This week, I want to address a question everyone asks at some point, but that doesn’t seem to have one simple answer. As a wedding guest, what should I wear? There are many ways to find your answer.
Wedding Attire Basics; What Not To Wear
First and foremost, do NOT show up in white. I repeat, DO NOT WEAR WHITE! This is a major fashion faux pas, and whether you like the couple or not, you just shouldn’t do it. Why not? Well, unless you never want to hear from that couple again I suggest you don’t do it. Brides have been wearing white gowns since 1840, when Queen Victoria made it popular. It is often thought to be because white represented purity, or being virginal. I discovered while writing this post today that apparently before Victoria made white the thing to do, brides often wore crimson, the color of love. Even if you think you are a trend setter, you’re probably not Queen Victoria. 😉
If you’re still at a loss as to what you should wear. Take some advice from the wedding invitation. As we all know, (or maybe some of us don’t) the fancier looking the invite the more formal the attire should be. Lace and calligraphy on the invite? Go ahead and pull that long sparkly gown from the closet. If the wedding is a Pig Pickin’ taking place in the backyard of a family home, it’s probably okay to pull out that cute little sun dress.
Some Personal Advice
Aside from not wearing white, some advice to the females in attendance; try to dress a little conservatively. I’m not saying you can’t show a little skin, especially when attending a wedding in the South or the Summer. But, as a wise woman once advised me and a group of girls working in a bar, if you are going to show your legs you should “cover up the girls”. Or, if you’re bringing the girls out for a night on the town, try not to show too much leg. That being said, if you’re attending a wedding in the south on a 90 degree day, it’s okay to wear a sun dress! Just try not to wear one that’s sat in the closet for a few years and that should really only be used as a beach cover up. It’s just the appropriate thing to do. Besides, you don’t want to be showing too much skin when you’re schmoozing it up with the grandparents, parents, etc.
Another great way to decide what you should wear for a wedding is to consider the season and color schemes. Are you attending a Fall wedding? Consider wearing some dark crimson or burnt oranges. Dark chocolate browns and navy blues are really pretty too, and if you’re a blue eyed babe like myself, blue always looks good on you. Is it a Spring or early Summer wedding? If so, pull out those light yellow dresses or pastel pinks! The Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016 are a great example of lovely shades of pink and blue that can work for Spring or Summer. Remember, if you are going to be in pictures with the bride & groom wear colors that are complimentary and won’t clash with the Bride’s theme.
Male Wedding Guests
Guys, let’s face it, you don’t have nearly as many options for wedding attire as the ladies. You should most likely wear a suit. BUT, just as the ladies are allowed to dress more casually for hot Summer weddings, a linen suit or khakis can definitely be acceptable. Just remember to check those invitations, or even give the couple a call prior to their big day. If you just can’t figure out whether you can wear something of your own, or you need to make a purchase from TJ Max, it’s more than okay to ask for advice. If you need a little more help, check out these style tips from the Cladwell Guide.
A Final Tip
The last tip I’ll give you is to keep it simple. You don’t want to out-dress the bride and groom! Wear an outfit that you think conveys your personality. If you are a fun and spunky guy, you could wear a bright colored bow-tie or some wildly colorful socks! Or, bring back the suspenders look. I have to admit that I am definitely a sucker for a dapper Dan wearing suspenders under his suit jacket.
If my suggestions don’t answer your question, or are not specific enough, take a look at this great infographic from The Black Tux, online suit and tux rental. It is straight forward and gives suggestions for both males and females!
In the meantime, if you can’t find a tux shop or Men’s Warehouse locally, check out The Black Tux! They are reasonably priced, and offer free home delivery.