Men's Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas for Every Style
Got a closet full of clothes and still nothing to wear for that wedding you're attending in a couple weeks? Fear not, dudes–I've got you covered. It can be a sneaky difficult thing to figure out. From dress codes (what's the difference between white-tie and black-tie?) to etiquette (can guys wear white to a wedding?) putting together a men's wedding guest outfit can feel like running an obstacle course. I'm here to run it for you. Below you'll find a selection of some of my personal favorite wedding guest fits for 2023. These will help you navigate any dress code, vibe, destination, and season you could imagine–and will all have you looking great as you do it.
In this article:
SOS: What Do Guys Wear as a Wedding Guest?
Before you get too stressed about your wedding fit, there are a couple of questions you need the answers to:
- What is the dress code?
- What's the venue?
- What's the weather going to be like?
The dress code is the most important factor to lock in before putting your outfit together. It's the difference between wearing a tuxedo (black tie) and not wearing a tie (a semi-formal garden affair). The most formal dress code is white-tie with beach weddings and dressy casual affairs serving as the more relaxed counterparts. Between them is a range of formality.. Dress codes don't come with breathing room–make sure you're showing up in an appropriate fit. Pro tip: Couples with super specific dress codes (read: a bit ambiguous) usually share additional details on their wedding website.
Venue and weather will be the next two factors you'll want to consider. If the wedding is taking place outdoors you'll want to dress appropriately for the weather. Venues like churches come with an inherent degree of formality compared to a historic venues or an art museum.
Below is a guide that touches on every dress code, setting, and season imaginable when prepping to be the best dressedwedding guest. There are options for the fashion-savvy and ones for dudes who may be buying a suit for the first time. Consider this a cheat sheet–the outfits are going to be curated from head to toe so you can use them as inspiration, mix and match, or just steal the look outright!
Men's Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas for Every Style
Here are some of my favorite men's wedding guest outfit ideas. From simple navy suits to rentable tuxedos and wild, off-kilter fits, you could show up to a wedding in any of these and turn heads.
For a Black-Tie Wedding
We're going to start things off simple: if you need a tuxedo but aren't sure you're going to have another excuse to wear it for a while, let The Black Tux make things easier for you. They provide full outfits (that means the tux plus shoes and all the necessary accessories) for a fraction of the full price you'd pay to buy it all. It doesn't get much more classic than their standard notch-lapel tux. If you're looking for easy black-tie,, theydeliver—right to your door. hip it back to them when you're done (that's right, you don't even have to dry-clean it)
For a Black-Tie Optional/Formal Wedding
I'm always in favor of wearing a tux when there's an opportunity to do so. Still, if you don't already own one or you've had one excuse too many to don satin lapels this year, there are other routes to take. A three-piece suit usually bridges the gap between tuxes and suits pretty deftly. Spier & MacKay's sharkskin three-piece is a dapper addition to your wardrobe, especially when paired with J. Crew's classic dress shirt (available in three different fits to accommodate your preferences) and Beckett Simonon's classic black oxfords. Finish it off with a solid colored tie and you'll have navigated this dress code perfectly.
For a Semi-Formal Wedding
Semi-formal is generally the point on the dress code scale at which mixing suiting separates becomes appropriate. It's a great way to build an outfit from the ground up and really express your sense of style. For weddings like this I tend to like to mix a nice sport coat like this one from Todd Snyder with a cool oxford. Ties tend to be optional at semi-formal weddings so we're going to leave them out of this fit. Add a nice pair of trousers and some well-worn loafers an you're in the running for best dressed.
For a Dressy-Casual Wedding
Dressy casual weddings are another opportunity to mix separates and to eschew the suiting route. For this one, let's go with an outfit very much of the moment–a knit polo and belted gurkha trousers. Add some suede loafers and you're nailing this dress code.
For a Beach Wedding
Lean into the theme with an outfit that pays homage to the locale. A Hawaiian shirt (a nice one, not the one you've had since Luau Night in college) and a good pair of shorts is the way to go, plus a pair of Sabahs to cover your feet in something other than flip-flops–those are for water parks, not weddings!
For a Spring/Summer Wedding
Spring is a great time to introduce some color to your wardrobe after a long winter. Pastels, and florals return in a big way so lean in. As spring turns to summer, embrace brighter hues and lighter fabrics. This light blue beauty from Suitsupply is made from a silk linen blend, perfect for warmer weather, and will look great with a big-collared dress shirt and loafers.
For a Fall/Winter Wedding
Colder weather calls for warmer fabrics and rich colors. Indochino's plaid suit is perfect for the season and can be worn as atraditional suit or in a less-conventional way–try pairing the trouserswith a black turtleneck and dress boots for an unforgettable wedding fit.
For a Western Wedding
Western-themed weddings are trending and offer an opportunity to try out some of our favorite suiting trends in 2023. We're gonna have some fun with this one partner. Let's start with an unconventional blazer like this casual hopsack number from Banana Republic. Pair it with some dark-wash Levi's 501s (when you have the chance to wear denim at a wedding, you take it) and a chambray shirt. Finish it off with a hat and boots–a little bit of cowboy, a little bit of formality, a whole lot of eyes on your killer ensemble.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wedding Guest Outfits for Men
In the mood for some guidance if not necessarily a shopping list? Read on for answers to some of the more common questions guys have about how to get dressed for a wedding as a guest.
Can guys wear white to a wedding?
This is going to depend on the dress code. For black-tie and formal events, avoid white. But the more casual the wedding is, the more acceptable it is to work white into your outfit. Maybe don't do head-to-toe white but something like a creamy off-white sport coat at a semi-formal wedding isn't too much of a faux-pas–and once you get to beach weddings you're going to be looking at a sea of linen hues that skew light in color.
How do I dress appropriately for a wedding without wearing a suit?
It all depends on the dress code, but a good rule to live by is to skip the tee shirt, jeans or shorts unless instructed to wear them. Once you get in the dressy casual and beach attire dress codes, suiting is fairly optional. The more casual the celebration, the more you can infuse style and personality into your look (think: point camp collar shirt, dress shirts no blazer).
Can guys wear jeans to a wedding?
See above. It depends on the dress code. A ranch or western wedding lends itself to a good pair of dark denim, but a garden wedding, less so. Once you're in the dressy-casual range you can sometimes get away with it, though you shouldn't think about it until you've checked the wedding website for dress code instructions and maybe even checked in with the couple. Venue also plays into this–a semi-formal wedding in the spring or summer at an outdoor venue may be an acceptable time to wear jeans with a dress shirt and blazer.