The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
What the wedding dress code says – and what it really means
The black-tie wedding Caroline Leaper
“Cocktail, black tie optional.” That was the stipulated dress code for a wedding I went to this month. Starting at 4pm and in a city venue, I understood the assignment: a midi to floor-length dress with some wow factor to it.
For this brief, fashion rental services come into their own. Rather than spending hundreds on an evening dress I likely wouldn’t want to wear more than a couple of times, I thought I’d browse HURR Collective to assess what was available to hire on my chosen dates – 150 options, it turned out.
Rather than sequins (which many in attendance did opt for) I picked something more unusual; a red dress with a corsage detail by Roksanda. Worth £1,295, it cost £155.96 to rent for four days.
There was a risk, with it arriving just days before the event, that I may end up scrambling round the shops at the last minute. When played online the rental game is definitely a gamble, and it helps to have a clear idea of what silhouettes you have enjoyed wearing in the past before you look. But this one worked and I loved that I could send it back guilt-free rather than worrying about whether I could wear it again.
The destination wedding Tamara Abraham
There are several challenges to consider with a destination wedding, but the primary one is always the weather. Portugal, where my friends will tie the knot in July, will be reliably hot, so I’ll need something breezy and lightweight. This top and wrap culottes co-ord is that and so much more. The painterly print makes a refreshing change from florals, plus it has navy and black in it – useful because it can be styled with those staple hues when I wear it in future. The tie-waist is adjustable and comfortable; the vertical panels and trim elongate my legs, and it’s loose enough that I can gorge on pastel de natas without worrying about fitting into it. I prefer to travel with handluggage only, and this definitely won’t be an issue to pack, leaving plenty of space for my shoes, bag, jewellery – and of course my steamer so that I can be sure that it’s crease-free on the day.
How should you dress
Does a wedding invitation really tell you everything you need to
for a city location? Does know about the dress code? There
may be a vague suggestion –
a gilt-edged invite imply
“eveningwear” or “semi-casual” –
black tie is compulsory? but reading the semantics of the design on the card can often tell
The Telegraph fashion you more than the text.
Is black tie really optional, or
team have the answers
in fact compulsory, when the invitation has a thick gilt edge? And what about when the invite states a city location, but is covered in garden-party florals?
Vow to get it right this year by considering all available clues before selecting your outfit. Here is the Telegraph Fashion Team’s guide to what to wear to every type of wedding this spring.