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Best of 2013: Menswear

by in Fashion and Style on

While our Real Wedding brides are absolutely gorgeous, these dapper gents aren’t ones to be outdone. When it comes to wedding wear this year, the boys were giving the girls a run for their money (well, not exactly a run, but maybe a little bit of a jog!). From classic white smoking jackets to a cardigans sans ties, these Southern gents know how to don attire with personalty and style!

Seersucker suit, bow tie, and orchid boutonniere | Claire + Matthew | Pure 7 Studios

Preppy tie and tan suit | Sara + TJ | Katelyn James

Classic black tuxedo | Emily + Tripper | Melissa Schollaert

Casual sweaters | Ana + Kent | Landon Jacob

Tan linen suit and seersucker bow tie | Angela + Tom | Riverland Studios

Mix and match gray suits | Natalie + Shobie | Cassidy Brooke

Embroidered collar | Jessica + Troy | Bamber Photography

Suit and bow tie | Erica + Danny | Megan Thiele

White dinner jacket and monogrammed suspenders | Claire + Michael | Watson-Studios

Smart navy suit | Sophie + Brian | Honey Heart Photography

Katelyn James, Melissa Schollaert, Landon Jacob, Bamber Photography, and Watson-Studios are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Article: Best of 2013: Menswear « wileysphotography reply

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    […] of 2013: Wedding Gowns Best of 2013: Accessories Best of 2013: Menswear Best of 2013: Bouquets Best of 2013: Bridesmaids Best of 2013: Ceremonies Best of 2013: Cakes and […]

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There is something to be said for a homegrown Southern company. You know the types I’m talking about. They are not only based in the South, but everything about their brand leaves customers thinking of sweet tea and evenings on the front porch. High Cotton Ties is the perfect example of a Southern born and bred company. Drawing from North Carolina’s rich textile history, High Cotton bow ties are hand-sewn in the Old North State.

Monogrammed, madras, seersucker, or gingham, all of the High Cotton Ties are quintessentially Southern and perfect for any Southern wedding.

Even better, High Cotton Ties is approaching its one year anniversary and is releasing a brand spanking new cummerbund set for the occasion. Be sure to check out the winner post next week, and you’ll be one of the first people to see the new design!

To Enter: Scoot on over to the High Cotton website and browse through their cummerbund sets. Which one do you think epitomizes the South the most? Leave a comment here for your chance to win!

Win: A monogrammed cummerbund set of your choice from High Cotton Ties!

This giveaway will end next Tuesday, April 26th at midnight. Enter soon, y’all!

Written with love by Whitney
  1. avatar Jessie reply

    I love the Pale Pink Check Cummerbund Set. It would look amazing with navy bridesmaids dresses and blush peonies.

  2. avatar Marie reply

    About a month ago I was in Athens while a local shop was having a High Cotton sale. I was giddy when I saw the monogrammed cummerbund.

    Being a University of Georgia graduate, I have to go with the Nantucket Red Seersucker Stripe Cummerbund Set. Seersucker and Red!!! How can get any more ‘Southern’ than that? I do have a second favorite for those times when wearing game day colors aren’t suitable: Pawtucket Patchwork Madras Cummerbund Set- It is a PERFECT spring time set.

  3. avatar Stacy reply

    Love the Soft Lavender Mini Check Cummerbund Set

  4. avatar Liz reply

    For me the “Endzone Orange Gingham” cummerbund set is the epitome of the South because I live in Big Orange Country (Knoxville, TN) and SEC football is a way of life here – the endzones at UT are checkerboard orange and white! Go vols!

  5. avatar Mandy reply

    What could be more Southern than an honoring little college football tradition. I love the “Red and Black Tattersall Cummerbund Set” because the colors represent mine and my fiance’s Alma Mater… The University of Georgia! Go Dawgs!

