Shop wedding apparel that you’ll actually want to wear again
It’s spring, and be forewarned: there will be weddings. Maybe you aren’t going to be the bride or even a bridesmaid this year (phew!). But in all likelihood you will be someone’s guest. And in the interest of not making the same mistakes you’ve made in the past, let’s talk this over so you have a fool-proof plan in place for go-time.
When the invitation arrives, proceed directly to the store or online registry to purchase a gift. Otherwise, the only thing that’s going to be left are plate chargers or espresso spoons, and there’s no way you’re going to show up at another wedding with espresso spoons. And when it comes to your dress, purchase something feminine but modest, festive but not gaudy, fashion-forward but not off-the-chain. It should be true to your style and personality and something that you will want to wear again. And just for the record, it’s not wrong to upstage the bride as long as you don’t look like you’re trying to upstage the bride. Here are 15 fabulous frocks to get you in the mood for wedding season:
Calvin Klein Chiffon Faux-Wrap Dress in Floral Print
Florals are huge this year, as is floaty chiffon and asymmetric hems. This Calvin Klein dress will have you pirouetting gracefully on the dancefloor as you do the obligatory “chicken dance” and “YMCA.”
Alex Evenings Cold-Shoulder Draped Metallic Gown
This smoke-colored gown in a shimmering metallic fabric looks exquisite, but the shirring around the waist is forgiving even if you have two pieces of wedding cake.
Betsy & Adam One-Shoulder A-Line Gown
In red, it’s too much for a wedding, and in black it’s more of a cocktail dress. But the navy version of the Betsy & Adam One-Shoulder column dress – with a flattering waistline and mermaid silhouette – is pure perfection.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren One-Shoulder Brooch Gown
Sure, it looks like a formal dress, with the elegant ruching at the waist, and the jewel-encrusted brooch on the shoulder. But the secret of this Ralph Lauren creation is that it is made of a matte jersey material, so it’s almost as comfortable to wear as your favorite t-shirt.
Calvin Klein Floral Draped Chiffon Halter Gown
The only time a wedding dress should be worn once and then put into storage is when you’re the bride. A beaded neckline and soft chiffon ruffle make this Calvin Klein dress formal enough for a wedding. But throw on a pair of flip-flops and hoop earrings, and grab a straw handbag, and you’re good-to-go for brunch with the squad.
Self-Portrait Printed Star Cocktail Dress
You know the type. She’s quirky and willowy, with a laugh that captivates the room, and a devil-may-care attitude to boot. She is never without her matte red lipstick and her black eyeliner. And when she saw this cocktail dress by Han Chong, (the London-based, Malaysian native who founder Self-Portrait in 2013) it was love at first sight.
St. John Collection Milano Knit Long-Sleeve Gown
Perhaps you were dating the groom before your best friend (the bride) met him? Or maybe you just found out that your brother’s fiancée has already been married four times? Or maybe your new stepmom is only two years older than you? Regardless of the particulars of your occasion, this sheer-yoked, long-sleeve column gown from St. John will have you looking immaculate and feeling bulletproof.
Self Portrait Crochet-Lace Midi Dress
Another coup from Self-Portrait’s Han Chong, this tea-length frock has a lacy crochet bodice atop a pleated crepe skirt. The limited color palette minimizes the busy-ness of the pattern, rendering the look effortlessly sophisticated.
Lela Rose Floral Off-Shoulder Dress
Crafted of wool and silk, this meticulously tailored off-the-shoulder shift with a tea-length hem is the perfect marriage of femininity and modesty.
Zac Posen V-Neck Fit-and-Flare Cocktail Dress
Zac Posen knows how to make a women feel polished and comfortable at the same time, and his fit-and-flair cocktail dress is a perfect example of that. A knee-length hemline, fitted waist and v-neck are flattering without being revealing.
Tadashi Shoji Lace Tea-Length Dress
Lace has the unique property of exuding both innocence and sensuality, depending on how it is styled. This black dress by Tadashi Shoji embraces both qualities, but rest assured, it is fully lined. No matter how low you go when the DJ plays “Shout,” you can be certain there will be no “wardrobe malfunctions” on the dance floor.
Ted Baker London Floral Print Belted Body-Con Dress
Ted Baker’s belted curve-skimming dress in grey and white can be accessorized with heels and a clutch to suit a spring wedding, or paired with a blazer and pumps for a day at the office. Either way, the meticulous tailoring, courtly v-neck and above-the-elbow sleeves make it a flattering and versatile addition to your wardrobe.
Ted Baker London Lynetta Skater Dress
In general, I am not partial to short dresses at weddings, but this fit-and-flare silhouette from Ted Baker with a ladylike flowered print and cap sleeves manages to look refined and vernal at the same time.
Eliza J Beaded Ballgown
A Black-and-white rose print and an A-line silhouette with a sashed waist give this Eliza J ballgown a fun, modern feel. The beaded neckline and tapered bodice make it effortlessly elegant.
Maggy London Yoke Crepe Sheath Dress
Maggy London’s crepe sheath slays with the timeless grace that typified Audrey Hepburn’s style. Wear it to a night wedding on Saturday, and stay out dancing until it’s time for breakfast at Tiffany’s on Sunday.