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June 14, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Guest Fashion: What to Wear at Weddings

By Mellissa More Blogs by This Author

Wedding season has crept up on us again and the invitations are pouring in. After the initial excitement for the bride and groom, panic sets in, “What do I wear?” A wedding marks a life changing event for the bride and groom, so it's important to dress for the occasion properly. One of the first things you'll need to take note of is the style of dress the bride and groom are asking guests to wear. Showing up in the wrong attire can cause problems, so definitely do your homework before rummaging the closet or hitting the mall. Here is a quick list of the styles the bride and groom may note on the invitation:

  • Black tie; dress to the nines!

  • Semi-formal-;no need for the penguin suit, but still go for some glamor.

  • Informal-;business attire will do, nothing dramatic.

  • Casual; relaxed, think sundress and sandals.

All that being said, unless you've been given specific permission or orders from the wedding party, here are some things you definitely should not wear to a wedding:

  • Anything revealing. There's a time and place for mini skirts and crop tops, a wedding is not one of them. If you have ask if it's too short, don't wear it.

  • No jeans. Even if the dresscode is casual do not wear jeans.

  • No black. Black will suit an evening wedding, but be sure it's “a little black dress.”

Dress with color in mind

So you're not part of the bridal party, that's ok! Think of it this way, you'll be avoiding any residual, unfiltered stress from the bride and groom about the big day. The only thing you need to be concerned about is your outfit. There are some “experts” out there who say it's rude to wear the same colors chosen for the bridal party. Most times when that happens, it is purely coincidence and certainly not disrespectful, let alone heart attack inducing. Others say not to wear white because it steals the bride's thunder. I also disagree with that. I wore a white dress (and shoes) to a very good friend's wedding recently, and I assure you, compared to her gown, I may as well had been wearing a grocery bag and flip flops. Unless your dress can be mistaken for a wedding gown (which is highly improbable), I think white is a great color for a wedding, especially a summer wedding.

Since it is summer, there's a great possibility that the wedding you're attending will be outdoors. Any photographs taken will be taken outdoors as well. Bright, natural light is a glorious thing, and if you live north of the equator, you're probably salivating for some of those rays come spring. And, aside from making us happy, sunshine also reveals color in a truer and purer way. There have been plenty of times when I've bought a skirt at the mall, went outside and, wham! It's a completely different color! Make a mental note never to shop in stores with mood lighting, but secondly, understand how bright sunshine affects color.

Most of us don't think too hard when it comes to complimenting our skintone with clothing color. Let me be clear: You can wear any color of the rainbow as long as it's the proper hue. If you're a fair redhead, you're not doomed to olive green and navy; if you're peach toned you don't have to avoid blue. It all comes down to the proper hues for your skintone. Everyone has either cool or warm skintones. There's an incorrect notion that darker skin means cooler and lighter skin means warmer. In fact, it can be the opposite. If you grab an artist's color wheel you'll discover that even “hot” colors like red and orange have cooler variations. For example: lemon yellow is cooler than goldenrod (cadmium yellow), crimson is cooler than vermillion, veridian is cooler than lime, and the comparisons go on. As for skintones, Ivory is cooler than Beige, but Beige is cooler than Tan. This is why picking the right cosmetic foundation is so maddening!

To find out if you have warm or cool skin, go outdoors (or near a window with natural white light) and look at the backs of your hands. If there's bluish tones throughout, you've got cool skin, if you see orangey-red tones, you've got warm skin.

What colors to wear

As mentioned before, deeper skin tones are not necessarily cooler than lighter skin tones. That's why it's important to determine warm or cool skin based on an individual “color test.”

If your skin falls into the category of “cool tones,” you will want to pick colors that will contrast against your skin and pick up subtle warm tones, especially if you are fair skinned. Pastels can definitely be worn by those with fair skin, as long as you mix it with a darker solid.

Do wear:

  • Pastels

  • Primary colors

  • Dark colors

Don't wear:

  • Neon colors

  • Bright white

  • Beige

  • Limit neutrals such as brown

If your skin falls into the category of “warm tones,” you will want to pick colors that compliment the ruddiness of your complexion.

Do wear:

  • Earthy colors

  • Neutrals

Don't wear:

  • Gray tones

  • Dark greens or blues

If you're still on the fence about what colors to wear, rest assured, solid primaries work on every skin tone, including white. Violet hues tend to look amazing on every skin color as well- fair, dark, and everything in between. Black, like white, works well for every skin tone, it may not be appropriate for wedding attire.

The finishing pieces of every outfit should be the accessories. Shoes, bags, and jewelery can add an extra punch of color or variety to an outfit. If you can avoid it, try to stay away from color matching your shoes and handbag to your ensemble. The invention of nude pumps has eased the woes of picking a shoe color. Wear black shoes carefully because they can be a clunky when paired with a summery outfit.

Lastly, remember to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It's much easier to pick a wardrobe based on your skintone when it is in its natural, unburned state!


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1 Comment

  • Interesting about skin tone...I'll have to apply that sometime soon! :)

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