What to wear to my best friends wedding?
Take the stress out of — And bring the fun back into — Deciding what to wear to your best girl’s wedding with this season’s key themes, classic cuts and current trends.
Wedding invitations make wonderful and welcome mail— they signify an exciting change in the lives of loved ones, a change in which they want you to take part. The task of deciding, or deciphering, what to wear needn’t be daunting as while each wedding is unique to the bride and groom, there are a few well-loved and often revisited themes. By observing the dress code, adhering to a few simple rules and playing to your strengths, you’ll never again be stuck on what to wear. So you can get on with enjoying the momentous occasion, as well as its lead up.
Androgyny is big at the moment, both internationally and locally. “Women these days are looking for new, innovative and fresh ways to approach evening wear,” says Helen O’Connor, designer and founder of Thurley, who regularly reappropriates a classic pant or pantsuit in her collections. “It’s really fashion-forward and fun.” Think men’s tailoring, sharp suits and slick hair.
And although the look may seem difficult or daunting, it’s surprisingly easy to work with. Make it feminine with a tapered leg, simple heels, a silk chemise or structured bodice, bold lips and a flawless mani. It’s also a great seasonal choice as the look will work with or without the blazer. “Women in suits are pure class,” adds Shannon Thomas, co-founder and head buyer at Désordre, “Bianca Spender, Daniel Avakian, Ellery and Acler all have great options.”
On the other end of the spectrum and in contrast to rigid lines and classic tailoring is the quintessential Australian beach wedding theme. Whether the happy couple is taking you to Bali or Bondi, the rules stay the same. The dress code can be tricky because the formal occasion doesn’t necessarily match the casual setting but overthinking the matter will do more harm than good.
Less is more here. “Keep the fabrics beautiful and avoid body-con dressing,” says Shannon. Loose shapes, fl owing silks and natural fabrics are a must. This is also the perfect occasion to incorporate a bit of boho-luxe, bare your shoulders, play with embroidery and balance simple designs with a statement necklace or cuff. Look to KITX, æ’lkemi and Christopher Esber for inspiration.
“If it’s a garden wedding, I would suggest softer colours and floatier fabrics,” says Alvin Fernandez, couturier at æ’lkemi. Although a garden party may seem similar to a beachside venue, there are a few key nuances to note. This type of venue is more feminine than casual and the finer details make all the difference. Florals, pastels, colour and lace are your friend. A garden wedding can give off a slightly girlish atmosphere so soft silhouettes will work best; pants should be silk, dresses pretty and hair relaxed. If you really can’t go past a fi tted dress, opt for bright colours.
“Dressing for a wedding is about being elegant and well groomed, as opposed to being sexy and glamorous,” says Alvin. Zimmerman, LOVER, Thurley, Manning Cartell and Yeojin Bae are your go-to. Then there are the classics. The cult cuts designers keep coming back to because we do too. “I love the `70s-style silk wrap dresses as they transcend time,” says Alvin. “They’re flattering on most body types because of a flowing silhouette and cinched-in waist … with a fl ash of thigh.”
Designers the world over are really starting to clue in to the market and design for their clients, not just their look books. According to Shannon, this season and onwards you can expect to see confidence-boosting pieces that accentuate the waist and flatter the hips. The jury’s still pretty evenly split on whether black is appropriate for a wedding but if you’re confident the bride won’t mind, a little black dress is timeless. Choose a lace version to amp up the style factor. But if you’re after something a little different, Shannon says, “silk slip dresses are great for a summer wedding with a red lip and statement heel.” Add an oversized blazer and low bun to smarten things up or a textured shawl and loose waves to dress it down for the beach.
A lot of work has gone into planning for this day, so it’s important to adhere to the dress code and make a special effort, at the very least out of respect to the bride and groom. If the dress code isn’t stated on the invitation, look to the location and time of the event to gauge what type of wedding it will be and don’t be afraid to ask.
Words By: Holly Cunneen