Code Wed: What to Wear To a Wedding
Jan 30, 2019 03:08 PM Back

With a culture that promotes going out in leggings and pajama bottoms, it may be quite the conundrum to decide what to wear when heading to a formal event. Let’s face it fashions have definitely changed over the years. In fact, back in “the day” most “upscale” restaurants had a “jacket” required policy for men…and going to the theatre (in The City) meant donning your Sunday best. Even holidays “required” semi-formal attire.

Weddings were no exception. An invite meant men in full formal attire and ladies, well in their evening best. So, how have today’s trends influenced our style? Here are some pointers on how to look polished when attending a fancy fete like a Long Island wedding.

Black Tie Basics: I recently attended a so-called black tie affair only to find out that “I” must have missed the memo. In fact, besides the mother of the bride who wore a bright royal blue beaded gown, dad was in a simple grey (two-piece) suit and most ladies in cocktail dresses. Thank goodness I opted out of a floor length gown and chose a more simple “little black dress”. But, I digress. Still, black tie is still alive and thriving, at least in the good old U.S.A. when it comes to formal fetes and evening extravaganzas. Black tie has a very specific meaning, and that means sporting a chic and sophisticated look that is crisp, clean and a mix of contemporary and conventional. Ladies should attend in classic and couture floor length or ankle length gowns (preferably in black, white, silver and other traditionally chic and sophisticated palettes). Elegant accessories are a MUST and hair is carefully and classically coiffed usually in a sophisticated updo. For men, it means a streamlined black tux and black shoes with bow tie and NEVER a long tie. Cummerbunds are optional.

White Tie Weddings: More commonly known as morning dress, believe it or not are even more formal than your traditional Black Tie gala. Morning dress requires women attend in the very finest (below the knee) occasion dresses with fine jewelry and hats as essential accessories. Gloves are optional but not necessary. Gentlemen are expected to dress as such and that translates into top and tails. A tailcoat with waistcoat usually in all gray, oxford shoes and top hat.

Semi-Formal Affairs: These affairs still maintain all the integrity of a formal fete with a more “laidback” vibe…and they are still pretty formal. Ladies are expected to maintain an air of femininity and sophistication with dresses that are below the knee but also contemporary and fashion forward. Men usually choose tailored suits with clean and classic shoes and tie.

Couture Cocktail Party Attire: By no means as formal as the previous festivities, but still has an air of flair and chic but simple sophistication. This party is perfect for on point trends including fun and festive but never out of style little black dresses  with men in more current ensembles like dark evening suits or dark trousers with a velvet trousers and fun and festive footwear and “silly socks”.

Sensational Summer Attire: Airy fashions are in full bloom for this season especially for seaside and outdoor couples and events. Men wear lighter fabrics and shades and there is a non-written no tie required policy. For more formal festivities men can wear loafers, a tie and a pocket square. Ladies can step out in a trendy and timeless summer dress or tailored pant or skirt suit with kitten heels or ballet flats.

Haute Couture Casual: Lots of weddings today are taking place in the countryside and in upscale barns and cabins.  These events call for smart casual attire. Ladies are encouraged to dress in their “trendy” best in styles that are a little more edgy but still event appropriate and mean should feel free to wear jeans, suspenders, a tailored shirt, button down vest, dinner jacket, cowboy boots or sneakers.
Code Wed: What to Wear To a Wedding
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