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Wedding Dress Code 101: Groom & Menswear Edition

Wedding Dress Code 101: Groom & Menswear Edition | The Black Tux 14

Hey Groom, still don’t know what you’re wearing to your wedding? Hey distinguished Guest, totally lost on the dress code portion of your wedding invite? Black tie, cocktail wear, casual attire – we make sense of it all in our groom & menswear edition of Dress Code 101.

While those little words – black tie, black tie optional, creative black tie – all seem to describe relatively the same thing, there are actually strict rules and formulas for dressing within certain categories. For instance, did you know that cocktail attire and business casual are essentially the same things? And, did you know casual attire still means wearing a suit? (You’re welcome for saving you this time.)

We know it can be daunting to know what to wear under these conditions – or even to your own wedding! But we’ve teamed up with The Black Tux to give you the ultimate guide to dressing in each dress code and offering all the best rental styles available.

We know what you’re thinking – renting a tux online that you’ve never seen and that may never fit? Nah, I’ll pass. Well, The Black Tux is not your average rental suit company – they craft high-end suits and tuxedos, with the finest materials and provide free at-home try-on’s to make sure your whole look fits perfectly, totally changing the rental tux game! And the best news yet? They’re giving away a suit or tux rental for one lucky groom and up to four of his groomsmen, find the details below.

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Black Tie

Formal, classy, elegant – black tie is maybe the easiest way to make your party look fancy. While black tie is the strictest of our codes we cover today, it’s also maybe the easiest to dress for grooms and guests alike.

The formula is simple: don a well fitted black tuxedo, black bow tie, and a white tuxedo shirt goes underneath.

Then choose to accessorize with black suspenders, a black (or white) pocket square, and cool button studs. Finish the look with black patent leather shoes and voila, you’re done. No serious “what color do I choose?” conundrums, no “how formal do I go?” questions.

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Black Tie Optional

The first part of this dress code seems obvious – wear what we’ve listed above. But the second part, “optional” can seem like a daunting word, leaving way too much to interpretation. But actually, the answer is simple – if you want to stand out a bit from your black tie groomsmen, go blue.

A midnight blue tuxedo is equally formal yet a bit more unique. In the “black tie optional” code, imagine the same amount of formality as before, but don’t be afraid to make a few slightly different choices to show your personality. Feel free to swap that bow tie to a necktie, the tuxedo shirt to a dress shirt, and add personalized cufflinks. Shoes? Stick to the black patent leather.

Ultimately, the black tie optional label gives you and your guests a bit more wiggle room for style choices, while keeping the affair just as classy.

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Creative Black Tie

Think Oscars, Grammys, Met Gala, and definitely the Tonys – creative black tie means super fancy, with allowance for a stylish twist.

The key to a successful creative black tie look is having just one statement piece and otherwise sticking to the previous code.

For instance, swap your tuxedo jacket for a white one, or go for an all-black look by switching to a black dress shirt. Maybe have a vintage velvet jacket tailored, or stick to the black tie look above and add velvet loafers.

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Cocktail Attire

Alright, here we can ditch the tuxedo. Cocktail attire, or often “business casual”, calls for a much broader style of menswear – formal suits – giving your guests a financial break and plenty of style choices to make on their own.

Feel free to switch up your suit color to navy, blue, brown, gray, or charcoal, matching or complimenting your groomsmen suits. No need for shiny shoes so you may opt for a less polished look, or even brown if you like. Colored shirts of a lighter hue are absolutely acceptable, too.

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Casual Attire

Maybe the scariest dress code on the list, “casual attire” is the most likely misconstrued. How casual is too casual? Believe it or not, in menswear casual wedding attire does not mean jeans (or shorts, you lucky beach wedding goers).

You still want to choose a proper suit for the occasion, just stick to anything besides black. Lighter colors like grey are casual but still make you look well dressed. Shirts can be solid of any color or patterned if you like and ties are totally optional. Accessorize however you like, and finish with brown dress shoes.

Wedding Dress Code 101: Groom & Menswear Edition | The Black Tux 4

No Dress Code

Whether you’re unsure of the dress code (we suggest checking in with someone who might know!) or you’ve decided not to mandate a dress code for your own wedding, there are a few fashion tips that can make sure you still look the part as the dapper groom or classy wedding guest.

To play it safe, err on the semi-formal side. Pick a charcoal or navy suit. Wear a white dress shirt and pair with a patterned necktie, bowtie, or hey, maybe no tie at all. Brown leather shoes are dashing and not too formal and accessorize with cool cufflinks.

Wedding Dress Code 101: Groom & Menswear Edition | The Black Tux 1
Wedding Dress Code 101: Groom & Menswear Edition | The Black Tux 11

The Black Tux Giveaway

The Black Tux designs modern rental suits and tuxedos that actually fit – ordered online and delivered for free – making outfitting your groom and wedding party easier (and more stylish) than ever before.

One lucky couple will win free suit or tux rentals for the groom and up to four groomsmen – worth as much as an $800 value. Just submit the form on BridalPulse here, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. By submitting the form, you agree to their Giveaway Terms & Conditions.

The giveaway begins March 1st and ends on April 30th – and the winner will be announced by May 7th.

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Essential Info

To shop the complete collection and find out how it works, head to The Black Tux website.

The Black Tux makes high-end suits and tuxedos, designed for a better fit with the finest wool available, rented online and delivered to your door.

Follow The Black Tux on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for fashion tips and menswear inspiration.

This post was made in partnership with The Black Tux.

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