I’ve recently been invited to a wedding, and my first thought was to cringe.
Sure, there are the obvious reasons. Forced socialisation is difficult to a lot of us, and it’s hard to pick what you’re going to feel like eating in six months and four days. Weddings when you don’t drink can get really awkward, as people try their darnedest to impose ‘just a small one’ on you, and come loaded with 39 questions about why you have declined their offer. I’d love to be filled with the joys of life and love when I receive a wedding invitation, honestly I would – but when I think about weddings, the first thing that comes to my head is what I’m going to wear. And the word ‘discomfort’ seems to go hand in hand with that thought.
Is it just me? Or are all ‘wedding guest’ outfits designed to be difficult? If it’s strapless, I’m going to need to find a strapless bra that actually fits and I’m going to spend all evening re-adjusting myself. If it looks sparkly and glamorous, it is inevitably covered with sequins or that weird scratchy material that leaves you with a rash under your arms. Weddings equal chafing and sweating. And don’t even get me started on the footwear. Every time I have gone to a wedding as an adult I have spent the evening adjusting, arranging, wiggling and re-positioning, all in the name of wearing something that I’m never going to wear again but cost more than anything else I own. So enough! I give up on making myself feel uncomfortable for the sake of one day, especially when the couple are going to care far more about each other than they are about how I’ve decided to dress myself. Here are my top tips for making wedding guest attire so easy that you’ve got no excuse not to enjoy yourself.
Don’t give your skin the chance to chafe
If you are out at an event and you think ‘my legs are starting to chafe’, its already too late. Trust me. But there are so many ‘wedding guest’ outfits that just don’t look right with tights, so it can be a battle to save your thighs from the get-go. Chaffree are my favourite way to let my legs breathe but, failing that, I keep all of my leggings that are starting to look tatty and I cut them to thigh length each Summer to wear under my dresses. I’d obviously just make sure that you’re cutting them shorter than the length of your dress and, if possible, try to pick a pair of leggings that match your dress or are a lighter colour. If you’re intent on wearing tights, I have had a number of good things about Snag tights – though I’m yet to try them myself!
Wear breathable fabrics
I often find that the dresses that are intended to be worn by a wedding guest are made of this really weird material. It’s not stretchy whatsoever, it makes you grumpy when you wear it (maybe just me…) and it can often scratch at your skin throughout the evening. Nobody’s going to enjoy their evening when they feel like the human embodiment of a sore throat. Choose a fabric like cotton, that will let air circulate and stop you being quite so sweaty and cramped while you’re trying to have fun.
Sell it with accessories
Because so many of the more ‘glam’ dresses seem to be in really heavy or scratchy fabrics (in my experience), I tend to think its better to dress more simply and add the bling yourself. Hair pieces can help pull together a really cute wedding guest look, and you can’t go wrong with a statement necklace. I tend to stay away from pretty belts that sit right under your bust because I find that they can get quite restrictive and awkward throughout the course of the night – but I know not everybody finds them difficult, so do what works!
Flats, flats, flats
I honestly don’t know why I’ve ever worn heels to a wedding. Like – why would I do that to myself? I didn’t wear heels to my own wedding, so why would I do it as a wedding guest? They’re uncomfortable. They put unnecessary pressure on my body. And they definitely stop me from getting up and throwing shapes on the dance floor. So from now on I am only ever willing to look at flat soled shoes as part of my wedding guest attire. A cocktail dress and some sparkly flats can look absolutely adorable – and my top tip is to wear shoes that are a size (or even a half-size) too big, because your feet are likely to swell as the night goes on.
Keep cool and carry on
I try and do everything I can to keep as cool as possible when I’m going to any kind of event, because I am a Wild Grumpus when I get too hot. If nothing else, my hair is always up. I feel really claustrophobic with my hair down, so its very rare you will see me with my locks flowing down my shoulders – and if you do, I will pop it up in a mum-bun about an hour into whatever event I’m attending. I avoid sleeves wherever humanly possible because I need to be free and because there is no sense in sweating yourself into a puddle for the sake of covering your shoulders. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a fan along with you if you think its going to get hot and crowded. Dare I say it, you could even style it up to be part of your outfit! Failing that, I just take regular breaks outside for air and I never forget to keep myself hydrated and happy.
What top tips can you add to the mix for the wedding guest of 2019? I’ve got 6 months until my event, so plenty of time to take your advice!