Now the summer is at its full height, you may find that weddings are appearing in many of your weekends. These happy occasions are a wonderful place to reconnect with loved ones, meet new people and to let your hair down. They can also be a great place to put on a stylish suit and show off what a well-dressed guest you can be.
This does not, however, come without a certain pressure. As a man, more muted attire is encouraged, even specified, and it can be hard to find space to express yourself within the format. While strict guidelines are rarely enforced, it’s difficult to argue that there isn’t an expectation to conform.
The good news though, is although you'll most likely be sticking to a muted or plain coloured suit, this means you can make up for this through accessorising. Buying a silk cravat or pocket square to complete your outfit will allow you freedom to experiment with design and colour, and as a result will make your attire more unique and visually appealing.
With these in mind, we’d like to give you a guide to finding ways and means to express a sense of style, without being the wacky friend no one wants to get sat next to. Let us guide you through the shark-infested waters of wedding styling, and let us reassure you - it really isn’t that scary!
Colour is Your Friend
Wearing our Kiyoshi printed silk cravat.
As we suggested, wedding outfits for men tend to lean towards the formal; suited and booted, in dark colours, and simply a face in the crowd. But it doesn’t have to be so! In an environment where colours tend to be darker and more serious, a little bit of colour does a lot of work, and details matter. A cravat or tie in a strong contrasting colour can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the herd, even demonstrating that you’ve put some thought into your outfit. Little touches like this are always appreciated.
Wearing our Dionysus printed silk cravat.
Think about the detailing in your suit - is it a light suit with a dark stitch? Is it a dark pinstripe with lighter overtones? Try using your accessories to pick out some colours in your suit’s palette, especially if they have the added bonus of working with your skin tone. Whatever you pick will simply leap out against the rest of your attire, so pick your colours carefully, and importantly pick something you like. If you want to wear something, and feel comfortable in it, that will likely translate to an easier bearing, and more fun to be had.
If you’re feeling bold, we encourage you to go for it. Even the brightest colours can look subtle and harmonious if chosen correctly. Likewise, even a muted accessory can look spectacular with the right outfit. Colour is your huge advantage here, so be prepared to wield it.
Wearing our Lane printed silk cravat.
Remembering what season it is, and what the weather conditions are likely to be, are important details. Both in terms of style and of practicality, taking account of the season is a great idea. For example, if you’re at a warm summer wedding, it’s better to pick a soft and lightweight printed cravat, which will be easier on your skin and more comfortable in the heat. It would also be the place to call on brighter, lighter colours and more playful prints, in a nod to the sunnier weather.
By the same logic, a heavyweight woven cravat would be more suitable for a winter wedding or for one in colder climes, where stronger and darker colours and more serious patterns might be appropriate. Of course these are not hard-and-fast rules, more guidelines, but if you want a failsafe, these are good suggestions to remember.
Woven Silks for Formality
A woven cravat is perhaps the grown-up option in our collection. Powerful, dignified and with some serious presence, you can consider a woven cravat the dignified gentleman to the printed cravat’s young gun. We’re not, of course, suggesting that woven cravat can’t look spectacular on a younger man; they can and do. It’s more that a woven cravat is more reserved and serious, and has a slightly different effect from a light and playful printed ascot.
A woven cravat is perfect for a draughty church or a drizzly photo session, keeping you warm and comfortable as well as stylish. However, it may not be the ideal thing for a sunny summer wedding, or a lively reception where dancing is obligatory.
Printed Silks for Style & Comfort
Our printed silk cravats are a great place to start if you are looking for something adventurous. If you like brighter styles and want to make your fashion sense a talking point, the vibrant designs here will give you plenty of scope to express yourself.
A MIZUCHI cravat, with its Japanese dragons in vibrant blues, greens and clarets, is a great statement piece, also giving a surprisingly subtle effect when paired with lighter coloured suits and shirts. A CARLITO ascot tie, with its inventive black-and-magenta twist on a classic paisley, is a great way to add much-needed contrast to a heavy wedding suit. If however, all these bright shades just aren’t your thing, a ZHIXIN cravat, with its subtle far eastern design and gorgeous indigo denim colourway, makes for a beautiful marriage with a simple white shirt.
Again, printed silk cravats are super lightweight and feel luxuriously soft next to your skin, so are perfect for events where warm temperatures are expected. Paired correctly, they can look every bit as formal as a woven cravat, and yet can also be used with a lighter hand for a more youthful finish.
Versatile Polka Dots
Even with the adventurous spirit you possess, sometimes it’s prudent to have a classic to rely on. If you want something that looks smart, elevates an outfit and goes with anything, you need some polka dots. A polka dot cravat goes well with everything from a three-piece suit to a biker jacket, and even the tiniest pop of colour can work wonders with your outfits.
We’re great believers in polka dots, and as such we offer them in both printed and woven form. A woven EMERSON cravat in jet black and powder blue can be serious or playful, depending how you pair it, looking spectacular with a light suit or a dark one.
Our printed polka-dot cravats are made labour-intensively, all screen-printed by hand in small batches, giving a beautiful bespoke finish. For example, mint green over smoke grey, as in our NAZARIO, makes subtle shades into more than the sum of their parts, whereas our FELIX embodies a classic look, with white polka dots over pure black. If you want to play with colour, and would like a celebrity endorsement, our aptly named WATSON cravat gives you vibrant white over Highland Green, favoured by the actor Martin Freeman.
In short, a polka dot can be formal or playful, depending on the styling of the rest of your outfit. Their versatility makes them perfect for almost any occasion, and always among our bestsellers. If you need a subtle touch and a bit of elegance, then a polka dot cravat might be the perfect item.
Pocket Squares for the Final Flourish
A pocket square, or handkerchief, is perhaps the best way to add a touch of individuality to a formal suit. Even on occasions where the emphasis is on blending into the crowd, a pocket square gives you that little bit of extra real estate to play around with. There is no need to be too subtle here; a little colour on even the darkest outfit is welcome, and the natural size and positioning of a pocket square means you are more than justified in adding a subtle bit of visual interest here.
If paisley is your poison, an AKASHA pocket square in powder blue and caramel makes for a great choice, whereas a navy blue FLORENT with its floral pattern can provide a beautiful and delicate accent to a heavy outfit. A HUDSON woven cravat makes a subtle addition with its black, blue and yellow knotted design, as does the CASSIAN with its beautiful burgundy hues.
If you want something to really stand out, our stunning multiway pocket squares are true statement pieces, giving you something to really wow the crowd. What’s more, they can be worn in a number of different ways, so you can emphasise different parts of the design, different colours, or wear them in a different style for a different effect. Simply put, these versatile and beautiful pieces can be the centre point of your outfit. Try our spectacular ARANAMI design, with its hand-drawn Japanese dragon and wave motif, or the KISSHO, with glorious deep red hues and a calming koi carp design. We think these pieces are the ultimate way to express your personal style in the context.
While a wedding can seem like a serious and formal occasion, remember that they are first and foremost celebrations. You should be able to feel like yourself and to be able to enjoy the event, whatever the expectations are on you. Even with a standard-issue suit, a cravat or pocket square are wonderful ways to express yourself and to have fun with your outfit. Keep an eye on colour palettes, dress with confidence and don’t be afraid to be bold. A high-quality silk accessory is a must-have for a stylish gentleman, giving you many different ways to achieve the perfect formal finish.