David Burton, Italian Wedding, Rome.
After months of grey and gloom the arrival of summer is eagerly anticipated for most inhabitants of the western hemisphere. Hot on its heels, comes wedding season, which seems entirely natural, as who wants their wedding album shot against a backdrop of a bleak mid-winter? With the inevitable invites, RSVPs and rounds of gift-buying, come the dress codes. And if it’s not stated on your beautifully embossed invitation, what exactly should opt for? As with most things in life, there’s not a one-size-fits all solution, so our short guide below will hopefully provide a few helpful suggestions as to what to throw on when the peal of wedding bells is on the horizon.
The City Wedding
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Wedding, Venice.
Town weddings are usually the most formal kind, with popular venues being the sort of grand, historic hotels that remain sticklers for proper dress codes. The good thing about these venues of course is, even if it’s sweltering outside, it’s likely to be well air-conditioned indoors, so there’s no excuse not to get dressed to the nines. At this sort of wedding, you’ll want to opt for sedate and elegant tailoring – navy and grey super 120 wool cloths are usually best – which have a fine handle and comfortable to wear in a range of temperatures. You might also be required to change into black tie in the evening, in which case, you’ll want to get your dinner suit primed. Given the formality of such a wedding, only a crisp white shirt will do. Our cotton Oxford shirt, worn with a navy suit and high-shine Oxfords will most definitely pass muster. And a dark suit will easily transition from day to night –assuming that outfit change isn’t required of course. Add interest by making use of a few carefully placed silk accessories, like a geometric print tie and pocket square. If you’re feeling particularly natty, then a silk boutonniere – a flower pin – will add a final flourish. Just remember not to go too overboard and show up the groom, though.
The Exotic Wedding
If you have the type of friends who decide it’s their dream to get away from it all and exchange vows somewhere impossibly exotic.The issue comes of course, when a) you need to pay for the trip and b) the realisation being formally attired in 33°c heat and 80% humidity. To prevent yourself becoming one of those guests who decided to pack a woollen two piece and is as a result is repeatedly mopping the sweat from their dripping brow, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the weights of your cloths. It’s common knowledge that linen is particularly suited to this sort of weather, on account of its loose-weave construction and superb air permeability, which makes it light and breathable. As a fibre, it’s also cool to the touch and wicks moisture very effectively. In fact, due to the fibre’s molecular structure, it can absorb up to one-fifth of its weight before it even feels damp and due to its airiness, quickly evaporates moisture. Little wonder why it’s always been the cloth of choice in sultry climes. So, as it’s the wonder material to tackle hot weather, we’d suggest layering up in linen.
A double-breasted linen suit teamed with our white Portofino linen shirt and suede tassel loafers is an elegant look that will also ensure you keep your cool, no matter how high the mercury heads. Alternatively, our sage-green Portofino shirt will make the perfect partner to all that lush tropical greenery. The one thing we can’t help with is the issue of sand in your shoes.
Luca Faloni Portofino Linen Shirt, £125
The Country Wedding
More often than not, you’ll find most couples tying the knot want to get married some place where they can play lord and lady of the manor - for a day, at least. This usually means a wedding set in a stately home, stuffed with the type of furniture and art which you can only inherit, not buy (think Brideshead Revisited). Whilst not as formal as a wedding in town, country weddings are still an occasion where adhering to some standards of tradition won’t go amiss. A tailored two or three-piece is a given, but you can opt for a lighter shade than you would wear in town – perhaps a mid-blue, a teal or light grey in a breathable mohair or hopsack weave cloth and whilst a classic white shirt is a failsafe, creating contrast with a darker shirt is an easy way to add interest to your look without breaking too many formal codes. Our latest addition to our shirt line – our midnight blue Portofino shirt will make the ideal partner to a lighter suit and its dark hue mean it’s ideal after the champagne has kicked in and you decide to hit the dancefloor after dark. If you suspect that you’ll need to negotiate grass or uneven terrain at some point in proceedings – then a pair of sturdy Northampton-made Goodyear-welted Derby or Oxford shoes will ensure you stay well-grounded and crucially, looking smart, at all times.
The Gleneagles Hotel, ‘a Riviera in the Highlands’.
The Alternative Wedding
Ok, so you’re going to a wedding where the couple wants to throw the formal rule book out the window (much to the in-laws’ disdain) and make it a casual, relaxed affair. After all, a wedding is supposed to celebrate the commitment that two people are making to each other and not about how much money you can spend or make a big song and dance, right? That said, unless it’s been specified as such on the invite, it’s probably not the wisest idea to rock up in a pair of shorts and flip flops, no matter how liberal your friends might be.
You want to look relaxed, yet still elegant enough to remain respectful of the occasion. Colour is key here to express some personality and soft, pastel shades are ideal for a summer wedding. With its relaxed, Eastern-inspired band collar, our light-pink Versilia shirt will help you keep your cool in the heat whilst still looking suitably refined. And to dress it up without looking overly formal? Just nonchalantly drape a lightweight linen scarf around your neck for a distinctive touch of Italian sprezzatura.