HomeLifestyleDecoding the dress code: what to wear to a wedding now

Decoding the dress code: what to wear to a wedding now

When April Lavelle and Alex Boniello started planning their upcoming October wedding, the first thing they decided was the dress code. Donate more instead of requesting your guests traditional formal Or black-tie dresses, the couple opted for the less common, and purposefully obscure, “cocktail creative.”

He told his attendees about his unusual choice via his wedding website, writing under “Cocktail Creative/Semiformal”. dress code Frequently asked questions, and has since received a few questions from guests who are unsure about what to wear. To avoid any tension, Lovelle and Boniello simply “encouraged them to wear whatever they feel like.”

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“I didn’t want my guests to feel like they had to edit their personal style to fit wedding setting,” Lovelle said. “We wanted everyone to feel free to get creative with whatever they wanted to wear.”

While the couple’s wedding dress may seem a bit unconventional, so-called unusual dress codes are becoming increasingly common amid the boom in weddings. Around 2.5 million weddings are expected this year, many of which were postponed because of Epidemic,

“Many couples are finding that choosing a unique or non-traditional dress code for their wedding is an effective way to set themselves apart from the pack,” said Leslie Brickman. luxury bridal stylist and CEO of One Gown, a concierge styling firm in Los Angeles.

Around 2.5 million weddings are expected to take place this year, many of which were postponed due to the pandemic. (Deborah Szpilman / The New York Times)

LaValle and Boniello, 31-year-old actors, producers and writers who live in Manhattan, are excited to see what people have in store for their Brooklyn wedding on October 30. He hopes the result will be what Lavelle calls a “mash-of-styles” that reflects the personalities and tastes of the attendees.

Couples will also follow their dress code. Lavelle plans to wear a black “party veil” made by her friend, Broadway seamstress Anna Kate Reap. White dress A gray Balenciaga suit designed by Sarah Seven and Boniello that once belonged to actor Michael K. Williams and was bought into the Harlem Creative Collective.

Navigating these out-of-the-box dress codes can be confusing for guests who are used to renting a tuxedo or wearing a slightly black outfit.

Here’s a guide on how to interpret some of this year’s tougher approaches to defining a dress code.

desert chic

Weddings can be beautiful with a canyon and cactus as a backdrop, but unless the couple is content with guests in bandanas and hiking boots, dressing for the occasion can be tricky. If in doubt, choose fabrics that flow and “separate in the bold prints and rich colors found in Joshua Trees: greens, shades of orange, rich blues, deep reds and purples,” said Brickman, who wrote wide – wide cap was suggested and chunky jewelery as accessories. Think boho meets Coachella. Be sure to dress for the season, by avoiding “heavy fabrics like wool or thick synthetics” and opting for closed-toe heels or flats, the stylist added. Sand and stilettos do not mix.

black-tie boho

Guests will want the simple yet elegant look in a monochrome palette that includes small and subtle splashes of color and bohemian flair. (Deborah Szpilman / The New York Times)

“The black-tie boho dress is clean and sleek with minimal embellishments,” said Jim Frericks, owner of Ohio-based wedding site Today’s Bride. Guests will want to look simple yet elegant in a monochrome palette with small and subtle colors splashes of color and bohemian flair. Dressers can incorporate a little greenery or flowers into their outfits for a subtle touch, and tuxedo-wearing attendees can do so via a colorful pocket square or a pair of funky patterned socks. Picture gowns with lots of lace and tulle, thin suspenders and flower crowns galore.

beach formal

While some beachfront weddings require casual attire, others may ask guests to dress the same way as they would for an indoor venue. To stay formal, choose a jumpsuit or a “airy floor-length or” in keeping with the sand and sun tea length dresses in bright colors,” Brickman said, as well as “suits in light colors and fabrics such as linens with playful ties or waistbands.” For shoes, you want to be able to walk comfortably — “those 4-inch stilettos or Avoid leather lace-up dress shoes,” she said.

dressy casual

A cousin of “smart casual” or “semiformal,” the “dressy casual” aesthetic expects guests to wear outfits that are “more fancy than what you might wear to work, but more than formal and cocktail events.” less sophisticated,” said Monica Mercury. Assistant fashion commerce editor for The Knot. “Casual sundresses, jumpsuits And dressy separates with minimal accessories are all great options, while suits and floor-length gowns are not required,” she said. And although heels are perfectly acceptable, they’re not necessary unless you’re in the mood. Only things to avoid? Jeans, T-shirts, and “any kind of athletic,” said Mercury.

creative formal

A slightly more advanced version of the dress code requested by Lovelle and Boniello, “creative formal” requires wedding attendees to look their best—but with a twist (or several). With this dress code, you “want to mix it up to avoid the predicament,” said Donnell Baldwin, a New York City-based stylist, image consultant, and founder of Baldwin Style, a boutique wardrobe styling business. This can include gowns with sequins and funky patterns, suits with colorful vests or tuxedos, art-printed. dinner jacket, and flashy accessories like velvet wallets or patterned pocket squares. The aesthetic is “highly colored velvet jackets, burgundy suits and elaborate accessorizing,” said Brian Saikawa, Washington DC-based founder of menswear blog, He Spoke Style. As long as the length and type of dress are following the rules of the more traditional “formal” dress code, you can play with the details and have some fun.

coastal chic

If you’re planning a wedding with an unusual dress code, let guests know your vision in advance, said Michelle Cousins, owner and principal designer of Salt Lake City-based Michelle. Leo planning. (Deborah Szpilman / The New York Times)

As the trend of “coastal grandma and “cottagecore” grows in popularity, so does “coastal chic” for outdoor weddings. It’s not a particularly formal dress code—no gown or tuxedo required here — and so guests can focus on color and fabric over length. This aesthetic is all about calming pastel colors, “Think sea green, sky blue, the soft pinks and reds found at sunrise and sunset, as well as lush flowers and punchy prints,” Brickman said. Choose soft clothing, large hats, flashy wide-leg pants, medium-length dresses, and anything with lace or linen.

If you’re planning a wedding with an unusual dress code, let guests know your vision in advance, said Michelle Cousins, owner and lead designer at Salt Lake City-based Michelle Leo Events. This can be done on your wedding website or invitation. “These details” will make a world of difference for your guests so they don’t feel in the dark about what’s appropriate, Cousins ​​said.

Brickman echoed the need for a “cheat sheet” for guests. “Guests want and dress to fit the theme, so help them do that by being clear in your intentions,” she said. “It can be in the form of a” style guide Invitation detail with example photos on cards, or a visual/graphic in a section on your wedding information website.

However, if you decide to go the route of a complete style guide with specific examples of outfits that fall under beauty, be sure to be flexible. “You want your guests to feel able to wear something they like that fits within the dress code, without having to dictate to them,” Cousins ​​said.

He said the most important thing is that you make sure guests are aware that if they are unsure about what to wear, they will be assisted. Tell them that “it’s okay to contact the couple or the bridal party or someone in the family to get clarification,” she said.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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