Note To You Little Sister

Q: Dressing for a summer wedding?

Fashion, FFMJen

Q: Dressing for a summer wedding when you have no idea what the attire is (and your date is absolutely no help)


When I’m invited to a summer wedding, the first thing that comes to mind is free champagne. The second thing that comes to mind is my outfit—and inevitably I have zero idea what to wear, because the invite doesn’t tell me. My date, especially when it’s my Well-Intentioned-But-Clueless-Boyfriend, might not definitely won’t have any idea what the appropriate dress code is either. So I feel your pain. But before you have a minor mental breakdown in the middle of the shoe aisle wondering whether to buy heels or wedges an hour before the event, take a deep breath, because if you keep these few things in mind, finding the right dress is a piece of (wedding) cake:

Start with the basics. Is it a small outdoor backyard wedding, or is it at some swanky hotel ballroom? The venue can give you some concept of the dress code. Example: Usually a daytime outdoor wedding leans toward casual/semiformal (think nice sundress and wedges). I know “semiformal” is an awful word and should be outlawed (it’s like it can’t make up its mind whether it’s formal or casual), but for your sanity’s sake, at least it sends you shopping in the right direction. Secondly, it’s summer! So for the love of floral prints, dress for it! Go with pastels and brighter colors. And stick to short sleeves. Your body will thank you later when you’re sitting in the sun for that hour-long ceremony.

If all else fails, accessories are your best friend and saving grace. Grab a simple lace or chiffon knee-length dress, and you can dress it up or down at the last minute with a belt, necklaces, different shoes, etc. And trust me, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed—even if people say the wedding is casual, the bride probably doesn’t think it’s casual! The dress-up/dress-down method often ends up being my solution, because my Well-Intentioned-But-Clueless Boyfriend automatically thinks that every outfit I pick out “looks good” for whatever occasion it’s for. Boys. What can ya do.

Oh, and most importantly, whatever you decide to wear, make sure you can dance to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” in it, because no matter what you might say, it’s going to happen.


P.S. Enjoy the free champagne.