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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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MCLV Style: Longline Vest

In case you missed it – BCBG is closing all of its stores. I happened upon this little development while wandering through Union Square. I saw a 40%-60% sale sign in the window and left an hour later with six dresses and this vest.

BCBG dresses are my favorite and I’m devastated to lose that shop on Union Square. But luckily their goodies will still be available online and in department stores!

While I made a beeline for the dresses, knowing what I like and what works for me, I got derailed by this vest. More specifically, the lady helping me with the dressing room was wearing it in black and pointed out the camel version while we were trekking across the shop.

Love at first sight!

Camel Sleeveless Vest Longline Stripes San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Timex BCBGMaxAzria

Camel London Long Seamed Vest – BCBGMaxazria

Black & White Striped Tee – Alexander Wang via The Real Real

Black Skinny Jeans – Jolt by Nordstrom

Rose Gold Watch c/o Timex

Camel Sleeveless Vest Longline Stripes San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Timex BCBGMaxAzria

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Camel Sleeveless Vest Longline Stripes San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Timex BCBGMaxAzria

I loved the black version, but since most of my Spring clothes are lighter hues or prints, I thought this camel one would be more versatile for the season between coats and short sleeves.

What really struck me about this style is the versatility. Working with interesting silhouettes and lengths are both great ways to mix up your wardrobe. Add a longline vest over a dress and pumps for a modern take on a classic style or give your skinny jeans and striped tee a little oomph like I did here.

Do YOU have a longline vest in your wardrobe? What’s your favorite way to style it?

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MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire

I have to confess that I get a strange little jolt of anxiety when I read an invitation that says “traditional cocktail attire.”

Does that happen to anyone else?

And truthfully, I don’t know why… I have been, for the most part, successfully dressing myself for many years now. But it seems that at the very least my subconscious is still concerned that I’m going to show up looking utterly inappropriate for an event.

I get sartorial anxiety. Clearly I have issues.

So, in case anyone else is in this same boat, I thought I’d tackle the age-old conundrum – What should I wear?

In my book, there are four main categories of appropriate cocktail attire.

(1) TraditionalCocktail Dress

Whether you’re going for a classic little black dress, a retro-inspired wrap dress, or something with a little glitz and glamour, a cocktail dress is an easy go-to for these events.

Simple and safe – This is a good option for more traditional hosts or locations.

Cocktail Attire Dress Code San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

(2) Modern Lady Suit

If you’re not a dress lady, don’t force yourself into a look you’re uncomfortable with. A suit, or a matching pant and blazer combo with a chic top, is always okay at a party with a cocktail dress code.

The key is to keep the look clean, well-tailored, and classic.

(3) Preppy ClassicSkirt & Top

Bored with your LBDs? Pair a pencil, tea length, or A-line skirt with a shell, sweater, or simple top and blazer combo. It can be sweet and feminine, preppy, or edgy depending on your choice of silhouettes and textiles.

This style offers you more room for self-expression and a chance to have some fun with your look. But be sure to keep your glam on the same level as the ladies around you with killer heels, a bold red lip, or some eye-catching statement jewelry.

(4) Fashion ForwardJumpsuit

Jumpsuits are becoming more and more of a staple for events and red carpets these days. Gone are the days of women-must-wear-dresses.

They key to pulling off this look and meeting that dress code is going for solid colors over prints, keeping the accessories fairly classic, and making sure that you’re fit is impeccable.

This is a good look to try for a cocktail party hosted by a younger crowd or located at a trendy new hotspot.

What’s YOUR go-to cocktail attire style?

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MCLV Style: Herringbone

Herringbone is a twill fabric with a distinct v-shaped weave. It’s a classic cloth and pattern that’s been around since ancient Rome. It’s been popular for suiting and gone in and out of vogue over the years in the women’s wear arena.

Herringbone Amour Vert Eco Friendly Sustainable Brand San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Emma Long-Sleeve Dress in Herringbone c/o Amour Vert

Black & White Laurel Satchel – Kate Spade New York

Black Tights – DKNY

Flat Ankle Boots – Costume National

Herringbone Amour Vert Eco Friendly Sustainable Brand San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

I’m a long-time fan of herringbone and have seen great iterations of it on the sidewalks as well as the runways in recent seasons. From Emily Ratajkowski’s killer harringbone oversized overcoat to Balenciaga’s all powerful power suits. One of the things that’s so great about this fabric is its never-ending versatility. From accessories to outerwear to male and female suiting essentials, it can make a chic addition to any wardrobe. It can also go easily from classic and retro-inspired to edgy and eye-catching at a designer’s whim.

I fell head-over-heels for this timeless little shift from Amour Vert, the question was how to make the modern-meets-mod frock sing. After playing a little bit of dress-up, I decided that I liked a classic but contemporary take with tights and booties.

What’s YOUR favorite fabric?

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MCLV Style: Modern Feminine

My personal style – Which I’ve long described as “Classic with a twist” – Has been evolving since I fell in love with fashion during my time living in Rome. I like feminine pieces and classic silhouettes, but with a modern twist. I’ve never been a slave to trends, but I like being aware of what’s popular and seeing how various things suit me.

Plus – It’s always fun to try on a new sartorial personality!

And while I would say that my style is fairly feminine, I tend to shy away from overtly feminine “girly” looks and flourishes. Giant bows, ruffles, the color pink…

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

Talia Double-Breasted Coat – BCBGMAXAZRIA

Black Dress – Burberry Brit

Metallic Ankle Strap Heels – BCBGeneration

Vintage Black Handbag – YSL {Similar here, here & here}

Layered Gold Necklace – Banana Republic

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

{Photos by Lydia Hudgens Photography}

Modern Feminine Black-on-Black Vintage YSL Handbag Yves Saint Laurent San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style BCBGMAXAZRIA Ruffle hemmed coat

But – Despite those proclivities – This coat called out to me during my last foray into the BCBG on Union Square. I’ve been in the market for a new basic black coat and saw this one in white in the window of the shop. Their sales are KILLER so I popped in, and it’s all history.

I love that it adds a fun, feminine twist, without being too eye-catching. I tried it on in white, which was beautiful, but I thought the ruffles were a bit overwhelming.

I’ve dubbed this style modern feminine – It’s still a classically feminine look, but rendered in a contemporary way that makes it timeless.

How do YOU feel about this modern take on the ruffle?

 

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