Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What to Wear: Cleveland Wedding

Of all the requests I get, I am most consistently stumped by formal and semiformal weddings. Largely, because they're super rare out here in California. I just don't get how to do formal without looking like a bridesmaid or prom date. Here is Ann's request:
I am attending my cousin's wedding in Cleveland in early October. It will be a big, classic Catholic wedding, with a ceremony around noon, socializing at relatives' homes in the afternoon, and a semiformal dinner reception starting at 6:00.

I think I have something to wear for the ceremony, but I am at a loss for the reception. While I have a closet full of dresses, none of them seem quite right. I'm self-employed and would appreciate an outfit around $150.

I'm quite petite, at 5'0", with long brown hair and blue eyes. I wear a small size in dresses (usually 0) but I'm curvy, so I like classic and vintage-styled dresses, with a small waist and fuller skirt; and I gravitate towards styles with just a bit of something different or offbeat, like a 60s graphic print. No sleeve or length restrictions.

Incidentally, my boyfriend will be meeting my large extended family for the first time at this event, so there's all sorts of things going on and of course I'd like to look great!
Here's the new plan when it comes to semiformal weddings: A great dress is a great dress. Find one that looks like a million bucks on you and go with it. You'll be better off than if you try to cram your style into something taffeta:

Dress - From Anthropologie. The fabric is delicate enough and the pattern bold enough to work for this wedding. Plus, Ann will love to wear it other places for years to come.
Shoes - These very semiformal green pumps are on sale for $50 from Ann Taylor.
Bracelet - A $200 bracelet from MOMA isn't in the budget, but maybe Ann has some similar knock out piece already.
Earrings - Grey pearl studs, also not in the budget.

A lot of this outfit will depend on your hair and makeup. A nice updo and some formal make-up will kick the outfit up to the appropriate level.


Anonymous said...

Oooh. Now I want green shoes.


atlanta social said...

i have that dress and have received quite a few complements.

Good choice.

Genna said...

Since I live in Cleveland and since I had a large formal catholic wedding @ noon and reception at 6 back in June, I thought I might lend my thoughts... What most people do is wear 2 different outfits. One to the church (perhaps a nice skirt & blouse) -something she may have already and then wear a nice dress (like the one you suggested) to the reception. If not she can wear a cardigan/sweater with the dress to the church (as bare shoulders are kinda frowned on in church -lol) and then change it to a shall maybe for the reception.

Love your blog.

L. said...

LOVE this outfit, Emily. Totally stellar.