There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as accidentally showing up at a party (and especially at a wedding party) underdressed or overdressed. But with so many options, it can sometimes get a little confusing.

MUST-SEE: The ultimate guide to dressing up

We ask Ede & Ravenscroft, London’s oldest tailors and experts in hand-crafted formal wear, to help clear things up a little and explain three common wedding dress codes. Whether you’re the groom, best man or wedding guest, follow these guidelines to make sure you are dressed appropriately for the occasion, so you can look and feel your best on this special day.

1. Morning dress

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Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Morning dress remains the accepted British dress code for weddings. This formal dress consists of a classic black tailcoat made from fine herringbone wool, worn with striped or houndstooth trousers and a contrasting single or double-breasted waistcoat.

If you’re wearing a double breasted waistcoat, the bottom button should remain undone, and should sit comfortably over the waistband, showing no signs of the shirt. Many grooms like to stand out by wearing a different coloured waistcoat to the rest of the wedding party.

A three piece grey morning suit, previously reserved for royalty, is an alternative option. Trousers should be worn slightly above the waistline and rest on top of the shoe showing a slight crease at the front, with the back of the trouser sitting just above the heel.

Shirts worn with morning dress should have a heavily starched collar. The choice of double or single cuff is personal, but the cuff should show no more than half an inch from the cuff of the suit or coat. Top hats in grey or black are optional, but should always be carried at weddings.

2. Black tie

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Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Black tie is becoming more common for weddings and will be indicated on the invitation. Traditional black tie consists of a black wool dinner jacket with a peak lapel, evening trousers and a white dress shirt fastened with a black bow tie.

When it comes to black or white tie footwear, keep it simple and elegant with a classic patent shoe like Ede & Ravenscroft’s Overton lace ups. 

 3. Wedding suits

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Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

For a city wedding, often a lounge suit is a great alternative to morning dress as it offers an extensive range of colour and fabric options. Jacket styles are a personal preference, with single-breasted two or three-button jackets the most popular choices.

Grooms may wish to have a little more fun with the styling, perhaps choosing a different lapel shape or pocket detailing for an individual touch. Colour-wise, navy blue, mid-grey and charcoal are the safest and most versatile colours, but don’t be afraid to play with shades depending on your personal taste, style and wedding theme.

The type of cloth is an important consideration too, with cotton and linen in lighter shades offering options for destination or summer weddings.  

Ede & Ravenscroft offers Bespoke and Personal Tailoring services to help you craft the perfect wedding outfit, as well as ready-to-wear collections online and in store.

This story originally appeared on HongKongTatler.com.

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Tags: Menswear, Weddings, Black Tie, Mens Fashion, Tailoring, Gentlemen's Tatler, Ede & Ravenscroft