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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.

Join The Conversation
sylviamcdanyel sylviamcdanyel 11 years
Most of those dresses are fine for a wedding, but I just don't know about that black and white one on Reese. I'm from the South and one rule I'm sure about is NOT wearing white to a wedding. My mom always said "you cannot upstage the bride!" I've also always heard that attire can be determined by the time of day. I don't know what goes for what time exactly but it's something like you can wear sun dresses for morning/early afternoon weddings and dressier attire for evening weddings.
TruJrzyGirl TruJrzyGirl 11 years
Oh yes, and stay away from black, everyone wears black! You want to STAND OUT ... If you are a brunette, buy a nice bold color- Jade green, etc .......
TruJrzyGirl TruJrzyGirl 11 years
Hot, Sexy & Trendy Ms !! And keep it cocktail length if it's a day wedding ... Like Eva above ... I hope you are making a long weekend out of that, you'll have a blast !! Enjoy and look your hottest best !
chiara chiara 11 years
Hello, this is my first comment! I am European (Italian) and we do things differently: at a wedding no red, no black and no white (only ok if you're the bride). And also no sandals because you have to wear tights, that do not look good with sandals and open shoes. In case you're invited to a wedding in Tuscany...
mj mj 11 years
a little black dress is classic, you can't go wrong. jazz it up with some fun jewelry, Kenneth Jay Lane has a FABULOUS line...get a big cocktail ring and some strappy sandals. Also, I'm a huge fan of this dress, Geren Ford Kimono dress...comes in Hot pink, Emerald Green and if you're lucky you can find it in Black. it's an incredibly flattering body, and super cute. Pair it with jeans later which makes it practical too! good luck!
FrugalFranny FrugalFranny 11 years
I would never wear black to a wedding... thats what people wear to funerals!! Then again I have been to a few weddings recently and others have and didn't bother me nor anyone else. Just a personal thing I guess. Guys can gt away with black suits no worries! I love weddings they are a great excuse to go and buy a new cocktail dress!!
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
you are like my young twin, haha* yes he is my son and he is a sweetheart..I got pics of him on my blog., you gotta click on the thing tha says 'all' or something like that, cause it only shows like 3 or 4 at a time.
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
Awww, Jamie, is Cory your son? I bet he's too cute. Growing up on the Palm Coast he should grow up to be a great person. Most of the best people I know had to live in a mellow place to become who they are. Life's too short to be wound up all the time about stupid stuff.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
You nailed it caligirl!! They are 'meaner'......don't know why, i guess because it's so big now and over crowded., but I had to get out of there., I don't want my lil cory being all grumpy all the time, then again he's got my heart sooooooo hehe*
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
Jamie1005, I lived in Georgia for 10 years before I moved to California and we used to take trips to Florida all the time. I love the Palm Coast. Jacksonville seemed a little hick like to me kind of the same as South Georgia, but with a beach.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
nice* That's how the people are here in Palm Coast! It's so soooooooo different from Jacksonville. I'm not knockin J~ville, but just sayin' the people here are so much more relaxed, and I'm 5 minutes from the beach! Course I'm not really into frying my skin or anything like that., but it's nice, especially early evening*
lacoste1 lacoste1 11 years
You should definitely wear some cute espadrilles to match the outfit, find ones that aren't too uncomfortable so you can dance (although most of them are pretty comfy) and ones that wrap around the ankles if you wear a shorter dress.
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
Well for the SoCal people. I live in San Francisco so today is curling up under a fleece throw and drinking chai latte while blogging on my laptop. It's like 66 degrees here, but warmer days are coming this weekend and the sun will be out.
JennaV JennaV 11 years
Damn....chillin in a hammock on an island with a margarita in hand, listening to Jack Johnson....suh-weeet!!!
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
JennaV those colors are pretty and put off a calming effect. I've from NorCal so everyone is already pretty mellow and laid back and adding island colors only adds more. Now all I need is a Jack Johnson CD and nothing can bother me.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
I like the way you think girl!
JennaV JennaV 11 years
Those colors sound VERY pretty. They DO remind me of island living and summer time.
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
The colors being worn most right now in Cali are seafoam green and coral. These colors would be great for a wedding there with big beaded ethnic jewelry because a good little liberal enviromentally friendly and world news watching west coaster would not wear "conflict" diamonds that support the killing and kidnapping of children. Also beaded purses are cool on the West Coast this summer or sarong like purses. It's all so cool and islandy this year.
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
ooh popstar, light lavender is perfect for a wedding!!
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
haha, i should've read the whole thing....i wouldn't wear a black dress to a wedding or a funeral~ i'm so laughin' at myself......still every girl should have a lil black dress, but not for a wedding!
momo momo 11 years
Oooh I wouldn't wear a little black dress to a summer wedding in Santa Barbara!! I think you def. need something pretty and summery, in a lighter color.
cali4nagirl cali4nagirl 11 years
Caligirl1201, you are right on, with this one.
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 11 years
Do you have the location of the reception? You can google it and find out if it's a hall or a beach side place or a country club. All of what Sugar said is right, except for beach and many outdoor weddings. Actually, there doesn't seem to be anything right to wear because somehow, crap always gets on your pretty dress.
caligirl1201 caligirl1201 11 years
I live in California and alot of people don't even wear black to funerals anymore because they say you should celebrate the person's life. I definitely agree for a wedding in Santa Barbara a light colored summer dress is appropriate with good strappy or wedge heels and understated jewelry. Even rich people on the West Coast are more laid back and alot of people here are boycotting diamonds because they aren't "conflict free".
popstar popstar 11 years
But LIGHT lavender not purple!
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