A Flamboyant Wedding

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beach-wedding-ceremony

A colleague of mine is going to a wedding this summer, on the beach, with the proscribed dress code of “flamboyant”.

Now, a dress code like that has the potential to condone all manner of horrors. From black tie with flip flops to Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts, linen suits with t-shirts to board shorts and knobbly knees. Doubtless the bride and groom realised this and were brave enough to give their friends and family free rein.

Also, the wedding is likely to be fairly formal so it needs to be flamboyant in a smart way. There is an unspoken assumption of dignity and propriety. So my colleague wanted suggestions on ways to make a suit, or odd jacket and trousers, flamboyant enough to fit in and retain personality.

To kick-off, here’s what I would wear if I were also invited (sniff sniff). A two-buttoned Etro suit I own in pale-grey Glenurquart check with green overcheck. A white French-cuffed shirt with colourful glass cufflinks; paisley silk handkerchief; and a tropical but not overstated boutonniere. On the feet, tan loafers without socks (easy to kick off for those dances in the sand, but equally appropriate to retiring to the veranda later for cigars and coffee).

I would instinctively go without a tie, but knowledge of the family itself would give more guidance here. If a tie was more appropriate, I would pick an unlined gold silk, probably pinned.

As with any invitation, the interpretation of the dress code does depend on some knowledge of the hosts. Given that, my colleague’s initial thoughts were: seersucker suit, white shirt, large boutonniere and plimsolls. Not far off my suggestion.

But he has since had a change of heart on the seersucker suit and decided to go with just trousers in that all-American material, with an odd jacket. So what odd jacket to wear? Well, given that the seersucker is in traditional blue and white, either blue or white would be fine. Perhaps in a heavy-weight linen, to look suitably crisp on top of the trousers. And probably blue, given that my colleague would like to get some use out of these items after the wedding (they are being made bespoke at the moment) and navy will have more lasting use that white.

I would also lean towards slip-ons or formal shoes with this outfit, rather than the plimsolls suggested earlier. Plimsolls or other slim-line trainers in a smart, clean colour can look great with a casual suit. But an odd jacket/trouser combination could use something to root it to the ground. Plus, it means my colleague can find a pair of very bright socks that match his flower. What fun.


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Simon Crompton is a journalist and a style enthusiast living in London, who blogs at permanentstyle.blogspot.com. He has too many suits.