Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

Weddings and Graduations: What to Wear? June 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:00 pm


Bride clip



This is the time of year for graduations and weddings.  It’s also the time of year when you may be asking yourself, “what should  I wear to that event?”  “In Style” magazine recently had a great little feature on different wedding dress codes and I thought I’d share them with you.


What to wear when the dress code is “Casual”

Think “less formal” and avoid anything flashy.  Above-the-knee dresses and skirts are the way to go, just don’t go ultra-short.  As for shoes, heels are not suggested so pull out your favorite ballet flats or sandals with fun embellishments and details.  Hair and make-up should look natural and effortless.  While thinking “less formal,” however, don’t go too casual.  Denim is definitely out as is any type of weekend wear.  Even though the dress code is casual, the event is still an important one so dress for it!


What to wear when the dress code is “Semiformal”

Think fun but sophisticated.  Any conservative but fun cocktail dress in your favorite color will work.  Add a interesting statement necklace and some amazing shoes and you are good to go.  Little black dresses are no longer frowned upon, especially if you add a pop of color with a belt, scarf, or fun pumps.  Speaking of shoes, heels are the way to go, whether strappy or more conservative.  Flats would be flat out wrong!  Sequins and super fancy are not necessary though.  You never want to compete with the bridesmaids or mother-of-the bride!   For hair and make-up, add some glam touches like an updo with a fun clip or a bold lip color.


What to wear when the dress code is “Formal”

Now’s the time to wear that extra-special elegant dress, either long or short, but long is best for a more formal look.  If you do go short, make sure it’s knee-length and boasts some type of luxe details like ruffles or bling.  This is also the time to glam up with sparkly jewelry, sky-high shoes, and anything metallic.  A word of caution though:  avoid high slits, plunging necklines, or low-cut backs.  They may be okay for next week’s black tie event, but they are too sexy for a wedding.   A good way to evaluate what you’re thinking of is  if you’d wear it during the day, it’s too casual.  Hair and make-up should be chic and professionally done if possible.  Your goal is to feel sophisticated, not flashy.


Other wedding and graduation tips:

Always RSVP as soon as possible.  This is not an option!

Stick to the registry.  You may have something special in mind for a gift, but if you must, add it as a “bonus” gift, not the main one.

Arrive on time!

Avoid wearing white…even to the Rehearsal Dinner.  A nice cocktail dress works best for the dinner.

For any type of brunch, a casual top with nice shorts or cropped pants work well, depending on the venue.


Cheers and congrats to all the brides and graduates!


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