Style Suggestion: How to Dress for A Summer Wedding

Editor’s note: For a range of style suggestions covering everything up to and including Sunday brunch, click here.

Perhaps you walked out to your mailbox one day and found it waiting for you. Or, it popped up on your fridge in the winter, and you forgot about it. Or it was buried under a pile of paperwork until now. What might that be? The summer wedding invitation, of course. Always fun, always an adventure — and always a concern as to what to wear. Lest you scramble to find an outfit (or dash out to rent a suit that might be poor-fitting), rest assured that we’ve got you covered here today. Preparing to both travel in style while also bringing along a proper suit to deal with a (likely) hot climate is a tricky endeavor — and it might be here sooner than you think. While we’ll cover travel style upgrades in the coming weeks, perhaps the most pressing part of things is covering what you’ll wear on the day itself. If you’re in the wedding party, hopefully the groom took some wedding style tips seriously. If you’re just focused on the bachelor party… I wish you luck. The below scenario covers what to wear if you find yourself merely along for the ride in a hot environment. If you’re not ready yet, hopefully you’ll be in tip-top shape by the end of this post.

The Suit: Canvas by Lands’ End Chambray Suit Jacket — $289 AND Chambray Suit Pant — $99

The ideal summer suit from an unexpected brand.
The ideal summer suit from an unexpected brand.

If you haven’t heard the name Lands’ End in a while, or given the site that much thought, think again. The newly revamped Canvas by Lands’ End line plays off the more contemporary, style-forward look and feel of the old Lands’ End Canvas line, and in this case, that’s a very good thing. For just about $400, you’re getting a slim, modern chambray suit that should be lightweight, breathable and ready for warm weather. The color is a nice alternative to a standard navy (although that would also work), and you can choose either hemmed or unhemmed pants in a range of sizes. When layered right, the jacket could even work into early fall with paired with a slim crewneck sweater.

The Shirt: Lawrence Hunt Standard Dress Shirt in White — $65

This is no ordinary dress shirt -- performance fabric is built-in under the arms.
This is no ordinary dress shirt — performance fabric is built-in under the arms.

Lawrence Hunt is another brand that sometimes inspires some questions when the name comes up. Whereas other brands stick to traditional dress shirts crafted from heavier fabrics, Lawrence Hunt takes everything you thought you knew about dress shirts and upends it.  That’s right — the brand’s Standard Dress Shirt in White blends 100 percent cotton with moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, 4-way stretch fabric; in fact, it’s even designed based on athletic performance wear. So this is one dress shirt that can truly keep you cool no matter how hot it gets. It also comes with button or cufflink options depending on how dressy you want to go.

The Tie:  The Tie Bar Navy Knit Tie — $25

 

The always-reliable, never-unstylish navy knit tie -- worth the price now and down the line.
The always-reliable, never-unstylish navy knit tie — worth the price now and down the line.

The classic navy knit tie comes into play time and again in outfits across the style spectrum (and particularly this site) with good reason. It’s nearly the perfect four-season tie, what with subtle texture that stands up to a thicker wool blazer in the winter and adds some visual contrast and weight to a textured chambray suit. That’s the goal here, as it’ll stand out subtly against the crisp white dress shirt while also offering a change of pace in terms of color. At $25, it’s pricier than past Tie Bar pick-ups, but all the more worth it if you can get use of it across four seasons.

The Pocket Square: J. Crew Factory Linen Dot Pocket Square — $14.50

Just as reliable as the navy knit tie, and perfect for summer in terms of pattern and texture.
Just as reliable as the navy knit tie, and perfect for summer in terms of pattern and texture.

Just as with the classic navy knit tie, a pindot pocket square like this one  is fail-safe in regards to summer style. The linen fabric falls in line with warmer temperatures, the pindot pattern stands out nicely against the texture of the tie and the suit, and it helps break up your chest visually without being too overpowering. At just under $15, it’s a solid deal for a brand that’s gotten a heck of a lot like J. Crew, its stylish older brethren. This pocket square can even be switched into a khaki blazer when you’re back at work following that wedding.

The Shoes: M.Gemi The Strada Derby in Sand Suede — $248

A terrific visual complement to a chambray suit this summer.
A terrific visual complement to a chambray suit this summer.

Have you heard of M.Gemi? They’ve gained some notable traction in the past few months with the introduction of its men’s line (a feature on Esquire.com will help with that), and they’re continuing to pick up steam. The Strada Derby is just among a set of offerings — including dress shoes and sneakers — being done by the brand, but the Strada perhaps fits best for a summer wedding in a hotter climate. The Derby-style open lacing and the sand suede are both casual yet crisp (for something dressier, you could grab the Tappo Brogue). Sizes can be limited and the price is an investment, yet you’re getting a really versatile shoe that can pull double duty even when traveling to said wedding.

The Socks: Mack Weldon Total Eclipse Stripe Socks — $12.50

A win-win -- stylish socks that are breathable and comfortable.
A win-win — stylish socks that are breathable and comfortable.

While some are partial to rocking no-show socks with a suit (particularly for an outdoor wedding), rocking longer socks might be in the cards for some of us. And if you’re going to be pulling on extra fabric around your ankles, best make it fabric that’s breathable, moisture-wicking and comfortable — that’s where the Total Eclipse Stripe Sock comes into play. The navy stripes play nicely off the tie and the blue chambray, too.

The Belt and Watch: J. Crew Leather Dress Belt — $68 AND Timex Weekender Fairfield Watch — $75

Simple, stylish essentials that mesh with the other colors in this ensemble.
Simple, stylish essentials that mesh with the other colors in this ensemble.

So, we’re going with a belt that’s nearly as expensive as the watch itself? In this case, yes. If, like your author, you find yourself wearing brown shoes frequently, investing in a slim, classic leather belt like this J. Crew option is in the cards. Because those shoes are suede, matching up directly with the belt leather isn’t needed. And because the Timex Weekender Fairfield Watch is in the same color family (generally) as the belt and shoes, it works out. Plus, at a casual outdoor wedding, things are more, well… casual.

The Sunglasses: Warby Parker Batten Sunglasses in Jet Silver — $145

A reliably stylish frame shape and a cool color to pair up with the other shades of blue in the outfit.
A reliably stylish frame shape and a cool color to pair up with the other shades of blue in the outfit.

It wouldn’t truly be a late spring or early summer wedding if we didn’t suggest a pair of sunglasses to combat the intensity of the sun. Warby Parker was among the first innovators in going direct to consumers digitally, and their designs are (for the most part), clean, classic and stylish. The Batten Sunglasses are no different, and the cool  blue shades strike more than a passing resemblance to a certain secret agent’s sunglass of choice.

While the above outfit might at first glance look to have a lot of moving parts (everything from sunglasses to a pocket square to a watch to a tie are up for consideration), it’s all about making refined pieces work for your environment. A crisp white shirt and navy knit tie works across all four seasons, but the upgraded shirting fabric should definitely keep you cool. Reaching for a chambray suit from a brand on the rise also helps maximize budget and style concerns in equal measure. And those suede shoes? Well, if looks are any consideration, they could very well become a go-to pair the rest of the summer. Shop on, and let me know of any pieces you’d consider swapping out!

How are you dressing for any summer weddings you’ve got coming up? Would you switch out any pieces above?

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