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Here at Spectre & Co., the most common question we’re asked is: “I have a wedding to go to soon and I’m not sure what to wear. Can you help me out?” There are many different dress codes when it comes to the modern wedding, and with the start of wedding season this Spring, we decided to put together a handy guide to the most common dress codes and the appropriate outfits for each. Here is your guide to modern wedding dress codes, from most common to least:

The most straightforward and the easiest of dress codes to abide by, a formal dress code suggests is that you wear the same outfit you would to work when you have an important meeting. This means a grey or navy suit with a proper light dress shirt and dark tie will be your most foolproof ensemble here.

Mistakes to avoid: Button down collars, loud shirts, loud ties, khakis

Spectre & Co. Light Blue Cutaway Dress Shirt 

Black Tie Optional
Technically, black tie optional is interchangeable with the formal dress code leaning towards tuxedos. Wear what you would to a formal wedding, wear a tuxedo if you are so inclined, “optional” being the keyword.

Mistakes to avoid: See above

Black Tie
Sorry, guys, there’s no way around this one. Black tie is the most formal of all wedding dress codes, so a tuxedo is mandatory. So learn how to tie that bow tie, and bust out the patent leather shoes, it’s time to get dressed up! Feel free, however, to skip the wing tip collar and cummerbund, they’re just a little too old-fashioned these days.

Mistakes to avoid: Wearing a tie (bow tie please), wearing a suit

Semiformal/Cocktail Attire
A small step down from the formal dress code, but this by no means gives you the right to leave your suit at home. Wear what you would to a formal wedding, but this is a chance to take some small liberties with your outfit. Still stick with your navy and grey suits, but perhaps lighten the mood with a patterned shirt, like one of our slim fit ginghams.

Mistakes to avoid: Abandoning the suit and tie

Beach Formal
This is where things get a little dicey and confusing. Many people see the word “beach” and automatically bust out the short sleeve shirts, shorts, and flip flops. This is not the case. You are still participating in the celebration of the most important day of two people's’ lives. Beach formal still calls for a suit, albeit in a lighter hue and in a breezier fabric. The perfect outfit would consist of one of our slim fit floral shirts with a khaki cotton suit, and a pair of loafers. Feel free to skip the tie and punch it up with some accessories!

Mistakes to avoid: Short sleeve shirts, shorts, flip flops, dark suit

Festive Attire

This is your chance to dress up, but also cut loose! Suits in interesting colors, patterned shirts, fun ties, they’re all fair game when the wedding calls for festive attire. However, you still want to look put together, so avoid clashing patterns with your suit, shirt, and tie. Punch up a solid shirt with a patterned tie and vice versa, throw on that burgundy suit, even slip on some stylish sneakers!

Mistakes to avoid: Clashing patterns


April 21, 2017 by Jeffrey Zhang

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