Wedding season is in full swing and this weekend Bobby and I are flying down to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for destination nuptials that will surely classify as beach-chic. Several guy friends also attending this wedding have asked me what to wear.

The term beach formal is subject to a wide range of interpretation - which may cause confusion for many. And possibly anxiety since at weddings you're typically meeting many new people.

You want to make an impression when you strike up conversation with that uncle in your industry and perhaps that cute bridesmaid.

Most wedding invitations or personal wedding websites will give attire clues* on how one should dress for each wedding event. When considering what to wear, take a hint from the venue. Cocktails at a swank rooftop bar or BBQ and beer on a ranch? A dressier version of what comes to mind is generally on point. And typically the later in the evening, it's understood that the dress code be more formal – pre 4pm a bit more relaxed, post 4pm more buttoned up.

Beach formal could be Mexico in February or Cape Cod in July.

Not necessarily in the sand, but near the beach.

A light-color summer suit with a linen or cotton shirt, optional tie and casual slip-on loafers (no socks) will do the job. Or go with a light summer blazer over cotton shirt and linen or khaki pants.

Beach formal inspiration:

Do you know the difference between Black Tie and Formal? Read my translation of men's dress codes to get your next wedding look right.


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