  6. avatar Sarah reply

    I love the Carolina blue stripe set! Is there anything more Southern than a Chapel Hill wedding? No!
    Also, the model is one of my boyfriend’s fraternity brothers- love it!

  7. avatar Katie reply

    I absolutely adore the the Pale Pink Check Cummerbund Set…it could only be more southern with the addition of a monogram! However, I do love Clemson so the End Zone Orange is also near and dear to my heart!

  8. avatar Kelly reply

    Definitely like the Black Houndstooth. Southern and sharp.

  9. avatar Sarah Wright reply

    I think the Soft Carolina Blue Stripe Cummerbund Set represents the South the most – our Carolina Blue skies and the perfect combo of white and blue!

  10. avatar Shea reply

    I think the nautical blue is classic! and of course I love a plaid!

  11. avatar Linden reply

    Could anything be more Southern than a madras Cumberbund set? I love it! It just reminds me of the South- gentlemen who can dress up and still appear laid-back, friendly, and not stuffy. Adore this! It would make for an awesome Charleston wedding… I can just see it!

  12. avatar Erin Butler reply

    I love the Orange and Navy Tattersall Cummerbund Set. It reminds me of Sundress-Saturdays spent in the Fall at Ben Hill Griffin stadium cheering for the Gators :)

  13. avatar jcristg reply

    I can’t pass up the chance to pick the red and black – Carolina – cummerbund set. Go Cocks!

  14. avatar Amanda reply

    Definitely the Crimson Gingham Cummerbund Set. It’s picnic table-like red and white checkers reminds me of summers in Tennessee. I can picture this cummerbund around the waist of my handsome fiance sitting with me on a blanket in the sun, eating a picnic together. It brings me back to the summer sounds of June bugs and the humidity of summer in the south.

  15. avatar Courtney reply

    I love the Crimson gingham set! All of them, especially the seersucker and the gingham patters were very Southern!

  16. avatar Lindsay Weidenhammer reply

    I think the Nautical Navy Stripe Cummerbund Set looks MOST southern charm!

  17. avatar Lori reply

    I love High Cotton Ties. My fiance and I have been looking at their website lately trying to decide on bowties for the beaus in the wedding party! I think the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras Cummerbund is the epitome of southern and would be perfect monogrammed!

  18. avatar Clara G reply

    Although I’m tempted to pick the black houndstooth because it is soooo BAMA, I have decided to pick the Soft Carolina Blue Stripe Cummerbund Set. This color blue screams old south. The cummerbund and bow tie make me think of a good ole fashioned southern gentleman. It is classic, romantic, and perfectly soutern!! I love it!

  19. avatar Elyse G. reply

    Nothing is more southern than the Nantucket Red Seersucker Stripe Cummerbund Set. It’s seersucker!

  20. avatar Dayton reply

    I think the Red and Black Tattersall Cummerbund Set truly emphasizes the look of the south. It encompasses the University of Georgia’s colors with the uncanning style of a true southern gentleman that is best epitomized in the great state of Georgia.

  21. avatar Emily reply

    Don’t they all scream “Southern”? But I do love the Aqua Seersucker Gingham!

  22. avatar Amanda reply

    The Aqua seersucker gingham absolutely emphasizes the south the most. Every Easter Sunday as far as I can remember all the men would stroll into church with their blue seersucker suits and I always knew spring was here! Easter picnic after service with fried chicken, fried okra, and seersucker as far as the eye can see.

  23. avatar Linda reply

    I love the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras Cummerbund Set. Perfect for a spring or summer wedding! Love High Cotton Ties (and headbands, too!)

  24. avatar Jessica reply

    I love the Carolina Blue Gingham Cummerbund Set! What says southern more than the color of the beautiful blue sky on a spring afternoon in North Carolina in combo with gingham?!?

