Once upon a time, pretty much from 1999-2003, being a guest at a wedding or actually being in a wedding party was my part-time job. At one point I had at least 9 bridesmaids gowns in my closet. I also had no trouble figuring out what to wear if I were a guest. There was a plethora of sundresses, sparkly skirts and sky-high heels in my closet as well as a small amount of disposable income because there was a smaller mortgage and no offspring.
Now, wedding invitations are few and far between mainly because most of the people we know are married and have procreated already and are running around to soccer games, not cocktail hours. So, when we do get an invite, there’s some excitement for sure. On one hand, I can not wait to hang out at cocktail hour and tear it up a bit on the dance floor without having to stand around waiting for pictures to be taken or hold the bride’s train in the bathroom. On the other, I want to make sure I’m dressed appropriately, stylishly, and comfortable enough to hang out for the duration. Oh, and I don’t necessarily want to join the black dress brigade that seems to be the standard for my fellow Gen X’ers when it comes to semi black tie events.
Case in point, The October Wedding. Kind of tricky as a guest. You can’t really fall back on the strappy sundress, strappy heels, and already tan, bare face and freckles uniform. The weather is cooler, and many of these fall weddings are partially outdoors. You need to be prepared for mother nature and also not look like you should be barefoot on the beach in the Keys when in reality the leaves are falling all around you. You are smarter and more mature than that my sweet 38-40 something friends.
I’m going to take you through some options here. These are fool-proof so listen up.
Outfit choice #1: Pick a dress, a neutral colored dress as long as it’s not black and it is a flattering jersey or silk and flows nicely in all the right places, with a little help of course from some smoothing underpinnings (shhhh). Add lots of pearls and or chains. Add a red or berry lip (Ruby Woo matte lipstick from Mac looks good on EVERYONE trust me. If you want to soften it, add a nude lipstick underneath) and some bronzer. Bare legs. Black pointy or strappy heels. If your gorgeous grown up dress is sleeveless bring a black cashmere (or cashmere-esque) scarf. You know you all have one somewhere or you can purchase one for like $19 at Target or Forever 21.
Outfit choice #2: Black pencil skirt. It can be plain jersey, silk, or lace or have some sort of sparkle. Pair it with a tank in a nude color that either sparkles or shines depending on the skirt. Top it off with a black or cream short, fitted blazer lots of pearls. Layer those puppies up. Finish with black pointy heels and bare legs (maybe smooth on some Zen Tan; life changer). WARNING. This outfit while classy and elegant may impede on how much you are able to consume in the way of food/ drink. But you’ll look fab. You just may not want to sit down after inhaling all those mushroom pastry poofs.
Outfit choice #3: IF YOU MUST be a part of the Black Dress Brigade follow this guidance. Please be unique. Choose something with a little lace or a deep neckline. You can do either bare legs OR black opaque tights depending on your fabulous shoe. Layer it with a beautiful vintage cardigan (or something that LOOKS vintage not just a plain Loft number). Look for something with a bit of personality or sparkle. Just because it’s someone else’s day doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel and look pretty. Remember it’s probably the only Saturday you’ll be out with your significant other with out kids this month.
So here’s what I ended up with after much back and forth. A fall sundress (Leith: http://www.nordstrom.com). It’s dressy but not too fancy; that way I can get some use out of it for work with a denim jacket and converse. I paired it with my nana’s fur collar that she gave me when I was rummaging through her drawers in the 90’s. I added a grown up necklace ( http://www.myfunkyfindings.com ) and some old sparkle heels that I have kept as my standard fall/ winter occasion heels for like 10 years now. It’s always good to take care of your heels. They rarely go out of style if you stick to classic silhouettes. Hair up, or maybe down. I haven’t decided yet. I’ll have to check the humidity levels for that day :). Ready to eat, Drink and Dance the night fantastic with my almost 40 self.