1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
TODAY contributor
updated 9/28/2010 3:37:17 PM ET 2010-09-28T19:37:17

When we think of “wedding season,” we usually picture the warm-weather days of spring and summer, with pretty pastels or punchy florals. And while the crisp autumn air may not often be associated with wedding bells, fall affords more style choices than any other time of year. TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com’s Bobbie Thomas shares how to celebrate in style:

Black-tie
With the requisite tuxedo available for rent or hanging in the closet, the most formal of affairs is the easiest for him. Usually an evening event, the invite request asks for attendees to consider a more conservative, elegant option. This is the occasion to wear a longer dress, but a knee-length choice can also be appropriate. Avoid anything too sheer or showing off too much skin, as this celebration is likely to involve a mix of family, friends and colleagues of the couple. And remember, the color black itself isn't your only option for a black-tie affair. Navy, emerald green, ruby red, plums and purples look particularly regal in classic silhouettes (David Meister One-Shoulder Velvet Gown, $99; Loehmanns.com). A great find and solid buy for those seeking a “go-to” gown is JS Boutique’s Ruched Satin Gown. It’s available in five colors with sizes ranging from petite to plus, and the simple A-line style looks great on all body types for under $100. ($98; Nordstrom.com)

Black-tie optional
When you’re not sure how fancy an affair to plan for, opt for luxe fabrics to add a formal touch to the cocktail dress. Velvet, satin, brocade, embroidery, embellishments, overlays and intricate details are not only in season, but en vogue. Striking enough alone, these rich textiles can elevate your look, alleviating the need for added adornment. In fact, it’s best to avoid casual fabrics such as cotton or linen. Heavier, more-structured materials look most polished. Maggy London’s textured metallic dress is the perfect shimmering example of a frock that will weave into a wedding or your upcoming holiday bash ($168, Macys.com).

  1. More on weddings
    1. 'You're not invited' alerts: New wedding trend stirs controversy
      featurepics stock
    2. Want wedding advice? Ask 'Say Yes to the Dress' star Randy Fenoli!
    3. Princess bride: Over-the-top Disney wedding a viral hit
    4. Rossen Reports: Brides say company ruined their wedding day
    5. Couple honored for longest marriage
Casual or festive
Keeping in line with the theme of TODAY’s wedding series this year, “modern” nuptials are increasing in popularity and can take place day or night, and anywhere from a nature preserve to an old-fashioned movie house. Along with these alternative venues comes the question of what to wear. A simple solution is the suit. Yes, you can wear pants to a wedding, so why not invest in an updated, tailored two-piece ensemble if you don't already have one? You could also try pairing a chic black blazer with slim-leg pants and roll the hems up above the ankle for an interesting spin on the traditional suit and to show off a sexy pair of shoes ($39-$99; Zara.com). Instead of jewelry, add a collage of sparkly brooches to the lapel for a fun twist. ($9-$24; Express.com, Lordandtaylor.com). Just be sure to spice things up with a few glamorous accents to avoid a 9-to-5 feel.

Another option is to reinvent your little black dress again — just tie on an embroidered sash to add a decorative detail to your faithful favorite for an instant update. You can easily DIY this idea for dollars. All you’ll need is approximately a yard of trim that can be cut to leave you with a clean edge (see Mjtrim.com “Trim & Braid” section for examples).

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: What to wear to a fall wedding

  1. Transcript of: What to wear to a fall wedding

    JOE WITTE, announcer: TODAY'S WEDDING: MODERN LOVE is brought to you by...

    ANN CURRY, anchor: MODERN LOVE , what to wear to a fall wedding. Well, tomorrow we'll be holding a wedding -- have you heard? -- right here on our plaza with Melissa and Jeremy tying the knot. But whether it's daytime or a black tie or a getting the -- getting the dress code right can be very confusing. Well, we've got TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas is here to break it all down for us. Bobbie , good morning.

    This morning on TODAY'S WEDDING: Good morning.

    Ms. BOBBIE THOMAS (Today Style Editor): You know, sometimes we get these invitations, and it's hard to sort of figure out what exactly are they calling for in terms of the style of the wedding dress we should be wearing.

    CURRY: Yes.

    Ms. THOMAS: What's your best tip there?

    CURRY: My best tip is don't plan to just automatically go spend too much money.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm.

    CURRY: I think everyone I talk to when they hear they're invited anywhere, they think that that just means, 'I have to go to the store right now and spend a couple hundred dollars.' But I have some other ideas and, you know, some more affordable options.

    Ms. THOMAS: OK. Well, let's take a look at some of those.

    CURRY: OK.

    Ms. THOMAS: And one of the things, as we're moving at -- towards fall, as we are now there, really, there are a lot more black tie weddings.

    CURRY: Yes.

    Ms. THOMAS: We've got Autumn and Melanie .

    CURRY: We have Autumn and Melanie . And, you know, for guys...

    Ms. THOMAS: And we have two options.

