5 Father-of-the-Bride Attire Mistakes to Avoid, According to an Expert

Help your daughter host a memorable celebration by following these expert tips.

cuffs of a suit and a watch

Photo by Tony Wodarck

When it comes to wedding attire for the parents, we often forget about the father of the bride. Traditionally, most emphasis is placed on what the mother of the bride will wear, but we shouldn't overlook the fact that dads play a supporting role in this celebratory event too. After all, it's the father who walks the bride down the aisle, the one who gives a toast, and the one who has a special dance at the reception. As the dad, all eyes will be on you, and close attention should be placed on what you choose to wear.

While you might be searching for a list of wedding style requirements to follow, when it comes to fashion rules, it's sometimes better to highlight what not to do. That's why, we spoke with fashion designer and creative director at Brooks Brothers, Michael Bastian, to help share the top five fashion mistakes all fathers of the bride need to avoid. Read on to learn more.

Meet the Expert

Michael Bastian is a renowned fashion designer and the current creative director at Brooks Brothers. He has over 20 years of experience and is helping to rebuild what men's fashion means today.

Wearing a poorly fitted suit.

Bastian notes that quality suits come unfinished when initially purchased, as they are meant to be tailored to perfectly fit the buyer. That said, he strongly recommends all men, especially the father of the bride, to get their suits properly fitted for the big day. "He needs to really go that extra mile. It's a rule I apply to everyone, but for someone like [the father of the bride] who's really visible, he's going to really want [his suit] to fit perfectly," the designer notes.

Bastian also acknowledges that going to the tailor can be a bit of "a pain," but it's a step that's essential and one that shouldn't be skipped. Luckily, many retailers, including Brooks Brothers, offer in-store tailors that can help customize your suit and have you looking top-notch on your daughter's special day.

Clashing with the wedding color palette.

The color you choose to wear may seem insignificant, but as a major part of the wedding party, it's important to complement your daughter's chosen color palette. If the theme is seafoam blue, stay away from any opposing colors like bright purple or burgundy. "It's not the time to, you know, experiment. It's not the time to flex your style muscles," shares Bastian. Generally, most fathers of the bride are expected to stay within a neutral color palette of black, navy, dark grey, or midnight blue when it comes to their suiting; and unless specifically requested by the couple (or dress code), it's best to stay away from wearing white.

Not following the dress code.

We can't stress this enough: The dress code is a requirement, not a suggestion. "I'm a huge believer that the bride gets to call the shots. So, if she says it's white tie or black tie, you obey," says Bastian. While many fathers don't necessarily have an issue adhering to the dress code, it's still an important mistake to note.

For those attending a white-tie or black-tie wedding, a tuxedo is expected given the level of formality associated with the dress codes. Formal, cocktail, and semi-formal nuptials call for suits, while festive and casual attire lend themselves to more flexible fashion rules. It's also important to consider the season, locale, and weather when deciding what to wear, as that can greatly affect the style of your outfit selection.

Not getting approval from the bride.

As you've probably already noticed, the role of the father of the bride is the support the bride and, essentially, follow her lead. Bastian notes that the dad and bride should work together as a team, particularly when it comes to his attire. Though etiquette rules state that the couple cannot ultimately dictate what their parents should wear, every recommendation the bride makes should be considered and followed, if possible. You never know, your daughter may have a specific vision in mind when it comes to your day-of look, so consulting with her before buying your ensemble will help bring that vision to life.

Wearing the same suit as the groom.

Though many suits have the potential to look similar, it's usually best to stay clear of purchasing a look that's identical to what the groom is wearing. There are thousands of suits and tuxedos available today, and the options are truly limitless as to what you can buy for your daughter's wedding. For example, at Brooks Brothers, you have the ability to shop from an array of styles, like their expertly crafted shawl tux jackets and their white wool tuxedo ensembles. With so much variety to shop from, wearing the same suit as the groom can easily be avoided.

Related Stories