Summer wedding season is in full swing and while the thought of celebrating with your bffs is totally fun and exciting, the figuring out what to wear part isn’t usually so much. With so many “rules”, different locations, and of course different wedding styles, getting dressed isn’t only tough but can also get really expensive (especially if you’ve got a heavy RSVP count).
To keep you looking great without breaking the bank, here are three dresses you’ll need to get you through wedding season and easy ways to pair them with your guy.
1. The Colored Cocktail Dress
Investing is a cocktail dress is always a great idea because you never know when you’re going to need one. For the summer’s weddings, amp up your cocktail game with a pretty pastel hued Grecian-style – the color adds some freshness and the Grecian look is classic and sexy. A pair of blush colored heels, a pop of color with a punchy orange clutch and a pair of statement earrings and you’ll be the best dressed guest there. Bonus – this dress is great for a Friday date night with your guy or dinner and drinks with the girls.
To pair with your date: have him wear the color of your dress in his tie or add a hint of your clutch color in his shirt. Going too matchy-matchy will look silly, but you also want to keep it coordinated and make it look like you came together.
Dress: Diane von Furstenberg Akela One Shoulder Dress ($498; NOW: $398); Shoes: Steve Madden Marlenee ($100); Clutch: Expressions NYC Large Faux Leather Box ($54); Earrings: Oscar de la Renta Square Crystal Earring ($290)
2. The Black Tie Dress
Yes, there are often those occasions when you’re invited to a wedding and black tie attire is required – lucky you! Although, not always lucky for your wallet. If you feel that it’s time to invest in a nice formal gown that you know will get plenty of use, then most definitely do it. Just remember these things: choose a color that you love and always looks good on you and isn’t trending and of the moment, find a classic cut that flatters your body and one that you’ll want to wear forever, and lastly don’t feel the need to over-indulge because there are a lot of beautiful dresses out there that won’t cost a year’s worth of rent to buy.
However, if you’re not in the market to commit to a lasting relationship with a black tie dress, fear not – that’s what Rent the Runway is for. So many beautiful dresses in so many different styles where you get insta-designer fashion for a non-designer price. Easy to browse, even easier delivery and return policy to take the stress and worry out of finding the right look.
To pair with your date: Usually black tie affair would mean a classic, crisp black suit for your guy. This may not always be the case, but it’s your easiest and safest bet. And let’s be honest – what guy doesn’t look hot in a classic black suit?
Dress: Badgley Mischka Rosalind Peplum Gown (Retail $695; Rental $135); Shoes: Jimmy Choo India Mirrored Sandals ($575); Clutch: Diane von Furstenberg Gatsby Glimmer Tonda Clutch (Retail: $445; Rental $50); Necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane Gold and Large Pearl Necklace ($120)
3. The Flowing Maxi
Summer is a great time for outdoor weddings so if you’ve got anything from a destination beach wedding to a hip farm setting there’s one dress you’ll need – the flowing maxi. The light, airy fabric keeps it breezy and simple and the length adds a little more formality, making it a perfect fit for an outdoor setting.
How to pair with your date: outdoor and beach weddings are usually more casual and all about comfort. If the heat isn’t too bad, a great pair of trousers, a printed shirt, and a tailored sport coat will work perfectly on your guy. If it’s hot, have him wear trousers, a light (as in breathable and comfortable) shirt and a printed tie. Again, coordinate colors by picking out a background color in your dress and making it a focal point on him.
Dress: Vince Camuto Print Chiffon Maxi Shirtdress ($158); Shoes: Ivanka Trump Mallorie Sandal ($130); Clutch: MICHAEL Michael Kors Tilda Saffiano Clutch ($198); Necklace: BaubleBar Iced Gold Lariat Necklace ($28); Bracelets: ASOS Double Stone ID Bracelets ($18)
With these three dresses in your closet you’ll be ready for any style summer wedding. Don’t be afraid to re-cycle your dresses either – there’s no serious need to buy a new one for each occasion. All you need to do is switch up your accessories, add a jacket, change up your hair and make-up and you’ve got a whole new wedding look.
Emiko Vaughn is a personal stylist and wardrober from Cleveland, OH. She currently co-owns and operates personal styling company Lageson & Vaughn with her business partner, Kirsten Lageson.