Wedding season is nearly upon us, and as the invites come flooding in, so does the panic: What are you going to wear? Picking out an ensemble can be especially challenging if the dress code is listed as casual. Don't stress, though - the fashion freedom that comes with this kind of wedding means you can have a lot of fun with your outfit.
Just be sure to abide by these simple style rules.
Try out separates. The best part about a casual wedding is that you're not required to rock an elaborate or fussy gown, so definitely take advantage of this flexibility. For example, a flowy maxi skirt and a simple sleeveless top look stunning for a beach wedding.
Keep in mind that jewels can make or break an ensemble. If you're opting for a simple monochromatic outfit, add some excitement with a stack of bangles, a pair of chandelier earrings or a bright cocktail ring. Other accessories, like a vibrant clutch, can also help to punch up an otherwise understated look.
Be smart about your shoes. Flirty open-toe stilettos are fun for an indoor summer affair, but if the event is outdoors, you might want to consider flats or low wedges to avoid getting your heels stuck in the ground.
Dress for the time of day. That means you can sport lighter and brighter colors for an afternoon affair, but you should go for darker hues, like navy or berry, in the evening.
Avoid going overboard with edgy or bold accessories. That means you should leave those sky-high studded platforms and trendy ear cuffs at home in favor of a softer, subtler look. You can still show off your personality of course, but consider a statement necklace that adds a pop of color or a vibrant shade of lipstick instead of something that might raise a few eyebrows.
It should go without saying - but avoid wearing white on the big day - after all, you don't want to take attention away from the bride. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to nix a floral printed frock just because it has a white background, or that you can't sport a cream-colored sweater with your pencil skirt.
Don't assume that anything goes just because the invitation indicated casual dress. Denim, for example, is basically never appropriate for a wedding, no matter how laid-back the bride is (or how cute your jeans are).
You shouldn't disregard pants. A skinny pair of cropped chinos look darling with a patterned peplum top, pumps and an elegant up-do - and as an added bonus, you won't have to fret about your skirt flying up during a breezy outdoor ceremony.