I’ve written extensively on the subject of weddings, but I’ve been getting more emails, so I’ll write it again.
You don’t need to wear a tuxedo if you’re being married, and you don’t need to wear matching outfits.
I wore a suit to my wedding (the photo above, by the way, is by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times). My groomsmen wore navy and dark gray suits, white shirts, black shoes and black and white or silver ties, which they provided themselves. This is as formal as daytime dress gets in this country, and it was all I expected from my guests, as well. Our look was coordinated and coherent without looking like we were in a chorus line or on a sports team. It also required no rentals, which are pretty much guaranteed to look awful.
Some other most-frequently-needed advice:
Please do not wear black tie during the daytime. Black tie is also called “evening wear” for a reason.
Please do not wear colors other than black, white and midnight blue if you choose to wear black tie, and do not wear a long tie.
If your bride to be has been brainwashed by the wedding-industrial complex into thinking that everything has to be the same color at a wedding, suggest this color be reflected in your boutonnieres.

I’ve written extensively on the subject of weddings, but I’ve been getting more emails, so I’ll write it again.

You don’t need to wear a tuxedo if you’re being married, and you don’t need to wear matching outfits.

I wore a suit to my wedding (the photo above, by the way, is by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times). My groomsmen wore navy and dark gray suits, white shirts, black shoes and black and white or silver ties, which they provided themselves. This is as formal as daytime dress gets in this country, and it was all I expected from my guests, as well. Our look was coordinated and coherent without looking like we were in a chorus line or on a sports team. It also required no rentals, which are pretty much guaranteed to look awful.

Some other most-frequently-needed advice:

  • Please do not wear black tie during the daytime. Black tie is also called “evening wear” for a reason.
  • Please do not wear colors other than black, white and midnight blue if you choose to wear black tie, and do not wear a long tie.
  • If your bride to be has been brainwashed by the wedding-industrial complex into thinking that everything has to be the same color at a wedding, suggest this color be reflected in your boutonnieres.
youdontmeet:

thisfits:

Morning dress, gentlemen. We must revive the tradition of wearing this for weddings in America. Who’s with me?

I like the sentiment, but as a recently married dude I’m not on board.
My wedding was in the daytime, making morning dress appropriate. The reception was in the evening though, meaning a seperate kit would be needed.
I was already asking my groomsmen to spend a lot of money: flights, several nights of hotel, gifts, time off work, etc, in addition to $125 or so to rent a tuxedo since most of them did not own their own.  I would have felt prohibitively guilty asking them to rent not one but two different suits.

Or you could have the ceremony in the evening (say five or six), reception at night (say seven or eight). 
Or just wear relatively formal lounge suits. Generally speaking, this is the alternative I endorse. No shitty rentals, everyone looks sharp. It’s reasonable to expect grown men to own or buy a dark, solid suit. Provide wedding ties if you like. Boutonnieres can match the “wedding colors” if that’s a thing. The great advantage is that you don’t wear a tuxedo during the day like a farmer.  (OK, it’s not a perfect metaphor, but I got to link to my favorite line in 30 Rock history, so let’s call it a wash.)

youdontmeet:

thisfits:

Morning dress, gentlemen. We must revive the tradition of wearing this for weddings in America. Who’s with me?

I like the sentiment, but as a recently married dude I’m not on board.

My wedding was in the daytime, making morning dress appropriate. The reception was in the evening though, meaning a seperate kit would be needed.

I was already asking my groomsmen to spend a lot of money: flights, several nights of hotel, gifts, time off work, etc, in addition to $125 or so to rent a tuxedo since most of them did not own their own.  I would have felt prohibitively guilty asking them to rent not one but two different suits.

Or you could have the ceremony in the evening (say five or six), reception at night (say seven or eight). 

Or just wear relatively formal lounge suits. Generally speaking, this is the alternative I endorse. No shitty rentals, everyone looks sharp. It’s reasonable to expect grown men to own or buy a dark, solid suit. Provide wedding ties if you like. Boutonnieres can match the “wedding colors” if that’s a thing. The great advantage is that you don’t wear a tuxedo during the day like a farmer.  (OK, it’s not a perfect metaphor, but I got to link to my favorite line in 30 Rock history, so let’s call it a wash.)

