What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

You're invited to join a celebration--don't let the what-shall-I-wear question spoil your fun

Style + Beauty Editor

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

You’re invited to join a celebration–don’t let the what-shall-I-wear question spoil your fun

-Lois Joy Johnson

Angelina JolieSummer wedding season is here, and the fashion pressure is on. A bride being a little nervous is totally normal. A bridesmaid freaking out over the hideous color and dehumanizing gown she’s being asked to wear is also typical.

But this season, guests are getting antsy about what to wear to a summer wedding.

Two big concerns nag as we R.S.V.P. First–let’s face it–we want a bargain dress, but it can’t look cheap or like a prom reject. Second, we want to look as slim as possible without the additional stress of ramping up our diet and exercise strategy before the event.

Here’s how to “dress to de-stress” for 3 of the the most common types of summer weddings we all get invited to.

The Black Tie Wedding

Poor guys, they have to wear a tux, but us? We can relax. Thank you Angelina Jolie, Taraji Henson and Beyonce for teaching us to show off sculpted shoulders, buff arms and a swanlike neck – and to just forget about our thighs, belly bulge, muffin tops, legs, and rear end for one night. An empire gown can be strapless, halter or have a deep V neckline, but it always looks A-list classy every time. And let’s not forget, it hides bloat and bulges like nothing else we you can eat the hors d’oeuvres, dinner and wedding cake ! Smooth on a body lotion with a subtle shimmer like Smashbox Body Lights Glowing Lotion ($35, sephora.com).

You’ll look thin and feel elegant in one of these:

J.CrewJ.Crew chocolate jersey Grecian gown with deep V, left,  ($98, jcrew.com). A wide plunge neckline accents your top half.

Laundry by Shelli Segal charcoal silk strapless empire  ($295, edressme.com). Makes buff arms and your face the attention-getters.

A.B.S. black halter maxi with empire waist ($190, saksfifthavenue.com). A bare crisscross back is sexy without being obvious!

The Beachy Wedding

You can be a little laid-back for this one, but don’t wear something that looks like a swimsuit coverup. This is the time for a fruity, sexy shade of coral or red that stands out in the crowd and against a background of beige and blue. Remember the blaze of Heidi Klum and Amy Adams at the Oscars?

Also, do these three things: Choose flat jeweled sandals instead of heels (you may be walking on sand!), go for a wavy textured hair look or pull it back so you can enjoy and not dread the ocean breeze, and self-tan to warm up your skintone head-to-toe. And, for your mani-pedi, try Essie’s Risky Business  or Turning Heads Red  ($8 each, essie.com).

You’ll glow wearing any of the following:

Donna MorganDonna Morgan coral matte jersey strapless sheath with ruffle seam
($118, nordstrom.com) A WOW dress that shows off extreme curves!

Hanna G coral tiered chiffon knee-length dress ($98, nordstrom.com). Tiers camouflage your middle and waistline beautifully.

Calvin Klein red one-shoulder jersey gown ($178, nordstrom.com)
For you if your waist is trim, tummy flat and all body issues are below.

The Trendy Wedding

When even the bridal party has a fashion-y look it’s time to break out of the dress code. Keyhole necklines, rich hippie-inspired silk maxi dresses and floaty trapeze styles with jeweled neckbands are trendiest now. How dazzling was Freida Pinto in her swimming-pool blue embellished dress? Right now, airy trapeze dresses and long, floaty silk chiffons that float away from the body look boho cool. Add lots of black eyeliner and fake lashes like Laura Mercier Corner Lashes ($18, lauramercier.com) at the outer eye for instant drama.

You’ll look like an L.A. superstar in one of these:

Arden bArden B. beaded silk ombre maxi dress with keyhole front ($128, ardenb.com). Reveals and conceals

Maggy London silk tiered trapeze dress with jeweled neckband ($188, macys.com). So dance-able! Get it in blue.

JS Boutique one-shoulder ombre chiffon gown with cascade ruffle
($168, nordstrom.com)

Read more style stories for summer and all seasons: How to Make a Fake Tan Look Real and How to Look Good Now


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0 thoughts on “What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

  1. I was resigned to an oldie-but-goodie for a wedding I’m going to in June. Now, I gotta have that Donna Morgan one! Thanks for the great ideas (that I can actually afford.)

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