Monday, May 14, 2012

Wedding Season Style

It is the beginning of outdoor wedding season here in Seattle and the onset of the "what to wear?" anxiety has officially set it.  Chatting with friends I've realized that picking out event attire is not something everyone enjoys or feels confident doing.  Particularly here in Seattle where, unless you are headed to Canlis (yum!) or a country club, anything goes in terms of attire and under dressing for the occasion is the norm.  Making matters more complicated (and, honestly, more interesting and exciting) is how individualized and distinctly different weddings have become.  A friend recently asked for advice on what to wear to an outdoor barn wedding and as you will see (below) my recommendations are decidedly different than they are for a church and formal reception wedding.

So, here are a few tips to help you navigate through the wedding invite and your closet or the stores to find the perfect ensemble for your next wedding or summer soiree.

#1 - Stick with what you know looks good on you and your naturally stylish self. 

This is the ultimate rule for picking event attire - stay true to your naturally stylish self.  Know yourself, know your style, and make your style work for you.  Regardless of anything else, hold onto this tip tight and let it guide your style decisions.

#2 - It's all in the details - or at least most of it is.

Pay attention to the time of the wedding and reception, the type of venue, and the style of the invite.  As a general rule of thumb, late afternoon and evening weddings with a seated dinner are going to be fancier than an early afternoon wedding with no dinner or a buffet.  Churches and country clubs are going to be a bit more classic than a rustic barn.  And if the wedding invite is simple, old fashioned, and classic, you can bet the wedding will follow suit.  Taking all these details into account will help you formulate a more clear picture of what you are dressing for exactly.

#3 - Take tip #1 and tip #2 and combine.

So now you are armed with the knowledge of your style and what looks good on you and you also have come up with some general parameters for what the wedding day/night is going to look like.  Now, it's time to have fun!  Put together an outfit and think about how it will work in the context of the event - visualizing yourself at the wedding can be a helpful exercise.  You want to express your naturally stylish self while also dressing in a way that makes sense for the event.

For an outdoor wedding and/or reception, shy away from heels.  I attended a church wedding with an outdoor barn reception a couple years ago and ended up aerating the grass with my pumps,  oops!  Stick with flats or wedges.

Here are a few examples of outfits I would pick for specific types of weddings.

Church and Seated Indoor Reception Wedding

Alberta Ferretti 

Alberta Ferretti Pleated Silk Satin Dress - classy, cobalt blue, and so sharp!

Garden Party and Cocktail Reception Wedding

Image 1 of ASOS Skater Dress With Lace And Mesh

ASOS Skater Dress with Mesh and Lace - Pair this with nude wedges and a floral wrap, insta-glam!

Outdoor Barn and Buffet Reception Wedding
Image 1 of French Connection Heavily Embellished Dress

French Connection Embellished Dress - embrace your inner barnyard babe in a floral dress and flats, or...

Giambattista Valli 

Giambattista Valli Gown - as long as you veer away from white, a maxi dress is a great alternative to the typical mid-length dress.  Pair this with a purple shawl and flats or sandals.

Early Evening Indoor Museum and Seated Indoor Reception Wedding
Anna Sui 

Anna Sui Top and Pants - defy convention and mix it up with a cultured pant suit.

I hope this helps you pick out your next wedding outfit with confidence!  And remember, everyone will be looking at the bride most of the day/night anyways, so as long as you love your look and have fun, that's what matters most.


Images courtesy of Net-a-porter and ASOS.

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