What To Wear To An Autumn Wedding
A gentleman’s guide to dressing for fall nuptials
For obvious reasons, it’s widely assumed that summer is the most popular season in which to get married, but the latest data suggest that autumn (or fall if you’re reading this from across the pond) is playing catch-up, perhaps even superseding the sunnier months as the preferred time of year to get hitched. Which presents a problem: there are innumerable guides floating around the internet – we’ve even penned a few ourselves – about how a man should dress if attending a warm-weather wedding, but comparatively few blueprints for those who’ve received an invitation for a September or October ceremony. It is, as with all things in life not blessed with a summertime glow, a little trickier, but nothing you won’t be able to handle. Armed with our helpful manual, of course.
Unless the invitation reads “black tie” or “black tie optional”, which in every circumstance unequivocably translates to “black tie required”, you should be aiming for something slightly less formal than your trusty tuxedo for the main event. Your instincts in summer tell you to mimic the colours of your surroundings – paler hues, lighter fabrics, unstructured cuts, for example. Trust these instincts in the colder seasons, too. Any shade of brown, rich auburns and dark green tones will work well in autumn. This is also an opportunity to experiment with more varied textures, checks and patterns. This dark green moleskin jacket and the co-ordinating drawstring trousers from Milanese outfitter Altea are neatly cut for a slim silhouette.
There are some people who are well versed in layering pattern and/or texture on top of pattern and/or texture. You will already know if you fall into this unicorn-like category of human being, and we applaud you. If you are not this type of person, or find the prospect daunting, steer clear and stick to a classic white shirt, such as this crisp cotton-poplin example from our in-house label, Mr P. Along with the material, you should also consider the collar, which should be stiff enough to hold a tie, assuming, of course, the dress code requires you to wear one. Speaking of which…
There are few things in life as personal as your tie preference. But on the occasion of a friend’s wedding, there are several hard and fast rules. First, under no circumstances should you consider wearing a novelty tie. The reasons for this should be, we hope, obvious. Suffice to say, whatever the dress code, no bride or groom will appreciate being upstaged by your “ironic” neckwear choice. Second, try to find out beforehand what the chosen “theme” colours are – the bachelor party or stag do is a good opportunity for this – lest you end up being mistaken for an usher or the best man. Other than that, the colour, pattern and material are largely dependent upon what suit you opt for. If you’ve heeded our advice above, for example, this golden knitted variety from Caruso would be our first choice and fits the autumnal brief to a T.
If we could offer one sage piece of advice for picking shoes for a wedding, it would be this: no matter how convenient, don’t wear your work shoes. For starters, it shows. The pairs you wear to the office every day are likely to betray the tell-tale signs of your commute. Instead, use this as an opportunity to step outside of your Derby or Oxford comfort zone and slip on a pair unsullied by pavement pounding or that unfortunate incident with a puddle. Double monk-straps, for instance, are the perfect choice for special occasions, satisfying both the formality and style provisos. This suede (another autumn-specific material) example from esteemed English cordwainer George Cleverley also fulfils the comfortable-enough-to-dance-in-at-the-reception requirement on account of the rubber Dainite soles.
While the entire wedding party will have every finger crossed in the hope of clear skies, autumn brings with it the very real possibility of rain. Particularly if the nuptials are taking place in some picturesque British village. The law of averages also suggests that if there’s a tent or marquee involved, there is a 110 per cent chance of the heavens opening. Be prepared for this eventuality (or inevitability) and bring your own brolly. Or, as is slightly more befitting the magnitude of the occasion, a proper umbrella. Even if you’re the sort of chap who’s unlikely to shrink from a little drizzle, the bridesmaid you chivalrously lend it to will be very grateful.