What To Wear To A Winter Wedding

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Whenever I get asked the question "what should I wear to a wedding?" I usually respond with a question of my own; "when's it on?" When it comes to weddings, it's usually either a summer wedding or a winter wedding. These are by far the most popular choices and given the time of year, people are far more likely to be asking about winter weddings right now so I'm going to give a few pointers on what to wear to a winter wedding.

 

Nowadays guys are more conscious than ever about looking their best, especially if they are going to a place or event where there's going to be loads of pictures taken so what you wear to a wedding has become a pretty big deal. First things first, don't fall into the trap of thinking ‘well I was at a wedding there during the summer and my suit looked great, won't that do?' No, summer wedding attire and winter wedding attire are very different. That bright blue two-piece and tan shoes won't cut it here and you'll freeze your snowballs off too.

 

Typically the first thing you need to check is the invitation, as chances are the bride and groom will have outlined a dress code for their big day. This will give you a good indication of how you should dress on the day. If the wedding is taking place in Ireland then you can be certain that it's going to be cold and this will be play a big factor in what you'll want to be wearing. Winter weddings don't just take place in nice heated hotel function rooms; you'll be sitting in a poorly heated chapel for about an hour, then standing around outside while everyone comes out and if you're part of the wedding then you'll be setting aside a nice chunk of outdoors time for the wedding photos. Still thinking about that flimsy blue jacket you wore during the summer? Didn't think so!

 

The Suit

 

One way to beat the cold at a winter wedding is to invest in a nice three-piece suit. The reason should be obvious – the extra layers will keep you warm, whilst also making you look extra smart. The addition of a waistcoat offers added insulation for when you're gritting your teeth and smiling for the ninth attempt at the same photo outside the chapel. Now if you're not that close to the bride and groom or you just feel like a three-piece suit would be a little over the top, then I suggest you opt for a two-piece in a suitable material (more to come on this) and remember that, with all suits, fit is everything. Go for a suit with a natural shoulder line that sits tightly at the waist (ask your sales assistant about the drop) and trousers that taper slightly. If you already have a suit that you love but the evolution of fits has left it looking like something from a Kanye and Lil Pump video then bring it to a tailor or an alterations shop for a bit of modernizing. It's a lot less expensive than forking out for a brand new suit. And if you do decide to splash the cash on a new suit then don't rule out having that tailored too. It can be the difference between being roughly your measurements and fitting like a glove. It is at this point where I always give a shout out to Shiobhan Quin from the Zipyard on Thomas St as they are excellent at tailoring and alterations and Siobhan is a dotey pet. Shirt wise, you'll be all right with white. Don't go for anything too gimmicky and remember if your suit is patterned then it's best that your shirt and tie isn't.

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The Material

 

For a winter wedding, as I have now mentioned several times and cannot stress enough, chances are you're going to feel the brutal chill that comes with these colder months. So you're going to want to get yourself a suit that's made from a heavier material than the ones you'd wear in the summer months. I wore a cream linen suit to my friends' wedding in June and while it looked great back then, it would do me no favours in January and I'd look ridiculous as I slowly succumbed to the effects of hyperthermia. Any wedding that takes place in Ireland between the months of October and March is guaranteed to be cold so a linen suit is definitely out of the question. Opt for some heavier materials instead. Winter boasts a great opportunity for you to wear something that you wouldn't get to wear at any other time of year. Materials like wool, tweed and corduroy are perfect for when the temperature drops. Wool is ideal for a Christmas wedding and a woollen suit will keep you extra warm due to the extra punch it carries in the way it's constructed. Tweed also works but as heavy as tweed is, it isn't necessarily that warm due to its construction so it probably won't keep out the December cold as well as wool. Corduroy is extremely versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down. Chances are you'll want to dress it up though given that it's a wedding.

 

The Colour

 

When it comes to weddings, depending on what time of year it's taking place, colour plays a major factor on how well you'll fit in. Again, you should check the invitation for a stated dress code or colour scheme. If it reads "black tie' then they've given you a big clue on how you should dress. If not, then you have creative carte blanche, but there are probably a few colours that you should stick to nonetheless. At a winter wedding, people usually tend to steer clear of the bright colours you'd see at summer weddings. I would personally suggest sticking to colours like navy, greys and browns. This might sound a little dull but you can let your accessories do the talking when it comes to colour. Once again, don't go overboard and put a hot pink tie with a dark tan suit but consider matching a nice burgundy tie and pocket square with a navy or brown suit. You can push the boat out a little with a nice patterned pocket square but again – avoid anything too OTT.

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Above I have outlined some on what to wear to a wedding in wintertime. I highly recommend you pop in Tony Connolly Menswear where the suit that I'm wearing in the accompanying image is from and ask Dave to recommend some thicker materials in the neutral colours that I've suggested.

Patrick McLoughney