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When the Invite Says “Dress to Impress”

Weddings and special events have their own dress codes and consider your hosts’ style as you prep for the event, but always err on the formal side.  You don’t want to be the guy who shows up in a hoodie and faded jeans saying, “But the invite said ‘Casual!?!'” Pro tip: Prices for tuxes are prohibitive, so unless you have a full social calendar with formal weddings, better to rent. When it comes these moments, just dress up. Here’s a safe guide to follow.

Black Tie or Black Tie Optional

You are headed to a formal affair. Obviously Black Tie is a full on tuxedo with bow tie, in black. But if there’s an “optional” in there you have some wiggle room, but not much. In this case, a black suit or dark grey with a conservative tie and a white shirt.


Just a step down from super formal, for this dress code, you still wear a suit, but if it’s summer, you can wear a linen khaki suit and a blue shirt, or a navy suit with a black shirt. 

Dressy Casual

A little less stuffy than the two above, but you’ll still need a jacket and dress pants—no faded jeans, no sneakers. If it’s in summer, try a linen suit in a creme or a blue suit.


Same as above but take care to add a little color. Perhaps a print button down or a bright tie, socks or a pocket square.


Finally, you can lose the jacket and tie, but make sure to have a crisp button down and good dress pants, even a dark denim jean could work here. For shoes a good moccasin or loafer is perfect.


For a beach wedding, you can play with colors in your shirt and pair it lightweight cotton or linen pants even. Flip flops in natural leather, sneakers or sandals can work but only if they are in mint condition.

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