What to wear is a struggle for women on a daily basis, so when it comes to wearing a dress for a wedding, things can get complicated. There are a few basic guidelines women should follow when choosing a dress to wear as a wedding guest. The time of the wedding, as well as its formality, will help navigate you toward the perfect dress.
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If you are attending a daytime wedding, your dress can be somewhat casual compared to dress for an evening wedding. A nice dress or skirt in a light colour, or a dress with a soft print or floral pattern, are beautiful choices. For an outdoor wedding, coordinate a beautiful hat and strappy sandals with the dress.
Women attending an evening wedding should dress as if they were going to dinner at a nice restaurant. A black cocktail dress or dressy suit are ideal. Black or dark colours and sophisticated fabrics such as silk or wool are best for this type of occasion, and can be accented with a small evening bag or clutch.
Black Tie Affair
A formal affair that is designated with the words "black tie" on an invitation means that you should dress very formally for the occasion. The Wedding Channel's Guide for Guests suggests that women dress in formal, floor-length dresses. A shorter cocktail dress can be worn if the invitation says "black tie optional" versus "black tie." You should err on the side of overdressing rather than dressing too casually.
What Not to Wear
Although you may need ideas of what to wear at the wedding, you should also know what not to wear. White, cream or ivory is typically off-limits, as the bride should not be upstaged at her own wedding. On the other hand, black dresses should also be avoided at daytime weddings. Jeans, or other casual attire with holes or stains, should not be worn at any wedding. Finally, avoid wearing anything too revealing, because, once again, this is the time for the bride to shine.
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