We all know the hard-and-fast fashion rule for wedding guests–don’t wear white–but that still leaves a lot of guesswork. It’s a tricky balancing act: looking fantastic but not too flashy, befitting the occasion but not boring. And all this in an ensemble special enough that it won’t collect dust in the back of your closet after that last glass of champagne.
How to fit in yet stand out? It’s all about putting your own stamp on the dress code:
Black Tie Affair
Black tie doesn’t have to be synonymous with stuffy: Have fun with formal by forgetting the usual floor-length hemlines. Dress up a short frock with luxurious accessories, or if you’re daring enough to take the unconventional route, don a silk jumpsuit with oversized earrings and strappy heels.
In the City
A modern ceremony gives a chance to get creative (and smart). Abstract graphics or subtly sexy cutouts on a dress of your favorite length ensures you’ll wear it again on nights out.
A black gown and sky-high stilettos at an outdoor wedding? Not practical. Go feminine and casual with an airy floral-print dress, or a blouse with unique details paired with a knee-length skirt. And because it’s hard to enjoy the outdoors while your heels are sinking into the grass, wear wedges instead.
If the couple’s trading the altar for Aruba, take inspiration from the surroundings. Upstage the local flora (but not the bride) with a bold floral print. Casual accessories (beaded or natural stone jewelry, an understated handbag) keep the look from going overboard.
Bells, organist, handfuls of rice–at a traditional wedding, inspired styling keeps a demure frock from looking dowdy. Unique accessories and a jewel-toned dress hit the right note while ensuring you’re the best-dressed guest.