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05/05/2015

The Spring Wedding Invitation Glossary: A Lady's Guide to What to Wear

This past fall, we talked about what to wear to a wedding. And now, in spring and summer, we’re really in the thick of things. June is known to be the most popular month for marriages and it continues all summer long. The tricky part about being a guest at any wedding is understanding the dress code. We always joke that a wedding invitation should come with an example picture of what to wear, Formal, Semi-Formal, and Casual can mean so many different things, especially when it’s mixed in with settings like a beach, urban park, rustic barn, or the grounds of a country club. At the end of the day, you want to look great and you want to look appropriate at the same time. So, let’s take care of that today.

Once you’re done here, head over to our Fashion Finds article, “8 Essential Ladies’ Looks to get you through Spring/Summer Wedding Season in Style” where we’ll break down each wedding category with complete looks that we think you’ll love.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eliza-j-scarf-print-woven-maxi-dress-regular-petite/3613769
Eliza J - Scarf Print Woven Maxi Dress
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Eliza J - Scarf Print Woven Maxi Dress
Scarf Print Woven Maxi Dress
Eliza J
Sold by: Nordstrom

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Fit Guide
Dressy Casual, Casual, Beachy. This dress code is usually reserved for day events or outdoor venues – especially destination ones. If it’s a casual urban affair, a simple dress will do the trick. You can even have some fun with a jumpsuit – just keep it modern and sophisticated, and don’t forget your heels. If it’s outdoors - especially somewhere like a beach, park, or casual backyard affair - you can do a pretty sundress or maxi dress. For these occasions, leave those skinny heels at home. Opt for a wedge, or sparkly flat sandals. You can even play with this season’s trend of a chunky block heel, if it works with your outfit. Indoors or out, wearing color and prints is absolutely allowed – even encouraged. It will play into the warm weather and fun vibe. This Eliza J maxi dress is one of our favorites for this type of wedding. The print is modern and flattering, drawing the eye in with the diagonal striping on the fluid skirt, in colors that look great with nude or black shoes. It has an easier fit so the waistband is slimming without being too tight. And the neckline is so flattering – you can wear a strapless or crisscross bra, while it also accentuates your shoulders and elongates your arms so you can bare them with confidence. A graphic or colorful floral in a similar style is just as appealing.
http://www.shopbop.com/clare-dress-bcbgmaxazria/vp/v=1/1586007184.htm
BCBGMAXAZRIA - Clare Sleeveless Wrap Drape Skirt Dress
Semi-formal, Dressy, Festive. You can wear a cocktail dress to cover all of these “themes”. These types of weddings are usually evening cocktails/passed hors d’oeuvres, champagne/dessert, a brunch, high tea, or lunch. And this will generally cover those “dressier” outdoor affairs, too. You can definitely have some fun with your attire, especially in the warmer weather. Play with color, especially when there are so many punchy pastels to choose from this season, like this amazing contemporary coral option from BCBGMAXAZRIA. The draped panels not only accent your waist while concealing and smoothing your hips, they include slant pockets that are so stylish – without any added bulk. The v-neckline and sash detail create the perfect finishing details. A statement collar necklace makes for a great accent, with metallic, nude or colorblock strappy heels to coordinate with the beautiful color. (Note: This is a shorter length, but it falls mid-thigh to above the knee on most ladies – not as short as it is on the model.) In addition to playing with color, you can also do a print like a floral, in a cocktail dress for this occasion – just make sure the cut and fabric has a dressier feel. Of course, black and neutral colors are always safe– and erring on the side of caution won’t make your look any less appropriate. Just know you have options. This dress is made in sizes 0-12, so if your size is sold out already through the ‘shop it’ button, try Zappos. For a bit of an easier modern fit, Eliza J’s version is sure to please up to size 16. You can even have some summer fun with this butterfly clutch to coordinate with it all.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Aidan-by-Aidan-Mattox-Sleeveless-Metallic-Jacquard-Cocktail-Dress-Aidan-by-Aidan-Mattox/prod178990144___/p.prod
Aidan by Aidan Mattox - Sleeveless Metallic Jacquard Cocktail Dress
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Aidan by Aidan Mattox - Sleeveless Metallic Jacquard Cocktail Dress
Sleeveless Metallic Jacquard Cocktail Dress
Aidan by Aidan Mattox
Sold by: Neiman Marcus

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Fit Guide
Formal. If it’s an evening affair noting that dinner will be served, and nothing is specified for your attire, this is probably what they mean, as it is the most common. “Black tie optional” will generally fall in to this category, as well. There may be an outdoor component to this, like the ceremony or cocktail hour, but it’s generally in a setting where you can still wear skinny heels (a country club or hotel). A floor length gown is not necessary, though you can certainly wear one. In general, you’ll fit in with dressy separates, a more formal cocktail dress, or a long dress. If you’re going with a long option, we suggest keeping it simple and festive. Generally, you don’t need the same level of glitz and glamour as you do for a true Black Tie, so playing with color and pattern for the season is a great way to interpret this dress code. This Aidan by Aidan Mattox (the less formal and better priced version of Aidan Mattox’s formal line with the same modern fit that looks great on so many figures) is an ideal option, with its metallic threading appropriately dressing up the aqua floral jacquard fabric. The simple jewel neckline is bra-friendly and doesn’t require a necklace, while the a-line skirt accentuates your waist and isn’t too fitted over the hips. We find the length hits mid-thigh to just above the knee on most ladies. Keep it dressy and show off the v-neckline in the back by wearing your hair up with a pair of vintage-inspired statement earrings and gold shoes (strappy or closed).
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446788403
Tadashi Shoji - Sequined Chiffon Gown
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Tadashi Shoji - Sequined Chiffon Gown
Sequined Chiffon Gown
Tadashi Shoji
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Fit Guide
Black Tie. While White Tie is the most formal (floor length evening gowns), that is pretty straight forward, and not all that common, so we’re going to jump right into Black Tie. This is almost always an evening affair. And this dress code is generally specified on the invitation, so it’s your opportunity to go all-out…a formal floor length gown is absolutely acceptable. Add a little sparkle, if you like. You can opt for a shorter – yet upscale- cocktail dress or evening suit, as well. But if you’re unsure, it’s best to stick with a longer dress that you know will compliment a man’s tuxedo. We are simply in love with this Tadashi Shoji stunner. The navy blue is a chic alternative to black, especially for the warmer months. And the chiffon gathers around the waist are amazingly slimming, whether you are a 2 or 16. This exquisite detail, along with the touch of sequins, creates a luxe look for every black tie occasion. Metallic shoes in any shade (open or closed) will complete the look.
 

Comments (2)

That's what we're here for, Jenn...that voice of reason;).
5/5/2015 3:39 PM
Mark Shale
Fantastic! Beautiful Tadashi. Optional headline: "Trust us on this, not your husband."
5/5/2015 8:50 AM
Jenn
how to