It must be the season for planning weddings. Not only did one of my best friends get engaged (congratulations Henry) I had two questions this week about what to wear as a groom.

KL: Mr Crompton, I’m an avid reader of your blog and I’ve loved your posts on what to wear to a wedding. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts though if you were the groom at an informal wedding. I’ve been thinking of a couple of possibilities like a grey 1b peak w/ db vest, navy db, navy 2b peak sb, navy/grey Hunstman-style 1b suits. I have a houndstooth Macclesfield or a champagne tie that I love and may wear for personal significance.

Peter: Dear Simon, I am a long time reader of Permanent Style. Happily, I am getting married this summer – in the middle of August. There is pressure from the bride for this to be a formal wedding, but her definition of formal doesn’t extend much beyond a dinner jacket and black bowtie. I am not certain that that is entirely appropriate for a church wedding and would like to wear something a little more personal. My initial thoughts are: Black, SB, notched, black silk lapel, possibly with an heirloom silver button (instead of a silk-covered button). Black trousers with silk along the seam. Waistcoat in a dark, dark green (Favourbrook has some nice ones). White shirt, black tie (not bowtie), white pocket square.

Now my opinion on wedding attire can be summarised in the following, hopefully logical, points.

First, propriety is king. So if there is an obvious dress code, either stated or implicit, stay within it. Do not upstage anyone, especially the groom. Be smart enough, even a little smarter than the rest of the guests, but do not stand out like a sore thumb. This is not your day. And if the dress code is black tie, much as I hate that American tendency at daytime weddings, wear it.

Second, if there is no obvious dress code other than being smart, feel free to take it down a notch sartorially. I know that, as a formal day event, you should be wearing morning dress, and if not that then the smartest lounge suit you own: navy single-breasted, crisp white shirt, black oxfords, probably a grey or silver tie.

But that’s too near business dress to be any fun these days. Men never get a chance to wear casual suits, linens, cotton and silk.

My general opinions stated, let’s turn to the questions. Both KL and Peter are keen to go down the formal route without wearing black tie or tails. Good for them. KL has the right idea on dressing up the lounge suit, going for peak lapels and a double-breasted waistcoat. These are both great ideas, particularly if you will rarely wear them on any other occasion. Either navy or mid-grey, with either tie.

Peter is seeking more to put a personal spin on black tie. This can be done in a number of ways, including a shawl collar, double-breasted, even a velvet jacket. But if you’re going to do black tie, Peter, eschew coloured waistcoats. The jacket should have peak lapels and you need something to cover your waistband – cummerbund, waistcoat or double-breasted.

Or how about another suggestion Peter? An old-style stroller (above) – black, SB or DB, peaked lapel jacket in serge or cashmere. Pale grey trousers, white shirt, white handkerchief, Macclesfield tie, black shoes. Keep it monotone. It’ll looker smarter than what everyone else is wearing, but individual too.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The fellow in the picture isn’t wearing a stroller—at least, not what I’ve seen described as a stroller (a morning coat). I had a fantastic time wearing morning dress to my daytime wedding. Everyone thought they looked quite dashing. But, they’re pricey to buy and I was really not satisfied with the hired ones. Also, ascots (if one were inclined to go for the traditional wing collar and ascot instead of a four-in-hand) can be hard to come by. I got mine from this company.



I am at the moment planning what to wear at my own wedding and have decided to wear a kilt. I was wondering if a charcoal tweed jacket and vest would be too casual. Also should I understate the rest of the outfit because of the vibrant tartan?


I have been invited to a daytime/ outdoor event with a fairly strict dress code in terms of morning dress, black/ grey, tie no cravate, no colour bands to the top hat etc.

For shoes however it simply says black. Now, I assuming oxfords but would it be patents or not for a day event? Clearly not full wingtip with brouging but how about just brouging along the edge of the toe cap?