(Source: todaystie)

Q and Answer: Can I Wear a Bow Tie to a Wedding?Maria asks: I will be attending a wedding fairly soon and was thinking of  wearing a bow-tie instead of a tie, and was wondering if it might be too  over the top for the occasion.The answer is yes: it might be too over the top for the occasion.  If you are the kind of guy who wears bow ties, and the rest of your outfit (and your tie) are reasonably sedate, then it’s fine.  If you’re doing it to make a splash, a wedding isn’t really the time or place.  There are other parties that aren’t about celebrating other people who you ostensibly care about; leave the splashes to those.

Q and Answer: Can I Wear a Bow Tie to a Wedding?
Maria asks: I will be attending a wedding fairly soon and was thinking of wearing a bow-tie instead of a tie, and was wondering if it might be too over the top for the occasion.
The answer is yes: it might be too over the top for the occasion.  If you are the kind of guy who wears bow ties, and the rest of your outfit (and your tie) are reasonably sedate, then it’s fine.  If you’re doing it to make a splash, a wedding isn’t really the time or place.  There are other parties that aren’t about celebrating other people who you ostensibly care about; leave the splashes to those.

Q and Answer: Choosing an Engagement Ring
A reader (whose name will not be disclosed for obvious reasons) writes: I understand that Put This On is primarily concerned with men’s style; however, part of being a man is selecting an engagement ring for your beloved. I don’t have much experience with women’s jewelry. Are synthetic diamonds in poor taste? How much is a reasonable amount to spend on an engagement ring? What type of metal should be used? What ring style is classic?
I got engaged about three years ago now, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Being married to someone wonderful is a joy and a comfort beyond words.  Congratulations on the big step!
Now, on to your question.
First of all… yes, synthetic diamonds are in poor taste.  Generally speaking, synthetic anything is in poor taste.  The simulacrum is not well-regarded in taste circles, generally.  So dump that idea.
Real diamonds, of course, are a fraught issue themselves.  I’m not going to go too deep into it, but there are two big issues.  The first, and most pressing, is conflict (or blood) diamonds.  Many of the sources of newly-mined diamonds are in regions beset by horrific wars, and the funds from the sale of these diamonds fund this violence.  There have been many efforts to eradicate this problem from the industry, but none are perfect.  The industry itself, even the non-conflict-diamond part, is pretty fucked, too.  It’s full of creepy cartels and collusion and awful colonialist and post-colonialist grossness.  So: just don’t buy a new diamond.
That leaves you two choices, both of which (in my opinion) are quite good.  The first is to consider a non-diamond gem.  The whole diamonds are forever thing is a bit of an industry construct, and while diamonds are quite beautiful, there are other choices that are similarly beautiful, and less expensive to boot.  You should only choose this route, of course, if you’re very confident that your fiancee doesn’t prefer the traditional diamond engagement ring.  (Of course, this tradition was in large part created and fostered by the diamond industry, but that’s a whole other story.)  Generally, remember that she is going to wear this ring for the rest of her life, and if you don’t think you know her taste, you must take a conservative route.
There is one diamond option that isn’t tainted: buying a vintage ring.  Rings that we would recognize as engagement rings were produced starting around the end of the 19th century, and there are many, many options available to you.  Spend some time looking at vintage rings on eBay to familiarize yourself with the jewelry styles of the first half of the 20th century, if you’re not familiar already.  I love the filigree and geometric qualities of an art deco ring, for example, and that’s what my wife wears.  Truthfully, most jewelry made before the 50s or so is “classic” enough to be worn for a lifetime without ever looking dated.  That is to say, it will always look old, but never passe.
The size of the diamond will be the primary determinant of the cost (and value) of the ring.  A beautiful setting helps, but mostly it’s the stone.  Diamonds are graded on clarity, color, size and cut.  Elements other than size are much less important in an old “mine cut” diamond than they are in a contemporary diamond, though.  In a vintage diamond, you’re mostly looking for eye appeal.  Look for something beautiful to your eye, then get it appraised independently.  When browsing, some familarity with eBay closing prices will give you an idea of how much the markup is at the retail outlet where you’re shopping.
Most cities should have plenty of estate jewelry stores at which you can browse, and each will have many choices.  Find something you love.  eBay is a totally reasonable option as well, but remember that it can be tough to judge size of stones and so forth by looking at a photograph.  Remember, too, that you should take the same cautions you would if you were buying, say, a used car online.  Reputable dealer, independent appraisal, good return policy, and so forth.
When it comes to metals, most older rings will be yellow gold, and some  will be white or rose gold.  Platinum jewelry was much more uncommon in the first half of the 20th century than it is today.  Yellow’s usually the safest way to go, but  you should generally know if your lady prefers white or yellow metals in  her jewelry.  There are also settings that include both yellow and white gold, which are even safer.
Sizing can be tricky, but it’s inexpensive (forty bucks or so).  The best thing to do is steal a ring that fits her, find out what size it is, then have the ring you buy resized to that size.  If it isn’t a perfect fit, it can be adjusted.
As far as how much to spend, remember two (slightly contradictory) things.  The first is that it will be on her finger forever, so you’ll want to get the best piece you can.  The second is that its symbolic meaning so far outstrips its financial value that no matter what you get, she will love it.  The old rule of thumb is a month’s salary, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable.  If you’re a high earner, consider whether your wife-to-be would like to be seen as, uhm, a rich lady.  Most people are fine with that, of course.  If you’re not a high earner, again, remember that the ring will be the symbol of your love and commitment, and that is more beautiful than any rock.
Remember also that you can, if you like, shop for a ring together.  If you feel her taste far outstrips yours, buy a beautiful ruby ring for a couple hundred dollars, propose with that, and after the moment has passed, mention that you’d like to shop with her for something permanent.
When it comes to your wife’s wedding band, there may be something in the family you can use.  Otherwise, you can use something simple made to match the engagement ring - a jeweler can make this for you for a modest price.
Hopefully that’s helpful.  I’m excited for you.
And by the way: when you’re shopping for your wedding band, just buy it at Costco.  Seriously.  Great prices, nice designs, free sizing.  I’m very happy I bought mine there.  Keep it simple.  Yellow gold.
One note (thanks Chuck): some people are sensitive to nickel, which was used for many years to alloy much white gold.  If your wife has had problems (other than the usual finger-turning-green) with 9K or lower gold, this may be an issue for her, and you should inquire with the jeweler about the metal used to alloy any white gold.