  25. avatar Kristen Cowan reply

    I love the Carolina blue stripe set! Screams southern gentleman at a college football tailgate! :)

  26. avatar Allison reply

    nothing says Southern like the Endzone Orange cummerbund and tie set. Why? because who else than a Southern gent would sport a cummbebund and tie to a Saturday football game? Go CLEMSON Tigers!! :)

  27. avatar Kelsey reply

    My fiance and I are so excited about this contest! Judy and James are the best! My favorite is the Carolina Blue Gingham. There’s nothing more Southern that a crisp pastel in amazing pattern like gingham. It matches the sky on a beautiful Southern day and starts the night off with your gentleman looking and feeling good. And can it get any better than the monogram on the side?!

  28. avatar Jess reply

    Durham Ranger Madras Bow Tie most def!!! love the colors and its also Miami Dolphins :) So proud to be Southern!

  29. avatar Cris reply

    Definitely the Carolina Blue! All Southerners love a Carolina blue sky!

  30. avatar Haley reply

    Nothing screams South more than the Blue Violet and Pink Paisley Cummerbund Set! It combines the rich history which both the South and paisley print have in common with the fun, contemporary colors of blue and pink!!

  31. avatar heather reply

    I definitely think the Aqua Seersucker Gingham Cummerbund Set is the most southern, plus if we win it, I have the perfect dress to match him! ;)

  32. avatar Lauren Dunaway reply

    Although it has Nantucket in the name I think the Nantucket Red Seersucker Stripe Set is the epitome of southern! Here in New Orleans, people from out of town assume seersucker = southern!

  33. avatar Katherine reply

    I LOVE the Pale Pink Check Cummerbund set! What’s more southern than a man in pink?

  34. avatar Tony reply

    I think that the Nantucket Red Seersucker Stripe Cummerbund Set epitomizes the South. It’s a classic pattern with a modern, striking color. The pattern gives it that nautical feel from the coast, but the faded red tones in the seersucker stripe give it that sun faded, relaxed feel I always love. The washed out red tones arn’t too loud, but it speaks and make the wearer stand out from the rest. Also, pale striped sun faded reds with solid, saturated navy tones? It’s a great color combination!

    It’s a quiet breeze of Southern air that isn’t too overpowering, which is why it’s my choice.

  35. avatar Hannah reply

    I love plaid so how can I not pick the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras Print :)

  36. avatar Kate reply

    Durham Ranger Madras is the epitome of the south!

  37. avatar Katie reply

    I LOVE the Endzone Orange. I’m a Clemson girl but that cummerbund just says Southern… it’s the color of Georgia peaches and clay, the color that fills Tennessee, Clemson, Florida, UVA, and Auburn’s stadiums in the fall, a low country sunset sky, and a southerner’s favorite vegetable: macaroni and cheese. And the gingham print just screams comfortable, down home, and real… what every Southern gentleman should be! :)

  38. avatar Brandon reply

    I am a HUGE fan of the Red and Black Tattersall Cummerbund Set. It goes great with a dark tux, but also reminds me and my girlfriend of putting on some red pants, a white oxford, and the bow tie alone at the University of Cincinnati football games. Nothing like bringing up some southern style!

  39. avatar ron payne reply

    On its own, the patchwork madras is my favorite. But with tuxedo, the pink check.

  40. avatar Chris reply

    Even though I’m partial to the UT Endzone Orange, nothing says Southern like the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras. There’s just something about Madras that brings you back to the simpler times.

  41. avatar Daniel Wright reply

    Red and Black, it doesn’t get more southern than Carolina. Goooo Cocks!

  42. avatar Katie reply

    I love the soft Carolina blue stripe set. It just makes me yearn for lazy summer afternoons topped off with a tall glass of lemonade.

  43. avatar Andrew reply

    My favorites are the Carolina Blue Gingham and Cornflower and Mint Green Tattersall Cummerbund sets. If I had to choose one though I think I would have to go with the Carolina Blue Gingham set

  44. avatar Austin reply

    The Carolina Blue Gingham Cummerbund Set takes the cake! I’m a Georgia boy but blue has always been my color. The Carolina Blue is classic and makes a statement of style and purpose while maintaining a quiet dignity.

