Dress codes have been getting increasingly relaxed over recent years; from workplaces to Royal Ascot and beyond, many events and spaces have reduced their restrictions on what individuals are allowed to wear.
This phenomenon has spread to weddings, with the rise of ‘smart casual’ dress codes leaving many guests confused as to what this means and what they’re allowed to wear.
For traditional guests who need to relax their wardrobe, and those who just don’t know what they’re expected to wear, here’s our guide to dressing like a gentleman when attending a smart casual wedding.
Respect The Dress Code
As a discerning gentleman, it’s understandable that you might be confused by a smart casual dress code and decide to either ignore it or not attend the wedding. Both of these actions disrespect the happy couple and their choices. In today’s modern, diverse society, part of being a gentleman is embracing everyone’s opinions and adapting to changing circumstances. Therefore, it’s important that you respect the dress code given to you and adjust your wardrobe to suit it.
Plan Your Look Well In Advance
With most weddings, you can simply wear the same smart suit that you wore previously or have your summer suit fitted to be suitable. However, smart casual dress requires more preparation, as you need to find the perfect combination of sophisticated yet relaxed clothing that you’ll both feel comfortable and look good in. As such, it’s vital that you prepare your smart casual wedding outfit at least 2 weeks prior to the big day. If you leave it any longer, then you might not be able to find the clothes you’ll feel comfortable in.
Choose Designer Labels To Make Relaxed Garments Elegant
At many smart casual weddings, guests are expected to forgo traditional morning suits in favour of more relaxed clothes, such as loose blazers, unfitted shirts, and even jeans. Choose slim fitting, designer jeans, like these denim jeans from high-end brand Edwin Europe, to enhance your outfit and show yourself to be the discerning clothing connoisseur you are.
Collaborate With Your Fellow Guests
If you know several other guests at the wedding, then discuss the dress code with them before the event to find out what they are planning to wear. By understanding their sartorial choices and adapting your outfit to emulate them, you’ll ensure that you don’t take the dress code too far.
Open Neck Shirts Are A Smart Casual Staple
For most smart casual events, including weddings, ties are out. Instead, open neck shirts are the look of choice for most male guests. To pull this look off, you’ll need to find the perfect shirt that accentuates your features, and wear it with two to three buttons undone, depending on your preference. This relaxed yet respectable look can be worn with or without a jacket, making it a versatile look that will suit practically any male guest.
Focus On The Fit
Wearing a more relaxed outfit doesn’t mean that you can look slovenly. Instead of wearing several layers and multiple garments, as you usually would, select a few, more casual pieces and then ensure that they’re properly fitted. This will make you look smart, whilst still adhering to the casual side of the dress code.
Appearance Beats Style In Smart Casual
For smart casual dressers, the focus needs to be on the cleanliness and care taken over their clothes, rather than their style. You can dress up even the most relaxed ensemble by ironing it and having it altered to fit your body perfectly. As such, when choosing a smart casual outfit for a wedding, you should be more focused on the way it will cover your body and how neat you can make a piece of clothing appear, rather than its exact style.
Never Neglect Grooming
With such a big focus on your clothes, it’s easy to overlook basic grooming, such as your shave, haircut and skincare. It’s important that you make sure that all of these elements of your daily regime are taken good care of, so that no matter what happens with your outfit, you still look, and feel, confident. If you’re wearing facial hair, make sure it is perfectly groomed and neatly styled. For those going clean shaven, a neat, classic haircut will ensure you perfectly embody the smart casual dress code.
Select Upmarket Accessories To Upgrade Your Look
When you’re wearing just an open shirt with no jacket and casual trousers, it’s easy to feel underdressed. Choose an upmarket accessory to enhance your look and really set yourself apart. You’ll be able to quickly upgrade your look without going too far away from the smart casual dress code.
With these tips, you’ll be able to show off your creative flair and abide by the expectations of your hosts.