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Dress codes

What to wear to every type of wedding

What to wear to every type of wedding

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to one wedding, or you’re going to one every weekend from now until the end of summer. The chances are, you need a decent wedding option in your arsenal. After all, if your friends or family are spending an obscene amount of cash on a party, the least you can do is not let them down by turning up in an ill-advised outfit.

The trick with wedding dressing – especially if you go to a lot – is to not wear anything too memorable. It sounds like weird advice, but if your outfit is being remembered, then you risk upstaging the groom. Or attracting too much focus in the wedding snaps. Or just being caught out when you repeat the outfit two weekends later at another ‘do.

Instead, it's about nailing the basics. “If you go to a lot of weddings that have a traditional dress code, all three of these looks will get you by,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. And you won't look back on the wedding snaps in a decade and wince.

Not your 9-5 suit

Who it's for: “The guy who doesn’t want to push things too far,” says Freddie. “He wants to look smart, but isn’t willing to go as far as tailored separates. This could be your go-to grey suit, but what we like about this one in particular is that it has a nice texture to the fabric, which makes it feel more special.”

How to wear it: When the suit's simple, drag it away from work with colours you don't often see in the office. Think a lilac-and-white combo in the shirt, complete with bright pocket square. “Even if you don’t make much change to your suiting, you can make a change in your accessories to give the whole look that celebratory feel."

The smart separates approach

Who it's for: “Someone who likes to dress formally, who is probably in a suit quite often but is looking for something a little bit different,” says Freddie. “You don’t want to wear your Monday-to-Friday suit.”

How to wear it: It’s the little details here that really bring it together. Look for trousers with a subtle check, shirts with a stripe and consider a contrasting pocket square. As Freddie points out, there’s a hint of blue in the silk, which ties it back to the blue shirt and makes for a far more cohesive outfit.

Tailored but relaxed

Who it's for: “The guy that doesn’t ever really get to dress up," says Freddie. "A wedding is a chance to wear something more interesting, a bit different.”

How to wear it: Firstly, only if the dress code permits. But for smart-casual weddings – or out-the-beaten-track venues – this approach offers fun rather than formality. “Polo shirts in nice bold colours are always a great place to start,” Freddie says. “The collar tends to sit really well under a jacket that’s unstructured, rather than a suit jacket.” Chinos lean things casual, but you can smarten this look up. “Light grey formal trousers would work here as well, if you don’t want to dress down too much.”


Words: Theresa Harold
Photography: Mark Sanders
Styling: Freddie Kemp