GQ's Nick Carvell on the five rules of dressing for a summer wedding


Fun fact: more weddings happen from July to September than at any other time of the year here in the UK writes Nick Carvell, online fashion editor at British GQ. With odds like that, I’m willing to bet you’ve already got a few save-the-date cards stacked up on your kitchen counter - and while you’re not the focus of the big day, you’re going to want to be the best dressed guest there.

However, in the summer it’s not just about looking cool, it’s about feeling cool too. Here are my golden rules for upping your style game staying comfortable at a summer wedding:

1. The suit

It’s warm (and it’s only going to get warmer on the dancefloor), so make sure you have a suit that’s going to keep you as cool as possible. Look out for half-lined (or “buggy-lined”) jackets and trousers cut from lighter materials that will encourage air to circulate around you - wool mixed with cotton or linen is generally best, and seriously avoid man-made fibres like polyester at all costs (you will boil in the heat, no lie).

Unless you’re absolutely sure you can get away with something bold like a seersucker suit, stick to more classic colours like navy or light grey that will look smart, but not boring if styled up right. However, never dress more formally than the groom. Oh, and don’t wear white.

Half-lined suit, from a selection, Hugo Boss

2. The shirt

Again, material is key here - always make sure your shirt is 100 per cent cotton as this will be the most breathable. However, my key tip - and it might seem a strange one in warmer weather - is to make sure you wear an undershirt.

Wearing a light cotton T-shirt (Hanro has a good selection) under your dress shirt not only means you won’t end up with sweat marks, but also will help keep you cooler and fresher by wicking moisture away from your body.

Shirt, from a selection, Eton

3. The tie

Ditch heavy, shiny silk ties in summer and instead go for a knitted silk tie or a matte, cotton one. When it comes to patterns, flowers in a pastel colour palette are my top choice (one thing to remember: in order for your get-up to look in proportion, ensure your tie is no wider than the lapel on your jacket).

If you’re going for a busy tie, balance it out with a plain pocket square either in a classic white or a block colour that references one of the less dominant colours in your neckwear.

Tie, £120, Marwood

4. The shoes

Summer is not a time for black shoes - instead go for something on the brown spectrum, as this will look far less severe in the sunshine.

I would recommend either penny loafers or a double monk straps, both worn with shoe liners so you can air out your ankles (I swear by Falke’s).

Loafers, £120, KG Kurt Geiger

5. The sunglasses

You’ll probably be posing for photos all day long, so make sure you’re not squinting in all of them and invest in some standout shades.

With a suit, I think the only frames that work are ones that are just as structured and square as your tailoring - think wayfarers or clubmasters rather than aviators. Go for something a little lighter such as a clear acetate or light tortoiseshell frame with a smoked grey, green or blue lens as opposed to mirrored - after all you don’t want them to look too much like a secret agent in the back of all the group shots.​

Clubmaster sunglasses, £90, Ray-Ban

By Nick Carvell