Although weddings are fun and exciting for the bride and groom, getting an invitation with a dress code can cause a little apprehension for the guests. The last thing you want to do is show up sticking out like a sore thumb and endure a full day of side-eye from the bride's family. If you don't own a full suit, you may wonder when it would be appropriate to wear a nice sports jacket with a pair of slacks. Here, we unravel the mystery of proper wedding attire for guests.
You should be able to find the dress code right on the invitation. If not, you can ask the groom, bride, or wedding planner. The venue itself should give you a clue about what type of attire is appropriate. For example, a beach wedding with a dress code of beach formal would still call for a suit and tie, but you can wear lighter-coloured suits. Any outdoor wedding would likely be more casual than one indoors, especially one at a church.
Any dress code that includes the word "formal" would require a tuxedo or suit. In these cases, a sports jacket would not be appropriate even if it matches the slacks in colour. Formal dress codes include white-tie, black-tie and semi-formal. Even a cocktail dress code would still require a dark-coloured blazer, with or without a tie.
A casual dress code for a wedding is not the same thing as casual wear on your own time. A casual dress code usually includes long pants, a polo or button-down dress shirt, and an optional sports jacket. You could wear a button-down dress shirt by itself or a polo shirt with a sports jacket. Dressy casual includes most of what you would expect for a casual dress code, but a patterned suit is also appropriate. A non-standard dress code could mean anything from a themed, costume-type event to very casual. You should check with the bride and groom if you aren't sure what they are expecting for a non-standard dress code.
If you do wear a sports jacket to a wedding, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You should only button the top button. You should never button the bottom button. You may unbutton your jacket when you sit down, but be sure to button it back up when you stand up again. You should wait until the most senior person in the wedding party removes their jacket before taking yours off as the festivities progress.
Now that we've cleared all of that up, you are ready to pick out a nice sports jacket for that causal or dressy-casual wedding you will be attending. If you need a suit for a semi-formal, cocktail, or beach formal dress code, we've got you covered. Tip Top Tailors is a premier provider of high-quality, Canadian, men's suits, sports jackets, and formal-wear. We've been helping men look great at weddings and other special occasions since 1909. We also have a simple, no-hassle return policy to further help you enjoy your shopping experience. Come and visit us and see how we can help take all of the anxiety out of getting ready to attend your next wedding.