To all those brave but slightly mad people who plan their big day in the depths of winter; we salute you. It gives us guys at DCHQ the chance to raid the AW wardrobe and assemble a killer outfit with the potential to upstage the bride…(if we do, more fool her for underestimating her guests).
Yet, an abundance of chaps panic when tasked with turning out for a wedding, especially in the colder months; there’s no linen go-to suit, sock-less with loafers simply isn’t an option and you’d have to be off your head to go open-neck!
Firstly, and it may sound very obvious, but read the invitation, and pray that the happy couple haven’t made their wedding’s dress code some stupid ‘fun’ themed event.
An obvious choice and a modern gentleman’s equivalent to the medieval suit of armour. Just like a knight could only move efficiently when the armour was moulded to his body, it is the exact same as a suit. An ill-fitting suit at a wedding basically says you don’t care one jot about the happy couple and that kind of attitude is never going to land you a bridesmaid.
In my opinion you have two realistic options that pack a punch at this kind of formal affair during the winter months…
- A single-breasted peak lapel; these scream special occasion!
- Double-breasted; again, look a cut above your everyday suit but this must remain buttoned up at all times…
When it comes to the winter, you want thicker, heavier materials; think quintessentially British fabrics such as tweed, corduroy, herringbone and flannel. Chattering teeth are not an attractive trait at a wedding so make sure you choose wisely. An extra layer (cardigan or waistcoat) is a feasible option should it get really cold.
City vs. Country
This may sounds fairly obvious but it’s imperative that you get it right. If you’re city slicking and partying in a grand hotel, bolder patterns such as pin stripes and checks in a stream of navy and grey are encouraged. No intrusive window pane suits though please, gentlemen.
Alternatively, if you’re jumping in the Land Rover and heading out to a country estate, use a trip to Cheltenham as your guidelines, and dress yourself in earthy tones, avoiding loud patterns wherever possible. One final point; please don’t use this as an opportunity to try and emulate the Peaky Blinders apparel.
The colour of your shoes should depend on the tone of your suit, but please ignore stupid rules such as ‘no brown in town,’ as these have been redundant for some time now. Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the opposite sex harshly judge men on their choice of shoes. Finally, due to weddings having unavoidable dance-floors, don’t sacrifice comfort for style, find a happy 60:40 ratio in favour of style and get involved in the Time Warp.
So many chaps love to pick a bold shirt that draws attention but usually it’s of the wrong genre, either due to a simply horrible colour, corporate-esque pattern, poor sizing or the classic; clashing with the tie.
To avoid all of the above, you can never go wrong with a crisp white shirt, in a quality cotton material. Branch out a little with your choice of collar but this piece of the puzzle should act as a canvas on which to build on…the unsung hero that doesn’t steal the headlines.
Given how bloody cold it’s likely to be at the wedding(s) you attend, only a fool would go open neck and risk shivering during the ceremony. What’s more, a wedding is a joyous occasion, so go all out and dress to the nines!
I personally love a paisley tie for a wedding but a knitted number is a nice way to make your outfit slightly more informal, if you think you’re veering too close to wedding party attire.
Now, with accessories it’s very often a case of less is more, but I’d always say a pocket square has a certified place at a wedding. Again, don’t go too boldly with your colour scheme and pattern but a subtle number in your top pocket can bring a lovely touch to your outfit.
No Gilets ✖️
No Parkas ✖️
No Wax Jackets ✖️
When it comes to an outer layer, you’re looking for a formal overcoat that keeps you warm in a slick, understated way. A point to remember; your trousers will be seen from the bottom of your jacket, so please ensure there isn’t a colour clash here. Play it safe with a deep navy or black coat…you can’t really go wrong!
Again, when it comes to detailing, you don’t want to go overboard, but a textured collar or subtle pattern on the coat can add a nice touch.
A final note; none of the above will work to its fullest potential unless you add that final but vital ingredient; confidence. All the best dressed men in the world are so because they endorse their own personal style and believe they should be turning heads because of how they look. If there’s one trend to follow in the fashion world, it’s that.