Q and Answer: Choosing an Engagement Ring

A reader (whose name will not be disclosed for obvious reasons) writes: I understand that Put This On is primarily concerned with men’s style;
however, part of being a man is selecting an engagement ring for your
beloved. I don’t have much experience with women’s jewelry. Are
synthetic diamonds in poor taste? How much is a reasonable amount to
spend on an engagement ring? What type of metal should be used? What
ring style is classic?

I got engaged about three years ago now, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Being married to someone wonderful is a joy and a comfort beyond words.  Congratulations on the big step!

Now, on to your question.

First of all… yes, synthetic diamonds are in poor taste.  Generally speaking, synthetic anything is in poor taste.  The simulacrum is not well-regarded in taste circles, generally.  So dump that idea.

Real diamonds, of course, are a fraught issue themselves.  I’m not going to go too deep into it, but there are two big issues.  The first, and most pressing, is conflict (or blood) diamonds.  Many of the sources of newly-mined diamonds are in regions beset by horrific wars, and the funds from the sale of these diamonds fund this violence.  There have been many efforts to eradicate this problem from the industry, but none are perfect.  The industry itself, even the non-conflict-diamond part, is pretty fucked, too.  It’s full of creepy cartels and collusion and awful colonialist and post-colonialist grossness.  So: just don’t buy a new diamond.

That leaves you two choices, both of which (in my opinion) are quite good.  The first is to consider a non-diamond gem.  The whole diamonds are forever thing is a bit of an industry construct, and while diamonds are quite beautiful, there are other choices that are similarly beautiful, and less expensive to boot.  You should only choose this route, of course, if you’re very confident that your fiancee doesn’t prefer the traditional diamond engagement ring.  (Of course, this tradition was in large part created and fostered by the diamond industry, but that’s a whole other story.)  Generally, remember that she is going to wear this ring for the rest of her life, and if you don’t think you know her taste, you must take a conservative route.

