The rise of rustic barn weddings and makeup-less brides is shaking up the traditional black tie affair that weddings have historically been. Brides are ditching white, and bridesmaids are choosing their own dress colors. Grooms and their best mates are keeping up with the casual trend, too. Tux alternatives are becoming common—especially for the outdoor and barn wedding scene. After all, if half the wedding party is wearing cowboy boots, the other half would look out of place in tuxes.
On top of saving upwards of $200—or more for designer brands—tux alternatives allow for comfort and personalization. Even the most breathable tux is going to be overbearing at a beach wedding. And the typical dark browns, blacks, and blues might not be your style. After all, both members of the happy couple should find outfits that represent who they are, on such a special day.
Consider one of these tux alternatives if you’re on the fence about traditionally formal attire. Remember to let your groomsmen know about your decision, so they can dress in kind.
The Casual Groom
Take the formal down just a notch or two with khakis on your wedding day. These super versatile pants can fit in with any wedding theme. Roll them up with flip flops for your beachfront nuptials, or pair them with a button-down and tie for a little more prestige.
Bonus Tip: You can always lose the tie and roll up your sleeves at the reception!
If you’re concerned about incorporating the wedding colors, choose a shirt that fits into the scheme. Or rock a white shirt and colored tie.
2) Sneakers & Suspenders
The Comfortable Groom
Keep the suit, but ditch the formal dress shoes! Dress shoes need to be broken in, and if you don’t have a pair you’ve worn before, you might not have time before the wedding. Brand new dress shoes can result in blisters or just downright discomfort. Throw on your Chuck Taylors, and buy a pair for all your mates to match. Add suspenders and skip the jacket for the completed look.
3) Golf Pants & Polos
The Dancing Groom
Designed to spend hours moving around outside, golf pants are breathable and stylish. Available in a variety of colors, they’re bolder than khaki pants, but can still pass as “dressed up” with a coordinated polo. If you have a long wedding day planned or love to dance, you won’t need a wardrobe change with golf pants. Plus, you won’t have to return these tux alternatives—and you won’t want to!
The Hardworking Grooms
Are you a member of the military or civil service? Display your pride and hard work by wearing your designated uniform. It may not be the most comfortable to dance in after the fact, so consider bringing a change of clothes if you want to cut a rug late into the night.
While you can certainly ask fellow servicemen in your wedding party to wear their uniforms, you will still need to decide on attire for the non-serving in your party. Consider matching their suit to the color of yours, so the group looks unified.
The Accident-Prone Groom
Unless you already have a fitted tux in your closet, you’ll have to rent—and ultimately return—one for your wedding. This can be difficult if you’re accident prone, or tend to spill food and drink. Consider renting a tux for the ceremony and pre- or post-pictures, then change into jeans after the first dance. That way, you won’t risk any spills or stains on your rental.
6) Sport Coat
The Versatile Groom
Sport coats are a classic! You can pair them with almost anything else on this list—golf pants, khakis, and even jeans or sneakers. Because sport coats don’t typically match the pants, you can add or remove it easily for photos, dancing, or the ceremony. If you’re too warm, take it off. But if you’re getting chilly, put it back on! You can’t go wrong with this staple (that you probably already have at home!).
7) Linen Suit
The Sweaty Groom
Some of us sweat more than others—it’s just how life goes. Stay cool at your wedding and anticipate your perspiration, especially for summer celebrations or humid destinations. Linen suits are breathable tux alternatives, even under all their layers. They typically come in lighter colors, which complements your spring or summer wedding. You may even consider buying one outright, because their casual-yet-formal presentation is ideal for re-wearing as a wedding guest.
Tux alternatives are a simple way to feel comfortable on your special day. For most grooms, wearing a tuxedo isn’t a regular occurrence, and it can feel cumbersome and bulky. Have a chat with your mates, and choose an alternative that everyone will feel comfortable with—and that still fits in with the entire wedding’s theme.
Which of the tux alternatives sounds the most comfortable to you? What other options are you considering?