As if it isn’t tricky enough working out what to wear to the foray of seasonal events headed our way, many of us have the additional complication of dressing for winter weddings. While spring and summer might be the most popular months to tie the knot (and thankfully so – because it’s easier to throw on a floral maxi than it is to carefully compile a chic, wintry look), winter has its own charm and sense of mysticism making it a magical time for weddings.
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But the occassion also throws up a multitude of questions. Like, can you wear the same thing to a winter wedding as a Christmas party? (Answer- Yes, but you might need to tweak certain aspects). How much make-up is too much make-up? (Opt for an eye or a lip). Is colour permissible? (Yes).
To make dressing for the occasion a little easier, we’ve narrowed it down to a palatable five points to keep you on an elegant straight and narrow.
Let your cover-up do the talking
It’s worth investing in a cover-up that you love, and that will add to your outfit, because chances are you’ll be wearing it a lot. Weddings often involve quite a bit of moving around followed by prolonged periods of hovering, so for winter, we suggest opting for a chic coat (a trench or pea coat are good options) or cape that you’ll feel comfortable in both indoors and outside.
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To ensure that you won’t want to whip your only source of warmth off at the first chance you get, try accessorizing it with a brooch, or make it an essential layer and allow the pussy bow tie on your blouse or dress to sit proud over your coat’s lapels. A chunky necklace over a collarless coat will offer a similar effect.
Choose appropriate footwear
We understand that weddings are an opportunity to wear fancier footwear than that we live in day-to-day, but dressing for a winter wedding requires a little more thought than throwing on your favourite block heeled mules. Steer clear from suede if you can (unless the wedding is based entirely indoors) and try to avoid light colours (it only takes one rainy day to ruin a pair of pale hued heels).
There’s also nothing more miserable than cold feet, so to ensure your tootsies stay toasty, wear shoes that don’t leave the majority of your foot bare. If you’ve got your heart set on that pair of jeweled sandals, wear some sparkly socks (see COS) or 20 denier tights underneath (yes, what was once a fashion faux pas, really is now socially acceptable).
Make the most of suiting
A suit is an ideal option for winter weddings. It’s suitably (sorry) seasonal and will keep you warmer than a dress or skirt will. For an evening wedding, try a slinky top or silk T-shirt underneath, and for day-time try a printed blouse or even a shirt (but tuck it in loosely and opt for a colour other than white to avoid corporate connotations).
Depending on the trouser shape, you can wear flats or heels (cropped trousers lend themselves well to flats, as flares do to heels). If you’re clever you will opt for a velvet or metallic co-ord that you can recycle for New Year’s Eve.
We’re not suggesting you steal the bride’s thunder, nor go overboard with the glitter and sequins (perhaps avoid altogether), but winter weddings do offer an opportunity to be a little more daring. This can be in the form of print (pair a brocade midi skirt with fishnets and a silk blouse), fabric (silk, suede, velvet and even shimmery iridescent fabrics are all good options), or shape (experiment with voluminous sleeves or a cascading cape).
You can also afford to go a little heavier on the make-up. Where spring and summer weddings call for dewy skin and a peachy lip, winter allows you to err on the gothic side. A swipe of a liquid eyeliner and a matte red lip will suffice for day-time, but if the wedding goes on into the night, experiment with shades of purple and gold (a word of caution though: opt for either a smokey, sparkly eye or a moody lip – the double whammy might be a bit much for nuptials).
Don’t shy away from colour
Just because it’s colder and darker, doesn’t mean you have to avoid colour. A bright, printed dress or skirt is a great wedding option whatever the season. As is colourful blouse or blazer. If you’re opting for a block colour, we suggest going for rich, jewel tones that won’t look out of place- think emerald green, burnt orange and byzantium purple.
If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to dress head-to-toe in black ever since the first of September, then do so, and add pops of colour to your look with punchy accessories and interesting footwear. There might be rules around wearing black to a summer wedding, but those guidelines are relaxed this time of year.
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