Your Over 40 Style Guide

bride and groom at wedding

It really wasn’t their fault, the guests tried to muffle the giggles and sound of their jaws hitting the grass.

She walked (alright, walk is stretching it) hobbled, she hobbled towards her seat at the outdoor wedding, her stiletto heels aerating the grass like a professional with each step. The ruffled bottom of her long purple mermaid gown, gracefully plowed a path along the graveled walkway for the bride (so thoughtful). Finally, her hubster takes mercy on her and tosses her over his shoulder, sparing her from further embarrassment and gently plopping her down in her seat.

Is it a true story, cautionary tale or pure fiction? I’ll never tell, however I will spill the beans on the style lessons I’ve learned from the five weddings we’ve attended in the last year.

Selecting the perfect attire as a wedding guest requires a bit of research and some pre-plannning.

Invitation Investigation
Often, the bride and her groom will leave details that might help you decode what to wear to their nuptials on the invitations.

Location & Location
The location can also play a huge role in what guests should and shouldn’t wear to a wedding. It goes without saying that Jimmy and his Choo’s should probably skip a beach or barn-themed wedding. Consider country club or luxury hotel venues your opportunity to step up the glam factor.

Two Basic Rules Of Thumb
It probably goes without saying, but there are two wedding etiquette fashion rules one should always follow.

Never, ever wear white, cream or any style of dress that remotely resembles a wedding gown. This is the bride’s day, after all, and the spotlight should shine upon her like warm sunshine.

Second, even if you are attending an outdoor casual wedding, unless otherwise noted on the invite, jeans are a wedding no no.

WHITE TIE

The most formal of all weddings, think everything glam and luxurious.

What To Wear For Her:
A floor length evening gown or even ballgowns are appropriate. Invest in an unusual, chic evening clutch to compliment your gown.

For Him:
A black tuxedo with tails and white bowtie are expected attire.

BLACK TIE

This is still a formal wedding, just a step more relaxed than white tie.

What To Wear For Her:
A cocktail dress or understated floor length gown.

For Him:
A tuxedo is in order, along with that black tie, of course.

COCKTAIL OR SEMI FORMAL

Think of this as the Black and White Tie’s chill sister. She’s looking good… really good, but with room for more style choices.

What To Wear For Her:
A cocktail, party dress or fabulous pantsuit paired with jazzy accessories, darling.

For Him: A suit and button down shirt, jazzed up with a bright tie.

DRESSY CASUAL

One of the most popular attire options for many couples is the dressy casual wedding.

What To Wear For Her:
A matching pantsuit with silk top or chic jumpsuit and a pair of fabulous, comfy heels.

For Him:
Either slacks, a button down and jacket or suit are appropriate.

CASUAL

The most laid back of wedding attire options, no fancy dress necessary.

What To Wear For Her:
A more casual seasonally appropriate dress and boots or wedge sandals are good choices.

For Him:
Khaki pants and a button down shirt are perfect.

woman in sweater dress and cowboy boots

OUTDOOR AND BARN WEDDINGS
Outdoor weddings are gaining popularity, in fact, three of the weddings we attended recently were a combo of outdoor and casual indoor receptions.

The best advice I can share with you from experience, is to select your shoes very wisely. Don’t be purple mermaid dress lady, seriously!

What To Wear For Her:
A maxi dress with a sophisticated style and fabric is a great choice for summer weddings. Pair your dress with stylish wedges or flats.

For fall and winter outdoor weddings, try a sweater dress with tights and a pair of cowboy boots. Think warm, think comfort, sprinkled with sass and style.

Here’s a blog post I wrote after attending a fall outdoor wedding, click HERE.

For Him:
Khakis and a button down shirt with a jacket is always a winning look. He can always shed the jacket if it’s a truly casual wedding.

What have you worn to weddings in the past?

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Sending much love and baskets of chocolates,

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jonet
Jonet Wooten is a former investigative newspaper reporter/photographer. She's always in search of the latest & greatest in fashion & beauty, which she writes about on her AWARD WINNING Blog.

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