Appropriate Wedding Guest Attire
We all know the right kinds of clothes to wear to someone else’s wedding, right? Or do we? At times we might step into a certain wedding with out of place attire. It’s best to know what kind of dress is appropriate for each situation.
As a general suggestion, denim, t-shirts, polo shirts and other casual gear are best avoided (unless the wedding called for them, such as denim in cowboy costume). But when it’s announced, best follow. Sometimes the dress code given is vague, such as “sort of smart casual” or “smarty pants geek;” better ask what they mean. Sometimes, casual dress can be allowed. But in case you want a general guideline for themes, here they are:
- Casual backyard or outdoor wedding – Men could wear a casual long-sleeved or short-sleeved shirt with slacks. Women could wear a pastel-colored dress. Don’t overdress, or look more formal than the bride or groom. When going rustic chic, you could also go cowgirl, with shirt and skirt, or ruffled dresses. When required to go a bit more formal in a dress or pants, best choose the appropriate styles.
2. At the beach – Men can wear short or long-sleeved dress shirts with cotton pants or chinos. Women can wear airy or light dresses. Footwear of course will have to be flat, so women best not use heels here.
When going formal at the beach, same thing. But women should have more accessories such as jewelry to mark it as more formal. But heels are still avoided unless they know they’re not going on the sand.
- Semi-formal – This is midway between casual and formal. Men may be required to wear suits in western countries, but in the Philippines, a long-sleeved shirt of plain or checkered colors will do, although plain is preferred. If you have a cartoon or funny-design shirt, best use that when the code is more casual, or when the theme is geeky.
Women best go with dresses and chic suits. Cocktail and tea-length dresses are safe choices. Heels are recommended, with jewelry and accessories to raise that level of class. Even purses and bags should be the small or statement types.
- Formal – Formal dress in western countries are either black or white tie. The most formal dress is actually called white tie, meaning, for men, white bow tie with white formal shirt and a jacket with tailcoats. Women should wear floor-length dresses with trains, and sometimes fur coats. Black tie is tuxedo for the men and short or long embellished dresses for women, although the rule is to still look expensive. For the Philippine climate, we use the Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana dress, although we can use western dress code. Of course, formal is reserved perhaps for the richest of the rich, so use this dress code only where appropriate.
In case you’ve chosen the safer dress, other things you need to take note of are your nails and hair (for women). Once these are done, you’re set.