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Mond's Guide to the Groom & Guest

— Understanding dress codes —

The groom's attire sets the dress code

We know that it can be tricky to navigate the dress code jungle – especially in a time where dress codes are very rarely upheld. That is unless the occassion is… yes, you’ve guessed it: a wedding.
As a groom or a guest, it is important to understand that the groom’s choice of wedding attire sets the dress code for all guests. With this guide, you will be able to identify which dress code you want to set if you are the groom, or how to interpret the dress code on your invitation if you are a guest.
Remember, we are always at your service if you need assistance with dress codes. Contact us through the site’s chat function or visit us in-store.

Morning Coat / Morning Suit

If the dress code states “formal” and the event takes place before 5 PM, the appropriate attire would traditionally be a morning coat or morning suit.
This is the most formal of dress codes and is rarely used outside of royal weddings and events such as the Royal Ascot horse race in England. However, the very traditional style has grown popular for grooms if the wedding takes place in a castle-like venue.

Apart from the top hat, we can tailor a full morning coat to you. Here is what you need to wear:

  • Morning coat in dark hues (black, midnight blue or charcoal)
  • Dark grey striped trousers or alternatively a black-white puppytooth pattern
  • Double- or single breasted waistcoat in third color (pastels are great)
  • White or light blue shirt with regular collar
  • Tie (no cravats or bow ties) popping colors and patterns are allowed
  • Black leather shoes (e.g. Oxfords)
  • Black or charcoal top hat
A morning suit features the same components, but here the coat, trousers and waistcoat are all in the same fabric and color.

White Tie

If the dress code states “formal” and the event takes place after 5 PM, the appropriate attire would traditionally be a white tie outfit.
Equally as formal as the morning coat, this attire is meant for the same level of events, but taking place during the evening. Most people are more familiar with this outfit, the main characteristic being the tail coat. Sometimes the dress code would state “tails” or “full evening dress”, which are all the exact same outfit.
Here is what to wear for a formal evening dress code:
  • Black tail coat (also referred to as “dress coat”)
  • Black trousers with satin galon
  • White piqué waistcoat
  • White shirt with wing collar
  • White bow tie (opt for self-tie)
  • Highly polished or patent black leather oxfords. Court shoes/opera pumps are acceptable too
  • Black top hat, white gloves, pocket watch, white pocket square and a boutonniere are all acceptable accessories
Keep in mind, although the dress codes states white “tie”, the only appropriate neckwear is a bow tie!

Black Tie / Stroller

If the dress code states “semi-formal” and the event takes place after 5 PM, the appropriate attire would traditionally be a black tie outfit. Before 5 PM, the appropriate attire would be the “stroller” or a “lounge suit”.
Don’t be fooled by the “semi”-prefix – this is likely the strictest dress code for most social events. If the event takes place during the day time, choose the stroller (a semi-formal version of the morning coat with the only difference being that the jacket is a traditional suit jacket) or the lounge suit (dark-colored 3-piece suit worn with black tie and black shoes).
Here is what to wear for a “semi-formal evening” dress code:
  • Black dinner jacket
  • Black trousers with satin galon
  • White shirt with wing collar
  • Black bow tie and black cummerbund
  • Highly polished or patent black leather oxfords. Opera pumps are accepted
Important to remember: Never wear a tuxedo before 5 PM, and the only appropriate neckwear for a tuxedo is a bow tie!
You might be able to opt for a white or off-white dinner jacket for the “semi-formal” dress code, but proceed with caution. If the dress codes states “strictly black tie” always go for the traditional black tuxedo.

Suit / Dress Clothes

If the dress code states “dress clothes” or simply “dark suit”, the appropriate attire would traditionally be a dark-hued 3-piece suit with tie.
Moving into slightly less restricted dress code territory also means room for more interpretation – which only adds to the confusion, we know! The traditional suit and an optional waistcoat are the main components here. The dark-colored, 3-piece suit is the more formal option in this category (and also called the lounge suit, which is acceptable as the daytime option of the “semi-formal” dress code). The least formal version is a light colored suit.
If you are in doubt which is more appropriate, the venue should give an indication; castle-like wedding venue = dark 3-piece suit, elegant garden wedding = light-colored regular suit.
Here is an option for a “dark suit” dress code:
  • Dark navy suit
  • Light brown chequered waistcoat (double- or single breasted)
  • White shirt with regular collar
  • Plain or conservative-patterned tie
  • Black or brown leather oxfords. Suede oxfords can be an option
Note: Shirt and tie are still required!
You might be able to opt for a less traditional tuxedo (e.g. burgundy dinner jacket + black trousers), if the groom/host is wearing a dark 3-piece suit.

Casual

A dress code for a wedding would rarely state “casual”, but this is what is implied when no dress code is given, except for a theme, such as “garden- or beach wedding”.
Although this dress code is much less strict than the others, it can indeed be one of the more challenging to dress for, as “casual” can have different meanings depending on the recipient. You can never go wrong in a light-colored, traditional suit with a shirt and tie/bow tie and a nice pair of shoes. In Scandinavia, (clean!) sneakers can be appropriate, but opt for a nice suede shoe or loafer if in doubt.
Here is our take on a “casual” dress code:
  • Blazer
  • Light colored trousers
  • Nice shirt with regular collar
  • Optional tie or bow-tie (bright colors acceptable)
  • Nice shoes (e.g. suede oxfords or loafers)
Rule of thumb: for a “casual” wedding, you still need to be more dressed up than you normally are.
This dress code is the perfect opportunity to sport an outfit in a more casual fabric such as linen or corduroy, and shirts in a more casual weave such as oxford or chambray.

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Schedule your free appointment

We offer suits, morning coats, white tie, tuxedos and shirts – all custom tailored to your measurements and preferences. Additionally, we carry all accessories such as ties and bow ties, shoes, shirt studs, cuff links, socks, underwear, and more.
You are always welcome to schedule an appointment to experience our fabrics and the concept first hand.
Our guaranteed delivery time is 6 weeks, but we recommend coming in 8-9 weeks in advance if you need an outfit for your wedding.