The Southern Hemisphere is readily awaiting summer wedding season with invitations coming through thick and fast for beach elopements and garden ceremonies alike.
But as the warmer months roll in so do the casual dress codes, which begs the question: what does one wear to a summer gathering?
In search of answers, Together Journal spoke to the experts over at Crane Brothers who boast over two decades of experience in kitting out Australasia’s most dapper gentlemen.
Below, read Digital and Brand Manager Ben Saint George’s advice on summer wedding guest attire from this year’s emerging colour trends to the art of going sans tie.
I’ve been invited to an outdoor summer wedding. What materials and colourways do you recommend?
It depends on the event. If it’s more formal, a lightweight, plain-weave worsted wool is a great place to start – something between 200g and 300g, which can offer breathability and drape without creasing easily. Wool and mohair blends take this principle even further – mohair has remarkable crease-resistance and looks great for wedding photos, if you’re looking for a very clean aesthetic.
At the other end of the spectrum, if the event is more relaxed, then cotton and or linen are on the table. Both can crease fairly easily, though linen more so, but for a relaxed beach wedding this should be a positive rather than a negative. Linen is perfect for the humidity of Auckland and the North Island in summer. The fibre itself is naturally breathable and absorbent, so if you know that you’re going to be warm, there are few better choices for comfort.
Do guests need to wear a tie to a casual outdoor wedding?
As a rule, a tie should be considered preferred but not essential. Part of this comes down to reading the room – if you know the couple tends to dress up as a rule, then a tie should probably be worn. If in doubt, check the dress code – if it’s formal then you should wear a tie.
For cocktail, smart-casual or other similarly confusing dress codes, you can probably safely wear one at your discretion. Remember you can always take it off!
What do you recommend grooms wear to a beach ceremony?
If you’re getting married on a beach then the first thing you should be considering is linen. Yes, it creases – but then if you’re getting married on the beach, you’re probably looking for something easy-wearing anyay. Linen is relaxed, breathable and takes on a wonderfully casual feel – even in a two-piece suit – and feels absolutely at home on the sand.
READ MORE: Crane Brothers: How to master the tie-less suit
We’re also doing an increasing number of beach weddings that have called for a more classic suit or tuxedo look. Summer-weight tuxedos are a thing – we’ve often made them from more casual fabrics like linen or cotton. However, if you’re opting to go this route, having a suit or tux cut from a lightweight wool and mohair blend would also be an excellent choice, as it will comfortably accommodate plenty of movement whilst remaining elegant and breathable. Just keep it out of the surf.
Beach ceremonies call for a more casual dress code but are there any traditional accessories that you still advise grooms to wear?
As the groom, if you’re wearing a suit (as opposed to a separate jacket and trousers) then wear a tie – even if the guests are more relaxed and you intend to take it off after the photos. Ties still provide a great service, in that they visually break up an outfit that’s otherwise fairly one-note, and lead the eye towards the face. With separates there is already distinction between jacket and trouser so this is less important, but with a suit, it simply does look better with a tie.
What shoes do you recommend guests wear to a beach ceremony?
You can wear smart shoes without wearing formal lace-ups – loafers are a great choice that balance elegance with wearability, and look great without a sock. If the ceremony is physically on the sand, you might want something a little more knockabout, in which case a smart espadrille is an excellent choice. A good suede pair will look the part, and won’t need the kind of TLC that something dressier might. It all depends on the outfit – even a leather sandal or slide can have its place.
Have you noticed any emerging colour trends for spring/summer 2021?
Natural earth shades are a great choice for summer. For tailoring, tones like ecru, beige and tobacco capture the lightness and warmth of the season – they’re staples of Italian summer wardrobes for a reason – and they pair beautifully with bridal tones like ivory and pearl as well. Throw in a smart white shirt and a good shoe and you’ve got a chic and timeless look that will look great on the day and you can wear in the future as well.
This season we’ve introduced a lot of soft grey shades, as well as some warmer earth tones as alternatives to blue. That said, navy is always a popular choice, and it flatters most complexions very handsomely. For beach or high summer weddings, don’t be afraid to experiment with jewel tone blues as well – a light blue jacket with an ecru trouser looks very fresh and damnably stylish.
Visit Crane Brothers online or follow @cranebrothers on Instagram to browse their beautifully curation of clothing, footwear and accessories.