Wedding dress codes can be incredibly confusing. Knowing what is and what isn’t appropriate can be tricky sometimes, especially when the invitation isn’t clear. So, can you wear a blazer to a wedding?
Blazers can be worn to smart-casual weddings but would be inappropriate for formal ones where a suit would be required. Blue and grey blazers work well with dress pants or tapered chinos when attending weddings, especially when dressed up with a pocket square and boutonniere.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it.
After going through some essential tips for wearing blazers to weddings the right way, we’ll run through a few frequently asked questions on the topic to really round things up.
Let’s get to it.
7 Tips For Wearing A Blazer To A Wedding
Consider all of these factors before putting your outfit together. Underdressing for a wedding never feels good.
1. Make Sure It’s Appropriate
If your wedding invitation says “formal” or “black tie”, a blazer wouldn’t be appropriate.
Blazers are worn with non-matching pairs of pants such as chinos, dress pants, or anything else.
“Formal” attire requires a 2-piece suit at the very least. In other words, a jacket and a pair of pants made from the same roll of fabric.
“Black tie” requires a tuxedo.
For these two dress codes, a blazer with a non-matching pair of pants just won’t cut it, no matter how formal the blazer may look.
Doing so would definitely risk underdressing and potentially offending the wedding couple.
It’s a special occasion and you don’t want to be the one who dresses like it isn’t.
“Cocktail attire” is a tricky one and definitely sparks a whole lot of debate. The general consensus is that a suit would be required for this dress code and a blazer simply wouldn’t be enough.
Weddings that have a “smart casual”, “semi-formal”, or “dressy casual” dress code give you more freedom.
These dress codes can be confusing when you try to think of them as completely separate terms. Most would agree that they’re simply labels for the same dress code.
In general, a blazer, dress shirt, chinos/dress pants, and dress shoe combination would usually be fine for these dress codes.
If you feel as though this refers to you and the wedding you’re attending, read on to find out how to wear that blazer the right way.
2. Choose A Neutral Colored Blazer
When attending a wedding, wear a neutral-colored blazer such as blue or grey. Muted tones are usually best for wedding guests as you don’t want to draw too much attention to what you’re wearing.
While a loud, bright, or bold-colored blazer may be OK if you’re attending a formal dinner or dance, it would be considered inappropriate at a wedding.
The main reason for this is that guests are supposed to dress relatively conservatively when going to weddings.
The bride and the groom should be the most strikingly dressed people in the room.
Those that are seen as attempting to outshine and outdress them are usually frowned upon.
Instead, choose a blazer color that sits quietly with the other items you’re wearing, blending into the crowd as a well-dressed, yet subtle guest.
Blue and grey are great options because they’re neutral enough to achieve this.
That goes for both lighter shades and darker shades of these colors. Lighter shades would be better for daytime events, while darker ones would work better for nighttime events (eg. wedding receptions).
3. Choose A Weather-Appropriate Blazer
Blazers come in all sorts of fabrics. The reason this matters is that some fabrics are better for the colder months, while others are more summer-friendly.
There are plenty of weddings that take place outdoors, at least for the most part. Even those weddings in which the ceremony takes place indoors are likely to have certain parts that take place outdoors.
At a summer wedding, you’ll want to make sure the blazer you’re wearing is breathable and comfortable. Feeling roasting hot during the ceremony won’t be a good experience.
Fabrics such as linen, hopsack, and poly blends are generally considered breathable and comfortable to wear in warmer temperatures.
During the colder months, wear a blazer made from a more insulating fabric or weave. As a general principle, blazers made from a fabric with a rough and rugged texture are often the more insulating ones.
Think tweed or even corduroy.
Here’s an example of a grey, knit fabric blazer on Amazon as an example of one that would work well for colder weddings:
4. Add Color With A Tie
While the dress code you’re wearing this combination to is likely to be “smart casual” or something similar, strongly consider wearing a tie.
It may not be essential, but it’s a good idea for two main reasons.
One is that it makes it clear to people that you’ve made an effort. Wearing a tie is a simple and straightforward measure you can take to dress up just that little bit more.
