You’ve been invited to a beach wedding and haven’t a clue about what to wear. You’re right to be confused — on the one hand, a wedding is supposed to be a formal occasion; on the other hand, a beach is about as relaxed as you can get. Given that a beach is such a beautiful place for a wedding, it pays to dress up a bit — at least pants and a nice shirt. Since there will be lots of sand and water, you’ll need to tone down your pants and shoes so they don’t get damaged and you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible.
A Guy’s Guide to Fashion: How to Dress for a Beach Wedding
- Check the wedding invitation for clues as to if the wedding is formal or informal. If attire isn’t mentioned, call the bride or groom and ask — they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and you’ll appreciate being dressed appropriately for the occasion.
- Wear a linen shirt and trousers — linen wicks moisture away from the body, which allows moisture to evaporate easily, so your outfit will stay crisp and dry. Linen also has breathability, which means the fabric doesn’t get hot on a summer’s day so you’ll stay cool.
- For an informal beach wedding, if your linen outfit is mildly disheveled, it’ll be perfectly OK. If you’ll be at a formal beach wedding, get rid of deep creases by ironing your shirt and trousers damp, on a high setting. Your linen clothes will quickly dry on their own.
- Wear a linen suit jacket at a formal beach wedding.
- Bring along a linen suit jacket to an informal beach wedding in case the winds kick up or the temperatures drop.
- Choose a white or a light pastel-colored suit in camel or pale gray.
- Wear a shirt in an understated pastel hue.
- For a formal beach wedding, wear loafers or espadrilles lest you ruin your lace-up leather dress shoes.
- For an informal beach wedding, sandals or flip-flops are OK as long as you’re not wearing a suit.
- Wear a tie — you can always take it off if you need to dress down a bit.
- Wear a high-quality belt.
- Wear a dress hat. (Gatsby, anyone?)
- Wear sunglasses.
- If the invite says “Black Tie,” there’s no two ways about it — you’ll have to have to wear a tuxedo. 🙁
- Wear shorts, jeans or t-shirts even though the wedding is taking place on a beach.
- Wear wool (unless it’s an autumn wedding) because it naturally traps heat to insulate you — you’ll end up being “that guy” who’s hot and dripping with sweat.
- Wear bright, bold colors — this is the bride’s day to be in the spotlight, not yours.