Struggling to decipher big-day wardrobe etiquette ahead of wedding season? We've collaborated with illustrator extraordinaire Sunflowerman and five snappy dressers from M&S to help you navigate any dress code

Dress code: black tie

Black tie is probably the most formal dress code you’ll face with a wedding, and it means the bride and groom are expecting guests to pull out all the stops for their special day. As such, Ross Coburn, marketing communications manager, has kept it classic. His textured navy dinner suit with contrast lapels stands out, although an all-black combo is equally smart, while a dress shirt and bow tie are non-negotiable. Braces lend a debonair and practical touch and high-shine shoes add to the sense of occasion. Keep your pocket square as sharp as your shirt cuffs.

Dress code: city wedding

If the couple in question are a pair of city slickers, capture that man-about-town feel and you’ll have it nailed. Try a sharp Prince of Wales check suit like our front-end developer Kofi Darko has gone for – it’s perfectly urbane and has the added benefit of being suitable for work, so you’ll get more wear out of it. Clever. Contrast the serious suit with a more playful polka-dot on the tie and pocket square to elevate the look beyond the office – smart black leather monkstraps make the ideal dancing shoes.

Dress code: country wedding

Be it a stately home, huge barn or marquee on a perfectly manicured lawn, a country wedding has its own set of requirements. A gentle nod to a lord of the manor look, just like digital designer Mark Storey’s, will make you feel right at home – a tactile linen jacket and contrasting pants bring a smart texture that works well with a knitted tie. Muted natural tones perfectly echo the surroundings, but add some flashes of eccentric pale pink with socks and keep the fit sleek to stop the ensemble coming off too trad.

Dress code: wedding abroad

If the happy couple have planned a wedding overseas, chances are they’re looking for nuptials in the sun. This calls for an outfit that is both travel-friendly and hot-weather appropriate. Handily, a linen suit ticks both boxes: it’s light and airy to stop overheating during drinks receptions on sun-drenched terraces, and it won’t come out of the suitcase looking like a creased mess. Swap the tie for sunglasses and go for no-show socks in leather loafers to really nail a sophisticated air.

Dress code: evening guest

OK, so you didn’t get invited to the ceremony but that’s not to say you shouldn’t make an effort for the evening. However, shop cleverly and you’ll end up with an outfit full of classic pieces you’ll wear long after the big day. Start with a blazer, but forgo a full suit in lieu of skinny or slim-fit chinos. The blazer’s patch pockets stop it looking worky. Brown leather derbies and a beautiful pure-cotton twill white shirt are as classic as they come, so add impact with a bright knitted tie.

Words: Ian Wright Illustrations: Sunflowerman



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