Wedding season is round the corner especially for those in countries with warmer climates at the moment. While brides-to-be are excited and planning every detail to the last T, their guests are trolling through racks of dresses looking for that perfect outfit. You definitely do not want to stick out like a sore thumb, but you do want to be complimented on your efforts. Looking chic is a MUST as a wedding guest. You are after all part of the decoration for the couple's photos.  

I have put together a list of do’s and don’ts or as I have put it, "Chics" and "Unchics", for the ideal wedding guest outfit.


Before you starting dress hunting, either through your closets or on Oxford Street, you need to know what you are looking for. Invitations usually give a hint as to which dress style to go for by using words such as casual, smart, black tie, etc

·      Casual: Beach or garden weddings would use the term causal dress on the invitation. This usually means a sundress, skirt or for men, a khakis or dress pants. No jeans, tank tops, mini skirts or “wifebeaters” allowed.

·      Semi-formal: aka casual dressy: this usually means something between formal and casual. Put a little more effort – think of pretty cocktail dresses, pretty blouses and skirts, suits and tie

·      Formal: or “Black tie optional”: this is the best range because you can decided to go for black-tie i.e. tuxedos and long gowns or slightly less formal with formal cocktail gowns and formal dark suit and tie for men

·      Black-tie: My favorite. This is usually an evening event. Think of formal balls. Everything should be on point including hair, makeup, nails, shaving (for men), and accessories. Women should be in formal long dresses or very dressy short formal dresses. Men in tuxedos. White dinner jackets are now acceptable too especially in warmer weather.

·      White-tie: The mother of all formal dress codes and the simplest to follow albeit most expensive. Women should be in floor length formal gowns and men in tuxedos and jackets with tails.


This is my pet peeve. A lot of people disagree on this issue but I stand by my word which is: Never wear white to a wedding UNLESS the bride specifically asks you to. DO NOT ask the bride if it’s ok to wear white – that is rude and she might be too polite to say no. Whilst there are a few brides out there who don’t mind and don’t care, take a step back and let the bride be the only one in white. We don’t want people wondering if you are the bride. Whites include cream and ivory.
This goes for men too. Do NOT wear a white dinner jacket as a guest. The penguin look should be reserved for the groom and his groomsmen if he so wishes.
There are however a few exceptions if you must wear white such as print outfits e.g. stripes, florals, aztec, etc. Men of course are allowed to wear white shirts. 


·      Wear prints and bright colors especially for summer weddings - they make the atmosphere festive 
·      Wear sensible shoes – there is a lot of standing around
·      Wear a little black dress to the reception – while many people frown upon wearing black to a wedding, little black dresses can look classy especially when paired with the right accessories.
·      Have sensible cover-ups for church to reception transition such as scarves, boleros, light jackets
·      When in doubt, ASK!


There is no place for the wedding guest who looks like he or she just got out of a baking contest in a very hot kitchen. Take your time to do your hair, nails and makeup. Your presentation reflects on the bride and groom.


I couldn’t find an appropriate heading for each no-no for wedding guest attire so I decided to put all under attention seeking outfits. This might not be your intention but certain outfits certainly get the crowd talking about you and not the guests. This list includes but is not limited to;
·      Jeans, t-shirts and trainers
·      Very skimpy outfits
·      Plunging necklines (too much cleavage)
·      Very loud and garish outfits e.g. complete sequin dress, very bold prints etc.


Be it a clutch, bracelet or flowers in your hair, take that extra step to jazz up your outfit. You can even use this as an opportunity to add more color to your look as well as some bling.


The most important of all 

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