readers of this site may remember a time, some years ago, when the travelogue of a journey by myself and J.Miles “out to the Midwest for the wedding of a colleague who’d moved out there to go to school and then, apparently, get married.” although, since by readers, i usually mean “J.Miles,” i should probably just say “hey, J.Miles, remember the time we took that trip to Ohio? i am going to reference that now.”
there was also a lot of talk about mysterious graffiti during that trip
but i digress. the main point of today’s discussion involves my attire at said wedding. you see, upon arriving in Ohio, i realized that i had a) forgotten my tie and b) was no longer conveniently located near my collection of black ties at home. now, i took this very casually: i declared it was no big deal, as i still had my suit and all the rest, and that since i wasn’t IN the wedding, i could attend it without a tie. J.Miles vehemently disagreed, declaring something along the lines of how trashy it would be of me to attend a wedding without a tie, and insisted i buy one. i demurred, given that i already own too many ties (i mean, how many solid black ties does a man need); he again repeated the point. and since he’s a lot larger than me, i bought a tie.
so we go to the wedding, i’m wearing the tie, whatever. and after the ceremony, while we’re waiting for the wedding party to form up and leave, we see this other guy, who’s wearing (i guess) a sport coat and dress pants… without a tie on… and with his shirt open to roughly his navel and a massive burst of chest hair shocking our senses. and J.Miles taps me on the shoulder and says “that’s why you wear a fucking tie to a wedding. so you don’t look like that guy.” and you know, he was right (although i suppose i would have had my shirt closed respectably). ironically, i always seem to wear that Ohio tie now.
and thus began our obsession with appropriate attire at weddings.
this look is never acceptable wedding attire
since that time, there’s only been a couple of severe violations that i’ve witnessed, but let’s just cover them so that, like the tie issue, you guys will understand what you should NOT be doing at weddings:
01. at another colleague’s wedding where both J.Miles and i were in attendance (we’re just wedding groupies, i guess), we witnessed a portion of the bride’s family cruise into the reception very late… and clad in jeans and other casual dress. now, i’m not going to criticize the late arrival, for while i might SUSPECT that it was done to dodge the ceremony and other events and cut right to the open bar, i don’t KNOW that’s what happened, even if i assume the worst of those i see dressed like white trash. i myself have almost been late for weddings before; i also understand that some people don’t want to walk into a wedding once they’re notably late. better to just head for that open bar and make your amends there.
but that said… even though a reception is a more casual time than the wedding itself, that doesn’t mean you can walk into a room full of guys in suits and ladies in dresses in your fucking soiled jeans and your t-shirt. in fact, that’s why i’ll assume the worst of your arrival time: if you dress like a bum, i assume you had the worst possible motives for showing up late.
02. even better than the last: i’m at the wedding of a younger cousin of mine; it’s in a very fancy Catholic church and everyone’s dressed up nicely… and then i see a middle-aged couple arrive in jeans and sit right up front. fucking jeans again? at the ceremony? and this gentleman (we’ll single him out, since he’s the one i noticed best) is rocking a moderately casual denim-colored sport jacket, fucking jeans, and boots. but since there was no bride-and-groom sides, i didn’t know who this guy was… until i later discovered that he was a relative by marriage from… wait for it… West Virginia.
now, i get that not everyone has a wide range of nice clothes (i don’t own THAT much past my suit myself, although i have a massive amount of ties), but everyone has to own SOMETHING that’s more socially acceptable to wear to a wedding than fucking jeans. at the very least they ought to have some khakis and a button-up shirt.
03. i wasn’t there for this myself, but J.Miles knows a story about a guy rocking jean shorts at a beach wedding. now, he and i have some very differing opinions on shorts: i think they’re never acceptable, whereas he seems to think you can wear shorts 365 days a year. and if he and i were professional guys-that-save-people-from-blizzards, or some similar in-the-snow-and-rain-and-cold job, he’d probably wear shorts on duty. all that being said… to hell with jean shorts EVER being acceptable.
THIS LOOK IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE WEDDING ATTIRE
summation: jeans are not “classy wedding attire.” not even your REALLY NICE jeans are “classy wedding attire.” in fact, if i was independently wealthy, i and J.Miles would travel the country full-time, burst into random weddings (or possibly, like the A-Team, into weddings where people have notified us of the fashion problems), locate the guys not sporting what we determine to be “classy wedding attire,” and beat the hell out of those guys until they buy ties, close their shirts and/or trade in their jeans for classy pants. you’ve all been put on notice just in case a wealthy old woman leaves me her fortune in her will… which i admit i’m kind of angling for with the whole “Miss Manners” thing above.