As the days get hotter, weekend calendars fill up with plans for barbecues, beach days...and, of course, summer weddings. It’s the most popular time of year for couples to celebrate their big day, so chances are high your family may have an invitation or two already lined up.
For young men, knowing what to wear to a summer wedding can be surprisingly tricky. The extremities of the season can make it difficult to know just what to wear: that classic, go-to suit you wear to most formal events might just make you feel miserable on this occasion. And even that suit that was perfect for June’s California beach wedding may not do for the September nuptials celebration in Colorado.
Happily, with just a little advanced planning, you can be sure to keep comfortable and as classy as a young James Bond throughout the whole event.
Here are 5 factors to take into consideration when deciding on a summer wedding suit:
Summer weddings are often an opportunity to travel to exotic destinations. Whether you’re flying halfway around the globe or just driving down the block, however, you want to make sure your attire is fitted to the location where you will be. Miami may be humid, while a Caribbean Island might be drier and breezier. Quick research into average temperatures can help you know what to be sure to pack. And it might not hurt to bring a backup suit, just in case.
Double-check to make sure you know where both the ceremony and reception are being held. What you would wear outdoors under a blazing sun is obviously different from what would be best indoors with blasting air-conditioning. If the plans involve drastically differing settings throughout the day, you want to be prepared with pieces you can modify as the events progress.
Summer may be hot, but the time of day can make all the difference. Don’t just assume you’ll need a lightweight suit because it is summer – an evening wedding may feel more like March or October. But if there are, indeed, outdoor events planned for a July mid-afternoon, then a suit of light fabrics and colors will be the smart option.
Linen suits are arguably the best summer formalwear for men of all ages – the textures will keep you fresh and cool while still looking sharp in the sun. But other lightweight materials, such as cotton, may be a better breathable choice, especially in a cooler locale. And don’t forget about your shoes: light loafers made from materials that allow air and moisture to pass through, such as suede, will keep you happy on your feet throughout the day.
Summer formalwear can be a perfect opportunity for young men to experiment with color. Those dark grays and blacks that may make up the rest of your formal wardrobe simply won’t be appropriate for many summer weddings, so here’s your chance to switch things up. If you typically prefer suits in shades of blues or grays, why not try a classic navy or light gray stripe? And if you’ll be going to the shore, you may capture that beach feeling best in sand beige tones. If you want to look trendy, try a tie or pocket scarf with a splash of bright color, like turquoise or coral pink.
Summer weddings are an opportunity to make memories and maybe even some new acquaintances. But don’t forget: the bride and groom are the stars of this show – your role is to keep well-dressed in an understated way. After all, social etiquette and class are always fundamental to the modern young gentleman, wherever in this world you may go.