Summer Wedding Style Guide A Gentleman's guide on how to dress for hot summer weddings

Summer weddings can be tricky to navigate — both in staying cool and looking fashionable. Black suit and tie is the safe and no-brainer choice for weddings but can leave you feeling restricted, uninspired, and uncomfortably hot.

So what’s a man to do?

We break down the 5 hottest tips to have you looking and feeling your coolest during the hottest months of the year.

Refer to the Invitation

Your first step should be to see if the bride and groom requested a specific dress code. In most cases, you’ll find this written on their wedding invitation, reception card, or wedding website. The last thing you want to do is turn up in a plain tux to a Star Wars-themed wedding.

If no dress code is provided, then consider the formality of the venue. Showing off your fun, unique style is usually a good thing, but the last thing you want at a wedding is to stick out like a sore thumb and draw attention away from the bride and groom (no matter how good your shutter shades look).

Stick to Cotton or Polyester

The ideal summer fabric is breathable but also remains to look sleek and polished, so there are two main choices we recommend — cotton and polyester.

Cotton tends to allow more air circulation and soaks up moisture, so it’s very effective in ridding your body of the excessive heat building up from showing off your sweet footwork on the dance floor. The only downside is that moisture-absorbing material can look visibly damp from the outside. This is generally why you see polyester as another popular choice for warmer weather conditions.

Unlike cotton, polyester is moisture-wicking, which means perspiration isn’t likely to show. However, since moisture isn’t able to escape as easily, you might not feel the same cooling effect cotton has. Basically, when choosing between fabrics, consider your priorities. Do you want to stay as cool as possible? Go with cotton. Are you expecting to sweat throughout the day? Polyester might work more in your favor.

Wear Brighter Colors

OK, so you’ve looked at the dress code and it says “cocktail attire,” but what does that actually mean? At a summer wedding, cocktail attire usually calls for a suit and tie, with lighter colors like grey and beige being the fallback colors.

Maybe you don’t have a grey or beige tailored suit, and you don’t have the budget to splurge on a new suit — actually most of us don’t have the budget to. According to Chime, an online banking company, over 50% of Millennials are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Fortunately, we have a cheaper alternative to dressing for the weather.

You can summer-up just about any wardrobe with pastel-colored dress shirts and wearing that with the suit color that you have. We recommend something lightweight and breathable, with button cuffs that are easy to roll back when the relaxing vibes settle in. Of course, if it’s black tie or formal attire, you’ll have to resort to more traditional colors, but never underestimate the difference the color and texture a dress shirt can make.

Experiment with Floral Designs

If your wardrobe has been mostly tame thus far and you’re just dying to show a little personality, you can take a more dramatic approach with your choice of a dress shirt (again, the dress shirt!) and tie.

Embrace the flower power and sport a tie — or bow tie if you’re going for more of a 007-type of vibe. Even though florals is a hot trend during summer, there are so many different floral prints out there that this is the perfect chance to show off your personality.

Get Creative with Your Dress Socks

So you’ve found yourself a dashing new outfit you know all eyes will be on you. But there’s still one element that can elevate your outfit just a bit more.

Perhaps the boldest move that will be made at the entire wedding (reception included) will be your choice in socks.

It’s completely permissible nowadays to be dressed to the nines, yet rock the craziest socks. Do socks with palm trees sound like a good time? Totally fine. Do socks with pizza slices describe your personal life to a T? Same. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality here. They’ll be a great conversation starter, after all!

Now You’re Ready to Look Your Coolest

We’ve given you the tools to crack the summer dress code, now it’s up to you to experiment. Do you have any other tips? We’d love to know in the comments.

Mike

Mike is a connoisseur of men's fashion, craft beers, and 90s alternative rock. In his free time, you can find him enlightening his friends with Anchor Man quotes or picking out outfits that bring out the best in his nicely-groomed beard.