But figuring out what to wear is not just a question that befuddles women. Finding the right suit for a summer wedding isn’t easy. You don’t want something that is turns into a fabric sauna. You also don’t want to look like a guy who just walked out of a boardroom. But if you go too over-the-top, you run the risk of standing out for all the wrong reasons.
To help you figure out how to pick the perfect summer suit, we spoke with Nish de Gruiter, vice president of Suitsupply, which provides some of the most stylish and reasonably priced suits out right now.
Sitting in the showroom of the company’s New York City flagship store in SoHo, de Gruiter explained all the do’s and don’ts guys need to know when looking for the ideal wedding suit this season.
KNOW YOUR ROLE
There is only one groom. Unless that’s you, don’t dress in a way that calls too much attention to yourself. “You don’t want to stand out more than the guy who’s getting married. That’s the most important thing. Don’t overdo yourself,” de Gruiter says. You can still look plenty sharp though. That bridesmaid who you’re shouting “A little bit louder now!” at, could become the future Mrs. [insert your last name here], so you want to make sure she notices you. Just make sure you carry your suit, not the other way around.
LET IT BREATHE
For a summer wedding, you want a lighter weight suit that will breathe. Linen is great from a temperature standpoint but it wrinkles the second you make the slightest movement. De Gruiter recommends a linen blend, that incorporates wool or silk (Suit Supply even has a linen-cashmere version) so that you get the look and feel of linen without the wrinkling. Wool-mohair is another combination that works well and can also work year-round. To maximize the comfort level, get a jacket that is half-lined. “If you wear a natural fiber like a linen the whole idea is that it breathes. If you put a synthetic lining against that suit, the whole feeling goes away,” de Gruiter says.
As with any suit, the right fit can make or break the look. Even if you don’t have the body of Hansel (so hot right now!), you can still find a suit that flatters your physique. “If guys are a little bit heavier, they think I’m going to buy something bigger because I’m going to hide, but that’s a big mistake because you only become visually bigger,” de Gruiter says. Make sure that the jacket falls right on the shoulder. (Again, if you’re broader, go for less padding in the shoulders so the jacket sits more naturally.) Be sure the sleeves are short enough to reveal a little bit of your shirt cuff. To check if the length of the jacket is right, check that it ends right where your thumb starts when your arms are beside you. With the pants, wear them on your waist, not on your hips like you would a pair of jeans. Two or three fingers below the belly button is a good way to judge. This will give you length through the leg to create a more elegant silhouette.
This is a wedding, it’s supposed to be fun. Your suit should reflect that. “Stay away from the office suits, the really corporate looks,” de Gruiter says. If you like blue, go for a brighter shade. Khaki and earth tones are also a great option. De Gruiter is even noticing dark green suits growing in popularity this season. Aside from the color, the weave of the fabric can also give the suit a little more pop and character.
ACCESSORIZE. DON’T OVER-ACCESSORIZE.
Little details can really spruce up your look, and a summer wedding is the perfect opportunity to show off some of those bits. If you want to rock a pocket square, go for it. Just don’t also wear a flower or a button in your jacket lapel. The tie is another place to highlight your personal style. You aren’t in the office so don’t wear an office tie. Instead of the traditional silk tie, try a knit tie or even a bowtie (if it’s one that you tie yourself). One accessory to leave behind for a summer wedding is socks. A pair of double monkstraps or suede loafers look great when you show a little ankle.
CHECK THE WEATHER
Summer weddings are, by nature, hot. So you need to prepare accordingly. Sure, you might look completely pulled together in your air conditioned hotel room before you head to the chapel, but what happens when you discover that the outdoor ceremony is two hours long in blazing heat with no shade? De Gruiter suggests going with suspenders or even a three-piece suit with a vest so your look stays crisp after you inevitably take your jacket off. Don’t get hung up thinking three-piece suits are only for colder seasons. “They come in linens and the same fabric compositions as any other [summer] suit,” de Gruiter says.