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A Guide to Casual Wedding Attire for Men

Man wearing a casual wedding attire off white jacket with a light blue stripped white dress shirt.

With more & more weddings loosening up on the formal traditions, you’re bound to come across less black tie and formal weddings, and more with a laid-back twist. Our guide to casual wedding attire takes you into the details of this easygoing, yet subtly nuanced, aesthetic to help you get that perfect refined-yet-relaxed look every time.

The Basics of Men’s Casual Wedding Attire

Not overly relaxed, yet not overdone to the point of formality, a casual wedding dress code leans into versatility, comfort, and plenty of leeway for inserting your personal style.

A full casual wedding guest look featuring an off white Herringbone Havana.
Light Grey Havana — A breathable linen & cotton blend pick for the perfect balance of casual appeal and spring-ready comfort.

As the name suggests, the casual dress code means that ties, tuxedos, leather shoes and other classic garments can be (but aren’t necessarily required to be) tossed out the window—this is your chance to keep it relaxed.

Casual wedding attire allows men to dress down, trading in the dress pants for chinos, going for unlined cotton jackets, or even holding off on the jacket out altogether. Sometimes a well-tailored waistcoat and a nice button-down shirt with a pair of slim chinos is perfectly acceptable.

For outdoor and beach weddings, the casual factor can be turned up, paving the way for some smart tailored shorts and a classic polo shirt. Of course, even when going casual, it doesn’t mean you can toss all caution to the wind and head into leisure territory. In some cases, casual dress code settings are perfectly suitable for a slightly more elevated cocktail look, giving you an elegant style that can be played down with some casual touches.

An image featuring a tropic dress code suggestion, a beige Havana and short ensemble.

Cocktail vs. Smart-Casual

When it comes to the casual wedding dress code, two branches emerge to the top of the most popular styles: cocktail, also known as semi-formal, and smart casual.

A cocktail dress code, with its wide range of colors, patterns and textures, is the look to keep in mind when hitting the dance floor or heading to the wedding after-party. This style straddles the line between elegant and easygoing with tailored suits that forgo the tie, and bring it together with classic leather shoes and pocket squares.

Smart casual, on the other hand, leans toward comfortable refinement—think loafers and knitted layers over than lace-ups and dress shirts, but always keep it elevated, this isn’t just another weekend look.

Cocktail Attire: The Reception Look

Perhaps the most popular of all men’s dress codes, cocktail attire is somewhat formal in its own way but leaves plenty of room for some creative interpretation and personal style. If the setting allows, and you have time for a wardrobe change between ceremony and reception, a cocktail wedding dress code is the time bring in single and double-breasted suits, or jacket & trouser pairings, in a wider range of colors are certainly acceptable—green and camel, or even pastels like lilac are great options, though you can’t go wrong with classic shades of blue, navy or grey.

An image featuring 3 looks to wear to a casual wedding.

This dress code can be explored in two ways: mix & match or sticking with a full suit with a few modifications. When pairing an ensemble, stick to formal, dark colors like navy or grey trousers paired up with a jacket of a contrasting color.

If you opt for a full suit option, you can make it semi-formal by losing the tie. It’s a simple move that keeps the style elevated but not too stuffy. If you want to add some pattern, go for something clean and classic like a windowpane, as a large houndstooth or colorful tartan check might be a little too bold and distracting for the occasion.

An image focusing on a light brown linen blend  Havana jacket paired with a off white popover shirt.
An image focusing on light brown comfortable loafers with a light brown linen blend trouser.

For shoes, kick off the lace-ups and opt for a more comfortable loafer, slip-on, or even a pair of derbies.

Smart Casual Attire: What to Wear to the Weekend Wedding

Smart casual is the time to really cut loose and do away with all traditional convention (within reason) when it comes to your personal style—but don’t mistake smart casual for your everyday leisure style or you might end up not being let in. A smart casual dress code wedding is the perfect occasion to pair a tailored jacket with some easygoing chinos and sock-less loafers.