    CURRY: This is easy for guys. They put on the tux. But for ladies, this is definitely an occasion when you want to be a little bit more elegant. Conservative is the word because, you know, friends, family and co-workers may be mixed in. But you'll see here on Autumn , this dress , it's very simple. And what I love about it, it's from JS Boutique , it's $98.

    Ms. THOMAS: Hm.

    CURRY: It comes in five colors, it ranges from petite sizes all the way through plus sizes, and you can really put your own personality on this dress . It's a simple A-line so it flatters most figures, and whether you want to dress it up with accessories or down, I just think is a great hero dress if you're looking for a go-to gown.

    Ms. THOMAS: And then on Melanie , I love this dress . It's a velvet, very rich, perfect for fall. You don't have to wear black to a black tie , so these are really great sophisticated alternative colors. But on Melanie 's dress , this was from Loehmann 's, only $99. It's a designer that is still -- that -- this same dress is still being sold at full price in the store. So a great tip is consider those discount department stores for formal evening wear .

    Ms. THOMAS: And so maybe, as you were saying earlier, that you don't have to go out and buy a dress , that if you have something as basic as this for a black tie ...

    CURRY: Exactly.

    Ms. THOMAS: ...you can do all kinds of things. And besides the big chunky jewelry, what else would you recommend?

    CURRY: Oh, I love the feather that's on Melanie 's.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm.

    CURRY: This happens to come with the dress , but something that I love abroad that they use, fascinators. So feathers are fun and very whimsical for fall, so just have fun and play up the accessories. But both of these are under 100, so there's definitely a dress out there if you are going to go spend.

    Ms. THOMAS: Can I throw an idea in?

    CURRY: Yes.

    Ms. THOMAS: I think with Autumn 's dress , you could probably tie a really lovely ribbon around the waist.

    CURRY: Absolutely, yeah.

    Ms. THOMAS: That would be kind of ideal. OK, there you go. Little tip from me. OK, Autumn and Melanie , thank you so much this morning. And now we're going to take a look at what we think is, according to the invitation, a black tie optional. It might even say it there -- hopefully it does.

    CURRY: Yes.

    Ms. THOMAS: And we have now Nancy coming up in a real sweet number.

    CURRY: So sweet. And what I love about this season especially are all of the rich fabrics, you'll see everything. Like you saw on Melanie velvet. this is a metallic, shimmering, sort of almost like a brocade feel.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm.

    CURRY: Anything. Indulge in those rich materials. That adds polish to a shorter dress . So if you're not sure with a black tie optional how dressy you should be, go for a shorter dress that just has a little bit more weight to it. This is $168 at Macy's . And what I love is she can wear this to a holiday party, too, later on.

    Ms. THOMAS: She could.

    CURRY: And it's from Maggy London , who always makes great little party dresses.

    Ms. THOMAS: And the little bubble down below, that's still in?

    CURRY: Yeah. It's fun and playful.

    Ms. THOMAS: People are still wearing it.

    CURRY: I think this is a great -- you don't want to go too short for a wedding.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm-hmm.

    CURRY: I think it's a great, at the knee, just above the knee.

    Ms. THOMAS: I like how simple it all is. Well done.

    CURRY: Yeah, and that's what great is you can leave the jewelry behind with a dress like this because it's got all of the tjuzs and the fabric.

    Ms. THOMAS: The tjuzs.

    CURRY: The tjuzs.

    Ms. THOMAS: All right, thank you so much , Nancy . And now we have our final category, and that's casual or festive attire.

    CURRY: Really excited. This is Julie and her mom, Louise .

    Ms. THOMAS: Yes.

    CURRY: And they -- just, you know, for a modern wedding like we're throwing, you never know where the venue may be. If it's more casual or festive or fun, yes, you can wear pants. You can pull out a black blazer and pants. This happens to be from Zara . The cluster of brooches was my idea. Just have fun and add like a glamorous element.

    Ms. THOMAS: I love this idea. So really, a suit that you have in your closet, and it just -- invest in or use some things you may have to kind of create a piece on the lapel.

    CURRY: You can, yeah. Use brooches you have, vintage thrift store . Roll up the hemline of the pants so you can show off your ankle.

    Ms. THOMAS: Oh, so that dresses it up. Let's take a look. The camera's panning down there.

    CURRY: $39.00-$99.00 Zara.com

    Blazer, Pants: And then you can see -- yep.

    Ms. THOMAS: You just roll that up. Do you have to pin it, or sew it?

    CURRY: No, just roll it up and it'll show off a fun shoe if you wanted to go there. And on her mom Louise , really quickly, your idea is right here.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm.

    CURRY: We went to M&J Trimming here in New York , and we got a sash that you can literally cut right off the roll for literally -- this was $20, you can add a belt.

    Ms. THOMAS: Really? Oh!

    CURRY: And a fun feathered handbag.

    Ms. THOMAS: So a dress that you have in the closet because most everyone has a black dress .

    CURRY: Yes.

    Ms. THOMAS: There you go.

    CURRY: A little black dress .

    Ms. THOMAS: And did you glow some -- glue some feathers on?