The second reason is that it’s a great opportunity to add a splash of color.
While you’ll want to stick to subtle and neutral colors for the majority of the outfit, it’s a celebratory occasion and the end of the day and a bit of color would be encouraged.
For example, both blue and grey blazers could work well with a light pink, peach, light orange, or burgundy red necktie.
You’ve got plenty of options.
Nothing too outrageous or eye-catching, but enough to stand out a little from the muted background of your blazer and pants combination.
5. White Or Baby Blue Dress Shirt
Keep things as simple as possible with the dress shirt under your blazer. Doing so will make it so much easier to pair the other items you’re wearing with it.
For example, it’ll make it easier to wear a bolder necktie without risking a color conflict.
Stick to a simple white, off-white, or baby blue dress shirt.
In other words, keep it as light and as muted as possible. The shirt shouldn’t be used to draw attention.
It should simply form a background over which you can add more interesting items.
6. Chinos Or Dress Pants Only
When wearing a blazer to a wedding, a slim-fit, tapered pair of chinos would be as casual as you should go. Having said that, a pair of dress pants would be a dressier and often better option.
The chinos and blazer combination is a classic that’s hard to go wrong with for both smart casual and business casual outfits.
Chinos are versatile enough to wear to a smart casual/dressy casual wedding. Wearing a darker pair would make it quite difficult to distinguish from a pair of dress pants in any case.
But dress pants would still be a better option, simply because it’s yet another small way to show that you’ve made an effort for the occasion.
It isn’t essential, but you’ll look and feel dressier on the day.
Whichever of the two you choose, you’ve got the option of going for either a light color or a dark color.
If you’re wearing a darker-colored blazer (eg. navy blue), consider wearing light-colored pants.
If you’re wearing a lighter-colored blazer (eg. light grey), considered wearing dark pants (eg. navy blue or charcoal grey).
7. Wear A Pocket Square And Boutonniere
While these accessories aren’t essential, they’re a great way to show that you’ve made the effort for a special occasion.
A pocket square is a simple way to make a blazer look dressier. Choose one that complements but doesn’t exactly match the necktie.
If you’re wearing one without a boutonniere, you can get a little fancier with it, with louder folds like a “four-peak” or “stairs” fold.
If you’re wearing a boutonniere and a pocket square, go for a more subtle pocket square fold so the left side of your blazer doesn’t get too crowded.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to a couple of frequently asked questions on the topic to really finish up this topic.
Can I Wear A White Blazer To A Wedding?
A white blazer would generally be considered inappropriate for a wedding. It’s best to avoid wearing too much white because it’s a color reserved for the bride and maybe the bridesmaids.
Wearing a white blazer may seem harmless enough, but it could be seen as an attempt to “outshine” the wedding couple.
Overall, it’s not worth it.
Stick to neutral and muted colors such as blue or grey for your blazer and you’ll be fine. They’re much safer options.
Can I Wear A Black Blazer To A Wedding?
A black blazer should not be worn to a wedding as it’s a color generally associated with more mournful and somber events. Consider wearing a blue or grey blazer as they’re neutral enough to pair with other items and also have a more celebratory tone to them than black.
Wearing a black blazer would make it hard to color match your pants. In general, you’ll usually be restricted to other dark colors like black, navy blue, or charcoal grey.
Overall, wearing a black blazer would lead to a pretty monochromatically dark outfit in most cases.
In general, this would be considered a faux pas at a celebratory event such as a wedding where lighter and brighter colors are more suitable and appropriate.
Can I Wear Jeans And A Blazer To A Wedding?
Jeans and a blazer should never be worn to a wedding as jeans would be considered too casual in the vast majority of cases. A tapered pair of chinos or dress pants would be a lot more appropriate.
Blazers are usually perfectly acceptable for smart-casual/dressy casual weddings, but jeans wouldn’t make the cut for even the most casual of weddings.
Overall, avoid this combination at all costs. You’ll probably draw more than a few awkward stares.
There you have it. Hopefully, everything you need to know to wear the right blazer to the right type of wedding.
When it’s done properly, it can definitely work a treat.