Years ago, the thought of attending a wedding hadn’t really crossed your mind. But, finally the the time to face the reality has arrived: there’s a wedding coming up.
Whether you’re the groom, a groomsman, a relative, or a random guest ― wedding crashers don’t count, officially ― if you want to look good in front of everyone, you have probably asked yourself:
What am I supposed to wear?
And, if you are a man ― a gentleman, furthermore ― who is imaginative and stylish in your clothing choices, your next question is likely:
What wedding shoes should I wear?
First off, take a deep breath. We’re not ladies, where the choice of wedding shoes, like decoltè for instance, is endless. From all the classic shoes you could wear, your go-to shoe should be the classic Giacalustra (a part of the Oxfords family collection) in black full grain leather. You can purchase the shoes online, easy as that. End of story?
So the Giacalustra is a great default shoe, one ideal for many occasions. But, the shoe you wear depends on the type of party that you are attending. Whether it’s a classic wedding in a secret little church on the Tuscan hills with a never-ending waiting list or a chic wedding at a Cabo San Lucas beach, the location of the wedding will be super important for determining your final choice of wedding shoes.
Not to mention choosing shoes for the wedding reception, the most eagerly-awaited part of the day. But first things first.
We asked the very Italian Lanieri, experts in custom-tailored suits, for a few tips about how to perfectly match shoes with clothes, what works and what doesn’t, and other styling advice.
The classic wedding (church or another venue) will either be in the city or in the countryside
The classic wedding is celebrated either in the city or outdoors in the countryside and accompanied by a post-wedding lunch or dinner. Whether it’s a religious wedding in a church or a ceremony in another venue, we’re talking about a traditional wedding.
One with a groom, bride, wedding witnesses, and guests expecting to see classic shoes and clothes. We’ve certainly emphasized the concept of “classic” but it’s very important to understand that, on such an occasion, it would be a winning choice to go for something conservative and err on the side of caution.
Now it’s up to you. Half of the wedding is in your hands, so don’t waste too much time stressing about how to dress properly. While your marriage is for life (we hope), your wedding day attire depends on your mood and personal style of the moment.
But what kind of groom are you?
I’m a classic man
If you consider yourself to be a classic groom, one who always wants to win without over thinking; go for Giacalustra: the real Oxford shoe in black full grain leather. You can’t go wrong – or cause a style faux pas – with such a simple, elegant shoe.
“For a classic wedding celebrated until 6pm, the groom should choose a morning attire. Relatives and wedding witnesses should wear it as well.”
I’m a high-flier
Instead, if you feel that there’s a high-flying spirit deep inside your skin and that you belong to another era – one of culture, elites, and intellectuals visiting cafés smoking cigars – you should go for the Cadregatt. The tassel loafers are black polished binder leather, giving a suave addition to your ensemble. You know you’re daring, so keep it up with your style.
Generally, you feel like a classic man. You stick with the current trends but like to change up your look once in awhile. You have a “special something” compared to all the others. You want other people’s attention, without appearing too much. You should consider the refined type of Oxfords: Precìs, the semi-brogue Giacalustra.
The best man
We’re not going to talk about the best man toast because we’ve already mentioned it. Let’s just say you’ve got a pretty important task that you’ll have to keep up for the whole wedding. Regarding wedding shoes, the same style tips for the groom are a good benchmark. But…
I’m a high-flyer as well
If you consider yourself to be a high-flyer, it’s the little details that count. You’ll be noticed for your bowtie and a pair of Ranatt on your feet, the Belgian Loafers coming from another epoch. And, even if the main attention goes towards the groom, you’re certainly not the very last on the wedding list. You’re a very important character, the right-hand man of the groom who is going through his final single moments.
I’m unique as well
If you’re not for the mainstream, and you want to be a different best man, the black double monk straps could be the solution for all your concerns. We’re talking about the Elegant. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure ― you need to know how to wear them properly. By the way, when you wear black, stick to classic black shoes, it’s very hard to mess up.
Everything that has been said before is still valid. If you think about it, the groom dresses similar to his best man, and the best man is actually a very special guest. The difference is about the guest’s freedom to make more daring choices, with a pair of strong elegant shoes. If you want to get noticed, with a bit of arrogance (and style), go for the Cumenda Derby shoes.
“The guest can go either for a classic dark blue suit (if it’s summer, it’s better to wear a cool wool) or a sartorial bright gray suit (made from wool and silk).”
What if it’s raining?
Be ready, because anything can happen. If it starts storming during the outdoor lunch, you need a shoe to handle that. Same argument goes for winter ― I’m talking about the snow.