  45. avatar Andrew reply

    My two favorite are the Carolina Blue Gingham and Cornflower and Mintgreen Tattersall Cummerbund sets but if I had to pick one I would say that the Carolina Blue Gingham represents the south the best.

  46. avatar Bella Michelle reply

    They are wonderful…but I do love that Calhoun Plaid!

  47. avatar Daniel reply

    Love the End Zone orange!

  48. avatar Sarah Gibson reply

    I think the Blue Violet and Pink Paisely set and the Cornflower and Mint Green Tattersall set embody the south the most!

  49. avatar Stevie reply

    The Carolina Blue Gingham and the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras Print are quintessentially southern and are just calling for Charleston weddings and juleps in hand! Southern boys in madras can’t be beat!

  50. avatar Grayson Campbell reply

    By far the Pawtucket Patchwork Madras is the most Southern. Add on a monogram and it doesn’t get anymore Southern. It reminds me of the patch madras shorts my father and uncles used to golf in when I was a little girl

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Lori’s question from last week (about what to wear with bridesmaid dresses) started Katharine’s and my wheels turning about all of the different options out there for wedding day attire.

In this day and age (which makes me sound like a grandmother, but oh well!), there are SO many options, from super formal to just-rolled-out-of-bed casual.

With all these options, we thought it might be nice to do a brief overview of the many possibilities. (Okay, we won’t be covering just-rolled-out-of-bed. But you know what I mean!) You can use our guide to heed sartorial etiquette, or to gain general awareness of which rules you’re breaking :) Let’s begin!

The most formal option for daytime wear (anytime before 6pm) is a black or Oxford gray cutaway coat, black or gray striped trousers, a pearl gray waistcoat, stiff white shirt, stiff fold-down collar with gray-and-black striped four-in-hand tie or wing collar with ascot, gray gloves, black silk socks, and black kid shoes. Whew! This is NOT a common look for weddings today, but we did manage to turn up a few examples:

Image credit: Jen Huang. See more from this wedding here!

The most formal option for traditional evening attire consists of a black tailcoat and trousers, a white pique waistcoat, a starched-front shirt with a wing collar, a white bow tie, white gloves, black silk socks, black patent-leather shoes or pumps or black kid smooth-toed shoes. Tuxedos are also acceptable. Not as elusive as the formal daytime option, and more popular in the South than other regions of the country, but still fairly rare.

For a semiformal daytime wedding, the groom might wear a suit-style dark gray or black sack (straight-backed) coat, matching trousers, a soft or white pleated shirt, a four-in-hand tie, and black smooth-toed shoes. For all of you non-menswear experts, that’s basically your standard “nice suit.” A dove gray waistcoat was the traditional pairing with this look, but grooms are switching things up left and right these days. A very popular option!

For a semiformal evening wedding, the attire options are split by seasons. For a winter wedding, a black or midnight blue tuxedo is most appropriate. Here, Katharine’s groom Kyle models the look with aplomb:

In the summer, a white dinner jacket and black cummerbund can be substituted.

Either can be paired with a pleated or pique soft shirt with attached collar, a black cummerbund and black bow tie, and a pair of black patent-leather or kid shoes. No gloves.

For informal day or evening weddings, it really starts to get loose. Lighter-weight suits or jackets and trousers, white suits, seersucker suits, khaki suits, khakis and navy blazers, trousers and suspenders… the sartorial options are almost limitless. Just remember to keep whatever you do choose in good taste and in keeping with the ceremony and reception location and time of year.

So, ladies: what will your men be wearing on the big day? Leave us a note in the comments!

