Men's Journal

How to Dress for a Beach Wedding

 Trinette Reed / Getty Images

More weddings happen during the summer than any other season, so it’s likely you’ll eventually be invited to one at the beach. And given the high temperatures and easy vibe, you don’t want to show up in the same suit you wear to the office. “No bells and whistles. Just go iconic, classic, and simple,” says celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati, whose line for Eddie Bauer is set to launch in October. We asked her to give us the rundown on what to wear for a beach wedding, and how to make sure you’re the second best dressed man of the evening.
 
Lose the Tux
“A beach wedding is likely to be a little more relaxed,” Urbinati says. Unless the wedding is black-tie, you’ll want a lightweight suit made from cotton, linen, or seersucker, and definitely something unconstructed. All of these fabrics will leave you much cooler than the average wool or silk blend suit. As for color, Urbinati suggests suits in blues, off-whites, or a pale grey as an iconic and seasonal base for your outfit, such as one of these lightweight cotton picks from J.Crew. 

 

Don’t Show Up in Sandals
This wedding might be on the beach, but sandals are too casual for any event, much less a friend’s wedding. Urbinati says a tan lace up shoe without socks works great, as do loafers. You can wear a sleek low top sneaker if you’d like, such as these from Common Projects or Purcell. With the exception of light colored leather, make sure you avoid heavy fabrics, like suede, which can throw a winter feel to that airy and cool look you’re going for. 

Tie or Pocket Square (Only One)
“A pocket-square is a way to dress up a suit when you’re not wearing a tie.” While you could usually wear both, a beach wedding beckons a nonchalant atmosphere ­– and both accessories can send you into just-a-little-too-formal territory. You’re not George Clooney, but you don’t need a boat in Italy to give the classic open shirt, no tie, and pocket square a try. If you don’t want to leave the tie at home, Urbinati suggests wearing a knit option like this one from Charvet, which will keep your look pulled together, but still casual. 

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Find the Perfect Frames
You don’t want to be left squinting during the “I do’s,” so remember to pack a pair of sunglasses. Again, go with a classic look like aviators or wayfarers, notes Urbinati. “You can’t go wrong with Persols, Ray-Bans, or anything tortoise shell.” Sunglass frame-shape and style run the gamut, so follow our guide to finding the perfect pair for your face. 
 
Standard Rules Still Apply
The secret to looking good is still a perfectly tailored suit. This isn’t a standard Saturday night at the country club, but that doesn’t mean guests should be dressing down. A great fit – especially with trickier summer fabrics – is a must, which means all the little tailoring rules apply. Aim for a tapered leg with no more than half a break on the hem. Suit sleeves should hit at the crook of the wrist and just a quarter of an inch of shirt should be visible, advises Urbinati. “You can pull off anything if it’s well-tailored.”