Theodore Asks -

Thanks for the help with the arch in the tie. My friend is getting married in August, and I wanted to know if a red pocket square would look good with a black suit and polka dot tie, matched with a gingham black and white shirt? Thank you for responding.

IG -

Thanks for asking. We've spoken of weddings before. Some grooms look better than others.  In my opinion this combination is far too aggressive for a summer wedding. The colors and patterns are not only hot (black) but much too jarring for a celebration of this sort.

Also, guests should in no way take away any shine from the groom. The color red is the color of passion and fire. It will stand out and not necessarily in a good way for this environment.  The gingham check is an inherently casual pattern and is less than formal enough for a wedding unless its on a beach or island or in the country.

The polka dot tie again is too casual and will draw unneeded attention. I'm normally a fan of polka dot ties and its actually a good way to go against a checked shirt. However, depending on the scale of the checks and dots you could end up looking like an explosion which again is contrary to the idea of respecting the bride and groom. You didn't mention your shoes so I won't be able to comment on those.

Here are my recommendations. This is the simplest and most respectful way to dress as a guest for a wedding. Start with this as a base and build from there.  These combinations will allow you to easily mix and match without feeling too stuffy, too relaxed or too loud in terms of color and pattern.  Hope this helps.

Suit - Solid, tonal stripe or bird's eye navy or gray wool, mohair or cotton depending on the location and time. If it is a day wedding go cotton. If an evening wedding go wool.

Shirt - Broadcloth or poplin solid or tonal striped white, light blue, lavender,  or pale pink. Barrel cuff for day. French cuff for evening.

Tie - Solid navy, black or silver. Standard silk, silk knit, or grenadine. If day wedding you can wear polka dots but keep them smaller, actually closer to pin dots. If an evening wedding go silk knit or grenadine.

Pocket Square - Your pocket square should be in a contrasting fabric to your tie. For day a solid or jacquard in white or blue in linen, cotton or a mix.  For evening go silk in cream or dark navy. If the tie is solid wear a patterned pocket square and vice versa.

Shoes - Solid brown or black plain toe, or cap toe. Lace ups or loafers.  Brown cap toes or loafers for day. Black plain toes or slip-ons for evening.