Predominantly the domain of the daytime wedding, the elevator pitch for cocktail dress is essentially “suits or separates, styled as sir chooses”. A summer wedding makes separates more appropriate - a cream
trouser will serve you well here, teamed with a tan shoe - whereas during the colder months a suit will typically be the safer option. A block colour or patterned shirt (think fine to medium-stripe
) can work well here, depending on the outfit. A tie should still be your first choice - although potentially not essential, if in doubt always go more formal rather than less.
Smart, perhaps, but not specific. This dress code’s very vagueness suggests a certain flexibility on the part of the hosts - personal insight into their tastes should be your guide here. Separates are a great choice - a well-paired jacket
combination is both chic and relaxed, and should let you navigate whatever the event might have in store. If the event errs on the side of informal, you might be able to shed the tie - but make sure you’re wearing an appropriate shirt. Nothing too business-y - a button-down is an excellent choice, as its heightened collar stand helps visually compensate for the tie’s absence.
Casual, Tropical or Beach
We’re really in the weeds now. If you know that the wedding is going to be very casual, you’ve got a large amount of flexibility on how to dress, but that doesn’t mean everything goes out the window. Do wear a collared shirt
and do still wear trousers
- yes, even on the beach. Pair them with a loafer or a dress sandal - something easy to kick off if you’re heading into the surf. Linen is an excellent companion here - light, breathable and with a texture that makes it casual by definition, it’s perfect for high summer or beach weddings