So you’ve been invited to a wedding! It’s exciting to look forward to celebrating a friend’s or family member’s big day (what could be better than champagne toasts, dancing till dawn, and a day your family or friend group will remember forever? Not much, if you ask us!). But it can also sometimes feel a bit overwhelming to choose the perfect wedding guest outfit. Fear not — we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to pick out the perfect wedding guest look!
We’re big fans of choosing a dress-based outfit rather than going the separates route. Why? For starters, when you go with a dress, you’ve only got to purchase, care for, and (in the case of destination weddings) pack one piece rather than two or more. It can be a headache to coordinate separates into a cohesive, polished outfit in which the proportions are right, the colors or patterns look great together, and the fabrics complement one another. When you choose a dress instead, there’s no more putting on a two-piece outfit (perhaps when you’re already running a bit late) only to discover that you’d forgotten you don’t like to wear corduroy and velvet together. With a dress, all the work is done for you by the designer.
Dresses also don’t create any awkward-feeling waistline exposure while you’re living it up on the dance floor at the reception! Throwing your arms in the air to catch the bouquet thrown by the bride feels even better when you don’t have to worry about flashing your midriff (and maybe even your bra) to the entire room. Dresses have got your back — they’re secure, movement-friendly, and keep you covered in all the right places.
To choose the right dress, you’ve got to take a few things into account: What’s the wedding going to be like? Will it be a dressy, formal affair or a more low-key gathering? Will you be indoors or outdoors during the ceremony or reception? What area of the country will the wedding be in? (Texas in the springtime and Maine in the springtime are two different springtimes — both in terms of weather and what kind of looks might feel most appropriate.) Will the wedding be a very religious one (in which case you might want to opt for a more modest option) or a secular affair?
Then, use the answers to those questions to problem-solve. For example, if you’re attending an outdoor spring or summer wedding in Florida or Texas, temperatures will likely run high, and you’ll want to choose an airy, breathable fabric like linen or cotton dresses for your wedding guest attire.
You’ll also need to take into account your style (every woman, and indeed every person, has their own point of view on style and fashion) and what types of silhouettes suit you best and make you feel your most confident and comfortable. To figure out which shapes and cuts flatter your figure best, it’s a useful starting point to identify which body shape you have; from there, you can ascertain which clothing cuts will enhance your look the most beautifully. Some styling tips and tricks are helpful no matter one’s body shape or size: a V-neckline, for example, is universally flattering.
You’ll also want to be sure to choose a dress in a hue that flatters your skin tone, eye color, and hair hue (it’ll bring out the natural sparkle in your eyes and enhance the “born with it” rosiness in your cheeks). Be careful, though, not to wear a hue that will compete with the bride. Steer clear of white or pale neutral shades (such as eggshell, off-white, beige, etc.).
Our selection of plus-size dresses has something to offer every body shape and personal style. You’ll find that we carry both print and solid-color dresses — solid dresses can be wonderful wardrobe staples, as they offer unparalleled versatility and can easily be dressed up or down with the right jewelry, accessories, and footwear. Printed or patterned dresses, however, are terrific because they keep the eye moving (rather than allowing it to settle in any one area that we may be self-conscious about) and look cheerful and festive. A quick tip: When you try on a patterned dress (or any patterned garment), stand 10 or more feet away from a mirror during your try-on process and make sure the color meld that the pattern creates when viewed from a distance is as flattering for you as the individual colors in the pattern that can be seen when up close. We’ve encountered quite a few brightly colored print dresses that appear brown, gray, or beige when viewed from a distance — which is great if those colors flatter your complexion but could be less than terrific if they aren’t your personal best colors.
A perennially chic solid hue like black or navy is always a fail-safe choice. Classic, neutral colors like black, gray, or navy can carry you through four seasons and look perfect in each one. Brights, pastels, and some prints may be better suited for the spring and summer than autumn and winter, but if you’re attending a spring or summer wedding, that can be absolutely fine! Not every piece in your wardrobe must be a do-it-all workhorse the way that great pair of jeans is (and when you’re shopping for those, be sure to check out our plus-size jeans buying tips!); pieces must only make you feel great and bring out the best in you!
The most important outfit completer of all, though, is confidence. Getting familiar with tips and tricks for feeling confident at any size, including plus size clothing can be invaluable in creating a positive self-image. Confidence is the key to looking great at any age, at any size, and everywhere — including those fun and festive spring and summer weddings!