There is one diamond option that isn’t tainted: buying a vintage ring.  Rings that we would recognize as engagement rings were produced starting around the end of the 19th century, and there are many, many options available to you.  Spend some time looking at vintage rings on eBay to familiarize yourself with the jewelry styles of the first half of the 20th century, if you’re not familiar already.  I love the filigree and geometric qualities of an art deco ring, for example, and that’s what my wife wears.  Truthfully, most jewelry made before the 50s or so is “classic” enough to be worn for a lifetime without ever looking dated.  That is to say, it will always look old, but never passe.

The size of the diamond will be the primary determinant of the cost (and value) of the ring.  A beautiful setting helps, but mostly it’s the stone.  Diamonds are graded on clarity, color, size and cut.  Elements other than size are much less important in an old “mine cut” diamond than they are in a contemporary diamond, though.  In a vintage diamond, you’re mostly looking for eye appeal.  Look for something beautiful to your eye, then get it appraised independently.  When browsing, some familarity with eBay closing prices will give you an idea of how much the markup is at the retail outlet where you’re shopping.

Most cities should have plenty of estate jewelry stores at which you can browse, and each will have many choices.  Find something you love.  eBay is a totally reasonable option as well, but remember that it can be tough to judge size of stones and so forth by looking at a photograph.  Remember, too, that you should take the same cautions you would if you were buying, say, a used car online.  Reputable dealer, independent appraisal, good return policy, and so forth.

When it comes to metals, most older rings will be yellow gold, and some will be white or rose gold.  Platinum jewelry was much more uncommon in the first half of the 20th century than it is today.  Yellow’s usually the safest way to go, but you should generally know if your lady prefers white or yellow metals in her jewelry.  There are also settings that include both yellow and white gold, which are even safer.

Sizing can be tricky, but it’s inexpensive (forty bucks or so).  The best thing to do is steal a ring that fits her, find out what size it is, then have the ring you buy resized to that size.  If it isn’t a perfect fit, it can be adjusted.

As far as how much to spend, remember two (slightly contradictory) things.  The first is that it will be on her finger forever, so you’ll want to get the best piece you can.  The second is that its symbolic meaning so far outstrips its financial value that no matter what you get, she will love it.  The old rule of thumb is a month’s salary, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable.  If you’re a high earner, consider whether your wife-to-be would like to be seen as, uhm, a rich lady.  Most people are fine with that, of course.  If you’re not a high earner, again, remember that the ring will be the symbol of your love and commitment, and that is more beautiful than any rock.

Remember also that you can, if you like, shop for a ring together.  If you feel her taste far outstrips yours, buy a beautiful ruby ring for a couple hundred dollars, propose with that, and after the moment has passed, mention that you’d like to shop with her for something permanent.

When it comes to your wife’s wedding band, there may be something in the family you can use.  Otherwise, you can use something simple made to match the engagement ring - a jeweler can make this for you for a modest price.

Hopefully that’s helpful.  I’m excited for you.

And by the way: when you’re shopping for your wedding band, just buy it at Costco.  Seriously.  Great prices, nice designs, free sizing.  I’m very happy I bought mine there.  Keep it simple.  Yellow gold.

One note (thanks Chuck): some people are sensitive to nickel, which was used for many years to alloy much white gold.  If your wife has had problems (other than the usual finger-turning-green) with 9K or lower gold, this may be an issue for her, and you should inquire with the jeweler about the metal used to alloy any white gold.

STYLE CELEBRITIES: THEY’RE JUST LIKE YOU!
THEIR MOMS HAVE GARDENS.
THEY GO TO WEDDINGS.
THEIR WIFE INSISTS THEY TAKE A PICTURE OF THEIR OUTFIT BECAUSE THEY LOOK SO HANDSOME AND THEY SHOULD “SHOW IT TO THEIR INTERNET FRIENDS.” 

STYLE CELEBRITIES: THEY’RE JUST LIKE YOU!

  • THEIR MOMS HAVE GARDENS.
  • THEY GO TO WEDDINGS.
  • THEIR WIFE INSISTS THEY TAKE A PICTURE OF THEIR OUTFIT BECAUSE THEY LOOK SO HANDSOME AND THEY SHOULD “SHOW IT TO THEIR INTERNET FRIENDS.” 
How lovely does Simon Crompton, from Permanent Style, look in his wedding suit?
This is relatively informal wedding attire for a man executed perfectly.  It’s also a near perfectly-fitting suit.
The elements: blue suit, white shirt, white square, wedding tie, black shoes.  All spectacular.