Lastly, let’s have a big round of applause for Mr. Bryan Johnson! I turned to A Bryan Photo for the lion’s share of these images. If you’re ever looking for wedding inspiration (and great photography, of course), look no further than their galleries!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I went to a 6:00 wedding once in the fall and the groomsmen wore black, but their shirts were off-white. It looked really handsome! I was thinking of doing the same for our fall wedding because my dress is more of an off-white too. It seems like an ok move, but I’ve only seen it that one time. Is that strange?

    • avatar Katharine reply

      Hi Elizabeth! If your dress is more ivory than true white, an off-white shirt for your groom could be a really nice complement, especially if you already love the look! Warmer tones are also a nice touch for a fall wedding. Just make sure the groomsmen also wear off-white shirts and that there aren’t too many other white-white details in the ceremony or reception. (Your pictures could look a little funny if there are different shades of white floating around.) Congratulations and happy planning!

  2. avatar Tweets that mention Southern Etiquette: What to Wear When? « Southern Weddings Magazine — reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marissa Kloess and Katharine Waterman, Southern Weddings . Southern Weddings said: @EmilyAyer discusses what to wear and when in this week's Southern Etiquette + a special thanks to @ABryanPhoto! […]

  3. avatar Natalie reply

    My fiancee and I are getting married in a barn but we are still traditionalists and he wants to wear a tuxedo with the standard black tie. He chose his look and said he likes the classic look. Thank goodness I got a man who knows how to dress appropriately, ha. But I believe there is a lot of play with your attire on your big day because lets be honest it is YOUR day. You make the rules!

    • avatar Katharine reply

      Amen, Natalie! Tradition and formal etiquette are nice guidelines, especially if you’re undecided and looking for suggestions as you plan, but in the end the only rules you follow should be your own.

  4. avatar Erin reply

    My fiance said he definitely wants to wear a tuxedo to our 5:30/6 (still undecided!) wedding in September 2012. Originally he was interested in a white tux jacket, but I said he’d look like a waiter…but now I’m changing my mind as it does look extremely handsome. My only concern is that our wedding is September 22, the first day of fall that year (but usually it’s still hot around that time in Northern Virginia)–does this mean a white tux jacket is out since it’s technically fall??

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi, Erin! As Natalie said, it’s your wedding, so you make the rules! BUT, if you’re looking for etiquette guidance, I just checked Emily Post and she says tuxedos for winter and white jackets for summer. However, she doesn’t specify either for fall or spring. I’d take that to mean that you can use your discretion in choosing, which means that if you like the look of the white jacket, go for that! I can pretty much guarantee that your guests will NOT be horrified by the possible faux pas :)

    • avatar Erin reply

      Emily: Thanks so much for the response! It’s tough to find etiquette rules for seemingly ambiguous days/seasons/dates!

  5. avatar Lori reply

    We are STILL deciding… Thanks for sharing more etiquette and options!

  6. avatar Jess reply

    My fiance has requested to wear a collared, printed shirt, tie, gray vest, and nice designer jeans. We’re getting married on a deck in the woods with a picnic reception, so I think it’ll tie in perfectly with our wedding atmosphere.

  7. avatar Lindsey Richards reply

    Thanks so much for this post! My fiance and I are still deciding whether to go with the classic black tux or khakis with navy blazers. We’re having a traditional church wedding, but our reception is at a horse stable in VA. I feel like the navy blazer is more “him”, but at the same time this is the one day where he feels like he should definitely go all out in a formal tux. Our colors are navy, persimmon, and pewter, so navy blazers would look great in the big scheme of things. Too many options! What do you think?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Lindsey! Katharine and I agree that the khaki and blazer combo sounds like the winner given your reception location and color palette. However, he’s the groom, so if he’s always wanted to wear a tux, he should go for it! And remember: as the groom in a tux, he’ll never stick out in a bad way.

  8. avatar Jennifer reply

    We are getting married outside in May at the home of the groom’s parents which sits on a small lake in Perry, Georgia. We want to have the guys wear gray seersucker, but our problem is we can’t figure out the right shoes. White bucks would be traditional, but they are pricey and not everyone owns a pair.