    CURRY: No, that came with the bag, but you could do that, too. That's a great idea. You're getting crafty, Ann.

    Ms. THOMAS: Julie and Louise , thank you so much . But don't go anywhere. Let's call all of our models out and thank all of them for modeling for us this morning. Thank you so much . And, Bobbie , great ideas.

    CURRY: Thank you.

    Ms. THOMAS: And, by the way, you look fantastic this morning, if I may say it.

    CURRY:

Photos: Bizarre bridal gowns

loading photos...
  1. Bridal gown-zilla

    Who says weddings gowns are always gorgeous? Take a look at bizarre and creative creations from modern fashion designers around the world.

    Left: A model shows off a wedding dress by Japanese bridal designer Yumi Katsura during her 2010 grand collection presentation in Tokyo. (Toru Yamanaka / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Belly blast

    A model displays a wedding dress from the Esperando collection during the 2008 Bridal Exhibition in Dubai. The show is said to be the largest bridal event in the Middle East. (Marwan Naamani / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Sheer subtlety

    A see-through wedding dress created by Bulgarian fashion house Mon Amour during the Bridal Fashion 2008 show, part of the Balkanica Wedding Expo in Bulgaria. (Boryana Katsarova / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Hats off

    A model walks the runway in a wedding dress from the 2008 Carolina Herrera Bridal Collection. (Amy Sussman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Punch out

    A model displays a wedding dress with sporty accessories during a collection of British designer Vivienne Westwood at a boxing stadium in Tokyo. (Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Gaga-worthy

    An eccentric creation by German designer Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel during the Fall-Winter 2009 Haute Couture collection show in Paris. (Francois Guillot / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Puff perfect

    A model presents a bold design by designer Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel during Fall-Winter 2009 Haute Couture collection show. (Francois Guillot / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Little bride Peep

    Japanese bridal designer Yumi Katsura showcases a girly gown during her 2010 grand collection presentation in Tokyo. (Toru Yamanaka / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. She ain't nothing but a golddigger

    A shimmery gold gown from the Alberto Rodriguez Spring/Summer 2009 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Mexico at Antara Polanco in Mexico City. (Victor Chavez / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Tutu-much

    A model walks the runway during the Famory Cup China Wedding Dress Design Contest 2008 at the China Fashion Week Spring/Summer Collection 2009 in Beijing, China. (China Photos / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Multi-layered

    Slovak opera singer Sisa Sklovska walks the catwalk in a wedding dress during a fashion show at the 2009 Wedding Fair in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Isifa / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Tube-tied

    A model walks the runway during the Famory Cup China Wedding Dress Design Contest at the China Fashion Week Spring/Summer Collection 2009 in Beijing, China. (China Photos via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Origami unfolding

    A busy-looking dress from the Famory Cup China Wedding Dress Design Contest at the China Fashion Week Spring/Summer Collection 2009 in Beijing, China. (China Photos via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Here comes the Beyonce...

    Superstar Beyonce Knowles shows off a revealing number while performing onstage during the 2009 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Lukewarm lavender

    A model displays a wedding dress with craped silk materials originating from Japanese kimonos, designed by Japanese designer Yuma Koshino in Tokyo. (Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Roll with it

    Models pose in bridal gowns made mainly of toilet paper in Tel Aviv, Israel. The dresses were commisioned by Lily toilet paper to celebrate the date of September 9, 2009. Twice as many couples than normal were expected to get married on 09/09/09, which was considered by many to be a lucky day to tie the knot. (David Silverman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. 'Dynasty' returns

    A model displays a slender body wedding dress with satin bolero sleeves during the Miss Ashida 2010 spring and summer collection designed by Tae Ashida, in Tokyo. (Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Thigh-high

    A model shows off a wedding dress by Japanese bridal designer Yumi Katsura during her 2010 grand collection presentation in Tokyo. (Toru Yamanaka / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Barely there

    A model presents a creation from the Pam Hogg 2010 Autumn/Winter collection during London Fashion Week. (Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Fret not for rosettes

    A model presents a wedding dress from one of Hungary's most respected fashion designers, Barbara Leber, in Budapest, Hungary. (Bela Szandelszky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. To dye for?

    A colorful wedding dress by Ornella Meneguzzo in genuine chinchilla fur and diamonds, inspired by the can-can dance and priced at $300,000, during the 8th edition of the Luxury and Yachts Expo at the Verona fair. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Back at it

    Models wear creations by designer Tsai Meiyue, part of her wedding dress collection release during China's Fashion Week 2010. (Elizabeth Dalziel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Fair-feathered

    An elaborate creation by designer Tsai Meiyue at China Fashion Week in Beijing. (Grace Liang / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Courtesy of GreaterGood.org

    Double take! Doggie makeovers reveal shelter pets' true, happy selves

    7/25/2014 9:00:03 PM +00:00 2014-07-25T21:00:03
  1. Courtesy Of Danny's Warriors

    6-year-old battling brain tumor gets thousands of birthday cards from strangers

    7/25/2014 9:25:50 PM +00:00 2014-07-25T21:25:50