Earth Tone Wedding Suits – The Modest Man

While grey and navy suits are classic, earth tone suits might actually be better for spring weddings. Here’s why.

Photo by prostooleh /

When you’re determining what to wear to a wedding, you might have the instinct to default to a charcoal grey suit. It’s easy to understand why — after all, it’s hard to go wrong with a timeless option.

A dark grey or navy suit will almost always work, but at the same time, you’re not limited to just that. You do want to avoid being too colorful, but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited when it comes to color.

Sure, you probably don’t want to wear a neon pink suit to a traditional wedding. However, unless you’re attending a black tie wedding, you can go with a differently colored suit. You just have to choose the right color.

Enter the earth tone wedding suit. Why earth tones? They’re deep and rich without being too bold.

Earth tones are especially fitting for spring wedding attire since they reflect the season’s natural colors.

It’s slightly trickier to pull off earth tone suits for a wedding, but it’s not that difficult. All you need to do is take a few important factors into consideration.

What Are Earth Tones?

Earth tones are colors that resemble the actual earth. Broadly, this category includes browns, greens, greys, off-whites, and some reds and oranges. Typical earth tones include taupe, olive, rust, and beige.

Most often, earth tones are fairly neutral shades that are warm and muted. There are exceptions to this, though — think of vibrant natural earth tones like sulfur yellow and gold.

Which Earth Tones Can You Wear to a Wedding?

Earth tones are simple enough, but wedding dress codes can be difficult. Generally, most earth tones will be fine for most weddings, but you’ll want to do your homework first.

Ultimately, the formality level of the wedding will dictate which colors you can and can’t wear. 

In this case, I’m talking about suits, and that means formal weddings. (Black tie weddings require tuxedos, and casual weddings typically don’t require suits at all.)

Formal weddings are generally split up into three categories. In order from most to least formal, those categories are formal, cocktail, and semi-formal (also called dressy casual).

Here’s a closer look at each formality level — and where earth tones fit into the picture.

(Disclaimer: If you want to be sure that you can wear a specific earth tone, ask the wedding organizers.)

Can You Wear Earth Tones to a Formal Wedding?

Regular formal dress is a step below black tie. (Formal is often the same thing as black tie optional). It’s best to wear a dark suit and tie to a formal event.

If you want to wear earth tones to a formal wedding, go for darker shades. Formal typically means a dark grey or very dark blue suit, so you’ll want to stay close to those colors. Consider a charcoal suit, a dark brown suit, or possibly a very dark green suit.

Can You Wear Earth Tones to a Cocktail Wedding?

Cocktail attire for a wedding is a bit more casual than formal wear. You’ll still want to wear a suit and tie, but you can get more creative than you can with formal attire.

In many cases, you can pull off most earth tones at a wedding with a cocktail dress code. Browns, greens, and greys are generally best, though you might be able to wear deep red or even off-white.

If the wedding is a beach or destination wedding, then there may be even more room for color. But as I mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to check in with the wedding organizers about the dress code.

Can You Wear Earth Tones to a Semi-Formal Wedding?

Semi-formal (also referred to as dressy casual) is probably the vaguest of all the formal wedding dress codes. However, this actually makes things simpler in terms of choosing a color to wear.

Semi-formal is much looser than formal or cocktail attire, so earth tone wedding suits will almost always work. You can also typically wear lighter earth tones like beige, that wouldn’t work in more formal settings.

Of course, this is still a wedding we’re talking about, so you’ll want to look presentable. Neon colors are still off the table here, but earth tones will fly.

Earth Tone Wedding Suits for Spring (6 Outfit Ideas)

If you’re in need of some inspiration, look no further. Here are six stylish earth tone wedding suits for various formality levels.

Classic Earth Tones

If you want to pull off earth tones at a formal wedding, consider starting with shades of brown. Brown is an earthy tone that translates excellently to suiting, and you can easily combine it with other earth tones.

Brown is a particularly good color choice for warm weather suits because it complements the texture of lighter fabrics.

Try mixing brown with lighter neutrals like beige and off-white. You can also throw in a bit of black and white (and, yes, brown and black can match).

Elegant Dark Green

Dark green is another excellent earth tone color for weddings. A deep olive or moss color will be subtle yet rich, and importantly, it won’t be distracting. (And it might just become your new favorite suit color.)

Overall, it’s best to go with an extremely dark green, as it’ll function similarly to a black or charcoal suit. That said, you could go with a slightly more vivid green — just make sure it’s still suitable for formal events.

Spring Earth Tones

You don’t have to wear just earth tones — you can easily incorporate them into an outfit. And if you’re already dressing for spring, you might as well throw in a springtime color or two.

For example, the light blue dress shirt here goes great with the brown jacket, taupe pants, and black tie. In fact, you probably need a couple of light blue dress shirts in your closet anyway. White dress shirts are still classic, but blue is amazingly versatile.

High-Contrast Earthiness

It’s extremely easy to create a high-contrast look with earth tones. Colors like brown and olive contrast well with colors like rust and cream, and it’s simple to mix and match

This specific outfit has a couple of contrasting layers. The beige top and brown jacket contrast with each other, and both of those contrast with the dark grey pants. Of course, you can go as simple or as complex as you want to.

Light Earth Tones

This sports coat and odd trousers combo is ideal for a semi-formal wedding. The mossy jacket, sky blue shirt, dark creamy trousers, and brown loafers all come together for an undeniably earthy look.

Even though this outfit is earthy, it’s also very springy because of the lighter colors. Of course, you can also make this combination work with darker shades of these colors.

Earthy Simplicity

If you don’t want your outfit to be too earthy, try incorporating just one or two earth tones at first. In this case, that means wearing a dark green jacket with a blue shirt and white trousers.

You can also make slight modifications if you want to go earthier. Here, you could swap the white pants for off-white and the light blue shirt for a darker one.

Earth Tone Wedding Suits FAQ

Need a few quick answers about earth tone wedding suits? Here you go:

What Is The Best Suit Color for a Wedding?

There is no one best suit color for a wedding. Navy, medium-blue, and dark grey suits are all good multipurpose suit colors. However, you can also wear other colors like earth tones (depending on the dress code).

What Colors Are Considered Earth Tones?

Any color that resembles the physical earth is considered an earth tone. This includes browns, greens, greys, off-whites, and some reds and oranges.

Is It OK To Wear a Brown Suit to a Wedding?

Usually, but it depends on the dress code, so ask first. Dark brown suits will usually work, but lighter brown suits are best for semi-formal weddings (and some cocktail weddings).


Earth tones aren’t the first colors you think of when you picture a wedding suit, but they work fantastically.

Keep in mind that there’s no wrong time of the year to wear earth tones. Earth tones might feel springy, but they can be adapted to any season. Many earth tones work year-round, and you can also wear seasonally specific earth tones.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

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