Wondering what to wear to a summer wedding? Join the club. As a whole, warm-weather attire is inherently more casual and easy-breezy than winter wardrobes, but it is still a wedding.
How can we strike the delicate balance between finding something to wear that’ll look both appropriate and seasonally appropriate? Can we wear a short dress to a black-tie summer affair? Is it possible to be too casual at a beachy destination wedding? So many questions!
To answer those and more, we enlisted Elyse Newhouse and Kate Brennan, the founders of DressYourGuests.com, a smart new digital platform that provides answers to dress code questions and offers necessary fashion advice when preparing for a mix of events, like a wedding or a prom. Here, Newhouse and Brennan weigh in on what to wear to four types of summer weddings.
Apart from white-tie weddings (which we guarantee you’ll probably never attend, especially in the summer), black tie is the most formal dress code you’ll face. Here, it’s customary to wear floor-length gowns. In warm weather, avoid heavy fabrics like satin, velvet, and poly, and instead opt for silk, cotton, or floaty chiffon, depending on the venue.
According to Newhouse and Brennan, you can also choose a shorter style for a summer black-tie wedding if the color palette feels dressy, not beachy (think a classic LBD, or a dress in a darker hue.) If you opt for a shorter dress, add some sparkle with chic diamonds or long drop earrings, and keep hair and makeup classic.
“Having your hair in an updo or blown out will always elevate any look and make you appear more polished and formal,” they said. Add a silk shawl to pull the whole ensemble together.
If a wedding calls for cocktail attire, there’s no need to reach for that gown—knee-length or slightly above works, but steer clear of anything too tight, flashy or pouffy. Think of it this way: Fun and festive is fine, but consider the type of dresses you’d want worn at your own wedding (a skin-tight sequin backless minidress? Probably not).
Newhouse and Brennan suggest choosing a short fun dress in a pretty print or vibrant color. “You can experiment with necklines and lengths—this dress code is more flexible,” they said. They also suggest grabbing a pair of strappy stilettos in metallic hues to up the festive factor. In terms of other accessories, it’s okay to have some fun.
“Tuxedo blazers are a chic way to stay warm on chilly summer nights and are a great alternative to a basic jacket or wrap,” Newhouse and Brennan said, who suggest adding an eye-catching brooch to the lapel. To go even bolder, accessorize with a statement necklace, intricate earrings or, for some added punch, a bright fuchsia lip.
When it comes to daytime weddings this summer, Newhouse and Brennan have three words for you: “Think Kate Middleton!”
They suggest seeking out dresses that are feminine and polished in a delicate floral print or a muted color. “Consider a light duster coat in a fabric like silk or lace if you’ll be outside for the ceremony,” the said, adding: “Keep accessories clean and simple. This isn’t the time for the bling!”
“Color! Color! Color! Print! Print! Print!” said Newhouse and Brennan, who encourage gals to embrace dresses in airy fabrics and fun patterns that compliment skin tone for a beach wedding. To help capture the vibe the setting, look to hues like cobalt blue, yellow, coral, and pink. When choosing jewelry, turquoise accessories are the perfect finishing touch.
Also: Be sure to find out if you’ll be walking on grass or sand, and if so, ditch the heels and choose embellished flat sandals or a pair of festive wedges. To keep warm from the ocean breeze, choose a pashmina in a bright color or a neutral if your dress is on the busier side.
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10 Celebrity Brides Who Didn’t Wear White
7 Untraditional Wedding Registries To Get What You (Really) Want
Stylish Wedges to Wear to An Outdoor Wedding
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