How is a man supposed to interpret the ever-ambiguous dress codes listed on wedding invitations? From “black tie,” to “semi-formal,” to even ”fashion forward,” our style-seeking Allison Haberer offers a go-to guide to make sure you are on trend and more importantly in dress code.

It’s that time of the year again that many men may dread: wedding season. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the bridezillas are out in full force. So how is the modern gentlemen expected to survive this time of the year and how exactly is he supposed to dress?

First, keeping it classic is the best advice. If you want to take a fashion risk, why not go lighter in color and in the suit’s weight? We love the Haspel suiting choices for men very much these days. They are a revived classic brand that is easy to wear as a favorite T-shirt and jeans. If you will be attending an outdoor wedding, especially in the blistering heat, pick a light suit in lightweight linen. You’ll look amazing and be the least sweating guy at the wedding. Khaki suits are also very in for summer weddings, yet, as with all suiting, be sure to keep the cut slim, as well as keep the fabric in a year-round cotton. Add a white shirt, and a bold tie and you’re ready to go.

Another one of our absolute favorite looks for men is colored suits. Shades of light blue or grey tend to be the most versatile. If color is too extreme for you, why not change things up and add a brightly colored shirt or tie? You can be bold and go for summery pink or choose lavender, grey, or light green. It is an easy and affordable way to freshen up your look without going too extreme and detracting from the bride.

And how about the finer points about wedding dressing? J Hilburn, the personal clothier company, has great recommendations like: when the invitation says black tie, that means a tuxedo. Period. The company has loads of custom choices for tuxedos and just about anything else a man wears. They also recommend that when the groom is wearing a jacket, so do you. Choose a brighter necktie to make that dark suit come alive. If you’re going to be traditional and stick with a tie, why not find something in a bold color or a pattern to which you are normally are not drawn? We love a good, small patterned tie, or you can try something checkered or striped.

Summer is your time to take a fashion risk, yet just make sure to remember whose day it is. And men, learn how to tie a tie or a bow tie. It’s practically a right of passage. Experiment with bow ties or pockets squares in unique colors or patterns that will bring new life to your tired old suits. When in doubt, black is best and navy will never go out of style with the tuxedo.

Remember to add in small details like a great classic watch, and a nice pair of sunglasses if the wedding is going to be outdoors. Shoes are another way to add some life to your outfit, but it is easier to own a few pair of neutral shoes that can be worn with any suit and they can be a lace-up or a slip-on. Summer weddings scream for shades like cream and grey, yet the most important thing you can wear to a wedding is your smile, always the best accessory worn anytime of day or night.