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You've got the travel, the accommodation and the wedding gift covered and only one thing remains - choosing what to wear. If that thought fills you with dread don't worry, you're not alone. Finding an appropriate wedding guest outfit for the big day is no easy task, but luckily you're spoilt for choice. Gone are the days of strict hat rules and banned black dresses. The key to looking the part at a wedding is knowing which styles to embrace...and which to avoid. So to get you inspired, here is our guide on what to wear to a wedding.
Dressing for a wedding is all about accentuating classic shapes, colours and styles. Think aesthetic colour combinations, pleasing optical illusions and sculpted dresses. Depending on the season and location of the wedding, you may want to enquire about dress code, just in case of any specific expectations. Bear in mind that you are generally expected to avoid matching the colour scheme (if you have been told). And don't forget that the bride may be happy to advise you on appropriate styles and colours if necessary.
When it comes to choosing what to wear to a wedding, one of the best ways to make sure you will look the part is to match the location of the event. Where is the reception being held? If it is set in a formal garden, look for dresses with floral patterns in natural colours such as yellow, green and khaki. Cotton dresses are perfect for garden weddings as the fabric is more breathable, but will keep you warm well into the evening. Wraps, belted and A-shaped dresses work particularly well.
Perhaps you are wondering what to wear to an evening event set in a hotel or a similar venue? For those occasions, silk, satin and lace dresses are most appropriate. If you are wearing lace, make sure that the dress is lined and at least knee-length. Dresses with fabric details such as embroidery and sheer as well as sculpted dresses work particularly well for this type of wedding, but stick to a single colour scheme as anything else will look over the top.
When it comes to choosing which colour to wear, it is generally a good idea to avoid white dresses altogether. If you do wear white or ivory, make sure to add colourful accessories or wear it as monochrome with black. The mother of the bride, however, can usually wear the same colour as the bride. It is perfectly acceptable to wear white accessories. Don't be afraid to wear black or dark navy as long as you wear it with a touch of colour. A black dress with a colourful belt or shawl will look just the part.
Classic colour schemes - blue, red and monochrome - will work for any wedding guest outfit. With a striking colour it is sometimes best to choose as modest a dress as possible - but when it comes to fashion advice and style for over 50s, there really are no rules for colours - be as brave as you want. Trust us, you'll look amazing.
Once you have a specific colour in mind, there are a few types of dresses that are particularly appropriate for wedding guests to wear no matter the location or time of the event. Depending on your body shape, dresses with the following attributes are great options:
If you are concerned about your figure, rather than opting for a dress size a couple of sizes too big, try using layering to create contrasts of colour and texture to draw the eye away. Asymmetrical shapes and layered textures can both be used to create the appearance of and hide curves, depending on the cut. If you are experimenting with this, it is safest to try darker colours such as black and navy or a light tan if you feel a little more confident.
Avoid dresses that are too tight, revealing or in other ways attracting attention away from the bride. A shorter dress is fine as long as the neckline is high and a v-neck will work if the dress is below knee-length and so forth.
When it comes to accessories, weddings are a great place to go a little outside your comfort zone. Whether that's wearing bright red shoes to match your dress or that necklace you've always thought was a little too 'dressy', styling a wedding guest outfit is a chance to try out a different look. If you're a little unsure about how to add accessories to your wedding guest outfit, here is some advice on how to wear a fascinator, choosing a hat and styling statement jewellery.
There are many traditions involving the mother of the bride and her role in the wedding, but what should the mother of the groom do? Whether you're concerned about potential issues or just need a little support and heads up, gransnetters are ready with mother of the groom advice.