Invitation to a wedding

Dress, jacket, hat and bag by Jacques Vert

Dress, jacket, hat and bag by Jacques Vert - Credit: Archant

To be the perfect guest you need to tone in while maintaining your own individual style – and don’t underestimate the impact of accessories and a great hat

Paula says …

Weddings. Why does the very word strike fashion fear into all women’s hearts? It’s one of the most scary occasions to get dressed for. Will anyone be wearing the same? Can you wear black? Can you wear white? Can you wear lace? What if you end up looking like a bridesmaid? Holy cow, it’s a minefield.

When I used to own a dress agency, each season we would be flooded with ladies selling their outfits from weddings and none were as flamboyant, expensive and downright frumpy as the Mother of the Bride or Groom. Lord. Stop this over-matching, it gives me a headache and makes you look like your maiden aunt! Enough.

Lilac everything does not a fashionable outfit make….

So, where do we start? Obviously you will know what the bride and bridesmaids are wearing so check whether the bride wants you to mirror the material or colours before you start to hit the shops.

Blending tonally with the bridesmaids is fine – wearing the same colour is not. Once you’ve decided on the fabric you’d like to try and wear (or not wear as the case may be) get yourself to a decent large department store where you can try on lots of things at once.

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There are dedicated wedding departments but of course, you might want to go off-piste and hit a local boutique or even a dress agency if you’re looking for something different.

MoB outfits tend to consist of a dress with a bolero jacket to cover those bingo wings – sorry to be so sweeping but it’s true. If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try a super-sharp, tailored trouser suit in a light colour (too dark and you’ll blend in with the boys) with a huge hat?

Personally, I hate the dress and bolero look but I adore a dress with a matching duster coat – this is a great choice as you can split up the items and definitely get your wear out of them again. I love Claire Thorogood in London (www.clairethorogood.com) for her on trend, non-frumpy approach to MoB.

Want to get a head? Wear a hat. Take a look at milliner Carrie Jenkinson (www.carriejenkinson.co.uk) for inspiring headgear. She makes hats that the guests will be talking about for weeks. Tell her I sent you.

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