* Wedding season is officially underway and will continue through fall
* Wedding guest attire can be tricky, especially if you have multiple receptions this summer
* Here’s a complete wedding guest guide for men and women
If the wedding invitations keep coming, and you’re running out of things to wear, don’t wing it. We’ve got the complete guide to formal attire for men and women. Find out how to dress and shop your favorite looks below.
Time to Suit Up
When it comes to formal events, you don’t have to go all out on a tuxedo. Unless the invitation specifies “black tie,” a simple two-button suit in blue, gray or black should suffice. Choose a pattern that you like, but keep in mind that most men only wear suits a few times a year–so avoid anything too flashy. Macy’s always has a great selection of classic suits, and they’re often marked down. Just be sure to order your new suit well in advance so that you have time for tailoring once it arrives.
Shirts, Ties & Double Windsors
When it comes to dressing up, a white shirt is the way to go. Depending upon the situation, you may have some wiggle room, but remember that you want the suit and tie to do the talking. Check out the selection from Nordstrom’s house brands. They’re moderately priced and high quality. You also need to learn the double windsor knot. It’s fuller shape takes you from the nines to the tens.
NORDSTROM MEN”S SHOP Classic Fit Non-Iron Solid Dress Shirt ($39.00) | Ties From Top Left Clockwise: THE TIE BAR ‘Crystal Wave’ Silk & Linen Plaid Tie ($19.00) | THE TIE BAR ‘Bison’ Silk Plaid Tie ($19.00) | JOHN W. NORDSTROM ‘Grayson Mini’ Silk Tie ($89.50) | THE TIE BAR Dot Silk Tie ($19.00) | Shop All Norstrom Dress Shirts | Shop All Norstrom Ties
Shoes & Belts
It should go without saying, but it so often doesn’t: don’t wear a casual belt and shoes. Nothing will wreck an upscale ensemble like a low-brow shoe and belt combo. Choose a reversible leather dress belt (black/brown) so that you only need one belt for either color theme. Cole Haan shoes are always a smart choice, as they offer durability, comfort and classic style that you’ll be able to wear for years.
Tie Clips, Cuff Links & Watches
French cuff shirts have fallen by the wayside in recent years; along with them have gone cuff links. There’s no proscription against either, so if you like the look, rock it. Just remember when accessorizing for formal events that the general rule is that a man should wear no more than five extra pieces; your belt and wedding ring count. That leaves just enough room for two cuff links and a watch–or two cuff links and a tie clip– but not all of them together.
MEN’S COLLECTIONS Set of Four Modern Tie Clips ($29.95) | IKE BEHAR Mother of Pearl, Onyx & Tiger Eye Stone Cufflinks ($42.80) | UNIFORM WARES Silver Linked M37 Watch ($525.00) | Shop All Amazon Tie Clips & Cuff Links | Shop All SSENSE Watches
Finding a Dress
Rather than chase trends based on what you glean from red carpet coverage, learn what works for your body shape. If you’re not certain, check this tool from Nordstrom; it lists the basic body shapes and gives recommendations for dress silhouettes to complement your figure. For example, smart solutions for troublesome midsections (a common issue) include low cut busts, high waistlines and slit skirts, all present in the Plunging V-Neck Chiffon Gown from Lulus (Far left, $84.00).
A-lines such as the Fit & Flare Midi Dress by Adelyn Rae (Center, $128.00) are smart both for women who want to de-emphasize pear figures and women with straight hips who want to create some curves. Finally, the Ted Baker London Akva Kensington Floral Body-Con Dress (Far right, $295.00) flatters any woman’s curves with a body-hugging fit and comfortable stretch. Floral at the front and back, it uses solid black contrast to slim your figure.
It’s always smart to keep classic silhouettes in basic black for times when you just can’t find a match. While there’s no hard and fast rule about shoes, it’s good to keep in mind that the more open the shoe, the more low-key the look becomes–strappy sandals offer the most casual style, while peep toe offers a compromise and traditional point toe pumps offer the most formal aesthetic.
STUART WEITZMAN Nudistsong Ankle Strap High Heel Sandals ($398.00) | COLE HAAN Hellen Grand Open Toe High Heel Pumps ($150.00) | CHARLES DAVID Genesis Leather Pointed Toe High Heel Pumps ($259.00) | Shop All Bloomingdale’s Pumps
Bring the Best Bag
Your handbag does more than store the essentials; it also adds your unique twist. Choose a clutch with rich texture or a unique pattern. It should make a subtle statement without sacrificing versatility. Formal occasions only come a few times each year, so you should pick a bag that you can carry any time you want, rather than having to save it for ritzy nights out.
Finding Fine Jewelry
As with your clutch selection, your fine jewelry should find a place in everyday situations such as work and date night. Rose gold and diamonds are always a smart choice. When accessorizing your formal looks, keep in mind that less is more and wear pieces that complement your ensemble. Earrings are always a must, but if your dress has embellishment or detailing along the neckline, opt for a bracelet and ring set instead of a necklace. Likewise, if you’re wearing a bolero over a low cut dress, a bracelet may be superfluous, but a necklace is much-needed.
AMAZON COLLECTION 10k Rose Gold Morganite & Diamond Accented 3-Stone Pendant Necklace ($115.05) | DAZZLING ROCK COLLECTION 10K Rose Gold Halo Stud Earrings ($381.50) | AMAZON COLLECTION 10k Rose Gold Woven Diamond Ring ($258.99) | RHYTHM & MUSE Diamond Bangle Adjustable Infinity Bracelet ($99.00) | Shop All Amazon Rose Gold Fine Jewlery
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