How lovely does Simon Crompton, from Permanent Style, look in his wedding suit?

This is relatively informal wedding attire for a man executed perfectly.  It’s also a near perfectly-fitting suit.

The elements: blue suit, white shirt, white square, wedding tie, black shoes.  All spectacular.

Q and Answer: When can I wear seersucker?
Sam writes: I know the traditional advice that one should only wear a seersucker  suit after Memorial Day, but I’m also aware that seersucker tends to be a  traditionally southern style of dress. I am now presented with the  opportunity to attend a post-Memorial day wedding in the Northeast. I  intend to wear my suit in an entirely un-ironic way. Can I get away with  this?
Seersucker is a very, very bold statement.  As a general rule, it’s best to avoid very, very bold statements at weddings, on the theory that the attention at a wedding should be on the bride, not on the guests.
That said, I think there is room for seersucker at a wedding, particularly considering the contemporary resurgence of the fashion nationwide.  The basics are pretty simple. 
As you’ve already figured out, you should follow the weather.  I’d be comfortable going as far back in the year as Easter if it’s hot outside.  
You should also follow the time of day - seersucker is at home in the sun, not so much the night.  It’s fine if you’re going to an event that starts at 2, but not so much one that starts at 6.
It should fit the occasion.  Don’t show up all Colonel Sanders-ed out to a wedding where everyone else is wearing t-shirts they got from sending in cigarette UPCs.
You should do it right.  It should fit and look good.  This advice is a bit more nebulous, but it has to be that way.  It’s key for it not to look like a goofy costume, and that requires some panache on your part, some comfort in the role, and some great execution.
Fulfill those goals and you’ll be golden.  My pal Rob wore seersucker to my San Francisco wedding, and he looked like a million dollars.  It can be done.

Q and Answer: When can I wear seersucker?

Sam writes: I know the traditional advice that one should only wear a seersucker suit after Memorial Day, but I’m also aware that seersucker tends to be a traditionally southern style of dress. I am now presented with the opportunity to attend a post-Memorial day wedding in the Northeast. I intend to wear my suit in an entirely un-ironic way. Can I get away with this?

Seersucker is a very, very bold statement.  As a general rule, it’s best to avoid very, very bold statements at weddings, on the theory that the attention at a wedding should be on the bride, not on the guests.

That said, I think there is room for seersucker at a wedding, particularly considering the contemporary resurgence of the fashion nationwide.  The basics are pretty simple. 

  • As you’ve already figured out, you should follow the weather.  I’d be comfortable going as far back in the year as Easter if it’s hot outside. 
  • You should also follow the time of day - seersucker is at home in the sun, not so much the night.  It’s fine if you’re going to an event that starts at 2, but not so much one that starts at 6.
  • It should fit the occasion.  Don’t show up all Colonel Sanders-ed out to a wedding where everyone else is wearing t-shirts they got from sending in cigarette UPCs.
  • You should do it right.  It should fit and look good.  This advice is a bit more nebulous, but it has to be that way.  It’s key for it not to look like a goofy costume, and that requires some panache on your part, some comfort in the role, and some great execution.

Fulfill those goals and you’ll be golden.  My pal Rob wore seersucker to my San Francisco wedding, and he looked like a million dollars.  It can be done.

Q and Answer: What To Wear To A Summer Wedding?
Stephan asks: I’m attending a few weddings this summer (one in Stockholm, the other in Windsor [Canada]), and am looking for some  pointers on a solid summer suit. Both weddings are outdoor affairs (“garden  party”-esque). Is a beige-coloured suit pretty safe for these sorts of affairs? I’m  also looking for something I can wear back at the office.
Outdoors in summer, you’ll want to wear something that wears cool - that means lightweight wool, linen or cotton.  Fine weights of wool in tropical weaves can actually be among the coolest fabrics, but they also tend to be expensive.  If you’re the kind of guy who can afford to have a suit made, ask your tailor about frescoes. 
If you’re looking to get out of this thing cheap, cotton or linen is the way to go.  J. Crew has a lovely linen suit for about $400.  Linen’s a little classier than cotton, but if cotton’s your preference, L.L. Bean Signature’s offering is under $200 at the moment.  I haven’t been in an H&M store lately, but they’ve usually got something similar in that price range, and Target often has a decent cotton suit offering as well.
There is one further option: seersucker.  If you happen to live in the South, where it’s less affectation, more way of life, it can keep you cool and comfortable.  If you live in a place where it may seem odd, you should consider the possibility that it will make you the center of attention - weddings should always be focused on the bride.
Remember that cotton and linen suits are much more casual than their wool counterparts.  Perfect for an outdoor daytime event, but a little less suitable for an office.  If you’re going the office route, I’d recommend going with a color like navy, rather than khaki, for your suit.  That should make it sober enough for most casual-leaning business wear offices. 

