Ask dapperQ: Subtle Wedding Guest Attire with First Female Date?

Feature image: Pinstripe Blazer from Zara

This is our fourth post in dapperQ’s Wedding Week, where we feature dapper weddings and answer all of your burning wedding questions.

“My cousin is getting married this weekend in the Upper East Side of New York City. He is in the Secret Service, and his wife-to-be is an event planner to the stars. His best man is all over the radio. Needless to say this will be a fancy affair. I have been informed that it is cocktail attire.

Now here’s my dilemma: I feel as though I am a fairly stylish individual, so I shouldn’t be nervous about picking out the perfect outfit. But, this will be the first family event that I will be bringing my girlfriend, any girlfriend for that matter. I have been out for 10 years, but my family just doesn’t talk about it. I need something subtle, yet comfortable. I am 5’5″ with an athletic build. I am stuck!!! My ladylove went with a simple LBD. (I’m not a huge tie wearing, suit coat kind of gal.)”

I am trying to gauge what you mean by subtle. Do you mean “not-in-your-face-masculine” so that your family won’t have to deal with both your gender presentation and sexual orientation? If that’s the case, I have to say that I am always an advocate of staying true to yourself, provided that heeding that advice will not pose any threats to your physical or mental well-being. However, based on the fact that you mentioned that you’re “not a huge tie wearing, suit coat kind of gal,” I hope that it is safe for me to assume that you might be uncomfortable (both physically and mentally) just jumping into a three piece suit and a bow-tie. Since you specifically requested comfort, I’m going to recommend a “relaxed” tomboy inspired suit. Since the event is in NYC and there will be guests in the entertainment industry in attendance, I think you can go with something a bit more fashion forward:

Relaxed SuitDitch the suit jacket, vest, suspenders, and tie and opt for a relaxed suit with a cardigan instead. You can add some fun with splashes of color, as seen in the photo above. Image via

Relaxed Androgynous Wedding Suit 2Adding a simple, androgynous top in lieu of a button-down to a comfortable, relaxed-fit suit is masculine without being hard. Via Secret South

Top Shop SuitIf relaxed/slouchy suits don’t do it for you, try a slim-fit suit from Topshop.

Tux JacketASOS is a great place to shop for suit separates, like this Tux Blazer. A shirt with unique embellishments around the collar is a stylish alternative to neckties.


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  • I had a similar predicament a few years back. I was going to a huge, fancy wedding with my now-wife. Not only was it black tie, but also at a very conservative synagogue (I should add that the family was very welcoming/accepting, but at the time I still didn’t know them well).

    I decided to get a men’s tux (found a run of the mill one at Macy’s–I think it was only about $120), but get alterations to make it slightly form fitting (not “feminine,” but more fitted and less boxy or recognizably men’s). Then I wore a fancy top from a women’s department under the jacket. Though it was more feminine overall than I would normally dress (I think I even wore a very slight heel), it turned out kind of awesome and was very appropriate for the occasion.

    (I’d share a pic, but am not sure how here)

  • I’ve just found your site and want to say thank you.
    I’m a cis-gendered woman who prefers to dress masculine. Your site is so inclusive! Today I’m looking for outfit ideas for a summer wedding. It’s outdoors, so these aren’t it, but I’ll keep browsing your site, and I’m sure I’ll be back.

  • Wow! I just found your site and am blown away! I taught fashion design at Syracuse University for 7 years. I find your designs ingenious and ultimately wearable – a measure of good design I look for first. Kudos! to you all!

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