What Should the Father of the Bride Wear?

How to find a wedding outfit for Dad.

The Father of the Bride’s role is a significant one. First, the Father of the Bride is typically the one debuting the bride during the walk down the aisle. Next, Dad plays host greeting guests and making a welcome speech at the wedding reception. Then, the spotlight is back on him and the bride for the classic father-daughter dance. It’s his special day too so it’s important that he looks and feels his best. So what should the Father of the Bride wear? We break it down to four simple steps for choosing attire for the Father of the Bride. (BTW, these tips apply to whomever you give the Father of the Bride responsibilities – stepfather, grandfather, uncle, brother, etc. – and Father of the Groom, too!)

1) Consider the wedding season and location.

The big day is a special – and busy – day for Dad and he’ll need a look that can keep up. The Father of the Bride should consider the season and location when choosing what to wear, and he should also consult with the bride and groom in advance to determine the wedding dress code. While suits are trending up and we’re seeing them at even more traditionally formal affairs, the rule of thumb is to follow the look of the wedding party unless the bride and groom are giving freedom to write your own rules.

A tuxedo is usually best for a formal affair (“Black Tie” or “Black Tie Optional”) any time of year. If the dress code is semi-formal (sometimes called “cocktail” or “party”), a tux is still appropriate for Dad, but a suit could be an option as well.  Even for a casual wedding, a suit is usually a good choice, unless the couple says otherwise. Dark colored tuxes and suits are best for weddings in cooler seasons, while lighter colors can work for warm-weather nuptials, especially if they are during the day. When in doubt, consult the bride!

2) Coordinate with the groomsmen.

The traditional answer to “what should the Father of the Bride wear?” Match Dad’s tux or suit with the groomsmen. You can’t go wrong having the Father of the Bride wear the same color tux or suit as the groomsmen, even if his style varies slightly. For instance, Dad may feel more comfortable in a classic fit versus slim fit. Be sure to include dad in any suiting discussions early on to make sure he feels comfortable (and to avoid any wedding day surprises).

3) Add personality with accessories.

Dad deserves to stand out from the crowd but he shouldn’t upstage the bride or groom. Accessories such as shirts, ties, vests or cummerbunds, and pocket squares, are a great way to let him personalize his look while still looking cohesive with the rest of the bridal party. Often the Father of the Bride will choose accessories in a color that coordinates with the Mother of the Bride’s outfit. The Father of the Bride may even consider a printed tie or pocket square that pulls in colors from the overall wedding color scheme. Cufflinks and tie pins or clips are another way to highlight the Father of the Bride or Groom in a subtle way; they’re also lovely gifts for Dads from the bride and groom.

4) Focus on fit.

The key to looking polished and pulled together in any wedding scenario starts with an ensemble tailored to your exact specifications. Before booking a rental or purchasing Father of the Bride attire, get measured to ensure a perfect fit. Once Dad has decided on his outfit, have him try it on at pick-up to allow time for any last-minute adjustments.

With these tips, you’re sure to find a look that that says “World’s Best Dad!” For more tips for the guys, check out our guide to groom and groomsmen attire.

Photo by @herenorth

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What Should the Father of the Bride Wear?