Wondering what counts as proper wedding attire for men? We’re here to answer all of your questions. If you’re heading to a summer wedding, it can often be difficult to determine what you should wear, especially as a guy. Many brides and grooms choose a dress code for wedding guests to set expectations, but some wedding dress codes aren’t clear.
Is a suit the best option for a wedding? Not always. You don’t want to appear overdressed if the wedding is at the beach, but you never want to be underdressed because you misinterpreted the term dressy casual. To determine the best in wedding attire for men, we’ve broken down the most common wedding attire terms—and we’ve given you outfit suggestions for each!
Wedding Attire For Men: Common Invitation Dress Codes
Beach Wedding Attire
Beach wedding attire might be the easiest to assemble because it’s arguably the most casual. Depending on the formality of the wedding, an invitation that suggests beach wedding attire will likely let you get away with khaki shorts, a button down, and no shoes. If it’s a formal beach wedding, the invitation will tell you. For this occasion, we suggest assembling an outfit out of a light-colored and light-weight suit. Wear dress shoes but bring along a pair of sandals to change into during the ceremony—you don’t want sand in your nicest pair of loafers!
What to wear if the invitation says beach wedding attire: Lightweight suit, loafers, and sandals to change into while in the sand.
Casual Wedding Attire
Putting casual wedding attire on a wedding invitation is a risky move for any bride and groom. You’re likely to get all kinds of looks—but if you’re a guest, know that this doesn’t mean you can pull off a cotton tee and casual shorts. It’s your job to understand what casual wedding attire means. Casual wedding attire for men calls for, at least, dress slacks and a nice shirt—a button down or a polo would do. Casual loafers, sneakers, or boat shoes are fine here. Your goal is simply to show respect for the bride and groom, while still blending into the laid-back environment they wanted to create for their guests.
What to wear if the invitation says casual wedding attire: Dress slacks and a nice shirt, plus loafers, sneakers, or boat shoes to match.
Dressy Casual Wedding Attire
Dressy casual wedding attire can seem like a difficult dress code to understand—but it’s actually very simple. Replace dressy with the word “semi” and “casual” with the word formal. Essentially dressy casual wedding attire is just a synonym for semi-formal wedding attire. Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Dress in a shirt nicer than a polo and break out your nicer dress pants. Tie optional. No sneakers or boat shoes, please.
What to wear if the invitation says dressy casual wedding attire: Button down, dress pants, and nice brown or black loafers. Tie optional.
Cocktail Wedding Attire
Cocktail wedding attire is a bit dressier than dressy casual, but not yet formal. Likely to take place in the evening hours, you’re going to want to look sharp—but not go out and rent a tux. For this look, think of the kind of looks you’d wear to work on the day of a major meeting or presentation. Show a little more personality what you’d typically wear to your 9 to 5, but don’t overdo it. Khaki slacks, a button-down, a tie, a blazer, and lace-up loafers will do.
What to wear if the invitation says cocktail wedding attire: Khaki slacks, a button-down, a tie, a blazer, and lace-up loafers.
Formal Wedding Attire
Formal wedding attire for men can come in two forms: black tie or black tie optional. Typically if a wedding takes place after five ‘o’clock, it falls into the formal category—unless the bride and groom opt for a more casual night wedding. If your invite says black tie, assume that you’ll be renting a tux for this occasion and break out your best black dress shoes. If it says black tie optional, you’re off the hook if you can’t rent or wear a tuxedo. Dark suits, ties, and dark dress shoes are acceptable as black tie optional wedding attire for men.
What to wear if the invitation says formal wedding attire: Tuxedo or dark suit, a tie, and dark dress shoes.
Didn’t have a dress code on the invitation? Wow, what a bold move by the bride and groom. Clearly, they trust you to make the best decision on what to wear on their big day. As a guest, you know the bride and groom personally—and you know what they would consider appropriate—but use caution. You want to dress well, but there’s a fine line. You don’t want to be underdressed, but you also don’t want to outshine the wedding party. If you’re not sure, aim somewhere between casual wedding attire and dressy casual wedding attire—just maybe avoid wearing sneakers?
Wedding Appropriate Shoes For Men—Each Under $75
Being a guest at a wedding can get expensive. When you add up the gift, the attire, and travel costs, wedding’s can eat into your budget. Don’t overspend while trying to look sharp for your friend or family member’s big day. We can’t help you with the gift—but we can help you find great deals on men’s dress shoes. Here’s what we’ve found.
At our core, Purcado is a price-comparison tool with the goal of saving you time and money when shopping for shoes. We’re committed to helping you find the best deal on shoes every single day. Use Purcado’s one-of-a-kind search engine to compare prices on thousands of shoes from 65+ retailers instantly. We’ve got all of your favorite brands—Nike, Adidas, Steve Madden, Sam Edelman and more—at prices you’ll love.
Our philosophy? If you paid full price for the shoes on your feet, you’ve paid too much. If you shop around and shop often, you’re sure to find the same shoes at a lower price. But you don’t have the time to hop from store to store—and we get that. With Purcado, we take the stress out of shoe shopping by saving you time and money—and giving you peace of mind that you scored the best deal!
Not convinced? The average Purcado user saves up to 70% off retail price from all of the top brands. Why pay more for the same pair of shoes? Try us out today and see why we’re the new way to shop!