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What to wear to a beach wedding

We are accustomed to weddings being a very formal affair. Yet, the beach is all about relaxing and having fun. So how do you put together an outfit that’s appropriately elegant for a wedding but not too dressed-up for the beach? Here are some key pieces to consider and what to wear them with.

Sport Coat

A sport coat makes an excellent choice for those events, where a suit is considered too formal. It’s a great piece to wear when you want to emphasise elegance without looking stiff or corporate. An unstructured sport coat (without padding and which doesn’t fit rigidly) will soften your look, maintaining its elegance but at the same time, giving a more laid-back appearance. For maximum comfort, opt for a sport coat that is either completely or at least partially unlined, as often, the lining traps heat.

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Since a tie is not an option to consider here, opt for a light fabric shirt with a Mandarin collar, or even one that’s collarless. It will produce a neater look, as well as one that’s clearly in tune with the seaside ambiance.

Waistcoat

If it’s too hot for a sport coat, an elegant waistcoat makes a great substitute. It’s not as dressy, so you want to dress it up a little so as not to end up looking too casual.

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Start by opting for a waistcoat in a classic colour, such as beige or blue. Wear it with a light-coloured semi-formal shirt (traditional  stiff collar) and elegant trousers. Anything that’s too bright or fancy might tilt the balance towards the ‘casual’, so consider this when coordinating colours.

Trousers

Shorts and jeans are too casual, even for the most relaxed of beach weddings. Sometimes, even chinos might look too dress-down for the occasion. Ideally, opt for trousers with slanting pockets, which give a more elegant touch than e.g. round pockets,  which are typically used for jeans and very casual trousers.

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For that typical beachside look, consider rolling up your trouser-legs to ankle-level or slightly higher (if you’re on the tall side). However, this works best with slim-fitting trousers.

Shoes

Being the beach, you don’t want anything that’s too polished. Not only will they most likely look out-of-place, they will also end up making a rather uncomfortable choice.

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Consider a pair of moccasins instead. Not only are they super comfortable and elegant, they are also highly versatile. They look great with dressier outfits whilst also complementing casual outfits by taking them up a notch or two on the ‘elegance scale’.

Final word

The key to putting together a great outfit for a beach wedding is to aim for the right balance between elegance and laid-back. Of course some weddings might be more formal or relaxed than others but generally, your outfit should look elegant, light, and comfortable.  

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