It may still be the dead of winter, but don’t forget that wedding season will very soon be upon us.
As soon as you start hearing the little birds chirping and spot flowers trying to poke their way up out of the frosty ground, you can also expect your mailbox to start filling up with save-the-date cards and wedding invitations.
And for you that means planning a whole bunch of formal outfits.
Going to a wedding can actually be a bit stressful for women because there are so many elements to a formal outfit.
Getting a dress is just the start – you also have to make sure that you have all the right accessories to match, that you’ll look fabulous and be decently comfortable for what’s often an all-day affair.
To help make the task a little bit easier, we came up with a step-by-step guide that will ensure you have all the necessary pieces you’ll need to look so good the bride might even be a little jealous.
Step 1: Dress
The dress is where it all begins – if it doesn’t look good, nothing else will, so start by choosing a frock you adore.
Your personal style will dictate the design and color, but there are a couple of guidelines that can help you choose the right one. When it comes to color, avoid white (it’s for the bride only) and black (too somber), and go for a beautiful shade that looks good with your coloring.
As for the style, you can’t go wrong with a dress that accentuates your natural waist and has a flowy skirt that makes spinning on the dance floor just that much more fun. And one thing you should always do before making a final decision is sit, walk and dance while wearing it, just to make sure you’ll be comfortable at every stage of the event.
Step 2: Clutch
If there’s one unforgiveable wedding outfit sin it’s wearing your blah, everyday bag to a fancy event like a wedding. It instantly downgrades the rest of your ensemble and just looks out of place.
Believe it or not, you can find ones that fit what you need – and remember that all you really need is your credit card, some cash, keys, phone, a couple cosmetics for touchups and your backup shoes (yep, backup shoes – you’ll learn all about that in a minute). It’s also a good idea to find one that has a strap or wristlet so you can easily hold it while sipping a cocktail and eating a mini quiche.
Step 3: Fascinator
Take a page out of Kate Middleton’s stylebook and don a unique hair accessory, like a sparkly headband or a fascinator. You may not know this, but wearing a fascinator is absolutely de rigueur at British weddings.
Adding a fun headpiece is a great way to add some extra oomph to your outfit. For weddings, it’s best to choose one on the smaller side if you plan on wearing it during the ceremony, otherwise it could block someone’s view. Just remember to give your hairstyle a trial run with the accessory before the actual day.
Step 4: Shawl
Whatever the weather, it’s a smart move to bring along a light wrap – they come in handy for church weddings (some prefer that you’re covered) or if the venue gets a bit chilly. And it can stand in for a light jacket if you don’t feel like wearing one. Try something that has a little sparkle or embellishment to match the formality of the rest of your outfit.
Step 5: Shoes
No matter how tempted you are to wear those painfully gorgeous super high heels that hurt the second you put them on, you must resist. You know that you’ll be standing around and dancing for much of the night, so make the smart decision and opt for wedges, which are practical without being dowdy.
You have a few options for the color: The same shade as your dress, a neutral, or a color that contrasts your dress. Once you find a pair you think you like, walk around in them for a while at home as a test.
Step 6: Heel Socks
If you’re going to be wearing panty hose or tights, then you can ignore this. But if you have bare legs, that means you’ll have bare feet, which isn’t ideal for your shoes. You’ll be a lot more comfortable and avoid painful blisters if you slide on a pair of footsies in a nude shade or one that matches your shoes.
Step 7: Jewelry
Getting ready for a dressy occasion does not mean piling on all of your sparkly jewelry at once. When it comes to accessories, feature one statement piece and go subtle and small for the rest. If you decide to wear a fascinator, then choose an understated pendant and earrings, or even just one or the other.
Step 8: Foldable Flats
You know you’re nearing the end of a wedding when you start to see all the ladies on the dancefloor in bare feet. Why? Because the adorable 3-inch heels they wore are killing their feet and they can’t stand it a second longer.
Watch them admire your genius as you slip on a pair of flats that are small enough to have been hiding in your clutch all night. Cheap versions are available at drugstores (look in the shoe insert aisle), but if you want a pair that lasts, check out brands like Sidekicks that include a leather pouch.
About the Author:
Nicole Betti never attends a wedding without a gorgeous fascinator. As the owner of Gold Coast Couture, a designer hat boutique, she loves any excuse to get dressed up. Nicole frequently shares her style expertise and passion through contributions to a variety of online publications. To see more, visit www.goldcoastCouture.com