What should a man wear to an Italian wedding? Given that you’re looking at this article, you probable have no idea.
But as you may know, Italy is renowned for its very stylised sharp suits and tailoring.
Do you need to wear something specific, or culturally appropriate?
Well, the ultimate answer is, as usual, ‘it depends’. You have to dress for the specific ceremony formality, the time of year, and location.
So without further ado, lets get into men’s Italian wedding attire, so you can make sure you’re looking appropriate and at your best for the big day.
What Should a Man Wear to a Wedding in Italy?
Taking everything into account, I feel that there is a safe Italian wedding outfit that you can’t go wrong with, regardless of any of the factors that will be discussed later.
You should wear a well fitting twill, navy suit, a crisp white shirt with a classic pointed collar, and simple accessories such as a navy tie and white pocket square. For shoes, I would recommend a brown wholecut, as the Italian style is versatile, wearable, and appropriate.
This is about as simple and respectful as you can get, and won’t offend anyone.
But to determine a more specific dress code, we’re going to have to consider a few aspects:
- The formality of the wedding
- The time of year
- The time of day
- The location
The Formality of the Wedding
Some brides and grooms insist that their wedding be ‘informal’.
In this case, you could probably get away with wearing the classic business casual combination of a sports coat, trousers and a tie, perhaps with a slight bit of ‘spezzatura’.
An example of this would be a navy blazer with trousers, which would preferably be in a different colour to the blazer, such as a grey, brown, or cream.
But we still want to keep it classy, safe and conservative, so bring in tan or brown shoes, a conservative dark tie, and a white, blue, or pink shirt.
Keep it simple.
However, if unspecified, or for a concretely ‘formal’ Italian wedding, a man’s attire should consist of a conservative suit and accessories, such as:
- A navy/charcoal suit
- Dark tie
- White or blue shirt
More can be found about specific suit details later in the post.
Very Formal Wedding
Some couples may choose to have the gentlemen wear a morning coat.
If this is the case, here is a great guide to the morning dress code.
The Time of Year of the Wedding
If the wedding is taking place during the summer, you can bring in cotton or linen materials, and lighter colours, such as medium grey.
Linen and cotton will help with breathability, and, not only will the lighter colours reflect the season, but will also help reflect the sun, again stopping you from overheating.
If you are feeling especially brave, you could potentially pull of an even lighter coloured suit, such as beige or tan. These colours are really only appropriate for summer occasions such as Italian weddings, so if you have one, now is the time to look at bringing it out.
A winter or fall wedding may require heavier and more insulating materials, such as 100% wool or flannel, as is appropraite for the season. On top of this, it would be more appropriate to wear darker colours, and stick to your navy or charcoal selection.
The Time of Day
There isn’t really a hard and fast rule on it, but the time of day also affects what you should wear to a wedding.
Generally, darker colours should be worn for evening weddings, and dark or light colours for morning and afternoon weddings.
This advice just matches the intensity of the sunlight.
If the ceremony is taking place in a traditional location such as a church or chapel, that would suggest that the wedding is more formal, and you should go dressed as such in darker coloured suits and accessories.
However, alternate locations such as the beach connote informality, so I feel the aforementioned linen sports coat and trousers combination would also be appropriate.
Men’s Italian Wedding Outfits Summary
Here is a tabulation of the above information. This is just a rough guideline, so if you have any doubts, make sure to contact the event organiser!
|Formality||Time of Year||Time of Day||Men’s Italian Wedding Attire|
|Informal||Spring/Summer||Morning/Afternoon||Sports coat and trousers or a suit, in dark or lighter colours.|
|Evening||Sports coat and trousers or a suit, in dark colours.|
|Fall/Winter||All||Sports coat and trouser combinations, with darker colours.|
|Formal||Spring/Summer||All||A formal two-piece suit. Can be in dark or slightly lighter colours, like medium grey.|
|Fall/Winter||All||A dark wool suit, perhaps in a flannel.|
|Very Formal||All||All||Morning attire.|
If you choose to wear a suit to the wedding, there are a few general points you should consider.
It should have a good fit, though does not have to have ‘Italian styling’, such as a shorter length and natural shoulders. This is especially true if you aren’t Italian. So, any traditional suit you can obtain will likely be fine.
However, if you have an Italian cut suit to hand, it wouldn’t hurt!
The suit jacket should preferably be single breasted and feature two buttons, flap pockets, and either a notched or peaked lapel. You could even bring in a matching waistcoat to make it a three piece.
As for the colour, unless stated elsewhere in this article for your specific situation, I would recommend navy or charcoal.
What Shirt Should a Man Wear to an Italian Wedding?
For an Italian wedding, a man should lean towards conservative block coloured shirts such as white, light blue, lilac, or pink.
Anything too atypical, such as a red or orange, should not be worn.
You could try and bring in subtle stripes, especially in a blue or pink shirt, though it is always safer to go without.
On top of this, your shirt should feature a traditional collar type, such as a ‘pointed’ or ‘cutaway’ collar. You should stay away from button down shirts (unless you really know what you’re doing), as they are lower down in formality.
French cuffs that take cufflinks are preferred as they are more formal, though are not essential.
Safe shirt checklist:
- No pocket
- White or sky blue
- A classic collar
- Takes cufflinks
Men’s Italian Wedding Shoes
Most men’s laced dress shoes will be perfectly adequate.
I would personally recommend a leather wholecut (a very Italian style) in a shade of brown if it’s during the day, or black if it’s in the evening.
For informal weddings, if you prefer, you can wear a loafer.
Safe shoe checklist:
- A classic colour, such as brown, black, or tan
- A classic style, such as an toe capped oxford, wholecut, or brogue
A silk tie will be most appropriate in every occasion, as it is the most formal necktie material. However, for winter weddings, you could look at introducing a wool tie.
For informal weddings, you could even bring in a knitted tie if done well.
As for the pattern and colour, stay away from novelty ties, and stick to conservative and muted colours and patterns. I would recommend a tie with no pattern, or small repeating patterns, like polka dots.
Safe tie checklist:
- 100% silk
- Muted colour
- No/small pattern
In regards to etiquette, at an Italian wedding, it is tradition that the gentlemen are only able to take their ties off after the cake has been served. So, make sure not to take your tie off before this!
You can absolutely bring in a pocket square to spice up your ensemble.
As per the general rules of matching a pocket square with the rest of your outfit, look at complementing something you are wearing, such as your tie. As a reliable hack, wear the same colour pocket square as your shirt.
What Should a Man NOT Wear to a Wedding in Italy?
In any case, a man should not wear anything that draws too much attention to himself.
The day is about the bride and groom – not you. Don’t show off!
Now, what this means to each person may be different.
I frequently rock colourful ties, so I could probably get away with it.
But if you turn up in a tuxedo when the groom is in a suit, then you’ve overdressed: use common sense.
Again as a point of etiquette, it is a tradition that the bride should be the only one to wear white at the wedding. Therefore, you should stay away from white statement pieces, such as white suits.
Conclusion – What Should a Man Wear to an Italian Wedding
So now you know what typical men’s fashion is at Italian weddings.
Most of the answer is common sense, but it can vary depending on the factors discussed above.
Enjoy the ceremony, and use the knowledge in this article to make sure that you are appropriately dressed and in correct Italian wedding attire!