Here comes the style.
I'm going to the wedding of my girlfriend’s father this summer, but the invitation doesn't say what I should wear. Her brother, the best man, is only wearing khakis and a blazer, but he’s still in high school. I also know that both her uncles are wearing suits. I don’t want to over dress and out do anyone, but at the same time I don’t want to make a bad impression. What should I wear?—Benjamin, New York, NY
Good for you. Some guys wouldn’t be bothered by the lack of a specified dress code and would just wing it. And proceed to make one of the mistakes you’re worried about. There’s nothing worse than waltzing into a wedding dressed so well that those in attendance, if they didn’t know better, would think you were the one getting married. This would cause two probable thoughts to race through your girlfriend’s father’s head. One, he’d consider strangling you. And, two, he’d wish you weren’t dating his daughter. If you showed up dressed incredibly casually, the same two thoughts would most likely race through his head.
The answer is to dress somewhat neutrally. You want to wear something that, while taking pictures or just standing around, will set off your girlfriend and her father nicely. This is why the khaki suit, accompanied by a white dress shirt and solid knit tie, is thought of as the summer tux. Gray and navy suits also work well provided you follow the same guidelines and wear more understated ties and accessories. The bow tie that can be quickly untied and used as a pocket square should things happen to be more on the casual side is a great way to go as well. The point is to dress complementary, so your girlfriend and others around you are seen as the real stars of the wedding. This will cause two probable thoughts to pop into your girlfriend’s father’s head. One, that he’s glad his daughter is dating a gentlemen. And two, to remind his son to take a few style tips from you. Enjoy the wedding.
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