All out of wedding guest outfit ideas and need to get back to the basics? Let's start with what not to wear.
When attending a wedding, there are always a few social etiquettes you must take part in: drink the Champagne, switch your phone off during the ceremony, laugh during the speeches (even if the jokes are bad) and look the part. In these modern times, though, the line between appropriate and inappropriate wedding guest attire is a fine one.
First thing's first: start with the dress code listed on the wedding invitation. This will set the tone for how dressy or casual the event will be. Whatever the dress code, though, your wedding guest outfit should always be reasonably formal and avoid the following:
The rule used to be that you shouldn't wear red or even black to a wedding, but as dress codes are becoming more relaxed and, weddings, more personalised, wearing red or black to a wedding isn't as taboo as it used to be. Having said that... wearing white has, and always will be, the one colour you should never wear to a wedding. Even if you know the bride isn't wearing white, you still don't want to be mistaken for a bride on the day. And this goes for any type of white, whether it's a plain dress, a trouser suit or even a floral white dress - you should avoid the shade (and its varying tones) at all costs.
Weddings are big days, with lots of standing and, more importantly, dancing, to be had. When choosing your outfit, dress for longevity. Don't wear a new pair of shoes, nor sky high stiletto, when half of the day is set to take place on grass. Instead, be smart and save your feet and balance by opting for a faithful old pair of block heels or wedges. If you don't own them, go buy a pair now and wear them to every wedding you're invited to. You'll thank us later.
Sneakers or flip flops
You want to be comfortable, yes, but not as if you're about to go for a run or head to the pool. Even if the dress code is casual and even if you have the hottest pair of designer sneakers, it's a no-go. Shoes, denied! If you can't manage a heel, stylish flats are totally fine. Stylish flip flops, on the other hand… there's no such thing.
Anything too short or sexy
If showing a little leg or cleavage is your thing, firstly, lucky you! And secondly, be sure to tone it down in your wedding outfit. How to do that? Think about how you'd dress if you were going to tea with your mum or grandmother, or your primary school teacher. That's the amount of leg or cleavage that's appropriate for a wedding. Still not convinced? Bring a cover up to wear during the ceremony (especially if it's religious), before showing a bit of skin at the reception.
Or too shiny
A wedding is not the time or the place to make like Rihanna and 'shine bright like a diamond'. No one wants to see you rocking your lamé body-con dress, no matter how fabulous you look. Any overtly shiny or glittery surfaces that will see you stand out in wedding photos or, worse, outshine the bride, are a big NO.
Don't get me wrong, we love denim in all its many forms, but the versatile fabric has no place at a wedding. Even your dressiest designer jeans still ring casual and say 'I don't care' when surrounded by well-dressed wedding guests. If Britney Spears can't pull off a dressy denim look, neither can you. Choose another fabric.
A Tiara or crown
You may fancy yourself a princess in real life, or wear tiaras in an ironic Courtney Love-style context, but the only person allowed to wear a sparkly headpiece or hair accessory of that sort to a wedding is the bride. Ditto goes for flower crowns (unless you're welcomed to by the couple). If you want to wear something in your hair, opt for a colourful fascinator instead and keep it low-key. Let Princess Eugenie and Beatrice be your warning.
Some people argue leopard prints can be a neutral, but they're not when you're posing in a group wedding photo and end up standing out like an actual leopard at a wedding. Instead, opt for genuine neutral colours, shades and prints that will help you blend in.