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How to Find Wedding Guest Outfits without breaking the bank

The wedding season is officially in full swing and as much as it’s exciting it can also be daunting to know what to wear as a guest. As a Personal Stylist, I often hear my clients say they bought an outfit for a wedding that costs them a fortune and they only worn it once. It breaks my heart that they haven’t used the outfit for another occasion especially when they admit how much they spent. So, let me explain the “cost per wear” as I don’t want you to make the same mistake. If something costs you £200 but you end up wearing it 10 times per year for 3 years then that fantastic dress is costing you £6.66 per wear. Now you probably understand why it is really important to choose a dress or outfit you totally fall in love with, that’s great quality, original, elegant AND that you know you can wear regularly (events or even for work, yes you read right, I’ll come into it soon!) So, it becomes a great investment for your wardrobe despite being a bit pricey.

Dress, £235, Thread & Needle Maxi dress, £137, COAST Floral Dress £129,  Lime dress from Karen Millen £60

Tina Turk Pink Dress, wedding guest outfit

Needle & Thread blush maxi dress, wedding guest outfit

Coast Floral Dress, wedding guest outfit

Karen Millen Lime A Line dress, wedding guest outfit

Choosing the right outfit can be a little tricky as you want to make a great impression by looking elegant and chic. You don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons ie weird hairstyle, too sexy, under-dressed OR over-dressed (hat…when nobody else has one!) If it’s of any comfort I have got it wrong before training as an Image Consultant, believe me!!

It’s always a good idea to enquiry about the venue and the dress code at least a month prior to the wedding so you know what to expect. If the bride is a close friend to you, why not ask her opinion about your outfit? That may even prevent coming to the wedding with the same dress as another guest (ouch, that’s not a nice feeling!)

Knowing what the dress code and the venue are like, are super important when you choose your outfit. It will help you determine how formal or traditional your outfit needs to be, ie if there is a religious ceremony you will need to wear a jacket or a cover up. If you have to walk in grass to reach the marquee, stilettos are not a great option. If the couple is very casual usually and decide the wedding should reflect that then you don’t want to turn up with hats… But to the opposite, if the families are very traditional and classic, chances are they will wear hats or fascinators.

You may also want to think of the weather forecast especially if you know that the reception may be partly outside. It could be as simple as planning for a warmer jacket, a pashmina, a bolero, a smart cardigan, a “warm silk scarf” or even a summer long coat/jacket if the weather is meant to be dreadful. This may help you decide which COLOUR to choose your dress prior to purchase your outfit so you are not left at the last minute having to purchase another jacket because it doesn’t go with the lovely dress you bought…

Ted Baker Orange Cropped Jacket with black trousers, wedding guest outfit

The thing to remember about weddings, is that it is the celebration of love between two persons and therefore it’s their special day. Don’t choose a dress/top with a very deep décolleté that is too provocative for a wedding or a short skirt/dress (even if you are single! Think classy, elegant and sassy rather than super sexy) I think even Pippa Middleton said that her bridesmaid dress at William and Kate’s wedding did suit her a bit too well ?

Dressing for a wedding is pretty easy if you choose a dress for example; as you may already have a jacket, a bolero or cover up that goes with it. If you’re not into dresses, you may want to consider trying a jumpsuit or a wide leg trousers with a silky top or even a tailored trousers suit. The bonus is you possibly can wear those garments easier for work or evening outs/events.Oasis Pale Pink trousers and Jacket, Wedding guest outfitOasis Trousers and Jacket, £50 and £40

If you are struggling with ideas, you can base your “outfit creation” on a lovely pair of comfortable shoes that you love, a clutch /“mini bag”, hat or even a jacket.

Although times have changed and the traditionalists would disagree with me, you can now wear black as we do see more and more women wear black dresses or black top/skirt but it is still perceived as a funeral colour.  White/ cream are still not recommended. Come on ladies, there are enough other colours to choose from!

Coast black and white wedding guest outfit -Coast Jacket £59

Laundry by Shelli Segal, ruffle cold shoulder dress, wedding guest outfitShelli Segal, Ruffle Cold shoulder dress, £159

Studio 8 Pink Blazer with Floral dress, Wedding guest outfit for plus size women

Studio 8 Pink Blazer with Floral Dress, £124.99 and £124.99

Chi Chi London Green Evening dress, Wedding Guest outfit for plus size womenChi chi Clothing Green Dress £64.99

Zalando dress and Only Pink Jacket, Wedding Guest Outfit Chi Chi Clothing Red Lace dress, Wedding Guest Outfit

My last advice is that comfort is KEY so be careful when you choose your pair of shoes. You don’t want to cringe while on the dance floor or let heels, straps or new shoes “syndrome” ruin your fun! I have been in real pain once with a new pair of shoes at my cousin’s wedding, so I am talking from experience here! Try to wear your new shoes around the house, if you want to keep them immaculate, for few hours so you get used to them.

Hope this has been a good summary on how to get it right for your next wedding. I am more than happy to help you virtually if you don’t have the time to browse dozens of online shops and get you the outfit that’s going to turn heads for the right reasons! To discuss my online Shopping and Styling, please contact me >>>

Don’t forget to download your FREE Style guide! Click here

Claire X

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