Ah, wedding season! The time in which you fork over your hard-earned cash and vacation time to stand in a big open space with a warm Amstel light in-hand, listening to two people you don’t really like commit themselves to each other for all of eternity.
Okay, it’s easy to make generalizations, and the truth is that a lot of weddings you’ll be attending this season will be very different from one another, which means your attire and general attitude need to be different, as well.
We’ve decided to help you out. Consider this your go-to guide for what you need to wear to every friggin’ wedding you have on your calendar this summer. See you at the open bar.
1. Your Estranged Cousin’s Wedding in Your Hometown
You’re not close with your cousin. You’ve never been close with your cousin. But if you don’t get your ass on a plane and fly to whatever speck of a small town you grew up in for his wedding, you’ll risk drawing the ire of your extended family and—even worse—your mother.
Because hometown weddings, barring a few exceptions, tend to be more low-key affairs, you don’t have to go too fancy with what you’re wearing. You can essentially don whatever you’d wear to the office, just add a tie to the ensemble and call it a day.
2. Your Girlfriend’s Friends’ Beach Wedding
You wouldn’t recognize these people on the street, but you’re going to their wedding. Why? Because they’re important to your girlfriend. And buddy, if something’s important to your girlfriend, it’s important to you (or at least you have to pretend like it is).
It ain’t all bad, though. A destination wedding on a beach gives you an excuse to get away for the weekend with your girl, and your attire can be island casual. Plus, because you don’t know anyone there, you can really let loose on the dance floor (and at the open bar).
3. Your College Buddy’s Wedding in a Rustic Barn
This is the wedding of the kid you all thought would be alone for the rest of his life, but here you are, preparing to attend his wedding where he will marry a live human bride. Because it’s your college friend, and because it’s in a barn (Pinterest has single-handedly revived the lives of old barns across America), you can get away with dressing a little casual. You’ll probably be drinking out of a mason jar all night, for fuck’s sake. Barn weddings are also notorious for not having AC, so you want whatever you wear to be lightweight. A linen suit, a fun bow tie and shoes without socks will do the trick.
Bonus: If you’re single, you can finally seal the deal with that girl from your freshman year Poly Sci class you’ve been pining over.
Linen Jort Suit ($999, Suit Supply), Blue Dress Shirt ($30, Uniqlo), Fair-and-Square Gingham Bowtie ($19, The Tie Bar), Garvey Midnight Suede Sneakers ($110, Clae), Classic Cambridge Watch ($195, Daniel Wellington)
4. Your Gay Co-worker’s Wedding on a Fancy Manhattan Rooftop
Trust us: You are not prepared to attend a gay wedding in New York City. It will be a room full of devastatingly handsome, well-groomed, well-dressed and insanely physically-fit guys. In the midst of all of these dudes, you’re going to feel like a schlub, even if you’re wearing your best suit and tie.
If there was any time you needed to up your fashion game, it’s for this wedding. Ditch your baggy Jos. A. Bank suit and get something a bit more formal, like a classic tux. But take it up a notch by buying it in midnight blue. Keep everything else classic, but have fun with your accessories. Every single woman at that wedding (and there’s gonna be a lot of ‘em) will be lusting after the guy wearing a hot pink bowtie and flamingo socks. Just make sure that guy is you.
Navy Tuxedo ($599, Suit Supply), Saturdays NYC Oxford Shirt ($150, Mr. Porter), Mini Dots Bow Tie ($19, The Tie Bar), Mini Dots Pocket Square ($10, The Tie Bar), Flamingo Socks ($14, Jimmy Lion), The Martin Wholecut Maronne Shoes ($399, Paul Evans)
5. Your Dad’s Fourth Wedding in his Backyard
Your parents got divorced when you were young and, since then, you’ve seen a rotating roster of women come and go from your father’s life. You’d be cool with him breaking the hearts of divorcees all over town, but for some reason, he insists on marrying all of them—and then immediately divorcing them. Your dad’s racking up divorces like Liz Taylor and you’re wondering what the hell that says about you and your fear of commitment.
You wore a suit to his second wedding. You wore a suit sans tie to his third wedding. For his fourth wedding, you can take your attire about as seriously as he takes his vows. There’s no need for a suit while you’re standing in his backyard taking bets with your siblings on how long “this one” will last. Wear a good pair of shades to hide your eye-rolling and make sure whatever you wear is preppy and nautical. You might not be on a boat, but you’ll wish you were—preferably one that would sail you the hell out of there.
Feature Photo Credit: Twenty20/@zacharygilbert