Sedate, understated attire for an evening wedding and reception.
Here's how it's done for male wedding guests. . . or should be but, sadly, is not always these days. It took very little time to assemble the ensemble pictured. The most time necessary was about 20 minutes yesterday afternoon, to iron the shirt, which has French cuffs. These require a bit more time to press , fold, and crease into place, so that they look right once you are dressed and cufflinks are added. Note, cufflinks and the metal fittings on your wristwatch should match. Gold with gold, or silver with silver. Don't mix the two if you can avoid it.
Otherwise, little time or thought was necessary before I dressed late in the afternoon yesterday. It was simply a matter of opening the ol' wardrobe, selecting the suit (heavy wool flannel -- every bit as comfortable as pajamas), a silk Glen Plaid necktie, black shoes, and dark to-the-knee dress socks. Took about three minutes, once again dispelling the common misconception that dressing presentably takes lots of time. It took only another ten minutes, perhaps less, after a quick shower and shave to get dressed. I was all ready to go in about half an hour.
You'll notice that everything is subtle, staid, understated, and reserved -- take your pick of adjectives -- as it should be for more formal occasions like weddings. After all, the bride and groom are the ones who should attract all attention on the big day, or evening as was the case yesterday. My only concession to eye-catching craziness had to do with the socks which are navy with red stripes. But no one saw these, and I certainly did not mention them.
Before anyone else asks about how appropriate the suit above was or was not, according to EmilyPost.com, a male wedding guest cannot go wrong with a dark gray suit, conservative dress shoes, conservative shirt, and a traditional conservative necktie combination when attending a wedding and associated reception. No specific mention made of stripes. . . pin, chalk, rope, or otherwise. In our now exceedingly informal world, where a lot of men might have one suit hanging in their closets, maybe, a three-piece suit with muted stripes is not something you see everyday. It's far more likely that you'll see men in two-piece numbers either in black, charcoal, or, once in a while, navy. When they wear suits at all.
That said, no one turned to gawk when we entered the restaurant where the reception was held, my suit did not seem to distract attention from the bridal pair, and I even received a few quiet compliments later during the evening from women and men alike. Not something I seek, of course, but it's always nice to hear a few kind words as a parenthetic aside during the general conversation. So, when the next cold weather wedding invitation comes around, I'll once more don this particular combination of items and go forth with great aplomb.