Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride September 8th 2008

It’s NYC fashion week and we thought we’d join in the fun by hosting fashion week here on Polka Dot Groom! Earlier today East Side Bride dropped by and now we’re giving a basic rundown of dress codes!


Photo by Mary Jane Photography

Let’s kick off groom’s fashion week with a basic rundown of dress codes.


Marrying at the beach? Consider untucked white linen shirts and cotton or linen pants- khaki is a good colour option. Go barefoot or wear leather thongs (flip flops), or if the theme is really casual an open collared patterned shirt and light coloured pants. No denim or shorts unless stated on the invitation.

Informal/Smart Casual

With the emphasis on the ‘smart’ part. Long pants and buttoned shirts, polished closed shoes. Can also mean a lounge suit – which could be lighter in colour, and tie. The jacket and tie can be removed at the reception if you feel too formal.


For a cocktail wedding, think lounge suit (below). A dark suit with a tie and dark shoes is the most appropriate. Match your sock colour to your shoes.

Lounge Suit

A simple suit with a tie. Avoid garish ‘character’ ties – even if you think they will add humour to the occasion. Your tie and/or shirt colour may match the outfit your partner is wearing.

Morning Suit

Only worn for a morning wedding, a morning suit will be black or grey and the jacket is long, cut away on the diagonal from a button at the waist. An ascot may be worn instead of a tie and a top hat added for extra pizzazz.

Black Tie

A formal black suit usually only worn after 6.p.m. – often a tuxedo, tuxedo shirt, cufflinks with bow tie. The shirt front is often held together with studs. A variation on this is a ‘creative black tie’ where guests may mix it up more – a tuxedo with a dark shirt for example or coloured bow tie. A cummerbund with pleats facing upwards may also be worn.

White Tie

The most formal of weddings will require a black tuxedo complete with tails and satin stripe on the pant. The jacket will be cut horizontally at the waist or with slight point echoing the line of the waistcoat. A white bow tie and white waistcoat are essential, as are a shirt with French cuffs and winged collar, and cufflinks and studs.

– Always wear the same coloured socks as the shoes.
– Make sure your shoes are shiny and clean
– If going barefoot – have clean, well cared for feet and nails
– Make sure the socks are long enough and no leg shows when you sit down.
– Chose your accessories wisely