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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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Mastering the short trousers trend

Short trousers, that not only expose the ankle but also a big part of the shin have become a favourite with those Maltese men, who want to look on trend. Although we’re definitely a fan of the look, admittedly, it’s a hard one to pull off, especially if you’re short, stocky, or both.  Yet, you needn’t roll down the turn-ups just yet. Here’s how to wear short trousers regardless of your height or size.

The secret to mastering a look is to first understand its impact on your silhouette. Does it affect how tall or short you look? Does it emphasise certain parts or features of your body? Our legs appear longer or shorter, depending on the length and width of the trousers worn. This in turn affects how tall or short we look, as well as how slim or wide.

A shorter trouser leg will inevitably make one’s legs appear shorter, which on a taller man can help to minimise the difference in size between the upper and lower body halves, effectively rendering the silhouette more balanced.

However, shorter men cannot afford to have their legs appear shorter, which is why the short trousers look often ends up looking far from flattering. Here, the aim should be to counter the effect of visually shorter legs and consequently, appearing shorter. Limiting your choice of short trousers to those that reach not higher than just above the ankle is a good starting point.

Second, you want to avoid tops and bottoms in contrasting colours as these will visually divide your silhouette into two small halves, when what you need is one long silhouette. For this, nothing beats monochrome outfits but similar colours can also work well while also rendering an outfit more interesting.

Your choice of shoes can also affect how short or tall your legs appear. For best results, opt for shoes in a neutral tone – nothing too bulky nor too fancy. Ultimately, you want to keep the focus on your upper body, namely your face.

Another undesired consequence of shorter trousers is that they emphasise width, making legs appear wider. This is actually a good thing for men with skinny or slender legs but not so flattering on those with muscular or chunky legs. A skinny fit is a ‘no-go’ here but neither is a loose fit. The best option are slim fit trousers which leave enough room not to be too revealing of size and shape but not wide enough to further cut off from the needed visual height.

Final note

Trends can help a man keep his look fresh and stylish but need to be adapted to one’s physique rather than simply copied. With short trousers, the trick is to minimise the reduction in visual height and avoid one’s legs from appearing too stocky.

 

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Coordinating socks with shoes and trousers

Little thought tends to go into the choice of colour of one’s socks. Black socks with black shoes and brown ones with brown shoes, with a white pair to wear with sports shoes. Fairly simple, until you come across a pair of multi-toned shoes that you’d love to have, or one in an unusual colour. How do you coordinate the right pair of socks with it? Do black or brown socks go with any shoe colour?

Generally, the colour of one’s socks should be identical or very close to that of one’s trousers, rather than the shoes’. This avoids stopping the eye at the trouser-leg bottom, as opposed to the floor, where it should stop.

However, what if the trousers themselves are in an unusual colour? Would you wear mint socks with mint trousers? It might be a question of personal style but the combination looks a bit too coordinated. On the other hand, black or brown socks will contrast too much whilst also looking too wintry in comparison to the trousers.

Instead of socks that match your trousers, or the usual black/brown, go for colourful socks instead. Opt for a pair that includes a colour that’s identical or similar to the trousers’ and which ideally, also tie in with one of the colours in the shoes. If the trousers are bright, balance the intensity of the colour with socks in a mainly neutral palette or one that’s muted. Think of the socks as the link that leads to a gradual transition from trousers to shoes.

When wearing shorts, as one mostly does in summer, rather than focusing on the shorts’ colour, one’s socks (short socks, of course) should mainly tie in with the shoes’ colour scheme. On a pair of canvas lace-ups, rather than opting for white or black socks, go for a pair that’s contains a colour similar to that of the shoes. You probably wouldn’t want to coordinate your shoes with socks in a solid colour (unless the shoes are colourful or contain a pattern). When both socks and shoes are in a very similar colour, the combination will visually alter the shape of the shoe. By opting for colourful socks (not necessarily bright colours), it’ll be easier to distinguish socks from shoes.

Of course, there is always the option of no-show socks. This will make coordinating trousers/shorts and shoes much easier. However, socks can also serve as the style-piece that makes an outfit more interesting and reflective of personal style.

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Combining coloured trousers with other colours

For so long, men’s trousers were only available in neutral colours with at most, a subtle pattern that distinguishes a trendy pair from a classical one. Nowadays, men have a much wider range of colours to choose from, some bright, some muted. However, neutral colours remain by far most men’s preferred choice, mainly because of the ease with which they can be combined with other colours. Trousers in non-traditional colours, such as red, yellow, green, and turquoise pose too much of a conundrum for those unsure of their colour-combination skills. Yet, such colours are actually very simple to combine. Here’s how.

