Do you know how much we LOVE reader questions? Well we do. This one came courtesy of a woman going to her sister’s summer wedding. But her question is in regards to her spousal unit:
“Is it possible to find linen that is wedding worthy? Is it possible to do linen that isn’t the all-white, middle-aged, golfing in the islands thing?”
So here we go. What follows is your complete guide to summer suiting — linen and otherwise. Because it’s a lot easier to look cool in a suit when you put a little thought into it. And wedding photos are for life.
Tip #1: Allow yourself enough time for a tailor.
Unless you are magical or like the one guy everything is modeled on, I promise you that your suit does not fit you. Neither does your dress shirt. I really doesn’t. Also you are probably sizing up. There should not be much extra fabric involved, and definitely your shirt should not blouse out. Tailors aren’t miracle workers, but if you’re buying the generally right size, they can make your off-the-rack suit/shirt/pants shine.
But don’t just go anywhere. Get recommendations, search Yelp, find the one old dude who’s been at it for years. A dry cleaner is not a tailor.
Relatedly, shop for fit before all else. Everyone’s body is different, and it’s better to look great in your classic suit than be the peacock in an ill-fitting one.
Turns out the particular gentleman in question is very tall and thin, adding to his woes in our boxy suit culture. As a short, thin man I completely related to this. Luckily, anything can be fixed with a basic fit and a tailor.
You really can’t underestimate the power of a well-cut suit. My brother-in-law (who also happens to be both tall and thin), found this bad boy at Zara. Apparently they have a great selection for slim men. He is a classic sort of dude, so this worked great for him:
Point is, step one is always cut. Everything else — summer or otherwise — is just the sugar.
Also, Dan has scorpions on his tie, because the details matter.
Tip #2: Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.
Back to our guy. Because it’s important (and a question you should ask yourself), I inquired about his style heroes. His answer, conveyed by his partner, was suitably rad:
“He prefers classic over all else with clean lines. He says he’s somewhere between James Dean and Harrison Ford, and when it comes to formal he’s all James Bond.”
So this tall, thin man wants to wear linen and look Bond/Dean/Ford-ish No problem. She further confirmed that no jacket was fine, though what I’m picturing is actually no tie. Rugged, open-collar, linen, classic.
Depending on the formality level of the event, perfect grey pants and a white shirt can also do it. Does everyone hate Ryan Gosling all of a sudden? Well I don’t and he does an amazing job pulling this off:
Light grey is a great, versatile summer-suit color. Pop on the matching blazer, and no tie is needed.
Sort of like this:
Their Ludlow suit comes in multiple colors and looks fantastic on everyone. You could pull that tie right off and still look great.
Tip #3 Get in the spirit.
Okay so I love weddings. I appreciate the sentiment, but more than anything my double Libra soul is just super pumped to see most people put a modicum of effort into wearing clothing suitable to the occasion. No JUICY on your ass, no slouchy mom jeans.
As showcased above, when it comes to summer weddings, unless we’re talking about traditionalists, a slightly more casual linen or khaki is not only appropriate, but encouraged. This is great news for working stiffs — your office suit and your wedding suit can (and, if you have the dough, should probably) be different. Even if you’ve only got one suit, invest in a summer-y shirt and tie.
Also you can mix-and-match! Like maybe these J.Crew pants (that would fit the gentleman-in-question’s proportions):
Plus this blazer from slim-size-oriented Topman:
Or take a cue from this J.Crew look, mixing a light cotton suit with a chambray shirt:
I LOVE this. Getting creative with light cotton/linen suits is the most awesome part of summer wedding season. Wear a pocket square! Throw on a blazer! If it fits you, you can do almost anything.
Tip #4 Also if you like color, now’s the time.
I don’t even like Elijah Wood’s face, but I love this whole new deal with bright blue suits:
Again, no tie. The brown sunglasses are a nice touch, and he looks put together but a little rumpled: perfect for warm weather. Sunglasses, by the way, are the real signal of a summer suit. Buy a dressier pair that look good on you and they’ll be the best accessory you own:
For a different take, Chris Pine also does the casual jam well:
Check out the details that make this a little more exciting: the color of the grey, the socks, the shoes, the short sleeves, the seersucker tie. I’d leave off the belt, but I’m not a belt fan.
Tip #5 Do you.
I did not get their permission but I think we’ve shown this photo before on IBC (if not — thanks in advance, Kareem and Alex!) Here are two very different, very effective summer wedding looks:
There’s no one way to make a summer wedding work for you. Alex’s sunglasses and the slim fit of his suit signal something a little different than your normal wedding wear. Kareem’s boater and bow tie wouldn’t work on someone who didn’t have the confidence to rock them.
Finding a suit that fits is the first step, and after that everything is up to you.