Since turning 25, attending at least one wedding per year has become the standard. This year I have four in the line-up, all outdoor and none very formal. In the past, I would already be shopping online to find the right ensemble, but due to all the weddings I’ve attended past years, I’m pretty much set for this year’s string of nuptials. Not to mention, I think I became quite an expert for wardrobing this very occasion.
Since the wedding season is upon us, I’d thought it would be nice to share with you my top picks for different wedding styles to ensure you have some good ideas of what makes an appropriate attire. But before we get to the clothes, let me give you a 4 quick tips to help you shop for that perfect outfit:
Scour the couple’s wedding site carefully! The bride, it being her big day, will generally be thorough and thoughtful, giving you some guidelines. For example, the invitation for wedding I am attending in Napa in June details – “It is usually quite warm in June and the land is very ‘rustique’. So ladies, it is advised to leave your delicate heels at home and opt for something more appropriate for rugged terrain. Wedges, Wellies and boots are welcome!” – so remember to read the details!
Understanding what formal entails. The rules in California are a bit more lenient than those on the East Coast. For example, if invited to an East Coast wedding and the invitation says formal attire, a floor length dress might be what is not only appropriate but expected. Should you receive the same invite for a West Coast wedding, a short but fancy dress might fit the bill perfectly.
Is the wedding ceremony in a religious/spiritual setting? As you well know, not all weddings are occurring in a church or synagogue these days. But should the ceremony occur in a Catholic Church, Buddhist Temple, or Jewish Synagogue, it displays tact and grace to dress with some modesty. In other words, don’t wear your shortest or most cleavage displaying dress. I’m not saying you need to dress like a prude, but just be aware and tap into your better judgment. Perhaps if the dress bares a bit more cleavage than most, wear a dressy shrug or pashmina for the religious portion of the ceremony.
Avoid wearing white. In a past post, I discussed how the rules established by the old regime are transforming. Now you can even wear black to a wedding! I was told you shouldn’t wear red – again, an old rule there is no need to follow. But as you well know, never, ever wear white or cream. It’s her day, let her shine!
Now that we’ve gone over the tips, let’s have some fun and get you started on my top looks:
Evening Look #1 Phillip Lim dresses always hit the spot. Short works for West Coast weddings! If the wedding is in San Francisco, we all know how it can cool down at night, so pair it with this chic J Brand leather jacket – and the Minkoff bag is a must! Bring out the subtle blush tones of the dress print with these sexy Brian Atwood platforms.
Evening Look #2 The faded orange Lim dress seems to simply float – so pretty! Add a classic linen oversized blazer from Emerson Fry to keep warm when the sun goes down and pair with a two-tone neutral clutch and these great Rachel Zoe ankle-strap sandals. Accessorizing with neutrals sets off the gorgeous construction of the dress!
AFTERNOON WEDDINGS / CASUAL
Afternoon Look #1 A wedding is a celebration, so still look lovely in a dress. The shoes and bag can ensure you don’t overdo it. I love the Emerson “Yes Dress” in pink – check out the contrasting tangerine stripe. It’s perfect for a warm summer afternoon wedding and effortlessly elegant. Keep the airy feeling with Sam Edelman wedge sandals and a Rebecca Minkoff shoulder bag with coordinating pops of color!
Afternoon Look #2 This Rebecca Taylor dress is fun, flirty and oh so summer – keeping you on-trend with a punchy floral print. Bring along this Betsey Johnson polka-dot bag – mixing patterns can make a look more interesting! And the neutral shoes from Coclico ground the look perfectly.
WEDDING WITH RELIGIOUS CEREMONY
Religious/Spiritual Wedding Look #1 A look for a wedding with a religious ceremony should be less flirty and more classic – this Milly dress is perfect. These Chie Mihara shoes ensure the look stays fun! The DVF clutch in gold – a piece you will use forever.
Religious/Spiritual Wedding Look #2 The NSF sheath dress is that perfect balance of covered on top and showing a bit of leg. Start the event with these super chic Tory Burch heels and dance the night away with these “Embraced Sandals” from Anthropologie. The Emerson linen blazer would look just right with this look too! This Lauren Merkin clutch in navy is ideal!
(Top image via)