Monday 15 July 2013

Wedding Guest Fashion

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding...

I do love a good wedding, as you are probably aware. The romance, the smiles, the unique touches - it's a magical occasion for all involved.

However, as a guest, it can be quite tricky to decide what to wear to a wedding. Is it appropriate to wear white? Is a short or long dress better? Hat or no hat?

As those of you who have been here before will know, I am a keen advocate of etiquette because it can help to avoid embarrassment.

Some couples may specify a dress code in their invitation - in which case, you're sorted. If hats are required, wear a hat - it's non-negotiable. But, more often than not, a dress code will not be specified and, if you're not especially close to the couple, it can be difficult to gauge the appropriate level of dress.

The best tip I can give you is it is far better to attend over-dressed than under-dressed.

Quick Tips:

White? Just don't do it. Seriously; there are thousands of colours in the colour spectrum, so choose something else. Pippa Middleton might have made cream wedding attire appropriate, but her sister was marrying a prince. Don't steal the limelight.

Long or short? This perplexes me because, unfortunately, 'maxi' dresses tend to connote floral, flimsy cotton dresses with unflattering waist-lines. These really belong on a beach or at a barbecue. But, on the other hand, if you turn up in an elaborate full length lace and silk affair, then you could commit another faux pas by upstaging the bride. See? Minefield.

My advice is to look at knee length (or thereabouts) and midi length dresses. Don't go for a mini dress. Don't be that girl.

Midis are usually overlooked yet can look extremely elegant.

Day to night? Consider whether you're going to be able to change between the wedding breakfast and evening reception. It's so much easier when this is the case, but if not, think about whether your pink floral dress will look quite as chic on the dance floor under the stars.

The weather? We Brits love to discuss the weather - it passes the time at bus stops - but it can be a devil. Use your common sense here, ladies, and have a back-up plan. Don't wear a floaty dress in gale force winds; do wear a jacket or cover-up in cold weather; and DO have a pretty umbrella. That is a British wedding guest essential.

So, with all this in mind, here are my summer wedding picks (with a bow to the midi dress):

The light blues
On-trend and perfect for every skin tone. Style with cream shades or be bold and add a splash of pink or red.
Raindrop Print Tea Dress, Jigsaw

Issa Silk-jersey dress, £565, net-a-porter

Elsa Peplum Dress, Anthropologie, £128 (more like this here)

Hoss Intropia, £100

Byron Lars Fleurs-de-Lys Dress, Anthropologie, £178

The neutrals

A great choice for taking your outfit from day to night. Cream or sparkly accessories add sophistication and drama.

Cream Georgette Trim Sequin Dress, Jigsaw, £259

Silk Chiffon Embellished Dress, Jigsaw, £259

Lela Rose Lace-print silk dress £1,655, net-a-porter

Strappy Lace Vintage Slip, £38 Topshop

Beatrice Sleeved Dress, £149, Monsoon

 The greens

Bright, bold and a little more daring than the rest. Green is perfect for the spring/summer months. Try a number of shades to get the right match for your skin tone. Cream or nude accessories work especially well for a demure finish.
Grace Dress, Poppy Children, £98 - more here.
Alice by Temperley Kyoto pleated crepe dress, £375, net-a-porter

Wiggle dress in border wallpaper print, ASOS, £42
Latia Lace Dress, Coast, £145
If you like this style, there are more like it here.

The citruses
Yellow is a key colour for summer - and it's happy, happy, happy. Go for gold accessories for real colour commitment. 

Image 1 of Whistles Sculptured Crepe Dress
Sculptured Crepe Dress, Whistles, £135

Tory Burch Isidor embroidered silk-organza dress, £520, net-a-porter

Erdem, Amina printed silk and organza one shoulder dress, £770,

The pinks

The ideal go-to colour for summer events. It's feminine and flattering and there's a shade for everyone. Nude shoes finish off the look perfectly.

Gracie Dress, £58, Oliver Bonas

Condu Dress, £49, Oliver Bonas

NW3 Constable Dress, £110, Hobbs

Jardin Lace Dress, Anthropologie, £238
Lace and pleated silk-organza dress, Valentino, £3,385, net-a-porter

Invitation Maida Vale Dress, Hobbs, £299

The dark blues

My favourite colour - and a fantastic investment piece. This is perfect for every season and always looks chic. Silver or gold accessories work well - but really, pretty much anything goes.
Sunburst Midi Dress, £88.95, Anthropologie

Midi Dress in Floral Print with Buttoned Waist, £42, ASOS

Prabal Gurung, Floral print cotton and silk-blend satin dress, £1,850

Lace Dress, Milly, £318.49

Alberta Ferretti Wool and silk-blend midi dress, £1,280, net-a-porter

Hobbs Invitation Audley Dress, £149

Roksanda Ilincic, Izumi colour-block wool-crepe dress, £885, net-a-porter

The patterns and shapes

A guaranteed good choice. Ensure the dress has a strong structure to make it stand out from your standard summer day dress.

Floral Dress, £70, Nomads 

Oscar de la Renta Embellished lace and silk-faille dress, £5,950, net-a-porter

Strappy lace midi prom dress, Topshop

Jacquard Striped Dress £139.50 Hoss Intropia

Honour Cats Eye Tulip Dress, Zimmerman, $680

Perfect dresses for the perfect wedding guest. Mind you, the etiquette doesn't extend to rules on catching the bouquet... 

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