Rejoice, my friends, for wedding season is upon us! And that means it’s time to go shopping. But for all my Masculine of Center* comrades out there, now is also the time to start panicking. (*Masculine of Center is an inclusive term for queer/lesbian folks who fall on the masculine end of the spectrum, originally used by B. Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.) Are you afraid that tux rental going to make you look like you’re wearing your dad’s suit? Are you staying up at night, asking yourself whether the shirt you just bought is flattering or makes you look like you’re wearing pajamas?
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’ve rounded up some outfits and pieces of outfits to help you get through the next few months. Whether you’re standing at the altar, heading to your shower, or poppin’ bottles at your engagement party, one of the outfits below should work for you. As a bonus, I’ve thrown in a couple options if you’re not the one getting married, but are attending a wedding as a guest. (As a second bonus, here’s some tomboy flower girls that remind us clothing has no gender.)
Now listen up. Before we get started with some bomb clothes for you to look your best, there’s a rule we must all commit to memory and abide by: The tailor is your friend. Don’t dissuade yourself from buying the perfect pants that will make you look sharp AF because they’re forty miles too long (WHY CAN’T INSEAMS BE TWENTY-EIGHT INCHES ON THE REG???). Get that ish hemmed, get your shirts taken in, and DEFINITELY get your jacket sleeves shortened. Trust me. Your future self (and your future wedding album) will thank you.
Pro tip: As the name suggests, men’s shirts are tailored to fit men. And that means there isn’t appropriate room for bigger chests. But it doesn’t have to be this way! The women’s section can be a treasure trove for plain dress shirts that don’t look too girly. Check out the Stretch Perfect Shirt from J.Crew or the Riley-Fit Tailored Solid Shirt from Banana Republic, for example. If you’re set on a men’s shirt, though, and you don’t want to deal with the dreaded button-down shirt boob gap, you have options. I’ve found that wearing a binder, like these from gc2b, helps smooth things out and make my shirts fit better. It’s like Spanx for your chest. And they even come in a range of flesh tones, so it won’t show under a thin white shirt.
So without further ado, let’s get you dressed:
Masculine of center ENGAGEMENT PARTY
So you got engaged, CONGRATS, and you’re thinking, “Okay sweet, I just have to prepare for one BIG day, and that’s like, ten months away, so I can coast for a few weeks before I start my research.” WRONG! Getting married is about having eighty million parties celebrating you and your partner leading up to the actual day, where everyone also celebrates you and your partner. It’s literally a year of celebrating. And that starts with the engagement party.
Engagement Look 1
Get the party started with the Daily Grind Limited Edition from Bonobos. Together with a classic pair of chinos, like the Stone Twill Ultra Skinny Fit Dress Pants from Topman, and these dark blue loafers from H&M, you’ll be ready to kick of your wedding celebration year in style.
Engagement Look 2
Also check out these Black and White Check Ultra Skinny Fit Cropped Dress Pants from Topman with the Mode Merino V-Neck Jumper from AllSaints. This look says that you’re business up top, but you’re all party down below.
MASCULINE OF CENTER WEdding SHOWER TIME
If you thought that showers were for “girls,” you’re mistaken, my friend. More and more couples are doing joint showers, and that means you need to look fly for a daytime event. But don’t sweat it. You can have some fun here, too.
Shower Look 1
You can’t go wrong with a classic polo, like this Fred Perry Slim Fit Twin Tipped Polo Shirt from ASOS. A short-sleeve button up, like the Daisy Button Up from Wildfang, will also do the trick. Pair either the polo or the button-up with the Archie Pant, also from Wildfang.
SHOWER LOOK 2
I’m currently drooling over the WD-NY Black Pink and Green Floral Blazer from Target. Throw this together with some white shorts and t-shirt, like the ASOS Slim Chino Shorts and the Comme des Garçons Play Crewneck T-shirt, and these Sperry Gold Cup boat shoes from Nordstrom, and you’ll be all set to open those gifts and drink those mimosas.
MASCULINE OF CENTER WEDDING ATTIRE
If you’re old enough to get married, you’re old enough to own at least one good suit. (If you have the budget, two good suits is even more ideal—one for fall/winter and one for spring/summer. But I’ll save that for another post.) And since this is probably one of the most important days of your life, it’s okay to splurge a little. I’ve rounded up two looks for you, but there’s also plenty of Masculine of Center wedding inspiration in our archives (like this one, this one, or even this gem.)
Wedding look 1
You can’t go wrong with a light wool suit, like this slim navy number from ASOS. You can skip the vest and get the pants hemmed a little shorter for a cropped look if you want it to feel more modern. If you want to stick with traditional, go with dark gray or black, like the Davis blazer and Ansari pants combo from Wildfang. Go with a black shirt to keep it svelte—like this amazing Annapolis Black Tomboy shirt from Haute Butch—or add some color for a lighter flare. And if you want to keep it classic, this white sateen shirt from ASOS will make you feel like James Bond.
wedding look 2
But hey, this is your wedding. You do you. It’s okay for you to get a little crazy. If you’re a summer wedding kind of couple, this Heart & Dagger blazer from ASOS paired with shorts is A+ (get the pants, too, so it’s like two suits in one!). This ASOS Slim Sateen Shirt with Wing Collar And Contrast Buttons is a perfect way to round out the look. The collar dresses it up a little more, especially if you go with shorts.
wedding Shirts & Accessories
And, if you want to get crazy but not TOO crazy, you can always wear a patterned shirt like the Speckle button up from Wild Fang, add a pocket square for a hint of color (check out the Perfect Pocket Square from Nordstrom), or go with a fun tie, like this Navy Floral Print Tie from Topman.
Accessories don’t have to be limited to ties and pocket squares. The DesignB London Stag Lapel Pin In Rose Gold from ASOS will definitely be a conversation starter. Complement your look with an elegant timepiece, like this Nixon The Sentry Watch from Nordstrom.
Don’t cheap out on the shoes, either. The last thing you need on your wedding day is a blister to ruin your honeymoon. The Downtown Dappers from Tomboy Toes will round out your outfit without breaking the bank. And they have sizes as small as 34, for those tinier feet.
MASCULINE OF CENTER GUEST ATTIRE
As a guest, your main job is to show up and have fun supporting your friends, while looking fly and feeling your best. And you don’t have to drop a ton of benjamins to do that.
Guest look 1
A daytime wedding calls for lighter fabrics. This linen blazer and pants combo from H&M can be paired with a slim black tie and white shirt, or shirt with no tie, if you’re feeling more casual. And for a subtle way to introduce some color, how cool are these red skull socks from Stance?
GUest look 2
If you get invited to a black tie event, don’t panic—and don’t think that your only option is to rent a tux. You can find some great options for less than $300, like this Noose & Monkey Super Skinny Tux in Pink from ASOS. Add a white or black shirt, no socks, black shoes—like these Black Patent Tassel Loafers from Topman—and you’ll be good to go. Who says only femmes wear pink? (I love this look for getting married in, too.)
So now you have some great outfit ideas in your arsenal to make sure you look hot as hell when you show up for the party, whether it’s for you or someone you love. Don’t forget sweet details like monogramed pocket squares, cool lapel pins, or adding custom embroidery inside your suit. Also keep in mind that your suit doesn’t have to be put out to pasture once the celebrations are over. Refresh your digs with a new shirt or socks, and you’ll look as good as new the next fancy event you’re invited to.
What do you or your masculine of center partner plan to wear for weddings or other events? Show us your pics in the comments!