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Video: What to wear to a wedding

TODAY contributor
updated 7/1/2009 11:09:27 AM ET 2009-07-01T15:09:27

Deciphering the dress code for a wedding can be more than a little confusing — and with so many dress styles available, the options are often overwhelming!  Depending if it’s black-tie, traditional, daytime or destination, I’ve put together a few hints that will help you achieve a fashion (I) do! And remember to consider the couple’s personality, too — it’s bound to give you a clue as to the tone of the affair!

This is your red carpet moment, the time for you to shine! As a general rule, you’ll want to stay away from casual fabrics like cotton and linen, and opt instead for luxe materials. As for length, you can definitely go long, but you don’t have to wear a gown. If you do decide on a floor-length frock though, keep in mind that it’s a statement in itself, so beware of overwhelming prints and shine. On the other hand, if you opt for short, you should go ahead and play up your personality! Be bold and express yourself with accents like jewelry and shoes.

As seen on TODAY: Zebra print dress, $79, http://www.zara.com/; Jiopa satin sandals, $49.99, www.ninewest.com

When the wedding includes a mix of family, work associates and friends, you’ll want to opt for an outfit that’s appropriate. While classic styles are best, you don’t have to be too conservative. As a show of respect, stay away from low, plunging necklines and short minis, and avoid too-tight dresses or overly sheer fabrics. Stick with structured fabrics that offer polish, but feel free to embrace vibrant colors. And use accessories to your advantage — bold statement necklaces and linen scarf wraps are stylish solutions to toning down bare skin at religious ceremonies or formal dinners. 

As seen on TODAY: Maggy London cocktail dress, $158, www.nordstrom.com; Opulent bib necklace, $125, http://www.bananarepublic.com/; Love quotes linen scarf, $85, http://www.singer22.com/; Delovely sandal, http://www.stuartweitzman.com/

Floral patterns of every kind are blooming this season, and an afternoon garden gathering or other early affair is the perfect place for them. Casual fabrics like cotton, linen and eyelet are all acceptable, and this is a great time to try wearing separates like a skirt and blouse. You’ll want to stay away from beading, sequins and shimmery fabrics that feel too dressy. On the accessories front, choose a wedge, kitten heel or fancy flat to add a chic touch to your look.

As seen on TODAY: Shirred silk dress, $79, http://www.spiegel.com/; Georgette surplice dress, $79, http://www.spiegel.com/

At first, traveling for a wedding may seem tough, but these faraway festivities are actually easy-breezy in terms of attire. Let the locale inspire you to choose a bright, beachy hue or fun, tropical pattern. Soft, flowy dresses are ideal, and wrap and maxi dresses are great options. 

Instead of bringing along extra bling, consider a frock with an embellished neckline or hem — it’s a great way to add some sparkle without worrying about jewelry. Another good way to give your look some glitz is with a gem-encrusted flip-flop or metallic strappy sandal.

For a finished look that plays up the natural beauty of your surroundings, consider organic accessories such as cork wedges, wood beads and shell jewelry.

As seen on TODAY: Long brown maxi dress, $150, http://www.bananarepublic.com/; Osi flip flops, $69; http://www.ninewest.com/ 

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