  9. avatar erin reply

    Hi, thanks for the post on men’s wedding attire! Our wedding is coming up very soon… it’s in the beginning of April, eeks!! It will be just outside of Chapel Hill , NC, with an outside ceremony (weather permitting) and barn reception. The groomsmen are all wearing charcoal gray suits. My fiance bought monogrammed light blue shirts as a gift for each of the groomsmen and we also picked them each out a different patterned tie in the same shade of green. My fiance will be wearing a charcoal gray suit with chalk stripes, a white shirt and another different green tie. I do have a question for y’all though… My dad is wearing a navy suit but he would really like to wear a bow tie. I think it’s a great idea and offered to find it for him… but now I can’t find one! Anyone have any ideas about where to find nice bow ties, preferably online? I am looking for a patterned bow tie in a moss green shade. Thank you!!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Erin! Of course I have a few suggestions! :) For patterned bowties, I love Forage ( The Tie Bar ( has lots of nice simple patterns in a nice price range. Southern Proper or Vineyard Vines are great for a preppy look. And lastly, Pierrepont Hicks has some AMAZING styles right now — LOVE! ( I hope that helps!!

  10. avatar Kyla reply

    I am curious about a patchwork madras sports coat. I am from SC and it can be incredibly hot sometimes into October. My fiance asked if he could wear his favorite patchwork madras sports coat to our wedding. I think it looks quite nice on him and would work with a navy and yellow theme but I was planning on an October wedding. I hate being restrictive about what choices he has to make in the wedding but also don’t wanna change everything because his outfit of choice isn’t seasonally appropriate. I can’t really find any material online stating that at some point madras is not allowed but I have always thought of it like seersucker and wouldn’t think you could wear it after Labor Day. Any thoughts? Our wedding is going to be outside so summer would be unbearable! :) Thanks!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Kyla! If there is a rule about madras (which I’m not entirely sure there is…), you’re right, it’s probably a “faux pas” to wear it after Labor Day. But I think the sportscoat option sounds lovely, and if it’s what your fiance wants to wear and you’re okay with it, then go for it! It’s so much hotter in the South than other parts of the country, anyway, that it almost seems like the Labor Day rule should become the Columbus Day rule :) Congratulations and happy planning!

  11. avatar Caroline Davidson reply

    Hi Emily!
    My fiance will be wearing a black tux (with a bow tie and suspenders) to our wedding and I want to wear my old boots with my formal dress. The ceremony will be in my hometown church.Is it appropriate for me and my bridesmaids to wear our boots or should we change into them for the reception? I also wonder if that would mean the men would have to wear black boots to match us? Thanks in advance! Your etiquette posts are just lovely!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Caroline! Love that look! (That’s what John is wearing, as well!) Between the tux and the church, I would say you should change into your boots post-ceremony. I do not, however, think that the men need to wear black boots to match! Best of luck with your plans!

  12. avatar Jennifer reply

    How faux pas it it to wear seersucker in late Feb on the beach as the groom?

  13. avatar charlotte reply

    Is it appropriate to for men to wear tux with white dinner jacket for a 6 pm wedding in March?

  14. avatar Meghan reply

    Our bridesmaids are wearing long black dresses for a ski lodge wedding on September 15. My fiancé would prefer to wear a classic black tux, and originally we had planned to have the groomsmen in black tuxes as well. My seamstress suggested breaking up the black in the party by having the groomsmen wear white dinner jackets (and the groom keep his black tux). My photographer expressed concern that it will look off balance during the ceremony. I can only find photos of either all of the guys in white dinner jackets OR the groomsmen in black tuxes with the groom in a white dinner jacket. I think the groomsmen in white could look sharp, but I’m nervous bc I can’t find where this has been done before! Help! Advice? Thank you!!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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