Threads: What to wear to a weddingJune 18th, 2011 |
So you’ve been invited to several weddings this summer – ’tis the season, after all. The question is: what are you going to wear? When it comes to weddings, we all want to look our best without it seeming like we’re trying to upstage the bridal party. Weddings can be a great place to meet people for singles, or if nothing else to show off a new dress or pair of shoes we’ve been dying to wear. They can be tricky when it comes to wardrobe, though, as there are a lot of variables to consider. Is it an afternoon or evening ceremony? Is it outdoors? Is there a theme?
There’s no reason to get cold feet when it comes to wedding attire, though — so long as you follow a few simple style guidelines.
Before we delve into various styles, cuts and fabrics, let’s first talk about the overall guidelines:
- Never wear white, cream or any other shade that looks like white. Unless the happy couple decided to throw a white-themed party, this rule still exists and you need to respect the bride by following it.
- Don’t bare too much skin or wear something excessively tight. If you have to wonder whether an outfit is appropriate, chances are it’s not. Err on the side of covering up rather than showing too much (including every bulge by going too tight) — you’ll be more comfortable throughout a night of drinking, dancing and eating, and won’t have to worry about an unfortunate “wardrobe malfunctions.”
- Remember: You’re there to blend in with the crowd and make it a happy day for the bride, not to steal the spotlight with a very theatrical outfit. You can show your style, but don’t be over the top.
Moving on to how to look and feel great. Feel free to wear color, whether it’s brights or pastels. Black is okay for an evening wedding, but if it’s a daytime wedding, have fun with color.
Full skirts, long dresses, florals and ruffles are in the season, so be girly! Go bold by wearing a long, floral Maxi dress – you’ll stand out yet still be appropriate. Great fabrics to choose are jerseys, silks, silk chiffon and organza. Cotton blends are great, but make sure your dress is perfectly pressed when you leave the house and beware that it will get wrinkled quickly.
Evening weddings call for a little more drama, but remember: not over-the-top. You can choose a strapless style that doesn’t show too much cleavage or that’s too short. A one shoulder style is sexy without being overt.
Just a general tip, and one that could save some money this season: unless all of the same people are going to be at each wedding, pick one dress you can wear to the day weddings and one for the evening weddings you’ll attend this summer. Also, a nude shoe is great for day and a metallic works well for evening, but both can be very versatile.
Someone once asked me if it’s okay to wear jeans to a wedding. I almost fell over. Unless you’re going to a ho-down and it specifically states to wear jeans, well then no, jeans are totally unacceptable.
For most weddings you should at least wear a collared shirt, tie and dress pants paired with dressy shoes. For very casual daytime weddings, you can probably skip the tie. For more formal weddings (and most evening weddings), you want to add a jacket or wear a matching suit.
Always read the invitation and any additional information that came with it (yes, that means not throwing it out as soon as you RSVP) to see if there is specific attire required or desired.
If it’s a theme or destination wedding –say, the Caribbean — you can outfit yourself in something dressy yet comfortable like linen pants and a light, tropical, cotton button up shirt. In this situation it’s okay that the linen pants may look somewhat wrinkled. The key word being somewhat, not I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-in-them.
For shoes, you obviously won’t be wearing any kind of athletic or athletic-looking shoe — no matter how expensive they were. You can wear a docker style for very casual weddings and a dress shoe for most other weddings.
If the invitation states black tie, there’s no way around it: you have to wear a tuxedo. If you go to a lot of weddings or formal events, my suggestion is to buy one. Before you rebuff my advice, you should know that a tuxedo isn’t much more expensive than a nice suit and even if you only wear it a few times in your life (make sure you get a classic style), it’ll pay for itself and you’ll know who last wore it. Make sure you get tuxedo shoes (shiny patent leather) to wear with it; normal dress shoes aren’t appropriate.
By following these guidelines and tips, you’ll find outfits that look great and can be worn again and again.