Posted on Leave a comment

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.

DSCF4977

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.

DSCF4982

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.

DSCF4988.JPG

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.

DSCF4831.JPG

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.  

Posted on Leave a comment

What to wear to a Maltese wedding

Most foreigners’ first experience of a Maltese wedding is one of utter amazement. Never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined being a guest, at what often feels like a re-creation of a royal wedding. If the look on their face doesn’t give it away, their distinctively casual outfits are proof enough, of how unprepared they were for what was awaiting them. If only someone had told them before. That would have saved them the awkwardness and disapproving looks from the other guests.

You see, there is no such thing as a simple, relaxed Maltese wedding. Without the pomp, extravagance, and a dose of kitsch to make things more eclectic, it wouldn’t be worth the effort. Regardless of whether it’s a classical or a beach wedding, it’ll always be a grand affair for which, every guest is expected to make the effort to look their very best. So if you’re wondering what you should be wearing to your first Maltese wedding, here are some of the wardrobe pieces to definitely consider.

IMG_4597 copy.jpg

Suits

To a classical wedding, as most weddings tend to be, most men will opt for a suit. If the invitation doesn’t specify a dress code, assume this will be the case. Timeless colours, such as navy, grey, and black are the most popular choices with beige being a summer favourite; because even if a heatwave is on, you’re still expected to wear a suit.

IMG_4717 copy

Sport Coat

For a more intimate wedding, a slightly less conservative outfit but which is still elegant, makes a more appropriate choice. Here, consider a sport coat without elbow patches, as your alternative to a suit. Whilst one can never go wrong with classic colours, a fancy sport coat can make it easier to add a bolder colour or pattern to an outfit, without making too much of a style statement, as long as the other outfit pieces are in neutral tones.

IMG_2807

Waistcoat

Although not most men’s preferred choice, a waistcoat is ideal for a vintage-themed wedding, or when it’s just too warm. Being less formal than a jacket, make sure the waistcoat doesn’t have any patch pockets or fit too loosely. These, as well as a fabric texture that isn’t smooth, make a waistcoat look more casual than elegant. To keep your outfit looking dressy, opt for a waistcoat in the same colour as the trousers.

IMG_4613 copy

Accessories

It is the norm for men to wear a tie or bow tie, especially when wearing a suit. Bow ties are the preferred choice for men, whose style is less conservative. If opting for a waistcoat instead of a jacket, a tie or bow tie is highly recommended, as they compensate for the more casual look, that is the result of the absence of a jacket. However, for less formal summer weddings and if wearing a jacket, it is not uncommon for men to do away with the tie/bow tie. In that case, a pocket square and lapel pin will complete your outfit, adding a touch of sophistication, as well as personal style.

Final Word

Whilst there are no strict rules as to what to wear, and it is becoming more common to come across different outfit styles at weddings, there are nevertheless, lines that should never be crossed. That includes anything that results in an outfit looking too casual. T-shirts, shorts, jeans, and sports shoes are the kind of clothing you will never see worn at a Maltese wedding, for doing so, might cause offence. Remember, you are less likely to be overdressed than underdressed, because the latter is always frowned upon, so no one wants to take the risk.

Posted on Leave a comment

Three things to consider when buying a waistcoat

It’s been a while now since waistcoats made their way back into the good books of men’s fashion. In fact, you might already own a few. Or, you might like the look and be considering trying it out. If you’re thinking of getting a new waistcoat, here are three things you should consider above all else.

Length 

Traditionally, the waistcoat is intended to be worn long enough at the front to cover the waist thus, resulting in a continuous vertical line stretching from the ankle, all the way to the face. This not only draws the eye to the face but also has a visually slimming effect, especially when the waistcoat’s colour is identical or even close to the trousers’. 

A waistcoat that reaches above the trousers’ waistline will obviously leave that part of the shirt where it’s tucked in the trousers exposed. Depending on the intensity of the contrast between the colours of the shirt, waistcoat, and trousers, the focus is very likely to shift from the face to the waist – and result in a visually wider waist too. 

If the waistcoat happens to be too short, it’s best to combine it with a shirt in a very similar colour. If it’s long enough to reach considerably below the waist, it’s probably a size too big. 

Fit

Like suit-jackets and sport coats/blazers, finding a waistcoat that fits perfectly can be challenging. The perfect waistcoat isn’t merely one that’s wide enough for the front buttons to be fastened. A waistcoat should fit close to the body without being tight.

One sign of a waistcoat that’s too big for your size are gaping armholes. If that’s the case, you should either go for a smaller size or have the waistcoat taken in. On the other hand, if the front doesn’t lie flat along the chest but ‘pops’, then the size is too small.

Colour

How easily a waistcoat can be combined with other pieces depends a lot on its colour/s. Waistcoats are ideal for wearing as an extra layer to keep warm, especially when wearing a sport coat/blazer, which offers little warmth at the front. When worn this way, a waistcoat could also add texture and/or contrast to an outfit, depending on the look you’re after. However, a waistcoat can also be worn as a substitute to a jacket, such as in the warmer months, without minimising on elegance.

One in solid navy, charcoal, brown, or black will match most pieces in your wardrobe and will lend itself easily to a casual outfit, as much as a dressier one. These are the colours to start off with before going for more unusual colours and fancier designs, that might be more interesting that one in a neutral colour but will nonetheless, limit your options and are typically best worn as the focal piece of an outfit. 

Final word 

Now that you’ve got the length and fit right, as well as a colour that works well with the other pieces in your wardrobe, did you also know that there’s one cardinal rule to follow when wearing a waistcoat? Yes, there is one. Essentially, it concerns the last button, which just as in the case of a suit-jacket/blazer/sport coat, should never be worn fastened. Doing so will cause the waistcoat to balloon when you’re seated – and the sight of puffed fabric is never a flattering one.