8 dress codes you may find on a wedding invitation. For men

          There are 8 dress codes you may find on a wedding invitation

White Tie

This is an extremely formal and the fanciest dress code for a wedding. You are required to wear a tuxedo with tails, a white waistcoat, a bow tie, and black shoes. You can even go ahead and wear white gloves.

Black Tie

This is usually meant for evening weddings, usually after 5:00 pm. It is a notch lower from the White Tie; you are required to wear a tuxedo with a bow tie and black leather shoes. At some weddings, you might be expected to wear a white dinner jacket in summer. Pro-tip; If the dress code is indicated as black tie optional or formal, then this means that you can opt to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit and tie.

Cocktail Attire

A cocktail attire falls somewhere just below the formality of a black tie and a step-up of a business suit. It calls for a dark suit, probably navy or charcoal, and a tie. Sometimes, a broken suit may also do as long as you look chic. Some ceremonies may find dark jeans paired with a blazer acceptable but if you are not sure, keep off jeans.

Beach Formal

The Suit: For a beach wedding (likely in warmer months), this is where you get to play with that: Light-colored summer suits and linen fabrics are perfect for beach weddings.The Accessories: You should wear a tie or a pocket square. For your feet, keep in mind you might be walking near sand and water. Of course, that's no excuse to wear sandals or anything else you wouldn't otherwise be wearing to a formal event. Light colors, textiles, and shoes you can wear sockless are good options here.

Dressy Casual

The Suit: You could go for trousers or nice chinos. On top, you could wear a crewneck with a blazer, or just a button-down. "Could" is the operative word here. If it's dressy, a jacket—or a patterned suit like Kevin Love's—is generally the best move. The Accessories: Tie strictly not required. But be careful of your shoes here. You might think your "dressy sneakers" are perfect. The couple might not. But if they're the type of folks who would approve? Well, all the better.


The Suit: You can get away with a more relaxed outfit here, but it needs to look polished—you're still at a wedding, after all. You could wear a pair of well-fitting dark jeans (no rips or distressing) and a button-down. You could wear a pair of khakis, a T-shirt or polo, and a blazer. There are many options, but you need to look pulled together. The Accessories: For shoes here, keep it refined. You can finally break out those streamlined sneakers, or you can opt for nice loafers. No running sneakers or anything was "distressed" might be a descriptor.


The Suit: When in doubt, dress a little more formally. It's much better to go with a suit and tie—where you can take off the jacket and tie—than to not have the option at all. A fun suit is welcome here. The Accessories: Accessories might be extra welcome at this sort of wedding, maybe in the form of the aforementioned hat or boots. Use your discretion.

Black Tie Optional

The Suit: If you're going for it with black tie-level tuxedo, follow the rules for black tie, If you're opting not to take the option stick to the most formal suit you have in a dark color. Black, navy, or dark gray works here—the darker, the better.The Accessories: As simple and polished as you can keep them. Keep in mind there will be people in a black tie even if you're not, and you want your look to feel as in place as possible.Reference Links

What Not to Wear?

Never wear brown shoes

However, weddings require formality and the absolute rule about shoe color is this: black is the most formal color of the shoe and is the only color to be worn at a wedding. So put down those tan semi-brogues, those cherry wingtips and yes – even those oak punch caps. Whatever cloth you wear, your shoes must be black. And, for the love of wedding cake, please acquaint yourself with shoe polish.

Keep away from blowout buttonholes

Buttonholes should be braved but too often men end up wearing half a rose bush on their poor lapel. Adding superfluous aspidistra leaves and questionable baby’s-breath as supporting acts to their titanic blooms turns what is an already precarious situation into a horticultural catastrophe. Then there is the awful stem pinned on top of the lapel, not tucked into the buttonhole (there’s a reason why it’s called a buttonhole, duh) which turns what should be a light-hearted nod to nature into an extravagant funeral feast for fallen flowers. It should be simple and small – and worn in the buttonhole of the suit.

Never wear check shirts

Though it should be pretty obvious, it is remarkable how many people wear check (plaid) shirts to a wedding. Personally, I blame mass-hipsterism. The check is the least formal pattern of shirting available. It is, therefore, the least suitable for the most formal of occasions. Plain white is the safest option, but French (white) collared colored shirts are also suitable – anti-Wall Street protestors need not apply. If you must wear a pattern, a light Bengal stripe (not butcher) is acceptable, but for god’s sake stop wearing those barn-dancing, prairie-chair-sitting, wood-chopping, Mumford & Dumb faux-hemian rags.

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