Neutral colours

Combining neutral colours with your brighter trousers is always your safest bet. Going for another strong colour is almost certain to result in a clash of colour, that will make the outfit look disjointed. In case you’re not too sure if beige, grey, or navy will work well just go for white. That’s one colour that definitely blends well with any other. You needn’t stick to solid colours though. As long as the background is in a neutral colour, a patterned top will work just as well, especially if the pattern includes a hint of the trousers’ colour. It gives continuity to the outfit, without making it look too coordinated. This also applies to accessories e.g. pocket squares.

Contrast 

The monochrome look does not work well with trousers in brighter colours. They need tops in a lighter/darker colour to tone down the intensity of the colour. This is why neutral colours work so well with such trousers, as they keep the outfit looking balanced. However, other colours can also be combined, as long as there is some contrast between the lower and upper halves of the outfit.

Below are some colour options that I find work well with trousers in non-traditional colours. They are not the only combinations that work but are merely intended to illustrate the points above and help you get started. 

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The rolled up trousers guide for short men

Trouser cut

Rolled up trousers work best on slimmer cuts, such as bootleg or slim fit but not skinny cuts, which would give a very feminine look. The trouser cut should follow the natural width of the legs, visually creating the illusion of one continuous line all along the length of the leg including the covered and exposed parts. On a wider cut, the rolled up end will result in too strong a contrast between the width of the trousers and that of the exposed leg thus, drawing the eye only towards the (shortened) length of the trousers. Low waisted cuts will also visually shorten the legs as they give the illusion that the legs start from the trousers’ waistline.

Bulk 

Pin rolls shouldn’t look too chunky, which is usually the result of too many folded layers or very thick fabric. Whilst turn-ups can give an extra dose of style to an outfit, being located too far down, they should never be the centre-piece. People should be focusing on your face, not your legs/feet. Therefore, trousers should never be too long as this will inevitably lead to more layers to fold.

Trouser length 

How long you wear your trousers will also have a visual effect on your height. Rolled up trousersusually reach just above the ankle or slightly lower. However, men’s trouser lengths are getting shorter meaning your trousers can even be worn up to mid to lower shin, especially if complemented with a pair of boots in the same colour as the trousers and socks, allowing for the legs to look longer.

 Colour combinations

 In fact, for short men to carry off pin rolls, the focus shouldn’t be limited to the trousers themselves but also to how the other pieces affect one’s silhouette. Monochrome is considered perfect for looking taller as it avoids that break-up of the silhouette into a top and bottom half. Therefore, it should make turn-ups safer.

However, monochrome can be a bit boring, not to say restrictive, especially given the limited range of colours that most men would feel comfortable wearing from head to toe. Hence, it’s OK to opt for varying yet, similar colours – a tonal look. You still don’t want too much of a strong contrast and always keep lighter tones on top as the other way round makes the top appear heavier. 

I would also suggest to keep the belt minimal in a way that it blends in with the trousers’ colour, making it hardly noticeable. This prevents it from creating too strong a horizontal line that breaks the silhouette. 

Top layers 

In addition to combining colours wisely, how your top layers fit, as well as their length also affects how short/tall you appear. Stick to shirts, tops, and/or jackets in your size which in combination with the trousers’ cut will keep your silhouette balanced (size-wise), as opposed to top-heavy. Just as you can make your legs appear longer by avoiding low-waist cuts, by keeping your tops to just below the waist, you keep more of your lower half exposed.

Rolled-up trousers and shoes combinations

Rolled-up trousers must be worn with the right shoes and my idea of the right shoes are those which keep your feet looking narrow but not necessarily longer. You want shoes that keep your feet looking proportional to the rest of your body whilst visually elongating the legs. Bulky shoes do the exact opposite. Moccasins, loafers, sandals with vertical straps, chukka and Chelsea boots, as well as Converse all look great with pin rolls even on short guys. Just as you’d avoid too much contrast between your trousers and tops, combine colours that give your lower half a flowing look. This can be achieved by opting for similar trouser and shoe colours, or which at least blend effortlessly with one another.

Final word 

I know how fashion trends seem to be set with only tall men in mind and how disappointing it can be when the end-result is not what you hoped for. With these tips, I’m hoping you’ll be able to keep looking great and confident when wearing turn-ups. Just remember that the trick is to compensate by keeping the eye drawn vertically, thus creating the illusion of height.