How to Dress for a Wedding Part II

Fashion

Every friendship group has that one friend who is really good at giving advice, and that  one friend who never takes good advice.

Somehow I often end up doing both. Looking into the lives of others, I find the path of what to do is always exceedingly clear, but when it comes to me, I find it incredibly difficult to do what I know that I should.

Not long ago, I wrote some tips for how to dress for a wedding. I recently went to a wedding – and obviously wore clothes so I thought it would be interesting to put my outfit to the test and see how good I am at following my own advice.

I actually bought this Topman suit as a matching 3-piece (trousers, blazer and waistcoat), but due to the perils of online shopping, the trousers didn’t fit properly. I can just about squeeze into them, but they are very tight and definitely not appropriate to wear to a wedding. Or anywhere there might be children.

Instead I have substituted the trousers for some black chinos that cost me £7 in H&M’s sale. Normally I would have chosen some more formal ‘proper’ suit trousers, but I really couldn’t turn down that price.

Rationalising my cheapness, I decided to style it out as a rustic suit separates look – not unlike pop/folk band Mumford & Son’s iconic tweed-and-chinos style.

So that’s the outfit, but how does it measure up?

Taking the 5 tips from my post, let’s see if I practise what I preach.

 

Keep it simple.

Right off the bat, I’m wearing a jacquard patterned blazer and waistcoat. So far, so outlandish. But you’ll notice that I’ve gone for plain black trousers underneath to tone down the impact of the jazzy top half. The same can be said of my shirt and shoes.

Finally, I opted for low-key accessories – a burgundy bowtie and pocketsquare – which bring an understated pop of colour to the outfit. I toyed with the idea of adding a subtle lapel pin from Topman to the mix, but it snapped the first time I tried to put it on. (The same has happened with lapel pins I’ve bought from River Island too, so I’m going to avoid high-street brands from now on. Or maybe I’m the problem…)

Serendipitously, the poor quality lapel pin did me a favour in the end, as this outfit is loud enough without it, and simply doesn’t need anymore accessories. The suit speaks for itself.

Simplicity – 3/5.

 

Have fun.

Where I perhaps fell short in the last section, I definitely succeed here. This look is nothing if not fun. The playful jacquard pattern projects a level of bubbly confidence (that you don’t necessarily have to feel yourself!)

I enjoy the colourful accessories, especially the bowtie. I thought about wearing the more conventional necktie, but this burgundy bow stands out a little more, and it makes me feel like the Eleventh Doctor which is always a plus.

As discussed above, the rest of the outfit is as simple as possible but I do love these brown brogues, which are definitely eye-catching. Finally, I decided to go “sockless” and roll up the legs to show off  a little ankle. Saucy.

Fun – 5/5

 

Be practical.

For me, fashion has to be functional. As slick as it may look, if you’re not comfortable or can’t move in it, what’s the point?

On the surface, wearing a three-piece suit to a summer wedding in a marquee perhaps doesn’t seem the best idea, but I rather like having the layers. If you’re hot, you can take off the blazer, and you can put it right back on as it gets colder towards the end of the night.

Another thing I like is to wear an undershirt which addmittedly might seem counter-productive to some, as it means adding yet another layer. On the contrary, this layer soaks up the sweat (and doesn’t feel noticeably hotter), meaning that you can hold up your arms carefree and sweatpatch-free, whether you’re raising a glass in toast, or tearing it up on the dancefloor.

Practicality – 4/5

 

Make sure it fits.

Fit is probably the most important part of fashion. The way an item sits on you can be the difference between an awful outfit and an amazing one.

Being unnecessarily lanky, I often struggle to get clothes that fit my long arms properly. this time I think I might have just got away with it, but I’m definitely cutting things fine.

And to be honest, you’re just lucky I didn’t talk myself into wearing the inappropriately tight trousers!

Fit – 3/5

 

Don’t let your shoes let you down.

This is my favourite pair of shoes so,  unsurprisingly, I think I have done quite well here. The brown shoes stand out a little from the black footwear that is often the formal go-to for men, while the broguing detail brings some eye-catching elegance.

Similarly, the sockless and rolled/cropped trouser look is rather on-trend and, once again, stands out a little from the crowd. Plus, it’s nice to have your ankles out in the summer! (Though I have no idea why mine look so veiny…)

Shoes – 5/5

 

Overall I scored 20/25 points which equates to 80%. That’s a first class honours in university terms.

Nicely done, Edi.

But actually, I wrote the post on wedding outfits and I put together this outfit to wear to a wedding. So surely anything less than 100% is a failure.

Awkward.

On the plus side, this can serve as a timely reminder that, when it comes to fashion, style, and taste in general, rules are made to be broken. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable and confident in yourself, not what some sartorial rulebook says.

Even if that rulebook happens to be called Edication.

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Sartorial Sorcery

Fashion

I have a friend who is a witch.

Ok, he’s not quite a witch, but he is into magic.

Well, he does card tricks. It’s just that some of his tricks baffle me to the extent that sorcery is genuinely the only logical explanation.

Anyway, this friend of mine, keen to get his witchcraft career going has taken to coasting around bars with a deck cards, wowing people with his particular brand of trickery. Simply from doing this, he has made useful contacts (maybe even a celebrity or two) and has even received offers to perform. It’s basically magical networking – like how I’d imagine Harry Potter would have gotten his first job.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because of my friend’s golden rule: No one questions a man in a good suit.

There’s just something about a suit that gives you a certain confidence, a certain sense of legitimacy. It protects you. Like a suit of armour.

If you saw me running down the street in a hoodie, let’s face it, you’d probably think I’d stolen something. If you saw me running down the street in a suit however, you might assume that I was a businessman, late for a terribly important meeting, or maybe a contestant on The Apprentice with five minutes left to finish the challenge before facing Lord Sugar and a tutting Karen Brady in the boardroom.

As such, no one questions why a stranger in a bar has just asked them to pick a card, when said stranger is wearing a nice suit. It just adds to the mystery.

In that vein, I decided to do a little suiting wizardry of my own and put together this formal outfit.

Going for a bit of an old-fashioned banker/ Tory politician vibe, the outfit is decidedly navy in theme.

Keeping things as classy as you’ve come to expect from this blog, my trousers and waistcoat are from Primark… in the sale. Regardless, I love the navy Prince of Wales check that harks back to Britiain’s bold tailoring traditions (or at least it would if it cost more than £15).

Unfortunately, they didn’t have a blazer in my size so, instead, I thought I’d relax things a little and go jacket-less. Then I remembered that I live in England and that it was January so I opted instead for my favourite coat which I think suits it quite well.

The shirt is from H&M. Due to my neanderthal-esque proportions, the cuffs on most shirts stop just shy of my wrists, which I really need to look into. Recently however, I’ve taken to giving my coat sleeves a single roll and, handily, this slightly tricks the eye into thinking that my arms aren’t quite as lanky as they truly are.

The frankly huge holdall bag is from Boohooman.com. Admittedly I didn’t envisage quite how large it would be when I ordered it – the woes of buying online. As I realised when it arrived, pictures don’t really do it justice but, take my word for it, it’s massive. It’s a great weekend bag though, because I can basically fit all of my worldly possessions in it with little to no trouble. I can’t be dealing with cramming things into small bags. I was never any good at Tetris.

My tie was a Christmas present from my housemates and it’s from Next. I’m a big fan of the tan/rust colour which brightens up what would otherwise be quite a dark, plain look. Finally, finishing off the outfit are my trusty blue-laced brogues from eBay.

And hey presto, there’s a look fit for any aspiring wizard.

Expelliarmus!