Q and Answer: What To Wear To A Summer Wedding?

Stephan asks: I’m attending a few weddings this summer (one in Stockholm, the other in Windsor [Canada]), and am looking for some pointers on a solid summer suit. Both weddings are outdoor affairs (“garden party”-esque). Is a beige-coloured suit pretty safe for these sorts of affairs? I’m also looking for something I can wear back at the office.

Outdoors in summer, you’ll want to wear something that wears cool - that means lightweight wool, linen or cotton.  Fine weights of wool in tropical weaves can actually be among the coolest fabrics, but they also tend to be expensive.  If you’re the kind of guy who can afford to have a suit made, ask your tailor about frescoes. 

If you’re looking to get out of this thing cheap, cotton or linen is the way to go.  J. Crew has a lovely linen suit for about $400.  Linen’s a little classier than cotton, but if cotton’s your preference, L.L. Bean Signature’s offering is under $200 at the moment.  I haven’t been in an H&M store lately, but they’ve usually got something similar in that price range, and Target often has a decent cotton suit offering as well.

There is one further option: seersucker.  If you happen to live in the South, where it’s less affectation, more way of life, it can keep you cool and comfortable.  If you live in a place where it may seem odd, you should consider the possibility that it will make you the center of attention - weddings should always be focused on the bride.

Remember that cotton and linen suits are much more casual than their wool counterparts.  Perfect for an outdoor daytime event, but a little less suitable for an office.  If you’re going the office route, I’d recommend going with a color like navy, rather than khaki, for your suit.  That should make it sober enough for most casual-leaning business wear offices. 

All this wedding talk has got us pumped on true love, and just in time, our pal and logo designer Stefan Lawrence, from the wonderful sketch comedy group Elephant Larry, tossed this photo our way.  Stefan’s suit is made-to-measure by Freeman’s Sporting Club in New York, whose suits are made by Martin Greenfield Tailors from vintage fabrics.
A few things to notice about this wonderful ensemble:
Stefan’s level of formality matches that of his lovely wife Biz.  She’s wearing an elegant but relatively informal wedding dress, he’s in a suit, which is similarly informal (despite what they tell you).
His suit is contemporary, but not exaggerated.  You can see that it has a slightly narrow lapel and short jacket, as is the current style, but he’ll never be embarrassed by how it looks.
The suit fits perfectly.  Note the slight waist suppression, the trim but well-defined shoulders, the bit of cuff showing.
If I was going to change anything about this, I might use a smaller tie knot, and I’d consider a smaller boutonniere.  Ladies and florists can get a bit overexcited when it comes to decorating men’s lapels, and particularly when they’re slim (as Stefan’s are), the flowers can overwhelm rather than compliment.  Of course, I had a big-ass lily on my lapel, so who am I to say?
All in all, this is more or less perfect execution.  Stefan looks elegant without taking any attention from his beautiful bride, he has a suit he can wear for all kinds of occasions for many years, and he looks like himself, not like he’s wearing a costume.  Well done!

All this wedding talk has got us pumped on true love, and just in time, our pal and logo designer Stefan Lawrence, from the wonderful sketch comedy group Elephant Larry, tossed this photo our way.  Stefan’s suit is made-to-measure by Freeman’s Sporting Club in New York, whose suits are made by Martin Greenfield Tailors from vintage fabrics.

