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What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

The dos and don'ts of dressing for a wedding this season

Deciding what to wear as a guest to a wedding seems like it should be straightforward, but the season, location, and even the time of day can have an effect on what you should be wearing.

Summer weddings can raise a lot of questions because they often have a casual flair to them. You don’t want to be overdressed, but you also don’t want to look like the guy who wandered over from the nearest cabana.

Typically, the wedding invite will give you an idea of the dress code, but if you’re not sure what to wear, read on.

Here’s what to wear--and what NOT to wear--to the different types of weddings you might encounter this summer.

Destination wedding

If the wedding is taking place in a tropical location, it will likely allow for a slightly casual look. It will be hot, you might be on a beach, and you don’t want to be overdressed.

Take the time to ask exactly where the ceremony and reception will be held so you know whether it will be shaded, on concrete, near water, on sand, in an air conditioned room, etc.

What to wear:

At a destination wedding, you’ll want to look sharp without overheating. Choose a lightweight suit in blue, tan or light grey. An unlined jacket is key here. It’ll breathe and move better for those warm locations. Stick with a subtle pattern or no pattern so that the trousers look good on their own if you remove the jacket.

Keep it casual and tropical by wearing a short-sleeved, floral print sport shirt with a camp collar underneath. Finish it off with a pair of leather sneakers (no socks) and a slick pair of sunglasses.

Hot tip: Let the shirt collar sit outside the jacket for an effortless, breezy look.

Our look:

Blue Check Suit | Floral Sport Shirt | Sunglasses | Leather Sneakers

What not to wear:

Shorts and flip flops. Keep your toes and your shins under wraps unless the wedding invite specifically calls for it.

Local indoor wedding

An indoor wedding is likely to be the most formal of all the summer weddings, so keep that in mind when planning your outfit. Cocktail attire should be your baseline, but feel free to try lighter colours than you would for a winter wedding.

What to wear:

Opt for a sport jacket in a light grey, brown, or mid-blue shade and wear it with a pair of summer weight trousers. Choose a pastel dress shirt and a tie of your choice. Wear your slickest pair of brown dress shoes to cap it off.

Hot tip: Brown is often perceived as a fall colour, but when worn with summery blue tones, it becomes a stand-out look for any warm weather occasion.

Our look:

Brown Sport Jacket | Blue Trousers | Light Blue Dress Shirt | Navy Tie | Wingtip Shoes

What not to wear:

Anything that upstages the groom. You can play with colour, but don’t show up in a bright pink velvet suit.

Local outdoor wedding



Canadian outdoor weddings always have one thing in common: You won’t know what the weather will be like until the day-of. It’s a good idea to plan a versatile outfit that will look good with or without a jacket, in case the weather shifts unexpectedly.

What to wear:

Look for a linen or cotton blend sport jacket with a bit of texture or pattern. Choose a sport shirt with a summer-toned print (think light blue stripes or pastel florals) worn open collared with a bold pocket square for a pop of colour. Wear it with cotton chinos or linen trousers and brogue shoes with hidden socks.

Hot tip: If you’re going to take your jacket off, do it before you get so sweaty that your shirt is transparent. If you’ve passed the point of no return, suck it up and leave the jacket on.

Our look:

Grey Sport Jacket | Light Tan Trousers | Striped Dress Shirt | Pocket Square | SunglassesBrogue Shoes

What not to wear:

Denim. Just because summer weddings are a bit more casual doesn’t mean you can show up in your errand-running jeans. Avoid denim of all kinds, no matter what the invite says.


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