When planning my outfits for the Summer Lookbook this year, I thought ahead to what my summer might entail: how many weddings to I have to go to? Are there any other big events I need an outfit for? The answers were "three" and "no" which led me to the decision to style three different wedding looks, one for each invitation. Knowing I had to create a variety of looks for one occasion, I posed myself another question: Can you create three wedding looks without buying a new dress? Spoiler alert: I did!
In this blog post I break down why I chose the looks that I did, who's wedding I'm wearing it to, and a few tricks I've learned along the way to make the day of getting ready a little bit easier and a lot more fun.
LOOK#1: THE FAMILY WEDDING
When dressing for a wedding in the family, I keep in mind what I already know: most of my relatives love to wear black, I will definitely spill on myself or be spilled on, and I will proudly be the last one groovin' on the dance floor.
The kind of dress I had in mind for my brother's wedding was something easy to wear, a blast to dance in, and bold enough to make a statement. The best part is I found it when I wasn't looking! Earlier this year, Oak Clothing Co. was in town for a pop up and I spotted this dress while browsing their sale collection. It was an unexpected colour and I have an obsession with pleats, so obviously I had to try it on. It's the most fun to wear and I was already dreaming of where I could rock it. When you find a dress you can just throw on and not fuss about styling, it's a keeper!
It's important to think about the big picture when you're planning your outfit for a wedding, where you know you'll be in this one outfit all day. What I do is break down my thoughts to make sure I'll be my most comfortable:
Will you be dancing at this wedding? Yes. This means I have to go sleeveless because I sweat like a mother fucker and also throw on a pair of shorts under my dress, just in case I spin too much. If the answer was no, I could rock something with a longer sleeve. I also tend to like dancing in something that moves well so I like to keep that in mind when making my selection.
Is the ceremony/reception inside or outside? Inside x2. This means I will be bringing a jacket or cardigan because I'm always cold in AC and I also know it negatively affects my mood. If the answer was outside, I'd be leaving my jacket at home.
Will there be somewhere you can keep an extra pair of shoes? Yes. This means I'll be bringing a pair of comfortable flats or sneakers to dance in, and can wear a ridiculous pair to the ceremony that look best with the dress. If the answer was no, I would opt for a more comfortable shoe I could dance in (I suggest closed toe block heels you've worn in quite well).
$60 Oak Clothing Co. Dress (Similar) / $10 H&M Clutch /$50 Payless Lace-Up Heels (Similar)
LOOK #2: THE FRIEND WEDDING
One of Derek's best friend's is getting married this summer and this is one of those weddings I'm really looking forward to. The bride and groom are two people who I've grown to adore and I've also witnessed their ability to throw an unforgettable party, so it's safe to say the wedding won't be anything short of a good time.
Sam and Rebecca are classy people, and I wanted to honour that when styling my look for their wedding. I decided to switch things up and opt for separates rather than a dress, mainly because I've been dying to rock this silk midi skirt from H&M. Paired with a white flutter-sleeve blouse, the look is feminine and classy - but still fun enough for when it's time to boogie on the dance floor. With a neutral palette of white and navy, I decided to have fun with my accessories and add a pop of pink to my lip for the final touch.
$25 Forever 21 Blouse (Similar) / $10 H&M Necklace / $7 (sale) H&M Skirt (Similar) / $10 H&M Clutch / $20 (sale) Call It Spring Heels (Similar)
LOOK #3: THE PERSON YOU'VE NEVER MET WEDDING
It's not often you'll find me at an event in a long-sleeve, as I mentioned the sweating problem above (LOL), but when I know I'll be inside and not busting a move, I gravitate towards that section of my closet to show those (few) dresses some love. But how did I know I wouldn't be showing my moves on the dance floor? Derek and I decided early on that we would be leaving shortly after the speeches because it was a wedding where we weren't familiar with many people and didn't feel like wasting some of our best moves for a crowd we didn't know. Is that rude?
This is a dress I purchased for work about three years ago and it wasn't until I styled it for the Lookbook that I realized it just might be the perfect event dress. I normally style a cami underneath for a professional look, but when you swap the cami for a black bralette, the plunging neckline and above-the-knee hem is flirty without going overboard, the colour is bold, but not so much so that you'll outshine the bride, and the wrap detail makes it special enough to stand out against the sea of other plain dresses. Add a punchy pink lip (don't forget to slip the tube in your clutch) and you're ready to celebrate!
$20 (sale) Smart Set Dress / $10 Forever21 Bra / $10 (sale) Call it Spring Clutch / $40 Sterling + $5 H&M Rings / $10 H&M Earrings / $50 (sale) Aldo Shoes
Now, I understand that not everyone has three wedding-ready outfits at their disposal. So what do you do if you have more than one wedding in a season and only one or two options, but also can't spend any cash? I've come up with a few strategies for making outfits feel fresh and new, so I can feel put together, even in a dress I've worn a lot. Here are three tips for looking your best when you have "nothing" to wear:
Do the opposite of what you did last time. If you’re heading to an event and know the group has seen your outfit before (like the fourth wedding in your circle this year), look at photos from the last event you all attended and transform everything else about your look, accessory- and beauty-wise. If you went for a sleek bun last time, try beach waves, or opt for a vampy lip instead of your go-to coral shade. Even changing up your manicure will help give your look new life. I promise, no one will notice you’re wearing that same LBD.
Opt for bold accessories. Accessories are your best friend when transforming an outfit. By adding jewelry, especially statement or unexpected pieces, you can create an entirely new look. A wedding can serve as the ideal time for treasured, beautiful jewels like a tennis bracelet or your grandmother’s ring, but also try a cluster vintage broaches on your jacket or wear a ribbon in your hair to make an edgy dress feminine. Think about accessorizing in unexpected ways to draw away from your reused item while still feeling your best.
Rethink your outerwear. Even if it isn't freezing, throwing something over your dress or jumpsuit can invigorate your ensemble (and I'm not talking about your date's blazer). Instead of a pashmina, which can feel expected and a little out-dated, opt for a floor-length duster or well-fitted trench. If the event is somewhere cold, consider working backwards to plan your outfit. Choose your favourite outerwear first, then pick the pieces for underneath based on which complement it best. Something form-fitting or structured is usually a smart idea if your outerwear is flowy and vice versa. Anything like this lightweight trench can be draped over most event outfits to make any look on-trend and add to your overall confidence.
Have questions? Let a girl know in the comments and I'd be happy to help! xo