A few things to notice about this wonderful ensemble:

  • Stefan’s level of formality matches that of his lovely wife Biz.  She’s wearing an elegant but relatively informal wedding dress, he’s in a suit, which is similarly informal (despite what they tell you).
  • His suit is contemporary, but not exaggerated.  You can see that it has a slightly narrow lapel and short jacket, as is the current style, but he’ll never be embarrassed by how it looks.
  • The suit fits perfectly.  Note the slight waist suppression, the trim but well-defined shoulders, the bit of cuff showing.

If I was going to change anything about this, I might use a smaller tie knot, and I’d consider a smaller boutonniere.  Ladies and florists can get a bit overexcited when it comes to decorating men’s lapels, and particularly when they’re slim (as Stefan’s are), the flowers can overwhelm rather than compliment.  Of course, I had a big-ass lily on my lapel, so who am I to say?

All in all, this is more or less perfect execution.  Stefan looks elegant without taking any attention from his beautiful bride, he has a suit he can wear for all kinds of occasions for many years, and he looks like himself, not like he’s wearing a costume.  Well done!

Q and Answer: What to Wear as a Wedding Guest
Philip writes: Dug your post about groom and groomsmen attire. Could we get a complimentary article on what to wear to a wedding as a guest?
As a wedding guest, your job is to dress in a manner that shows you care, without upstaging the wedding party or, particularly, the bride.  After all, she’s a princess for a day and wears a tiara and all that bullshit.
If a dress code is provided, follow it.  This even applies to black tie events during the day.  It’s not your wedding.
"Black Tie Optional" means wear black tie unless you for some reason cannot.  Like you sincerely can’t afford to rent or buy a tuxedo.  If the dress code is truly indecipherable (I once went to a wedding event with a "Calypso Casual" dress code), it’s appropriate to ask whichever member of the wedding party you’re close with, but do so well in advance of the wedding.  Don’t bother them in the last couple of weeks, they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
For most American weddings, a man should wear a suit.  Follow the rules for lounge suits we set out in our article about dressing as a groom (no striped suits, peak lapels more formal than notch, solid colors best, no black suits) and you’ll be fine. 
A wedding tie is not a requirement, but it does add a bit of class to your ensemble.
Outdoor weddings are generally slightly less formal than indoor. 
During the summer, linen is fine, cotton is fine, and if you live somewhere (like the Southeast) where seersucker is normal-ish, seersucker is fine. 
A suit without a tie or a sport coat will work well for a more casual wedding. 
Stick with black shoes for all but the most casual ceremonies.
A carnation in your lapel will make all the difference.  Stop by a florist on the way and spend a dollar.
Under no circumstances are you to wear a tie without a jacket, unless the wedding is taking place behind the counter of a bank.

Q and Answer: What to Wear as a Wedding Guest

Philip writes: Dug your post about groom and groomsmen attire. Could we get a complimentary article on what to wear to a wedding as a guest?

As a wedding guest, your job is to dress in a manner that shows you care, without upstaging the wedding party or, particularly, the bride.  After all, she’s a princess for a day and wears a tiara and all that bullshit.

  • If a dress code is provided, follow it.  This even applies to black tie events during the day.  It’s not your wedding.
  • "Black Tie Optional" means wear black tie unless you for some reason cannot.  Like you sincerely can’t afford to rent or buy a tuxedo.  If the dress code is truly indecipherable (I once went to a wedding event with a "Calypso Casual" dress code), it’s appropriate to ask whichever member of the wedding party you’re close with, but do so well in advance of the wedding.  Don’t bother them in the last couple of weeks, they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • For most American weddings, a man should wear a suit.  Follow the rules for lounge suits we set out in our article about dressing as a groom (no striped suits, peak lapels more formal than notch, solid colors best, no black suits) and you’ll be fine.
  • A wedding tie is not a requirement, but it does add a bit of class to your ensemble.
  • Outdoor weddings are generally slightly less formal than indoor.
  • During the summer, linen is fine, cotton is fine, and if you live somewhere (like the Southeast) where seersucker is normal-ish, seersucker is fine.
  • A suit without a tie or a sport coat will work well for a more casual wedding.
  • Stick with black shoes for all but the most casual ceremonies.
  • A carnation in your lapel will make all the difference.  Stop by a florist on the way and spend a dollar.
  • Under no circumstances are you to wear a tie without a jacket, unless the wedding is taking place behind the counter of a bank.