Have suit, will travel - Monocolumn | Monocle


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2 October 2014

If there is one word to sum up the past few years of my holiday time it would be “weddings”.

Oh those blessed ceremonies – most of which I have to travel a fair distance to nowadays – they’re destination weddings; a far-flung, fleeting rendezvous in some place deemed perfect by the happy couple. Last year the north of England, Alaska, Oregon and California were on the itinerary. So far this year: Amsterdam and rural Pennsylvania. And this weekend: Medellín. All those hard-earned airline-loyalty miles: gone.

This may sound exotic and fun. For the most part it is. Travelling to all these places to watch friends and loved ones tie the knot provides a mini reunion of sorts in each location. One wedding might be university friends, another might be people from high school and another might be with folks you’ve met during your professional life. The longer-known crowds tend to be the most interesting and answer the most questions. How have people aged? What kind of individuals have they become? What is their sense of style today?

Many of the weddings that I now get invited to give fairly specific directions on what guests should be wearing. Sometimes this can be nice. It takes the guesswork out of dressing appropriately. But other times it’s just tedious. In one instance a bride sent through a mood board and creative brief for us to consider before selecting our threads. The email read, “Rather than wax on about seersucker and linen, I’m just going to attach a couple of photos and links of approved garments.” Great, thanks for taking it easy on us.

They were all good suggestions but seriously? I like to look good but I also know what I am comfortable in. I have a standard wedding getup. It’s a blue or green blazer with nice chinos and a pair of brogues.

But the problem with a standby outfit is that you begin to look the same in all the photos of each wedding. Then you’re “that guy” who always wore “that coat”. And that’s no fun, especially when you’re prone to having your photo taken throughout the reception due to your affinity with the dance floor. This brings me to a an important point: who wants to dance in anything too fancy or stuffy? Let’s admit it, the reason we go to a lot of these things is for the party.

For the Colombian wedding, proximity to the equator will mean humidity. I’ll need to think of something good yet ventilated – a shorts-suit perhaps? Whatever the outfit, this year’s marriage marathon is nearly over and I’ll soon be able to hang up my matrimonial suit for the season.

Tristan McAllister is transport editor for Monocle.


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