Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Reader Writes... "what do I wear to a gay beach wedding in Connecticut"?

Darren Criss is ready to party (
Source: via Chrissann on Pinterest

I was so pumped to find this email in my inbox over the weekend, requesting wedding attire advice from a dear reader. What with beach (and wedding) season having officially begun, what better time than now to address the all-important question of what to wear to a summer, beachfront wedding?  Here's the reader's dilemma:


I need your wedding expertise for this gay beach wedding I have to go to in June. And by "gay", I actually do mean "gay". Two of my best gays are getting married on a beach somewhere in CT. I didn't know there was a BEACH on CT so I figured it was like water view. So I was going to wear a super hot slim fit black suit with a skinny black tie. Then, i encountered two problems. 1.) I can't find a super hot slim fit black suit with a skinny black tie 2.) the brusband told me that its ON the beach. So, me wearing a black suit is a little wonk-wonk, right?? SO!! I need advice on what you think I should wear? The boys are wearing tan/beige suits, is there a "don't wear white to the wedding" factor with that? I hope so bc I don't look good in tan. I guess my big question is, is it totally gross to wear white linen pants, a nice shirt (yellow, maybe?) and blazer sorta like this one attached?? NOW, its very important that I look fierce. It will be a highly photographed affair and I've semi-dated half of the other place-cards at my that ensemble a little too fey? I was also thinking suit with no tie. But, I don't really want to spend a bunch of money on another suit, unless its hot and slim and i'll wear it to bed i love it so much. I'M DYING to know your expertise??? - Love, Dapper in Darien
_ _ _ _
Well, dear reader, are you in luck.  Not only have I seen a wedding or two in my day, but I also have a pretty fierce gay wedding of my own on the horizon this fall, and I'm already thinking about what I'm going to wear.  I'll be working it (the wedding) while I'm working it (heeeeey).

So for starters, let's lay out the parameters:

Connecticut = monied preppy 
Beachfront = dressy casual
Same sex marriage = fabulous

Okay great, so what exactly does monied preppy dressy casual fabulous look like? 

Click below to find out after the jump...

The Pants
Well let's start by working with what you've got.  White linen is all of the above - monied preppy dressy casual  - and is always fabulous so long as the fit is perfect.  So considering the pants are "free" (as in you already own them), shell out a few bucks to have the pants tailored for the perfect fit.  Nothing says fabulous like well tailored pants, especially when you're working with white, which only looks great when the fit is flawless.  And because there will be no bride in white, you are allowed to break the "don't wear white to the wedding" rule.  Here's a dapper-looking gentleman ready to rock a wedding with white pants, a navy blazer and great shoes (to be discussed next).  I think his shirt and tie colors read a little too, hm, hetero, so I'd recommend you go with more vibrant colors for the shirt and accessories (also to be explored below). 

drool-worthy wedding guest courtesy of

The Shoes
My friend recently went to a destination wedding in Mexico, and knowing how much I love weddings, she forwarded me her photos from the weekend.  The wedding was gorgeous, but I almost didn't notice because I was so distracted by the fact that everyone was barefoot.  Here are all these gorgeous women in beautiful dresses, hair and makeup done, looking stunning but totally uncomfortable.  In each and every photo women of all ages are standing on their tippy toes or flexing a calf to compensate for the fact that they are barefoot.  So go with shoewear that you can rock without socks and that you don't have to remove...loafers or driving mocs on the more formal side, or adorable docksiders for a more fun loving option.  Here are a few faux-fab (i.e. affordable) options in case you don't already own:

Sperry, a boating classic, penny loafers or docksiders (added bonus, they also have lots of fun colors like nantucket red, the official shade of all things waspy)

Here's a slicker option (as in if you squint when I walk by you may think they are Tod's driving mocs) - loafers from Zara Men

The "zhuzh"
Okay, it's time for the zhuzh - the pocket square.  You cannot look anywhere this season without seeing a suit adorned with a pocket square peeking out of a breast pocket.  Whimsical yet sensitive, the pocket square says, "First I will get a little choked up at the ceremony as I watch my two dear friends exchange their vows of love and loyalty, after which I will enjoy a sparkling cocktail or two and then totally tear it up on the dance floor, exhibiting dance moves that have everyone watching in amused awe and admiration".  Thank you, pocket square, for saying so much with so little. 

The Blazer & Shirt
While I love the idea of a black piped blazer with yellow details, as you included, I'd also love to see you in navy - it's formal-ish but still fun-loving and looks great paired with pops of pink or yellow or baby blue get the picture.  Plus, few things look more crisp and clean than navy and white together.  Tres chic, as they say. 

Here's another great look that you could go for that would make the children gag:

This is a fashion mullet and therefore a home run - business on the top, party on the bottom, courtesy of bonobos, which I will be discussing now.

For my male readers who are not as comfortable in pink pants (of which there are likely none, let's get real, this is a wedding blog),  I have one word for you - Bonobos.  Ingeniusly cut to flatter the male figure (read no more diaper butt), not only are Bonobos fitted and fabulous but they also feature thoughtful and fun pant liners that will look delicious when you pop a cuff on your pants, which is the one of the only ways to do beachfront ceremonies.  I think of Bonobos as the younger hipper brother of J. Crew who listens to cool indie music and writes sensitive love notes to his girlfriend but still played competitive lacrosse in high school.  Girls, if you haven't yet decided what your man and his groomsmen will wear, please take a look at  Here is just one of many styles, including an entire wedding line, that's available.  Check out the wedding look book here.

Bonobos Stone Cutters Chinos
Peekaboo!  I'm your pants liner.

Bonobos pocket square - I'll wipe away your tears.
 And for the ladies?

Here are a few fun options for your ordinary Connecticut beachfront gay wedding.

Halston from

Nicole Miller from

Shoshanna from

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