Thursday, September 27, 2007

What to Wear: Formal Beach Wedding?

Beach weddings conjure up images of flowing, soft cotton colors. Formal weddings? Bold colors and structured. So what do you wear to a formal wedding at the beach? Here is Griselda's request:
I'm emailing you because I am in need of outfit advice for my husband's uncle's wedding coming up in late October in Southern California. It's going to be at the Ritz Carlton, on the beach, starting at 6pm, and evening attire is required (short dresses are fine). I don't really have anything appropriate, I think. I don't mind splurging a little, if I can somehow use it again.

A bit about myself: I'm 24 years old, living in CT now for a year (my husband and I are from CA originally), pretty short, 5'1'' and a quite curvy (usually a size 14-16) and I definitely need something with good bust support. My style is pretty classic, modern and generally comfortable. My biggest problem usually is finding comfortable shoes, I have flat feet which makes shoe shopping hard.

I'm not sure what evening attire really means. I'd like to be comfortable, cute and adult.
My solution? Formal wear in the soft colors of driftwood and beach glass. Something that won't look out of place on the beach and the dance floor.

Dress - I read that women with larger busts should go for a strapless dress as a way of balancing things out. But strapless dresses can be so annoying. This soft gray J.Crew dress has subtle straps to save you hours of tugging. Call them to ask for size help, I would guess ordering in petite one size up and tailoring it down would be best.
Shoes - These silver sandals are from Naturalizer for extra comfort.
Necklace - Glass bubbles on a silver chain are a delicate and interesting.
Pashmina - It can get cold on the beach at night.
Clutch - In woven silver from Forever 21.

A nice, soft updo and some subtle make-up will complete the look. Have fun, Griselda!


Anonymous said...

Strapless dresses if you have a large bust? HAHAHA. If you want to kill your shoulders and back muscles: SURE! I'm a D cup and I would never consider a strapless dress, or even a dress with thin straps.

And really, if a woman is a 14-16, it is SO not flattering to wear something that flares from right below the breasts. Especially if they are only 5"1'.

As to shoes, I think it's fine to wear nice flats. Ballet flat shoes really lend themselves to dresses that hit at the knee or below. I was at opening night of the opera recently, and I was not the only one wearing dressy ballet flats with a nice dress. Beach+sand+heels of any kind=fast track to broken ankle.

I generally agree with most of your recs, but you are way, way off on this one.

Nicole said...

i think this what to wear recommendation is wonderful. i love how "anonymous" can't log in under their real name when making a comment. really funny.

amber said...

I think you came up with just the right outfit - and have her look on right now - lots of great dresses on super sale. "Anonymous" must have had a bad strapless experience, but for me, being an A-cup I can say I LOVE strapless, bring 'em on.

Beth said...

anonymous... you are not very nice. and emily, i think you did a fabulous job and i love this outfit. i also think flats can theoretically be worn, but i really like the shoes you picked way better. i can only offer some advice as someone with experience dressing their very own D cup-- strapless dresses don't look good on me. When the girls are reasonably substantial, they look better if they have some visual anchorage pulling them up. I think I heard this echoed on "what not to wear" one time too. Some other big boob lessons I have learned the hard way: necklines that are too high can make them look saggy, one color in a form-fitting shape looks good on top (nothing baggy or too busy), and anything that cuts straight across the chest-- necklines/bows/belts, etc. above or below or between the bust-- is no good. Keep up the good work!

MissEm said...

Good points all around ;)

In my personal experience (away from what the internet told me) I've seen that a strong halter cut on top is pretty killer for a big chest.

J.Crew doesn't have quite the same color, but this dress might be a good alternative.

Anonymous said...

If someone is an A cup, a strapless is a very viable dress option. As a D cup, it would take a seriously well-designed dress to even support my chest well for an event like this (5hrs?). I'm pretty sure my breasts would *hurt* after that long in a strapless dress. Perhaps if someone has implants and is a D, maybe a strapless would work for them. Have any of you A cups considered how much a pair of D cups weigh??

It matters not if I post my identity or not. I'm not slamming this blog -- just this one recommendation. I've found it's often true that thin women who give clothing recommendations generally don't understand how to dress larger women (14+) very well, because they don't understand the way clothes look different on someone with extra weight in different places. It's generally inaccurate to just increase the size of an outfit and expect it will look as good on a 14+ as on a 6 or 8. Do super low rise jeans look as good on a 14+ as on an 8? Generally not. Do the stores make them? Yes. Does that means it's a good choice? No. Would the fabled high-waisted white skirt look good on anyone with and kind of thickness around their hips or stomach? Not really.

I'm also a fan of this blog, because most of the clothing advice is quite good. However, as a 14+ with a large chest, I can tell you this outfit wouldn't be flattering to me, nor would it be flattering to probably the majority of women the size the submittor.

I think the "alternate dress" is much more flattering for a larger figure and bustline.

Repeat: I am a fan of this blog. Just because I don't like every single recommendation doesn't make me evil.