A wool & silk blend jacket in a Houndstooth check pattern.
The Houndstooth Havana — A soft, rich wool & silk blend meets a lively houndstooth check for a casual, yet elevated, wedding look.

If the setting allows, substitute the button-up for a crewneck, a popover or even a henley. Shirts with textures like a Giro Inglese or an Oxford weave can add some variety and depth, while a bright pocket square can add some flair and color contrast. A bright pocket square can add some flair and color contrast, while leather or suede sneakers bring it all together.

Casual Outdoor Wedding Attire

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at the coveted beach wedding, there’s an entirely new level of casual style you can take advantage of. In an outdoor wedding dress code, it’s typically acceptable, and often encouraged, to dress for comfort. This is the chance to bring out some shorts for a tropical, beach-ready vibe. Our tailored Ames shorts feature elastic waistbands and a drawstring closure for an unmistakably laid-back appeal.

Casual Short Cut — A jacket & shorts combo makes a tastefully easygoing statement in even the most relaxed dress code.

Casual Short Cut — A jacket & shorts combo makes a tastefully easygoing statement in even the most relaxed dress code.

Even with shorts there’s room to make them refined. Our Bosa shorts feature a pleated front and cuffed hem—our pure linen version is the perfect complement to an equally easygoing unlined linen jacket like our unconstructed silk-linen blend Lazio jacket, and a pure linen button-up or polo.

Bring it all Together: How to Add Accessories to Your Casual Wedding Style

While a casual wedding dress code does not require traditional fixings, like cufflinks or suspenders, there is always some room to accessorize in a way that shows off a little bit of your personal style.

A zoomed in image of a beige Havana featuring a off white pocket square, showcasing how an accessory brings out an outfit.

Perhaps the most prominent is the pocket square. Commonly crafted in pure cotton, pocket squares can also be found in pure silk, wool flannel, linen and even luxurious noble fibers in countless colors, textures, and designs. Go with something that matches your shirt for a most low-key accent, or, if the occasion is right, opt for something a little bolder, like a bright color or more noticeable pattern.

An image featuring two different types of pocket squares to bring out any casual wedding attire.
An image featuring two different types of pocket squares to bring out any casual wedding attire

A pocket square is a small detail that can go a long way. Moreover, a lapel pin can add a touch of fun and personality to your look.

Casual Wedding Attire by Season

When it comes to seasonal casual attire, it’s less about the color and style, and more about the fabric.

In the cooler months, you can’t go wrong with an all-time classic—a pure wool suit. Structured and rich, it’s a foundational fabric that works in all settings—especially a standout like brushed flannel made from sustainable Circular Wool. From here, add a little infusion of noble fibers. Pure wool blended with cashmere , or alpaca, makes for a warm, refined fabric that is exceptionally soft.

An image featuring what to wear to a casual wedding for the winter, a rich turtle neck and warmer blends of wool.
Winter Weddings —Add depth, warmth, & texture by pairing a rich turtleneck with our Circular Wool Flannel Havana jacket.

In the spring and summer months, it’s all about keeping it lightweight and breathable. Pure and blended cotton and linen is the height of sophisticated comfort. Even silk blended with wool gives you the classic feel of wool, played down with the softness and subtle sheen of silk.

A robust herringbone weave, lightweight silk linen & cotton blend grey suit.
Lightweight Textured — A robust herringbone weave meets a lightweight, breathable spring & summer-ready blend of silk, linen, & cotton.

For a full breakdown of seasonal styling, dive into the details in our Seasonal Wedding Attire for Men article.

Create Your Own Casual Wedding Style

When the casual wedding dress code shows up, embrace the opportunity and come in a way that keeps it comfortable, refined, and exhibits a bit of your personal style.

From single-breasted burgundy and low double-breasted flannel jackets, stretch cotton seersucker suits to knits, sneakers & plenty of color—there’s a wide spectrum of casual style to play with and make your own. So give the tux a break and get ready to bring your own signature style of easygoing flair to any wedding.

Now that you've got the basics, it's time to create your own casual wedding look by using our Look Builder.