WHAT TO WEAR FOR A SUMMER WEDDING THIS YEAR
Last week an article in the independent outlined what to wear to a wedding, and featured a section on fashion sustainability – mentioning Girl Meets Dress as a great option for wedding guest dresses. Read the article below or click here >
It‚Äôs a tricky thing, being a¬†wedding¬†guest.
Among the endless¬†list of requirements ‚Äď buy a present, arrange accommodation, practise your small talk ‚Äď there‚Äôs one obligation that trumps them all in terms of effort:¬†fix up and look sharp.
The rules surrounding wedding guest dressing are as nuanced as they come.
There are some obvious musts¬†‚Äď avoiding white is always a good idea ‚Äď and others that are only acknowledged by serial wedding-goers, such as steering clear of¬†stilettos unless you enjoy the feeling of numbness in your feet.
In the¬†summer, things get even more complicated. Not only do you have to find a sweat-free way to ‚Äúdress to the nines‚ÄĚ, but you have to strike the right balance between playful sunshine garb and formal occasionwear. This forces you to ask difficult questions, such as ‚ÄúIs this wrap dress more ‚ÄėI do‚Äô¬†or ‚ÄėBBQ?‚Äô‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúDoes this hat make me look like a chic French woman, or a dishevelled bird?‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs no mean feat, so here‚Äôs our handy guide to summer wedding guest dressing, with tips from industry experts on the trends and colours you need to know about this season¬†.
A ubiquitous summertime staple, a silky maxi dress is the perfect companion to any sun-kissed celebration, and¬†weddings¬†are no different. As predictable as it may be, this summer‚Äôs wedding guest dresses are bright and floral-heavy, explains Emily Gordon-Smith, director of consumer product at trends intelligence company¬†Stylus. ‚ÄúThis year, wedding attire is mirroring key themes from the spring/summer 2019 catwalks,‚ÄĚ she tells¬†The Independent, which were awash with sprightly pinks (Erdem, Valentino, Molly Goddard) and beguiling yellows (Moschino, Escada, Boss).
As for patterns, gowns were in full bloom at Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi to name but a few. The florals in question aren‚Äôt from your average carefully colour-coordinated flowerbed, either.¬†This season‚Äôs flower fun packs a punch, with bold, brash and clashing styles creating an intricate visual feast.
Hemlines are a matter of personal preference. While Emmy Scarterfield of wedding boutique,¬†Emmy London¬†tells¬†The Independent¬†that longer length dresses will lead the way this summer, a spokesperson for luxury womenswear label¬†Madderson London¬†warns¬†not to dismiss midi and knee-length styles, all of which can garner a sense of occasion with the addition of special details, such as feature sleeves, flounces or ruffles.
Rixo, Ganni, Galvan and Kitri Studio are all reliable labels for this.
Your choice of footwear very much depends on the venue, says Robin Weil, founder and CEO of¬†Weddingplanner.co.uk, the UK‚Äôs leading wedding planner site.
‚ÄúThe impact of whether the wedding is on sand, grass or concrete will affect the choice of shoes,‚ÄĚ he tells¬†The Independent. In other words, if it‚Äôs a beach wedding, you probably don‚Äôt want to turn up tottering around in spiked stilettos. Nor should you, if you want to be on trend, says Gordon-Smith, who explains that 1990s-inspired styles are set to surge this season ‚Äď think kitten heels, mules and strappy sandals.
Lalage Beaumont, whose namesake¬†label is famous for its occasionwear, adds that block heels are ideal for a summer wedding. ‚ÄúChances are, you‚Äôll be standing up for a while, so you will be much more comfortable‚ÄĚ.
When occasion hats were once considered a¬†sartorial archaism bound to stiff 18th century¬†soir√©es, the recent¬†resurgence of headwear¬†(sales are up by 250 per cent on luxury online retailer Net-a-Porter in the last year) has brought them back into the spotlight.
But don‚Äôt just go for any old saucer, bespoke milliner Jane Taylor insists that finding the right material is key. ‚ÄúFelt is only for the winter and from May onwards, straw or sinamay should be worn,‚ÄĚ she tells¬†The Independent.
‚ÄúYou can also wear crepe or hats made from most fabrics all year round.‚ÄĚ If you‚Äôre cashing in on the floral trend with your outfit, Taylor suggests keeping the hat as simple as possible when it comes to design and colour.
Sharp tailoring¬†was a prominent feature on the¬†spring/summer 2019 catwalks, with eye-popping¬†iterations at Gabriela Hearst, Emporio Armani, Roksanda and perennial souped-up suiters, Gucci. ‚ÄúColoured trouser¬†suits¬†are a major trend this summer,‚ÄĚ says Gordon-Smith. ‚ÄúThese soft, mannish two pieces look best in true brights or pastels and can be paired with flats or heels.‚ÄĚ
Taylor adds that splashes of pastels, royal blue and coral (Pantone‚Äôs colour of 2019) are among the most popular hues for tailored garb this season, with many of the wide-legged options taking their inspiration from 1970‚Äôs styles. But don‚Äôt let the¬†suiting fun¬†stop there, skirt suits are also making a comeback.
As¬†sustainable fashion¬†continues to occupy an important space in the industry (global shopping platform¬†Lyst¬†has seen a 66 per cent increase in searches for the term since 2018),¬†look to sourcing your wedding season garb in second-hand or vintage outlets where possible, suggests Gordon-Smith.
‚ÄúSecond-hand designer consignment sites such as¬†The Real Real¬†and¬†Vestiaire Collective¬†are great for a more ethical designer buy-in, extending the life cycle of a product rather than buying brand new,‚ÄĚ she explains.
Hiring your outfit is another option, with mass and mid-market options such as HIRESTREET, Girl Meets Dress and Hire Studio providing the eco-conscious shopper with ample choice.