TODAY   |  September 29, 2010

What to wear to a fall wedding

TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas shows off chic and classy options for an autumn wedding.

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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: