Dance and Dress for a Wedding: #30folds30days, Rolling Plateau Fold, Day 20

I went to a wedding recently, and from what I was told, I had something near a seizure when dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” The bride told me she shook every bone in her body trying to keep up. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.

When I’m at a wedding, and the music is on, and I am around my friends and family, I just want to dance. Not like Whitney-with somebody who loves me- but just dance. Let out all the good vibes in a triumphant shaking of my legs, arms, hips, and torso to the beat. I try not to get too carried away. And I remember what a wise man once told me:

Weddings are all about the bride.

Weddings are also the one occasion where a man can-nay, is expected- to dress well. Now, as a man with a purple suit in my closet, if I have the chance I will run the general idea of my outfit by the bride just to get her okay. Don’t want to ruin any pictures. I once was okayed for a cream linen suit for a beach wedding. But it was just a little too close to white, I don’t think I’ll be repeating that one any time soon.

But most weddings have a dress code. Which can be hard to understand for those uninitiated. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help.

Black Tie– Tuxedo. You need a tuxedo for this one. Not a black suit. I mean, you can do a black suit, but not if you really want to look good. And really, every guy should have a tuxedo, just in case a woman ever asks you to attend a fancy event last minute. Sometimes, being the only guy she knows with a tux will get you the invite. That being said, it’s hard to justify buying one without a wedding invite hanging out there that’s black tie.

Black Tie Optional- Still wear a tuxedo. Here you can technically get away with a dark suit, or even a lighter suit depending on the location and season of the wedding. I would still vote for a tuxedo. You should have one in your wardrobe. Just wear it.

Formal– Here, you can assume that the groom and the groomsmen are probably going to be in tuxedos, but you’re not expected to wear one. You can… but I would say that it depends on the season. You have a lot more leeway to explore here. But I would say you definitely should be wearing a suit. And remember, a suit is a jacket and pants cut from the same cloth. Not a jacket and slacks. Tie is also required.

Beach Formal- This one is my favorite. You have a ton of leeway and begs for linen and light colors. Here a light suit is appropriate, and if it’s actually on the beach, you can probably wear sandals. But you should still wear a suit. Tie is posibly optional, but a light fun tie should still be worn. I had a wedding on Cape Cod recently, and the invitation said formal, but after learning that they basically were just trying to make sure some of the distant relatives didn’t wear cut-offs, decided to go with this definite Beach Formal ensemble:

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Yes, my straw does match. As does the house that I was leaning against. It just felt right for the Cape in the summer. And was more comfortable than any wool suit would have been.

Semi-Formal- Here I still vote for suit. Don’t get complicated. The difference between Formal and Semi-Formal is more for your girlfriend than you. Men should still wear suits in my opinion. A jacket and pants are acceptable, but keep your tie. For most of the remaining invites, season and time matters a lot. Day weddings in the summer, go lighter in shade and tone, versus winter or night weddings, go darker and more formal.

Dressy Casual– Again, I still say wear a suit, but maybe take off the tie. You can do jacket and slacks, but you should not show up in khakis and a polo. A jacket should be worn.

Casual– Anything goes here pretty much. I’m still wearing a suit. It’ll probably be a casual suit, but not everyone has one of those. I still vote that you wear a suit, but remove the tie and rock some converse for added style and casual-ness. Here, if you insist, you can remove the tie. You can even ditch the jacket. If you really, really want, you can just wear whatever you want that’s not a t-shirt and shorts. But if you wanted to do that you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

That’s most of it. There’s also white tie, but unless your parents legitimately own most of a town, and you can trace your roots back to the Mayflower, you’re probably not going to be doing White Tie. I don’t mess with it. And that’s saying something.

There’s one thing to remember when you’re dressing for a wedding, you’re not going to the office. Or a funeral either. Don’t look like you’re strolling in from a meeting with Phil about the spreadsheets you’ve gotta finish, look like you’re there to have fun. Formalwear doesn’t have to be stodgy, it should be an expression of the joyous occasion! For nighttime and winter weddings thing deep purples and greens, and in the summer, think bright pinks, yellows and greens. Try to use the season as a guide for your outfit if you have the flexibility in the dresscodes outlined above. This is one of the few exceptions where everyone is going to be wearing a suit. So it’s always nice to stand out even in that crowd.

Today’s fold is the rolling Plateau fold, a nice simple fold with a bit of character.

1. Start with a square.

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2. Fold it in half diagonally.

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3. Fold in half diagonally again.

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4. Fold almost in half diagonally, but stop about 3/4 of the way there, so there’s a top and straight edge that forms.

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5. Tuck in the bottom and fold in the side.

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6. Place into pocket and arrange. I think this adds a really nice look with the curve that comes around the straight top. It’s a different fold, but very elegant and pleasant.

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Any questions, or need specific help on how to dress for a wedding you have coming up: seamus@smkstyle.com

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