If you’ve been invited to a wedding, you might be wondering if it’s acceptable to wear a black suit. Black is traditionally worn at funerals and it’s sometimes frowned upon for female wedding guests to dress in black, but what about male guests?
We’ve put together everything you need to know about wearing a black suit to a wedding and some of the most popular black suit, shirt and tie combinations.
Can I wear a black suit to a wedding?
The short answer to this often-asked question is ‘yes’. Unless the wedding is incredibly informal, it’s fairly common for male guests to wear black suits. However, the easiest way to work out if a black suit is appropriate for the wedding you’ve been invited to is to look at the invitation. This should have all the information you need about the venue, time of year, and dress code to make your decision. If you’re worried about looking too formal, you can always opt for a light blue, navy or grey suit instead.
If the wedding invite specifies a formal or black-tie optional dress code, a black suit is a safe choice. Just make sure not to go overboard on the accessories – a white pocket square, understated watch, white dress shirt, cufflinks and black tie will help you look the part.
If it specifies black or white tie, a suit won’t be formal enough and you’ll need to wear a dinner jacket or evening tails. Not sure about the difference between black and white tie? Check out our blog, ‘What is the difference between white tie and black tie?’.
It can be tricky to know if a black suit is appropriate for an outdoor wedding. If it’s a casual beach wedding during the middle of summer, a black suit will likely look completely out of place (not to mention you’ll likely be sweltering). If it’s an outdoor wedding during spring or summer, wearing a black suit will likely be okay but you can always opt for a lighter or brighter suit colour instead.
If the event is very informal, a black suit will likely look far too formal compared to the rest of the guests. For casual weddings, a light blue suit or cream suit will look more appropriate. If it’s a summer wedding, opt for linen to keep you cool and comfortable.
Of course, if you have a limited suit collection, you might not have a light-coloured suit you can wear. In this case, you can wear a black suit, but you’ll need to dress it down. You can try wearing a bright-coloured tie or patterned pocket square to add a pop of colour to your outfit. Alternatively, swap out your suit trousers for a pair of chinos and leave the tie at home for a relaxed ensemble.
5 black suit ideas for weddings
There are loads of beautiful black suit, tie and shirt combinations to suit any wedding ceremony or reception. Here are our favourite options:
1. Black suit, white shirt and black tie
Although it might sound simple, a black suit jacket, white shirt and black tie is a classic combination, especially for formal or traditional weddings. You can always add a coloured pocket square or switch out the black tie for a patterned one to add a bit of interest to the outfit.
2. Black suit, light blue shirt and dark tie
This is another simple combination that works well for formal or semi-formal weddings. A light blue shirt is a great alternative to white without being too colourful. In terms of the tie, you could opt for dark blue, navy, red or even a patterned one.
3. Black suit, light pink shirt and black tie
A light pink shirt is a more unusual choice than light blue, but it looks just as stunning. It’s a great choice if you want to stand out a bit, without drawing attention away from the groom with a brightly coloured suit. For weddings with a formal dress code, keep it simple with a black tie. For casual or outdoor weddings, you could pair your black suit jacket and pink shirt with a pair of light-coloured chinos to create a more informal look.
4. Black suit, grey shirt and black tie
All black can look a little too formal for most weddings, but a grey shirt is the perfect solution to ensure you don’t look too harsh. This combination is still more appropriate for formal weddings, rather than casual events.
5. Black suit and patterned shirt
Although some people might think black wedding suit jackets are too plain, this is what makes them ideal for pairing with bold patterns. Whether you opt for florals or polka dots, a patterned shirt is a great way to make a statement with a black suit at a semi-formal wedding.
Bespoke wedding suits by Philip Alexander
Whatever colour of wedding suit you decide to wear, you should dress your very best. An expertly crafted tailored suit is the best way to make sure you don’t look out of place!
At Phillip Alexander, we’ve been dressing gentlemen for weddings since 1876. You can rely on our team to make sure you look the part – our expert team will offer any styling advice and guidance based on the wedding’s dress code.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime tailoring experience, our bespoke suit service is right for you. All our bespoke suits are handcrafted by our master tailor and they involve numerous fittings to ensure the perfect fit on the big day!
We also offer made-to-measure suits, which are the perfect choice if you want a well-fitting tailored suit, but don’t have the budget for a fully bespoke suit. Our made-to-measure suits are made using a mixture of machine work and handcraft, so they’re perfect if you have a rapidly approaching wedding.
If you’re attending a formal wedding and aren’t in a position to purchase a tailored suit of your own, why not try our luxury tailored suit hire? All our wedding hire suits include several fitting sessions and alterations to ensure the best possible fit.
Book an in-person or telephone consultation to get one step closer to your perfect wedding suit!