You’re in your apartment—minding your own business—and your phone rings. It’s your mother. Your weird cousin Joey—the one you haven’t spoken to since you were 9 years old—is getting married. There’s no discussion. You have to come home for it.
You can assume a few things about this forced family wedding happening in your hometown: 1) It will be in the afternoon, because your cousin is a cheap bastard; 2) There will not be open bar because—again—your cousin is a cheap bastard; 3) It will be awkward.
Heavy. But try to think of the positives. A daytime wedding means you can dress casually, and a visit to your parents’ house means home cooking and $2 beers at the local bar where you meet up with the few high school friends you still keep in touch with. So, throw the following stuff in your bag and head home. Those $2 beers are calling your name.
1. J. Crew Ludlow Traveler suit jacket
2. Jack Spade tattersall shirt
3. J. Crew Bowery slim pants
A daytime spring wedding means that you don’t have to get too fancy with your attire. You still want to look sharp, but you don’t have to pack a proper suit. Instead, mix and match with tailored, light-colored pieces that you feel comfortable in. A standard blue blazer, lightly patterned shirt and light-colored pants to break it up will make you look like the best-dressed guy in attendance.
Jacket $450 at jcrew.com, pants $98 at j.crew.com; shirt $168 at jackspade.com
4. Jack & Mulligan Dylan Dopp Kit
Every guy needs a nice Dopp kit—yes, even you. What kind of man travels around with his razor and shaving cream in a Ziploc bag? A lazy one. This canvas Dopp Kit is sturdy and utilitarian and will fit everything you need, from razors to pomade to a whole bottle of Extra-Strength Advil for your certain hangover. $70 at jackandmulligan.com
5. Grenson Toby derbies
You’re not 19 anymore, so you need a nice pair of shoes. Buying an investment pair might make you die a bit inside because of the price, but you’ll have them for years, and they’ll never go out of style. If you have a job where you go into an office and communicate with humans, you should already have a pair. $380 at grenson.co.uk
6. Teak tie clip
Who knew you needed them until recently, right? For $15, this snazzy tie bar is a great buy. The wood stands out against everyone’s silver ones and make you look a bit rugged and outdoorsy, even if you’re not. $15 at skinnyfatties.com
7. Forage Haberdashery chambray tie
A pink tie—you’re man enough to wear one. And even though your bro cousin Mike is guaranteed to rag on it, stay strong in your choices. He is a bro. Women prefer a man in pink. $78 at forage.bigcartel.com
8. Richer Poorer navy dot socks
Because you’re keeping your outfit a bit muted, you can rock some statement socks. These navy polka dot versions will look nice tooling around the dance floor with that random high-haired bridesmaid. $20 at richer-poorer.com
9. Lucky Bastard card
Airfare, hotel costs, rental cars—they add up, and they make you want to skip out on a gift altogether. “My gift is my PRESENCE,” you’ll think after one too many whiskies on your flight home. Knock it off and take the high road. Write them a check. You’ll never have to do it again. You can even slip the check into a passive-aggressive card like this one, which knocks the groom and compliments the bride. Because you always have to compliment the bride. $4 at oldtomfoolery.com
10. Cabin Fever whiskey
11. Three Sheets to the Wind flask
As established above, your cousin is probably not going to spring for an open bar. Frankly, you’ll be lucky if he even has a cash bar as it seems to be a thing these days. Whether there’s a booze ban or an expensive open bar, come prepared. Cabin Fever whiskey will aptly capture the sentiment you’ll feel from being trapped with your family all weekend long, and pouring it into a nice flask engraved with your condition by the end of the night is just perfect. Whiskey at cabinfeverspirits.com; flask $27 at izola.com