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Art of Style

What to wear to a wedding

Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars, 2009

All out of what-to-wear-as-a-wedding-guest inspiration? If you’re struggling to dress like yourself and appropriately for a city, beachside or country ceremony, our handy guide to summer-wedding dressing has you covered…

Brock Collection

Florals are a safe bet for a wedding, no matter what the setting, so look for classic shapes with subtle twists that elevate them beyond tried-and-tested staples. Choose a modest dress – look for ruffles or fluted sleeves for next-level ladylike style – adding a modern pair of sandals, a woven basket bag and gold jewelry.

This is the ultimate masculine-meets-feminine look. Reach for an effortlessly simple slip dress – look for pale-and-interesting neutrals for a sophisticated nod to the romantic setting – and a neatly tailored blazer for both warmth and sartorial structure. Finish with easy mules and a chic hair accessory.

Play with proportion and oversized shapes with a puff-sleeved top and a full skirt covered in blooms. Balance out your silhouette by making sure your wrists and ankles are on show, and give yourself a lift with a pair of sandals.

If you want to switch up your dress for a suit without compromising on a statement-making entrance, look for one in a striking floral print. Keep the rest of your look fuss-free by adding an ivory silk camisole and a pair of barely-there sandals.

Midi lengths may get the most summer loving, but a shorter length can be just as elegant, especially when it’s as irresistibly beautiful as this one. Ground Stella McCartney’s floaty mini dress with a structured trench coat and add neutral accessories in cream to riff on the quietly pretty theme – Chloé’s ladylike bag and Neous’ elegant slingbacks tick all the boxes.

Don’t feel that you have to embrace the ultra-feminine: a suit is an easy, effortlessly chic win, especially when it comes to a city wedding. Look for playful colors to avoid anything too corporate, and keep it modern by opting for straight-leg pants, elevated by Stella McCartney’s high-shine heels.

Pastel shades and weddings go hand in hand, but if you want to wear them and look good, you’ll need to update your approach. Reach for a classic slip dress in the season’s most talked-about color, pink, then add a cool edge with statement hoop earrings and Valentino’s sleek leather clutch.

Want to bring the tried-and-tested skirt-and-top pairing up to date with some serious fashion flair? Look for a colorful, swishy midi skirt, ideally with a smattering of print and a handkerchief hem, and pair with a timeless blouse made interesting with statement sleeves. Instant sophisticated elegance, guaranteed.

You probably wouldn’t wear head-to-toe black to a wedding, but we see no reason to avoid it altogether. Dark, brooding florals will set you apart from the swathes of paintbox blooms sure to be on show. Top with a pretty headband – infinitely chicer than a fascinator – and slip Bottega Veneta’s clutch under your arm.

Yes, we’re basically advocating wearing pajamas, because there are few things more elegant than louche silk pants and a casually-slipping-off-your-shoulder top. Added bonus: the long pants mean you can wear your flats guilt-free (all the better for partying till dawn) – Valentino’s embellished pair blend comfort and style.

Maggie Marilyn
Cult Gaia

There’s no occasion that isn’t beautifully sartorially tackled by a dress, and a sun-drenched setting is the perfect excuse to try something a little more daring. Tropical prints, cold-shoulder necklines and cutouts will get the party started. Add a pair of oversized shades and a beaded bag, then finish with a pair of heels that you can kick off while you dance the night away.

We’re strong advocates of co-ord dressing. Not only does it look great, it seriously reduces the thought needed in getting dressed. A breezy blouse and asymmetric skirt in pretty florals will do the trick nicely for a beach wedding, and if the nuptials are really relaxed, you can layer it over a simple contrasting bikini.

A coastal wedding calls for a look that treads the line between laid-back and sophisticated, so turn to elevated ladylike separates. Puffed sleeves and ruffles will give you the swishy, carefree air that befits the setting, while wedged espadrilles will give you a bit of lift and stop you from sinking into any sand.

If you prefer a more structured look, opt for something high-impact in colorful lace. You’ll want to keep your accessories low-key to avoid looking overdone, so stick to flats rather than heels and slip a timeless basket bag over your wrist.

If you prefer your looks muted rather than in technicolor, go for a smattering of color in the form of print and stick to crisp white accessories. This dress hits the sweet spot between beach cover-up and polished chic and will look just elevated enough to work with a small heel and sculptural earrings.

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