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Should I Wear A 3 Piece Suit To A Wedding? [Even As A Guest?]

If you have an upcoming wedding, then you may be wondering what you can wear. More specifically, you may have your eye on a three-piece suit. But is this appropriate and is this something that is common and the accepted thing to do? I spent some time researching and will be sharing all that I could find here today.

So, should I wear a 3-piece suit to a wedding? You can wear a 3-piece suit to a wedding, even if you are a guest. In fact, a 3-piece suit is generally a good idea as they are smarter than a standard, 2-piece suit and are still relatively subtle. Equally, they are very functional; offering you the ability to remove the jacket during the wedding reception and being much more comfortable when dancing or conversing with other guests.

Traditionally, the groom and the groomsmen wear a 3-piece suit. Its only natural to therefore questions whether as a guest it is appropriate attire.

However, it is generally accepted that a 3 piece suit is entirely fine; so long as it is not overly flamboyant and extravagant.

You certainly do not want to steal the groom’s thunder; that is just highly inappropriate and not likely to go down well.

Let us now take a closer look at some of the similarly related questions you may have regarding this type of suit. We also look at how you could wear one and some other factors to consider, such as accessories like belts.

So, be sure to keep on reading if you have a wedding coming up and you want to look your best; dress to impress!

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Is A 3 Piece Suit Too Formal?

While they are certainly smart and give off an element of sophistication, 3 piece suits are not considered too formal for most events. This includes a wedding.

Although, this is unlikely to be the case when worn to the office, a job interview or even a restaurant. In those contexts, it will likely be too formal.

That being said, 3-piece suits are actually quite functional and adaptable.

Besides, you can always remove the jacket and still look smart.

One thing to consider however is the colors. You can certainly wear different colors, and even wear a different colored waistcoat with the suit, but you do need to coordinate appropriately.

Equally, different color 3-piece suits are better for different occasions.

Grey and light blues tend to work best for weddings, whereas darker and even black colors are usually better suited to environments like the office.

With all this being said, there will be times when a 3 piece suit is too formal. Even at weddings.

Perhaps the most obvious example would be at a beach wedding.

Normally, beach weddings have a very laid-back and casual attire; such as chinos or shorts with light summer shirts.

In this context, you would surely look out of place, besides you’d get very hot very quickly!

Another example may be at some barn weddings or those with a more bohemian theme.

At the end of the day, whether or not the 3 piece suit is too formal will depend on context. But generally, you should be okay.

How Do You Wear A 3 Piece Suit To A Wedding?

If you decide to go ahead and wear a 3 piece suit to a wedding, you may be wondering how to pull it off.

Well, there are some general recommendations that you can follow to ensure you fit in and stand out for the right reasons simultaneously.

We’ve previously touched on colors; but what you decide to opt for will depend mostly on the type of wedding, the theme, and the venue.

Subtle colors tend to work best, a cream, light grey, or light blue are commonly worn.

From there, you need to think about your accessories.

Pocket squares and cufflinks are a great addition; especially when paired in similar or complementary colors to the suit.

Then it’s onto your shoes. Whether it’s smart black brogues or more casual brown leather loafers – you have plenty of options here.

Now onto your shirt, which you want to contrast with your suit.

Keep it simple and try not to overcomplicate it.

That means for a 3-piece grey suit, a light blue shirt would be a good option.

For a black 3-piece suit, you cannot go wrong with a white shirt.

Do You Wear A Belt With A 3 Piece Suit?

It comes generally advised not to wear a belt with a 3-piece suit.

This is because it can cause the waistcoat to bunch up and sabotage the appropriate look of your attire.

Equally, belts are generally quite bulky and will likely produce a bulge around your midsection. Not the look you want to achieve.

So, it comes strongly advised that you forgo the belt, and instead invest in a pair of trousers that fit you appropriately.

This may mean buying a new pair, getting a bespoke pair of trousers made for your own suit, or may even mean alterations given their condition and if it will be possible.

Tips For Wearing A 3 Piece Suit To A Wedding

Let us now look at some of the best tips that will help you to look your best while wearing this timeless piece:

Wear A Single-Breasted Jacket

It comes advised to wear a single-breasted jacket. Generally, it’s very challenging to pull off a double-breasted jacket with a vest.

This is because if you did opt for the double button; your vest will mostly be covered up which goes against the purpose of the outfit altogether.

There may of course be some jackets that work, or where a tailor can make some adjustments on your behalf, but it typically does not work as well.

Wear A Tie

You can certainly wear a 3 piece suit without a tie, but this outfit looks particularly well with one.

In fact, they just do not look the same when they are not worn and you lose a lot of the style they can bring.

Just ensure you color coordinate your suit, tie and shoes appropriately.

Forgo The Patterned or Striped Shirts

The design of a 3 piece suit is all about bringing attention to the vest; along with the cut and style of the suit itself.

Therefore, if you opt for an outlandish shirt – with stripes, patterns, or any other major detail, the focus is simply lost.

Stick to something a lot more subtle; it works a lot better.

Ensure Your Vest Covers Your Waist

Nothing looks as bad as a large gap between the bottom of the vest and the top of the trousers.

It just looks as if it was not tailored properly or that it’s not a suit that fits.

Instead, ensure the vest is long enough to fully cover your waist.

If you speak with a tailor they will be able to ensure that everything fits as intended.

Last Button Undone

Leaving the last button undone actually has quite a big impact.

For starters, it looks a lot more stylish, but it also gives you some extra leeway when it comes to sitting, moving around, and being comfortable throughout the day.

Vest, Jacket, Trouser Combinations

Your vest does not necessarily need to match the rest of your suit.

Normally, they are usually the same; both in terms of color and fabric.

Although, you can decide to mix it up and change the colors somewhat.

Just ensure they seamlessly integrate together or otherwise you will stand out for all the wrong reasons!


3 piece suits are a classic look; being a fantastic choice of attire for a wedding.

Even as a guest, you can look to wear this highly functional piece that enables you to look at your best while having the flexibility to take your jacket off during the wedding reception and when the celebrations really kick-off.

If you are seriously considering this attire, let me leave you with one final consideration.

The fit.

If you do opt for a 3 piece suit, it simply has to fit.

Otherwise, you can get a lot of unwanted attention for all the wrong reasons. Eyes are naturally drawn to the vest and the midsection with this suit, so you want to ensure that the buttons sit right, the shoulders are not too tight, etc.

The truth is, if the fit is off, people will notice.

That being said, the 3-piece suit is an excellent choice for a wedding when tailored properly, when appropriate colors are chosen and when they are aligned with the theme.

You’ll look smart and sophisticated, without looking overdressed.

Besides, if it is winter or a colder month, you’ll like to stay warmer too!

Looking to buy a 3 Piece Suit? Check out my recommended supplier for great styles and prices.