From tropical locales to afternoon teas and creative black tie events, wedding receptions are taking on a whole new mood. So what do you wear to look fabulous without outshining the bride? Lloyd Boston, a “Today” contributor and the author of “Before You Put That On,” was invited on the show to share his tips for proper attire at any wedding. Here they are:
Your attire will depend on whether the wedding and reception are indoors or outdoors. Ceremonies these days can be held in backyards, at the beach, or in a church or synagogue. Religious places usually call for women to cover their shoulders and for men to wear jackets. Outdoor ceremonies are usually more relaxed.
Stay away from white and off-white dresses — the only woman wearing those shades to a wedding should be the bride.
Avoid outshining the wedding party. Instead, select great fitting, sophisticated clothes that don’t scream “look at me!”
Complementing shoes and well-chosen, simple jewelry is all you need to look appropriate during the day. More elegant jewelry, such as heaping diamond necklaces, cocktail rings and ice-cube earrings — are for evening ceremonies.
No matter the time of day, weddings seem to call for a clutch bag for women. A handbag with straps can interrupt the line of an elegant look.
Select elegant accessories to make suits appear more dressed up for the occasion. Higher quality shoes and ties can add impact to less expensive suits.
Avoid casual pants, such as cargo pants or, even worse, jeans. Summer welcomes linen pants or gauzy cotton trousers, especially for destination weddings. The wrinkles add character to your look, so don’t be afraid to have fun in honor of the happy couple.
Cocktail dresses should be nothing but timeless and elegant. Hem length should reflect the current style of the moment. Just around the knee is always a safe starting point.
Dark suits are best, but they don’t have to be black — gray is always a great option. Pinstripes add a stately touch. Have fun with a less business-like tie.
Consider wearing something celebratory and tropical — inspired by local color. But avoid wearing a beaded gown, or anything else too delicate, to a beach wedding.
Opt for lighter suit colors. A pale suit says “dapper” and has a high “swoon” factor, as most men will instinctively run to dark suits.
Creative black-tie receptions
You can bend the rules a little — be formal, but with a twist. Choose an unexpected accessory that sets you apart in the room.
Try adding a vest that has a different pattern or print. Or add a scarf — in an unexpected color — to create a loose ascot. Rent a tuxedo, if such events are rare for you.