Dressing Unique In Wedding Season
Just this past year, I ran across the simple but radical idea of throwing a silk-knot, nylon cufflink through the lapel notch on my suit jacket. The very first wedding at which I tried it, I found myself getting lots of compliments on the suit. Even more so than the times I’d worn the same suit before. From that moment on, it was solidified in my mind that it’s the tiniest of details that can take your look from good to great. Following are a few tips we’ve found to help step your wedding suit game up.
Rethink The Tie
Since your suit is playing the background for your other accessories to stand out, the tie is a good place to try something funky. If you’re looking to try something new, wear a knit tie. You most certainly won’t find many others wearing one, if any at all, so you’ll look unique. What’s nice about knit ties is you’ll find patterns that you won’t necessarily find in other common materials that ties generally come in.
A more risky option is a floral print, which couldn’t represent summer any better. I say risky because these ties command a lot of attention. So if you go this route, keep your dress shirt subtle. And should you wear one, take the same subtle route with your pocket square. Go with a solid color that compliments the coloring in the floral tie.
Another way to rethink your tie is to forget one. That’s right, leave your tie at home and let your pocket square and other accessories do all the talking. Since the tie, which is generally a focal point, will be absent, it’s important that everything else is crisp.
I’d say this is the most neglected and underrated point of accessory on a suit. Most of the time, the only time you’ll find something adorning someone’s lapel is when they’re in the wedding party. This… is something that should change. Now that you know no one else in the room is going to be utilizing their lapel, it’s a great way for you to stand out from the party.
Lapel flower pins are a great way to add another dimension to your suit. Wanna take the advice above and wear a suit sans-tie? A lapel pin is a great way to keep some personality in the suit without wearing a tie. Just coordinate with your shirt and pocket square the way you would a necktie.
One of my favorite things to do is to take nylon cufflink balls (found in variety and on the cheap) and push one end through the button notch on my lapel (pictured). It adds a very subtle hint of color and personality to the suit. Try it out!
Chinos & Sports Jackets
While suits are typically the standard attire for men attending a wedding, there’s no reason you couldn’t break out of that. We talked about colored chinos a few newsletters ago, and those play very well in a summer wedding scenario. Since you’re not wearing a single colored suit, the key here is contrast between your colored chinos and the blazer you wear. If your pants are bright, your sports jacket shouldn’t be.
Socks or No Socks
We’re big fans of leaving socks at home in the summertime. This goes for when you have to dress up as well. So long as your pants have the proper fit, dress shoes look great when not distracted by socks. If you’re concerned about the feel of wearing dress shoes with no socks, buy some no show socks to absorb the moisture yet still maintain the look.
If you feel the need to wear socks, there are endless options. While they don’t need to match the pattern of your shirt/tie/pocket square, the colors certainly need to compliment everything. How bold you go with your socks should depend on what you’re doing with other accessories. You don’t want to go overboard with patterns. If you have bolder patterns up top, then stick with a solid color for your socks. Same vice versa.
Punch Up The Pocket
Pocket squares are easy enough, right? If you’re not wearing them with your suits, you should be. And they’re simple enough to style properly – red pocket square if you’re tie is red; or maybe blue and green pocket square if your tie is green and your shirt is blue. It’s pretty straightforward.
However, there’s a way you can stand out with your pocket square, even when everyone else in the room is wearing one – don’t just match your tie and shirt, but compliment them. Instead of picking a color that already exists in your outfit, go with one that compliments the colors instead (Check out our article on color coordination, if you need a refresher). For example, a simplified version is pictured above of an analogous complimenting of a blue tie and shirt with a green square. Use the color wheel; Play around with different combinations and have fun!
OH. And one important thing – Never. Ever. Wear a tie and pocket square set (the matching sets of the same pattern and color). It lacks imagination and effort.
Don't Overdo It
One final note on putting your suit together: You never want to go overboard and look like you have too much going on. I would say, if you’re going to accessorize a suit you don’t always need a tie, tie bar, pocket square, lapel pin, and cufflinks. Sometimes less is more. Stick to 2 or 3 flashy accessories. If you want to do more, just make sure they’re more on the muted side (classic silver bar, small unobtrusive lapel pin, etc.) so you don’t look busy.