Posted Aug. 13, 2007 -- Everyone’s getting married. It may not be your wedding day, but even so, it’s a day of picture-taking, introductions and handsome, eligible groomsmen (if you’re lucky). And a day like that calls for a new outfit. Whether you’re invited to an extravagant or semiformal wedding, the bridal shower or rehearsal dinner, you’ll be fashion-ready for whatever the bride has in store.
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A fancy invitation usually calls for fancy attire. Hopefully there’s no need for guessing and “Black Tie” is perfectly placed on the invite. If not, ask around and figure out what attire is most appropriate. Time and location are good indications as to what to wear. In the meantime, here’s how I can help. A good rule of thumb, don’t dare look at anything shorter than knee length. Long is good, but tea length (mid-calf) is better. As for the top half, strapless and spaghetti styles are your best bet, and it’s a great way to flaunt your tanned shoulders (that’s if you’re not peeling). Pick a bold color, like royal blue or gold, and stand out from the sea of black gowns you’re guaranteed to encounter. If dresses are not your thing, try a gorgeous Victorian top and pencil skirt. Think more elegant and stunning and less sexy and sultry. Keep that in mind and you’ll be safe from stares (and I do mean the negative kind) on the dance floor. For accessories, keep it sweet and simple. Complete the look with studs, a single-strand bracelet, peep-toe heels and clutch.
It’s fair to say, weddings starting before six at night, are not black-tie. It’s also fair to say, weddings taking place on a boat, in a garden or somewhere other than a hotel ballroom, calls for a laid-back style. Again, there are always exceptions to the rule, so be sure to ask around for confirmation. All eyes will be on you if your choice of dress is better suited for casual Friday at the office. While shopping, look for a cocktail dress – they’re cute and with the right fit, say a lot without giving a lot. Be sure to try each on and have your very own fashion show in the dressing room. Anything too long says prom and anything to short says wrong; go with something in between. Accessorize with a delicate necklace and strappy heels, and you’ll look your best when it’s time to beat down your competition for the bouquet.
So, the lucky couple is marrying on the beach or somewhere just as casual – like the backyard of their home or a public park. And don’t take casual so literally that you’re considering a look that can also be worn to a cookout. A skirt, dress or pretty pants are still required. What’s not required are your hottest heels and fancy fabrics. Keep your look easy, breezy and beautiful. Rock those beaded flats or low sandals, and ditch the silks and satins for a good time without the sweat stains. A free-flowing dress or skirt will keep you cool, and floral patterns or all white will make a great outdoor look. Go easy on the hair, makeup and jewelry, and if you’re feeling a bit sassy, stick a gardenia behind your ear for added umph.
PAGE 2 >> Here's what to wear to the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner.
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Showers are one more wedding event for which you need an outfit. If the outfit you wore to the cookout you attended last weekend is dirty, then find a purchase that’s guaranteed to get more use out of it than your girl’s celebration. These get-togethers are generally just for the ladies and are scheduled around brunch, so don’t go over-the-top with your look or your hair. Only your gift to the bride should earn, “Ooh’s and ahh’s.” Sport a nice pair of pants with an adorable top or a cute summer dress or skirt that falls above the knee with a tank or halter-style top. Your options are endless! Just keep it simple.
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Though the proper dress at a rehearsal dinner can vary from occasion to occasion, a good rule of thumb is to go for something a bit more understated. A gown that’s best suited for the wedding day would seem out of place. Most rehearsal dinners are slightly more casual than the weddings themselves. You can't go wrong with a simple halter or v-neck dress in a fun color or print, and pants, as long as they're neat and ironed to perfection, are also passable. Still clueless? Wear what you’d throw on for Sunday morning service.