If you are lucky enough to have an invitation (or two!) to a wedding this summer, you will, of course, need a fabulous new oufit. This season, you’ll be spoilt for choice as the shops are bursting with eye-catching colours, sumptuous fabrics and stunning accessories – all guaranteed to make you look and feel fabulous on the big day.
Hard and Fast Rules
The days of hard and fast rules on what you ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ wear to a wedding have long since gone. As wedding services and venues have become more adventurous and individualised, dress codes have also followed suit and become more flexible and relaxed. In past decades it was frowned upon for a female guest to wear white (an insult to the bride) or to wear black (a sign of bad luck) and no male guest ever appeared without a formal shirt and tie. Hats for women were ‘de rigueur’, whereas today there is far more choice: a full hat; a fascinator; or something inbetween called a ‘hatinator’.
The only real ‘faux pas’ you could make at a wedding today would be to wear a totally black outfit (much too funereal); to wear a long white dress (much too bridal); or to look too “attention seeking” in anything too exposing i.e. – too short, too low, too tight, or all three! The bride and groom will want their friends and family to look fabulous on the day but will definitely not want to be embarrassed or ‘upstaged’ in any way.
The most important thing is to choose a wedding outfit in which you will feel comfortable on the day and will want to wear on many occasions afterwards. Many women will buy an outfit, which they think is the ‘correct’ outfit for a wedding – and then feel uncomfortable and miserable all day and never wear it again!
If you love summer frocks don’t truss yourself up in a starchy suit and stiff hat – buy a colourful cotton dress and finish it off with a flower-strewn hat. If you feel most comfortable in trousers, there are gorgeous, soft trousers suits around which are perfect for summer weddings teamed with eye-catching, drop-earrings, an embroidered scarf and a beaded bag. A simple shift dress can be made to look incredibly elegant with the latest jewellery, bag, hat and shoes but still have lots of use in your wardrobe after the wedding is over.
Top Ten Tips
With so much choice in the shops this season, there is the perfect wedding outfit for every age, personality and budget. Colours range from the chic neutrals of black/white, navy/ivory, coffee/cream to the eye-catching brights of fuchsia pink, lime green and cobalt blue. Choose whichever colours you are drawn to and make you feel most confident but bear in mind the following Top Ten Tips to achieve your most stylish look:
- Shiny fabrics show every lump and bump – especially satin
- Matt fabrics are more slimming and flattering
- Avoid belts if you have little/no waistline – go for semi-fitted
- Keep a low neckline if you have a short neck/double chin
- Wide shoulder straps/shoulder pads/shawl collars narrow the hips
- Avoid short-jackets on big hips/tums – wrist length is best
- Mid-calf skirts are frumpy – knee-length is best
- Low fronted shoes lengthen/slim thick legs
- Ankle-straps show off slender legs and ankles
- Avoid fascinators if fuller-figured; a full hat is in keeping with your scale
It’s A Cover Up
Some outfits come, of course, with matching jackets but if your choice is a strappy little number, you also need to consider the Great British Weather. As most weddings (except evening occasions) will involve some time outdoors, you will need to guard against the possibility of goose bumps with an attractive cover-up. Floral dresses look great with a pretty ¾ sleeve cardigan – perhaps beaded at the neckline or with pearl buttons. Pashminas are still an elegant cover up of choice, come in a wide variety of colours and also help with ‘upper-arm’ problems! Look out for chic, coloured jackets – satin, silk or linen – which can also add structure and formality to a strappy outfit for church occasions.
Your shoes do not have to match the colour of your outfit exactly. For example, a red dress could be accessorised with navy, black or even taupe shoes. Neutral coloured shoes are far more useful in your wardrobe than red, pink or green ones! Simply repeat the colour of your shoes in one or two other accessories (no more than that) to achieve a balanced look to your outfit.