If you have a wedding (or two) to attend this summer, then one of the key considerations is what to wear. Don't leave it till the last minute to try on the suit you have in the back of the wardrobe only to find out it needs dry cleaning/repairing/doesn't fit or the moths have been feasting on it.
If the above is true and you need to buy a new suit then here are my tips on how to make it less business, more pleasure, so it's suitable for a wedding. And if the suit you have is fine then scroll through to the accessories section for some ideas on how you can give it a fresh new look:
Firstly, how formal and in what setting is the wedding and what other occasions will you be likely to wear the suit for afterwards? If it's a smart formal wedding and you're going to use it as a business suit afterwards then go for navy or charcoal and you can use your accessories to ring the changes. If it's slightly more informal and you're likely to wear the suit for parties and dinners after the wedding, then try a different shade like an olive green, burgundy, or lighter blue. Or if it's a more casual setting, perhaps abroad and you have plenty of other summer events to attend, then try lighter tones of blue, pale grey or sand.
You don't have to stick to pale blue and white shirts either. For instance a lilac one would work really well with the grey suit below and pick up the purple toned edging of the green pocket square. Pale pink or pale yellow could also be used to lift your look from a business style.
Whichever you choose, first and foremost make sure it suits your skin tone as well as the occasion. (And if you don't know, book me in for a Colour & Style Consultation).
If you wear a suit every day for work then this could be an opportunity to try something a little different from your regular style. It might be awhile since you've worn double breasted so why not try one out, the styles now are much more fitted than the boxier cuts you may remember from the eighties.
If the wedding is fairly informal then you could opt for an semi-lined, patch pocket style which will be easy to wear afterwards as separates. You can team the blazer with jeans and wear the trousers with shirts and lightweight sweaters.
Slightly wider peaked lapels are also making a resurgence after years of skinny silhouettes with lapels to match. This is a flattering style which takes the eye out towards the shoulders thus making them look wider.
Dependent on what else you'll use the suit for afterwards, you might want to choose a pattern for your suit. Currently the most popular options are checks - from windowpane to Prince of Wales there are many options to choose from.
For formal occasions mohair will give an extra depth and sheen to the fabric and gives a luxurious feel to your suit differentiating it from a business suit.
Fabrics such as linen, and cotton are great if you like a less structured softer feel that will be fitting for a casual wedding or one in a hot climate. Remember that linen creases badly though and you don't want to ruin the photos by looking like a crumpled heap so opt for linen that is mixed with another fabric and consider other options such as seersucker. If you're wearing your suit to travel in or you'll have no time at all to hang or steam your suit upon arrival then it's worth having a look at Paul Smith's travel suits which are made in crease resistant cloths.
This is where you can really have fun. Lighter and brighter colours can be explored which will take the look away from workwear. You could also embrace some pattern or different textures such as linen or knitted ties which will work particularly well for less formal suiting.
Other accessories to take into consideration are pocket squares (remember never to match your tie and pocket square exactly but tone them), tie bars or shirts with collar bars, cuff links, and perhaps if you're feeling slightly flamboyant a lapel pin. And don't forget a belt to tone with your shoes, and the buckle should also tone with the other metals you're wearing (watch, glasses frames, cuff links etc).
If you're going formal then wear a pair of leather Oxford's. For a more summery look, suede works really well and if the look is less formal then try Monkstraps, Derbies or brogues.
Your shoes should be darker than your trousers, and if you want to wear brown with a navy suit, then go for a chocolate brown rather than tan. Your socks can also complement your ensemble by picking out a colour in your shirt, tie or pocket square. Some of my favourites for stylish subtle patterns are by The London Sock Company.
And if you're still not certain what to go for and you'd like some help shopping for a wedding you're attending this summer, I'll be delighted to help so please don't hesitate to get in touch to fix an appointment.