Fall wedding season is underway. Whether you’re making the rounds every weekend or just have one family gathering on the agenda, figuring out what to wear as a wedding guest can be tough. Four local experts weighed in with their favorite outfits for fall weddings, along with some guest fashion do’s and don’t’s.
Tracy McElfresh, Tracy’s Sewing Studio, LLC
Fall is a great time to welcome back fabrics beyond summer cottons and linens. “Fall weddings are great for silk dresses. I would keep my color palette soft as not to show up the lovely bride,” said Tracy McElfresh, owner of Dayton-based Tracy’s Sewing Studio, LLC. “A nice simple silk dress with a great fit, dressed up and a cute hat is picture perfect.”
Comfort is important, too. Weddings are marathons, not sprints. “I made this 1960s mod A-line dress to wear in the fall because it breathes comfortably. Plus, it looks formal without the feel of a formal gown,” McElfresh said, adding, “I love to eat wedding cake, so I cut this dress on the bias so it stretches if I need it to during a day of celebrations.” Wedding cake is delicious – don’t forget to take that into account.
And if you choose this look? “Warning,” she joked, “you may spend the day with everyone saying how cute you look!”
Jesy Anderson, Needle, Ink & Thread
“Weddings are an amazing time,” said Jesy Anderson, owner of the sewing studio, Needle, Ink & Thread in Beavercreek. “The bride and groom are usually dressed to the nines, and the guests look just as spiffy. When getting ready for a wedding, I really follow two tried-and-true rules. First and most important: don’t wear white — at all. Secondly, don’t wear anything that is too revealing or loud.”
It’s important when dressing for a wedding not to upstage or take attention away from the bride. “My favorite dress to wear is my Ginger Dress that I made last spring,” Anderson said. “It’s fun, flirty and covers without saying ‘look at me. ‘”
Be sure to follow the basic guidelines on the invitation and, most importantly, choose something you love. “As long as you are wearing something that is weather appropriate, covers all the “bits,” and isn’t all white, you will look great!” Anderson said. “Remember if you feel amazing, you will look amazing, and everyone else will agree. Be you and rock your style. Granted, if the invitation says black tie, I would stick to your honorable bride and groom’s wishes and have fun.”
Jennifer Orr, Lady Elizabeth Bridal & Tux
As well as not upstaging the bride, one important consideration in choosing wedding fashion is not to mirror the dress of the bridal party. “Good colors for fall are deep, rich colors: plums, burnt oranges, taupes and browns — those types of color families,” said Jennifer Orr of Lady Elizabeth Bridal & Tux in Springfield. “But those tend to be very popular with bridal parties and also popular with the mothers of the bride and groom.”
Usually, the couple’s wedding invitation or website will feature their wedding colors, which you will want to stay away from wearing. It’s also perfectly OK to ask the bride or her mother what the wedding colors are.
So what does Orr recommend for wedding guest fashion? “Separates are really popular right now,” she said. “You can mix and match pants or skirts with a nice blousy top.” Separates are great for casual weddings, which, Orr explained, are gaining in popularity. As far as fabrics go, flowing chiffon is one of this fall’s trendiest looks — it will give you plenty of movement for dancing (or eating cake), so you can’t go wrong there.
Cale Darrell, Article Menswear
Guys, we haven’t forgotten about you. The ladies aren’t the only ones who wonder what to wear to a wedding, especially when the dress code is unclear. With weddings becoming more casual, what’s the well-dressed man to do?
“I’d probably break it up and not necessarily wear a suit,” said Cale Darrell, store manager of Article Menswear in Cincinnati. “If it’s a more casual event, I’d wear trousers with a sport coat.” And under the sport coat? “Just wear a basic button-down with a collar,” he advised. “It’s a little more casual than an actual dress shirt.”
Women’s wear isn’t the only one to welcome back new and favorite fabrics for fall. “As far as fabrics go, try tweeds and flannels,” Darrell said. He especially recommended flannel trousers as a stylish, yet casual fall look.