Call it Lead Character Syndrome, but we’d rather pull up to a wedding looking like Dirty Harry than Ask Jeeves (no shade; nothing but love for our favorite retired e-butler). Luckily, this is entirely possible if you plan ahead with a few key frills, and the dress code is “IDK just vibe.”
Usually, weddings send dudes scrambling for any suit, let alone alternative wedding suits that are actually memorable. Too often, they settle for an ensemble that feels like Finance Bro Cosplay-wear. Which is fair. Sometimes you have to groom and bear it (I’m so sorry) with a formal tux, but if the rules are a little looser, there’s space to play with bolo ties, hankies, and patterned button-ups—there’s personality in the details of a uniquely collared shirt, or a pair of dress slides that say both, “Congratulations, Kim and Walter” and “Join my cult?”
You’re probably planning on renting a tux, or pulling out the linen suit (bravo, that’ll keep you cool). That’s great. But we like to think these [dumps out velvet pants] are pieces you’ll be able to wear beyond the happy couple’s big day. Here’s a handful of our favorite alternative suits for weddings (or whatever fancy shindig you have coming up). All we ask is: No fedoras, unless the wedding is taking place at a Baja Sharkeez (RAD).
Start with a funky button-up
Only just venturing away from the traditional suit? Don’t stress. Sometimes, stealing the spotlight away from the bride is as easy as wearing a delightful button-up underneath your blazer.
Go for a wide-leg pant
If you don’t yet have a suit situation, wide-leg trousers are not only flattering and roomy, but remind us of the badass Zoot Suit heyday.
C’est chic. Your key search words here are “Mandarin-style collar”—perfect for pairing underneath your blazer, or wearing as-is to a less formal ceremony.
Ties are cool. You own ties. [Yawn] But you know what you don’t own? A bolo tie with a wolf on it, or a blouse with a built-in dandy bow that looks like it was pulled from Oscar Wilde’s grave. Switching up your neck adornments is one of the easiest, low-cost ways to bring a new personality to the wedding.
Inviting a closer look at the texture of your shirt is a primo way to go when you’re prepping for an evening of cake-munching and making out with randos, which makes velvet an optimum material choice—but satin and embroidery go a long way too.
Depending on how casual the wedding is, you might be able to pull off some crisp workwear (or workwear-inspired) pieces from brands like Carhartt and Taylor Stitch. This is a clutch move for many SoCal dads, who will reserve an otherwise untouched button-up, twill jacket just for the occasion.
Bring the gabagool
Basically, your job is to dress the part of a meat-loving Italian dad—the anatomy of which is broken down in this gift guide for salami-loving, Sopranos-binging fathers. You’re Daddy now, and you have the chain to prove it, should anyone doubt you.
The charming con-man combo
Want to be the funnest, slightly terrifying guest at the wedding? Then pull up in a 1970s-style suit, paired with an absolutely fried vintage-style T-shirt, a pair of sandals, and a fresh pitch for the guests on your latest pyramid scheme. We’re obsessed with you.
Nothing says, “I definitely remembered that this was today” like a pair of Gucci slides (ideally, paired with fancy socks). The fancy dress shoe is chill, but it’s so much radder to shell out for cowboy boots, Crocs, and insane sneakers for when you hit the dance floor.