MCLV How To: Wedding Attire

After tackling the cocktail attire conundrum in MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire, I thought I’d help you decode the various dress codes associated with wedding attire. Here’s my cheat sheet for the four most common dress codes you’ll see on a wedding invitation.

Casual:

  • Her – A sundress or a skirt or pair of pants with a blouse. Think of lightweight fabrics, light colors, and Summery patterns.
  • Him – Slacks with a light-colored button-down shirt or a polo shirt.

Cocktail:

  • Her – A cocktail dress or a skirt or slacks with a blouse. For a daytime wedding with a cocktail attire dress code, I would consider bright jewel tones or other solid colored pieces. For evening, a bold hue or black will work equally well.
  • Him – Slacks and button down shirt. And I would also bring a blazer or suit jacket for evening.

Check out my MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire for more suggestions and tips for the perfect evening look

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Blue Lace Cocktail Dress – BCBGMaxAzxria

Ankle Strap Peep-Toe Heels – Fendi via The Real Real

Black Clutch – Nancy Gonzales

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{This was my look for a recent “cocktail attire” wedding in Northern California}

Formal or Black Tie Optional:

  • Her – A chic cocktail dress or a floor-length gown. You want to aim for a classic evening style – Black, midnight blue or metallic are traditional color choices.
  • Him – A tuxedo or a suit and tie. The two looks should match in terms of the level of dressiness, so if she goes black tie and wears a gown, he should also adhere to that dress code and wear a tuxedo.

Black Tie:

  • Her – A floor-length gown.
  • Him – A tuxedo with a bow tie and patent leather shoes. A cummerband is optional.

Now two quick “rules” that apply to most weddings, regardless of the official dress code that you should keep in mind.

(1) Don’t wear white. Or cream. Or off-white. Or champagne. Stay away from that whole side of the color wheel – That’s the bride/bridal party only.

(2) Bring a wrap or lightweight jacket, even in Summer. There’s nothing worse than feeling out-of-place or over/under dressed, and a pashmina is the perfect fix. Just throw it on and you’re all set.

How do YOU feel about wedding dress codes? Any questions I can answer?

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