Once again, the annual ballache that is the summer wedding season rolls around, leaving men all over the world utterly perplexed by the increasingly confusing dress codes printed on invites. "Mediterranean Formal", "Riviera informal", "Semi-formal beach black tie". So far so brow-wrinkled. Unless the wedding explicitly calls for guests to wear formal day dress, aka morning dress, black tie, or white tie, the rest is up to flagrant (and often brutal) interpretation. So, to raise the veil of confusion around such events, three of The Rake's staff take you on a walk down the sartorial aisle of summer wedding attire.
Benedict Brown, Associate Editor
"I’m all for traditionalism and abiding to the rules of certain dress codes. Thankfully, though, during summer the rules become a little bit more lenient. After all, you don’t want to be sweltering in morning dress if it's not called for - I've been there and it's not pleasant - so a summer suit should be your trusted port of call. For this, I would personally steer clear of navies and greys (too much like your office attire) and opt for neutral tones instead, like this double-breasted number from Daks which is cut from a linen and cotton blend. Anchor it with a sold white shirt and add some character with a medallion patterned silk tie with colour aplenty. Finish the look off with a sleek pair of loafers (you can never go wrong with Edward Green's Piccadilly model), dark lensed sunglasses and a smile.
Tom Chamberlin, Editor
The good thing about being invited to a wedding is that the dress code is usually self-explanatory. Usually it is 'Morning Suits’ or ’Suits’. If you’d like my advice, don’t take a dress code to a wedding with a pinch of salt. The happy couple (the bride) has put serious thought into how they’d like their special day to look and it’s a bit supercilious to pay no heed. 'Suits' is certainly more vague and place should come into consideration. Summer weddings in France or Italy, for example, should make good use of the high-twist fabrics that breathe well and are comfortable, while Britain is Britain so prepare for the worst. For bang-on-the-money formality, this suit from Cifonelli is a winner in the eyes of the parents, the bride, and the people you’re trying to impress in the room. Parade your style nous subtly with a dash of colour with a matching sock and pocket square combination. Red goes nicely with this dark navy suit so these socks from New & Lingwood and pocket square with Our Atty’s portrait, bright red tunic on display, will be perfect.
Ben St George, Head of Buying
Revoke my menswear credentials if you like, but I'm a firm believer that being comfortable at a wedding is just as important as dressing up. I'm Antipodean, and thus associate weddings with scorching hot summer days, so as a guest I tend to gravitate towards what I optimistically like to think of as 'breezy elegance' - something smart, easy-wearing and capable of transitioning from daytime ceremony to reception dancefloor (and beyond?). Magnus & Novus' raw silk jacket fits the bill perfectly - soft and relaxed but undeniably a bit special. Teamed with a smartly accessorised white shirt and Baudoin & Lange's Sagan loafers (unspeakably comfortable) it's a winning combination that will keep you looking good for the long haul. Just be careful with the red wine.