This is the most straight-forward of the lot, because every guy knows how to wear a suit, shirt and tie. But it’s hot, it’s 2014, and your old black workhorse might do the job for a funeral, but isn’t going to cut it here. Formal for summer means lighter colours, non-traditional fabrics and slim silhouettes. Try a teal suit with a pastel shirt and purple tie. Or a navy cotton suit with a white button-down, navy knit tie and white pocket square. Or a khaki coloured suit with a chambray shirt, blue tie and navy pocket square. Don’t be afraid of brown leather lace-ups, either — they’re more versatile than you’d expect (just don’t wear them with black). Finally, if it’s too hot for comfort, simply lose the tie. A couple of undone shirt buttons look more glamorous in photos than giant sweat patches.
It might be the most dreaded combination of words in the menswear vernacular, but semi-formal doesn’t need to cause unanimous head-scratching among men. It’s actually pretty simple: 1. Take your favourite suit jacket, blazer or sport coat; 2. Add a button-down shirt; 3. Pair the aforementioned with your best pair of khakis or chinos; 4. Lace-up your go-to leather or suede shoes; et voila, you’ve just nailed semi-formal. Leave your denim at home. Throw on a tie if you feel like it. Lose the socks if that’s your thing. Try the lot with a good-looking pair of shorts if you’re feeling daring. Too easy.
Breathe a sigh of relief, this is the easiest of the lot. Nobody expects you to wear a tuxedo on the beach. The key to nailing a casual summer wedding outfit is in the fit, the proportion and the colour. Try a cool Hawaiian, striped or colourful short-sleeve shirt with a pair of pressed walk-shorts and suede lace-ups. If it’s too hot for shoes you can get away with jandals, but make sure they’re dark and unadorned. Same goes for canvas sneakers, but it’s a wedding, so they have to be clean, and preferably white.
Don’t forget you’re going to be outside, it’s going to be hot, and there’s a high chance of sunburn — bring a straw-brimmed fedora, some dark glasses and plenty of sunscreen. Apply liberally. Rinse, and repeat.
And there you have it - you're now ready for any wedding this season!
By Isaac Hindin-Miller
Photography by Reagan Butler