My only plain black shoes at the moment are a pair of oxford/toe cap pair of Joseph Cheaney which whilst less than a year old did suffer in this years rain and have never been too comfortable. They arent suitable for such an event but dont want to replace them like for like with Crockett & Jones as they still have life left for less formal events and my wardrobe isnt yet big enough to warrant near duplicates


Hi Simon, I guess a follow up on this post – What do you think about a 2×1 black Double Breasted for a wedding? It is my own and I’m not wanting to do black tie as I have felt it has just been recently over done. But I’m wanting to have something still “formal” but not black tie. A find a DB really suits me and I was thinking of having something made up in a LP 170’s cloth with a bit of gloss if that makes sense? Even a cloth with silk in it. Or do you think a 6 x 1 would be a bit better vs being too “fashion”? I’m having whole-cut St Crispin’s made for the day as well. The ceremony and dinner will be in beautiful backyard settings in Melbourne. It will be in June so the beginning of Winter.


Does something like this in an all black high count black cloth get close to being formal? Or can it be worn with a white shirt and white tie?


So if wanting to keep it from being black tie something like a 4×2 DB will be more formal than Black Tie? I am aiming more for formal than Black Tie if that makes sense?


It is for my wedding in June. The dress code is Formal. I did not want to do Black Tie as there had been a whole bunch of weddings recently that had the dress code with similar crowd so wanted to have it a different look. I don’t have to wear a bow tie but rather a tie with a black suit. Just thinking a DB will stand out a bit from the crowd.

Jack Anapes

New reader…much to learn still but thoroughly enjoying my education thus far. Happily getting married soon and thinking about attire. The wedding is planned to be informal and ideally, I am hoping to wear something with future utility beyond the ceremony and reception. That said, I wouldn’t mind differentiating myself (just a bit) from the likely sea of plain navy and grey. At first blush, assuming a fine fit and finish, what are your thoughts about a properly accessorized single-breasted PoW check suit with a double-breasted waistcoat? Too sporty, casual, or flashy? If so, would you suggest sticking with something monochromatic (e.g. an appropriate navy or pale to mid-grey) or perhaps a step it up a bit with a stroller? Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Jack Anapes

Thank you for your clear, speedy, and considered response. I only mentioned the stroller in the event that you thought the PoW was a ridiculous idea. Although I do kind of like the idea of a stroller, practically speaking, I would not have the occasion to wear it for work (or elsewhere) with any regularity. With versatility and accumulating less in mind, I will continue to explore PoW and mid-grey options. As I currently have neither, either would work from a wardrobe perspective and while I’m guessing mid-grey may be more versatile, I am somewhat intrigued with the notion of a PoW for the wedding — at least for the moment. Many thanks for your thoughts.


As you may or may not recall, I am in the midst of putting together an outfit for my wedding. To that end, you have provided much appreciated and excellent advice thus far. For a variety of reasons, I ended up ordering a Cifonelli peak-lapel SB suit and DB waistcoat. My question has to do with buttons which I know you have previously written about. While I intended to purchase a two-button suit, I was talked into a single-button and now can’t help but wonder if I have made a mistake. Given the relative formality of the event and the peak-lapel, I am hopeful that the suit will look sufficiently differentiated from the guests, stylish, and perhaps just a bit dandy. After the event, however, I am thinking (in my novice opinion) that it might be nice to tone it down a bit by adding a bit of texture and informality in the form of a second button to avoid what may be considered rakish territory. Is the idea of adding a second button tantamount to tailoring heresy and/or a sartorial slip? In general and please forgive my naivety and ignorance, assuming that the single button is appropriately located, can a second button be added below the single (first) button or is that determination made on a case-by-case basis depending upon the existing button location and perhaps more importantly, the cut of the jacket? Just wondering and still learning so any thoughts are truly appreciated.

Jack Anapes

As always, thank you for your thoughtful and helpful advice.



I’m interested to hear your opinion on the most informal wedding suit or combination that I can wear. I’m currently planning my wedding which will be probably be at the beach. It will be an informal event, but I like to dress up a little. I’m either thinking a navy hopsack sb jacket with linnen or wool trousers or going for a full linen suit in an earthy tone, taupe or sand. Maybe even swap the white shirt for something less formal like a polo shirt or denim shirt and no tie?


Simon, thank you for the prompt reply. We start at the town hall and end at the beach so I need to bridge the cap between smart and informal, so espadrilles wouldnt work. Maybe swap those for loafers? And what kind of tie would work? As I would probably wear one to the town hall but loose it somewhere during the rest of the day.


Yes, already read your post about Macclesfield ties. I will try to find a dark navy/white one. Instead of linen suit and it wrinkes I was maybe thinking going for this 2-ply worsted tropical fabric from Fox: