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what to wear to a wedding????
read between the lines of dress instructions on a wedding invitation

     
DRESS  BEFITTING 
OF
THE 
WEDDING 
GUEST
     

guide to what to wear and when to wear it

how to decipher what type of dress to wear to a wedding, formal, or special occasion with these dress tips

Dear Sharon: I hope you could tell me what is appropriate to wear to a 7 P.M. indoor summer wedding in Charleston, SC. I only mention the city because I have heard the South is more formal.

Cocktail length? Ankle length? Floor Length? Can I wear something with black in it? To complicate matters I will be five months pregnant at the time and generally hate poncho-like maternity clothes. I would appreciate any direction at all. Thank you. --Belle On Board (Chicago, IL)


Dear Belle On Board:
Yes, mamamia the South can be decidedly femininely formal, but with fashion styles becoming more globally relaxed and less territorial these days (thank the Gap for that!), most region-to-region style flip-flops are not as peculiar as years ago. 

Banner 1 Fashion may be on its way to being universal, but if you feel out of your league about long-distance dressing "customs", check with a member of the wedding, or a local know-it-all to be sure you are on a similar fashion wavelength.

There is a respect factor to be in harmony with the occasion, but that doesn't mean you have to dress in the paradox of your personal style to feel welcome. 

Black has become a classic color when it comes to weddings like much else. But, some brides are still a bit superstitious about seeing a sea of darkness at their "I do" to-do-you might just want to pop this question if you are a bit unsure of her preferences. The same goes for wearing white… never be accused of competing with the bride!

designer dressesA modern bride should also be considerate enough about her guests' finances not to expect them to shell out gazillions to share her vision…there should some room for individuality. Back in 1922, etiquette expert extraordinaire Emily Post said, "The woman who is chic is always a little different." 

Consider these wedding
dress tips before you begin a mad search of what to wear for someone else's big day…

Location, location, location: Of course, where the wedding takes place is noteworthy as to what is appropriate to wear. As a guest, you wouldn't turn up in a beaded gown for a ceremony on a beach necessarily, but you would dress more for the time of day or suggested "dress" on the invitation. 

Daytime Wedding: Sophisticated chic… something more special than an ordinary day at the office, but consider this a glitz-free zone. A simple sheath dress or suit with gorgeous shoes and accessories can also save you from maxing out a credit card for a one night only outfit and be appropriate too. Your date can don a sports jacket or suit… I would still question going sans tie. 

Casual Dress Mentioned: Kick off the stilettos and think more of something you would wear to a lovely lunch out… that's to a restaurant that requires reservations, not the local snack-shack.

Cocktail Wedding: Eveningwear! Go nuts with luxurious fabrications in the hem length of the moment... keep the gowns in the closet. Men should wear dark suits. 

Black Tie Optional: This "anything fabulous goes" directive gives some flexibility to choose between a cocktail dress or a more formal gown. The overall feeling of fancy-schmancyness depends on the circle of people. Ask around to see if this crowd goes for all-out, floor-length glamour or more of an edgy hipster style of formality. Ultimately, you can choose whatever length you like as long as the style is elegant. Men can wear either a dark suit or a tuxedo, but no sports jackets please. 

Black Tie: Posh pleasures and evening gowns galore! This is where Mrs. Gotrocks goes to the vault. And for all you divas of decadence, this is one of the few occasions where you cannot be accused of being too overdressed. However, there is nothing worse than being inappropriately underdressed at a black-tie only affair. I can still remember the schnook in the Hawaiian print shirt at a colleagues' all-out wedding--- yeegads. Rent a tux, if you don't own one, but please conjure up something innovative if you can't master the real thing. 

My pregnant princess of propriety, elegant maternity eveningwear can be an oxymoron if you don't want to fork over big bucks for what truly can be a one-time only get-up. Opt for something simple and let your accessories take center stage. Layer up with one fabulous dressy addition- like an inexpensive lacey coat (even mama-to-be Madonna was spotted wearing one of these glamourella cover-ups) or a satiny shawl smothered in clear beads. Pull out the sexy sandals, do your hair, spend time putting on a glamorous face, and bring out the sparkly jewels… you will look smashing! 


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