This weekend I am attending a wedding. For people like me who are happy to dress formally a wedding is a rare opportunity to dress as formally as you wish in a culture that tends towards the informal. Apart from an investiture by the queen, or if you work as an undertaker, where else can you get away with wearing a morning suit, complete with top hat if you feel so inclined?
I blame my inclination towards more formal dress on my upbringing in a home and culture that took putting on your Sunday best quite seriously. Following this up by going to work in a bank, a pretty formal setting, from my late teens to mid twenties only further consolidated this inclination. Whatever the reasons I am who I am and feel very much at home in a shirt and tie and suit. Besides I look very dashing in a suit (at least so I’m told by the same people who also tell me that I am very modest…).
So what to wear to a summer wedding? A summer wedding allows for a very wide range of possibilities, or at least it would if we were actually having a summer this year. If we were having a summer with some sunshine that lasted more than a couple of hours then dressing for a summer wedding could range from the very traditional dark suit and light shirt through to brighter colours such as royal blue, lemon, or pink, as well as more traditional summer colours such a shades of khaki and grey.
If wearing a suit, linen or some other lightweight fabric is a good idea; one can stay cool and look cool as well. Admittedly, this summer remaining cool has hardly been a major concern. Nonetheless, one can hardly go wrong with a lightweight suit in July.
The upside to the unseasonably wet summer is that I’ve seen far fewer wasps around that I recall from previous years. It is very difficult to look stylish (never mind manly) whilst at the same time feverishly attempting to duck and dive to avoid passing wasps….
For the wedding this weekend I toyed with rolling out my latest acquisition green or navy brogues and planning an ensemble around either one from the ground up.
One possibility would be a light grey suit with white shirt, lime green tie and olive shoes. In some ways, a very traditional ensemble making use of a colour scheme immortalised by the French artist René Magritte in his painting, Son of Man. It portrays a man in a grey suit, white shirt, and red tie but with a green apple obscuring his face.
The twist is that I would use green for the tie instead of red. To complement this with olive brogues would be a further twist and something I think one can get away with in summer. I haven’t tried this ensemble yet and have no idea whether the idea would actually work with the particular shades of grey and green and olive in my wardrobe. I shall give it a go at some stage and find out.
Another would be to wear a khaki linen suit with navy shirt and navy brogues. This I have tried and it does work very well. A variation on this colour scheme would be to go for a JFK look with navy blazer, light blue shirt and cream or white trousers. The modern twist would be to pair this with navy brogues. This I have not yet tried but I have seen the combination and it looks fab. I also am very much in favour of rehabilitating cream or white trousers for a great summer look.
However, I have a speaking part this weekend so have decided that I will go with a slightly more conservative approach. So the shoes will be neither olive nor navy but black. The suit will also be black, or perhaps dark charcoal. But in the interest of some summer colour I am thinking of brightening up the ensemble with a pink shirt and possibly a blue or pink and blue striped tie.
The important thing for a summer wedding is to express yourself with a little bit of creativity. A wedding is a joyous occasion and the focus will not be on you. So express some of that joy in your style, safe in the knowledge that if your creative ensemble does not work as well as you imagined everyone will be too busy looking at the bride and groom to pay too much attention to your style faux pas.
At least that’s what I am telling myself….
What I wore. Pictured with the rest of my posse..