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What To Wear To An Affair

Dear Sugar
My husband and I are going to a wedding in Santa Barbara in July. The invitation didn't specify any type of dress requirement. Can you give me an overview of the proper attire for both men and women? What To Wear Clare

Dear What To Wear Clare
Women should stay away from anything floor length or too formal. Think of how you'd dress for the theater or a fancy evening dinner. Try a cocktail dress - nothing that's over the top sexy but something dressier than a casual sundress.

When in doubt, pull out your trusty little black dress. I would avoid wearing something too flashy like a beaded dress or anything with sequins - save that for the black tie event.

Men should wear a dark suit for an evening affair or a blazer and dress slacks for a daytime event. Err on the side of caution and always wear a tie.

If the invitation is at at a country club, opt for something more tailored and if it says black tie optional, then I would wear a dressier dress - something formal, or t-length. A man should either wear a tuxedo or a black suit.

A few things to remember:

  • Always bring a shawl or scarf. If the ceremony is surprisingly religious, you may need to have your shoulders covered
  • Don't wear white to a wedding unless you get the bride's approval. You never want to overshadow her on her wedding day.
  • Don't be too revealing. Remember that elderly family may be there and it's important to dress respectfully.

Here are some great dress ideas for this type of beachy but upscale wedding.

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