When guests receive wedding invitations, they more or less know what the dress code is for the event already. If the dress code is not indicated, people dress according to the wedding theme or time of day of the wedding. Often, even if the invitation mentions a specific type of wear such as black tie, semi-formal, or cocktail, some people are still cautious about their dressing options as their definition of black tie might differ from the other guests. Here are some tips on how to wear the right outfit to a wedding.
If the dress code is not specified, take note of the time of day of the wedding. For morning and afternoon weddings, lighter or brighter colors are more appropriate and dresses can be a bit more casual. Ladies wear can go from Sunday dresses, floral skirts, and casual suits, while men can don suits, sports coats, slacks, and ties. Some can opt to match not just the time of day but also dressing for the right season.
For evening weddings, men should still stick to suits, while women should opt for something more elegant and chic, like cocktail dresses in dark, sophisticated colors. If uncertain about the dress code, ladies should treat dressing up for the wedding as they would for a formal dinner date or attending an evening social function. Keep it simple yet classy, with a few key accessories and a dainty evening bag rather than a huge day purse. This way of dressing is also more suited for weddings that indicate cocktail attire of semi-formal.
Should the invitation indicate that women come in black tie or black tie optional, this means that guests should come in their best formal attire. Gentlemen should wear tuxedos… Women, on the other hand, should wear long gowns in sophisticated styles and colors. Fine jewelry and stylish evening clutch can also complete the outfit. For a black tie optional, guests can go all the way as they would with a black tie wedding, or they can opt for a tone down style—men can dress in suits that are either black, dark grey or deep navy to appear more dashing and at their best.
Most weddings that require guests to wear casual attire usually mean that the event will take place in a more relaxed setting such as parks, beaches, and gardens. Thought casual does mean that high heels and jackets are optional; guests should still look presentable and special because they are attending a very special occasion. Women can wear attire similar to morning weddings but with flat shoes, while men can stick to dress slacks and button down shirts without ties.
When it doubt, don’t be afraid to overdress a little. There is a saying that it’s sometimes best to overdress rather than be underdressed, as it’s easier to tone outfits down than try to look for chic the last minute. It doesn’t hurt to ask other sticking out like a sore thumb of upstaging the bride or groom.