go too light and style it with the wrong colors you'll risk looking like the Joker (maybe stay away from eggplant tones styled with green accessories) but darker, richer purples like plum and violet can be a great fit for fall and winter weddings (a plum tuxedo is a great left-field call for a black-tie wedding). Style these with neutral colors or different shades of purple so the color itself remains in the spotlight.

Burgundy Suit

Groom in a burgundy suit on his wedding day
Photo: STEPHANIE WEBER PHOTOGRAPHY,Suit: FRIAR TUX SHOP

Season: Fall and Winter

Burgundy is a deceptively versatile suit color come fall and winter. It pairs well with neutrals and makes a bold statement, albeit one that anyone can pull off. There are burgundy tuxes, burgundy suits, and burgundy sports coats alike. It's not quite as good a fit in the spring or summer but in fall and winter, this one can be a hit.

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