It's all about making a statement this wedding season
Spring is well and truly here, which means it’s time to dust off your dancing shoes in preparation for wedding season.
Data released by the Office of National Statistics reveals that the spring and summer months are continually the most popular time for people to get married in England and Wales. And for good reason, because the balmy weather makes everything easier at a wedding, whether it means you can have a firework display or take photographs outside.
But finding the perfect outfit for a sun-soaked wedding can be tricky, least of all because you have to grapple with a string of sartorial conundrums.
These include, but are by no means limited to, finding fabrics that won’t leave you visibly sweating, rummaging through rails of floral dresses you can’t tell the difference between, and hunting down wedges that won’t get stuck in the lawn of a hotel’s grounds. Don’t even get us started on chafing.
According to global fashion search platform Lyst, wedding guests are now spending 26 per cent more on their outfits compared to two years ago.
As for what they’re buying? Long gone are the days of demure dresses that will ensure you blend into the background among a sea of dull pastels and obnoxious hats like an extra who drew the short straw in Four Weddings and a Funeral. No, no. This season, wedding guest trends are all about brash colours, bold tailoring and statement headwear, Lyst reports.
Think patterned blazers, statement headpieces and hot pink dresses in the style of Molly Goddard’s voluminous tutu made famous by Killing Eve’s Villanelle, all of which are styles that have surged in search on the platform over the last few months.
“Dressing for weddings has become less formal over the years,” explains milliner Jane Taylor, who specialises in headwear for special occasions. “In the 1950s we wore hats and gloves every day. Now lots of people don’t even wear them to weddings. People want to be a bit more individual with their outfits these days.”
Hamish Shephard, founder of wedding planning app Bridebook, concurs, telling The Independent that long gone are the days when guests would feel obliged to conform to rigid dress codes. “Millennial couples hate forcing their friends to splurge on smart outfits they won’t ever wear again, the rules are much more relaxed now, which means people are getting experimental with their choices.”
But with the majority of modern-day weddings starting in the afternoon, the key is to find an outfit that can easily take you from day to night and not look out of place in either setting.
Fashion stylist Anna Berkeley recommends following in the footsteps of transitional style pros like Victoria Beckham, whose slick and colourful ensembles are perfect examples of outfits that could work in a multitude of settings without compromising on playfulness.
“Try pairing a bright suit with a sculptural heel and a silky cami top,” she tells The Independent. Or, if you’re tall, Berkeley suggests trying a midi dress over loose-fitting trousers for a layered-up look. “They look best in drapey fabrics that tone together but you could try a floral with a plain trouser or vice versa. Add a bow somewhere for extra flair.”
Other great go-to looks for weddings this season that draw on spring/summer 2019 trends include satin slip skirts, which Berkeley says look best when paired with a linen knit or strappy metallic sandals.
If you’re going to go all out in a “look-at-me” ensemble, which you absolutely can, she suggests offsetting the grandeur with minimal accessories.
Speaking of accessories, London-based fashion designer Lalage Beaumont tells The Independent that the desire for day-to-night looks might be why statement headbands and hair clips are on the rise among wedding guests, explaining that it can be a lifesaver for those choosing to wear hats during the ceremony, only to take them off to dance and reveal an unappealing halo of “hat hair”.
The bottom line is that this season’s wedding guest trends offer you the chance to experiment, whether that’s with colourways or fabrics. And don’t be afraid to go the extra flamboyant mile. All the cool kids are doing it.