9 December 2023 6:28 PM
Vogue Williams in London. Lesson one of wedding dressing: if it's in church, you will feel horribly exposed in clothes that you would feel perfectly happy in at a dimly lit party

Help! The young adults are starting to get married and I have a wedding to go to this weekend.

It’s an afternooner, followed by an evening shindig, so whatever I wear will need to be glamorous, not too daytime, something you could wear to a summer wedding but is shower and temperature drop-proof. It’s a good dry run, in short, for all the weddings in the months to come.

I’d be lying if I said I found this easy. I’ve had some bad dressing-for- wedding experiences over the years. I once had to sprint to a shop, in between the wedding and the reception, to swap the dress I was wearing for the bigger size.

Lesson one of wedding dressing: if it’s in church, you will feel horribly exposed in clothes that you would feel perfectly happy in at a dimly lit party.

For my best friend’s wedding I wore a bias-cut navy polka-dot dress that on the day was just too ordinary and made me feel a bit like the nanny.

Vogue Williams in London. Lesson one of wedding dressing: if it’s in church, you will feel horribly exposed in clothes that you would feel perfectly happy in at a dimly lit party

Lesson two: weddings require dressing up — drama, structure, polish — or if not all of the above, then some.

Lesson three is that your accessories matter. The hats I wore to weddings in the 1980s and 1990s made me look either mad or old, mainly because they were an afterthought.

If you’re going to wear a hat — and it’s not compulsory; a good blow-dry could suffice — then don’t just borrow the one from your friend.

Likewise, I have been let down by my wedding footwear; this is not the day for ruined old favourites. Extra effort all around is the rule of dressing for weddings.

So what’s the answer at this point? A gorgeous dress, of course. They may be wearing trousers at Cheltenham, but this is about what’s easiest and most appropriate, and that’s a striking dress every time.

For my purposes (day into night), I’m looking for something semi-slinky. The difference with a dress you’re wearing in daylight and after dark is 1) the fabric needs to be fluid not stiff and starchy; and 2) the cut should not look out of place on the dance floor.

To me, this means midi or longer, and elegantly figure-hugging rather than moulded bodycon (too Apprentice).

And I want it to be in a bold print (moving on from merely floral) to wear with a plain mid-thigh coat (though you might prefer to go for the other way around).

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Shane says to opt for a dress that is midi or longer, and elegantly figure-hugging rather than moulded bodycon. Pictured Holly Willoughby in 2021

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The expert also says she would enjoy And I want it to be in a bold print (moving on from merely floral) to wear with a plain mid-thigh coat. Pictured left, Carole Middleton and right, Letizia, Queen of Spain

Plain colours can work well, but I just feel fancier in a luscious print, and the picture posted by James Middleton of Carole at his wedding party in 2021 confirmed you’ll never look mother-of-the-bridey in a strong print.

Hers was Temperley London, with a £750 price tag to match, but the takeaway was that a bright bold blue and orange crochet print with a V-neckline is the way to go.

DRESSING FOR THE BIG DAY 

Clash your coat and shoes.

Swap hat for fascinator.

Go for a Carole Middleton print.

A half- or threequarter sleeve is best.

For bold floral prints at the pricey end of the scale — around the £300 mark — try Samantha Cameron’s label Cefinn’s occasionwear (cefinn.com). You’ll find lots of striking block colour dresses, too.

Or, alternatively, head to Kitri. It has a ‘painted’ floral maxi which is another good bet for weddings if you like a slightly 1970s feel (£175, kitristudio.com).

Whistles has a pretty ruched bodice floral-print midi in zingy pinks and blues (£169, whistles.com) with three-quarter sleeves. I feel the need for sleeves, at least an elbow grazer, and fluttery short ones, like a just-below-the-knee length, are the details that now make a dress ageing.

For clashing prints in one dress, Rixo is still the place to look (rixolondon.com), while Zara does good print dresses including a splashy white hibiscus on red print dress (£49.99, zara.com) that’s party friendly and covered up at the same time.

With the wilder prints, often the less skin on show the better they look.

For shoes, black usually works, otherwise pick a colour in the print or go nude.

Fascinators have got a bad rep for some reason, but a hint of a hat strikes me as the best option. Phase Eight will deliver a chic headpiece for under £50, but, if in doubt, my tip is spend the money on a visit to the hair salon.

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-12004761/How-wedding-guest-wow-factor.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

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