The rubber sole is everything you need, to keep from slipping in front of all the parents and friends. (If you fall, they will remember it forever). You need the Giacalustra’s brother, Esclusiv, or the Precìs’ cousin, Capètt. Besides all of this, I’d also take an umbrella with you.
Alternatively: a beach wedding
Tradition isn’t always fit the bill, and your idea of going against the rules is fair enough. The wedding is in Cabo with few guests and only a few close friends. Trying to convince your parents and grandparents about getting to a wedding on the beach is anything but easy. In the end, you’ll win the argument, because it’s foremost about the wedding.
The setting is perfect: the sun goes down, the candles are lit, and someone starts crying. There you go.
The groom, the best man, and the guest
If you’re the groom, you might have been the decision maker for the beach location. But probably, she (or he) decided. But you also agreed: “Okay, this looks like a great idea.”
“It’s the perfect occasion for a total linen look: a beige suit; or mismatched light chino pants with a light double-breasted blazer made of linen and silk. No socks or ties; Panama hat and sunglasses are cool.”
If you’re the best man or a simple guest, honestly, you didn’t have much choice in the matter. And, even if a beach wedding didn’t seem like the best idea at first, everyone likes breaking the rules. Listening to “I Do” with your feet in the sand isn’t so bad right?
With a linen beige suit, you’ll experience weddings like you see in the movies. I wouldn’t suggest wearing super classic shoes. Instead, go with Moccasins Borghés. You could also go barefoot: this is an alternative wedding, isn’t it?
What not to wear at a wedding
At a wedding, you could find yourself in so many different situations. Renting a private jet just for the occasion and flying over Indonesia is cool; getting married immersed underwater, with scuba tanks and wetsuits, swimming close to corals in Northeast Australia, is much cooler. Some people go on a hot-air balloon, others go to the wide ocean on a yacht. Everything sounds creative, very creative. But we won’t be of much help in wedding planning.
Instead, we can really help you out with what you shouldn’t wear on your feet, at any cost. First off, forget about shoes with a square front: that’s a common mistake. You shouldn’t do it at a wedding.
Generally speaking, never wear classic shoes that aren’t black. Dark brown is okay, but only in the case of an informal wedding. Trust us: you’ll need a mismatched look for that.
“Never match a pochette (i.e. pocket square) to a tie or a bow tie.”
Regarding socks, you need to stay classic; you really can’t wear multi-color socks at a wedding. So, either blue or anthracite gray. The right length is right under your knee. Please avoid gym socks. Please!
Our advice: what you haven’t thought about
Let’s not talk about the bachelor party yet. But, let’s assume that, after the ceremony, all guests move outdoors to a huge country house. You already know you’re friends are rich ― some of them have two names, and you’ve always been invited to crazy parties with their parents ― and their guests would be at the same sort of level.
You get into the car, and you drive to outside the city. You’re good to go because you’ve already thought about the best classic shoes to match your suit. But, you haven’t thought about the countless things that could change.
Everyone in the pool
Considering your friends are wealthy, it’s very likely they own a huge pool based in those miles of the garden outside their mansion. It’s summertime, and there won’t be any shortage of champagne. We suggest you wear a swimsuit under your classic suit, instead of underwear. That will save the day, but that’s not our only lifesaver for you.
Whether people throw you into the pool, or it’s about to rain, putting both your smartphone and wallet in a waterproof plastic bag are going the be the move. And you’ll shock everyone with your planning.
Which accessories are good?
Regarding your beautiful wedding shoes, we highly recommend cleaning them up, taking care of them with shoe polish. It might be useful to wear them for a few days to break them in (if you aren’t the groom).
And, whether you’re wearing Elegant or Cadregatt, suspenders are the perfect accessories. It’s that accessory that only a few people will be wearing. Be careful, though, your friends could play with them as a whip.
“If you aren’t familiar with cuff links, this is the right place to wear them. They’re refined. Your pocket square? Never match the color of your tie; one made of linen, and white, would be just perfect.”
Yep, you can wear a pocket square as well, to be cool. Although, be careful: someone could blow their nose with it, or use it as a dinner napkin. You might be lucky, though, and have everything go just fine. Let’s move to the last treat:
“A tie is cool if it’s made of silk. Avoid flashy colors. It might be hot, and want to take your tie off. It’s okay, but only do it after the cake has been cut.”
Now, you have everything you really need for a wedding. Whether you’re the groom, the best man, or the guest. You’ll be at your best, without picking the wrong shoes or mismatching clothes. You’ve got it. And remember that on such a day, the only thing that really matters is to have fun, always.