To help you navigate the wedding season wardrobe dilemma, we spoke with Alex Longmore, one of the UK’s top Celebrity Stylists who’s worked with everyone from Claudia Schiffer and Twiggy to Little Mix and Jamelia and Lisa Talbot, Personal Stylist and accredited member of the Federation of Image Consultants, who specialises in helping people look and feel their best without hours of preparation. After all, we all need a little help when it comes to finding the perfect look, especially if you’re expecting an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan’s upcoming royal nuptials!
BUZZ: Special occasion dressing can be difficult. What kinds of silhouettes, colours, and styles would you recommend one look for when attending a wedding as a guest?
AL: I think the key thing is to really plan ahead with your outfit for a special occasion, especially a wedding. Really play close attention to the invite. Scope out where the venue will be and dress accordingly… Take in to consideration what your hosts’ style is like and the month the wedding falls in – you don’t want to be cold, that is the worst…”
LT: “Although the up and coming trends will influence the styles, colours and shapes of what our wedding guests will be wearing it is more important that the person wears outfits and items according to their personality as they will feel more comfortable. The colours for SS18 are either soft pastel tones or vibrant primary colours. The look can also vary depending on the location and theme of the wedding, this is always something to bear in mind when attending this [kind of] special occasion.”
For women who are top heavy, Talbot suggests a v-neck or plunge neck to create space and draw your eye up. For pear-shaped or bottom heavy women, balance is key. And for women who tend to carry weight on their tummies, “Do not discount any dress that is fitted, as long as there is movement on the middle area, it will work.”
BUZZ: What should wedding guests shy away from?
AL: “Avoid wearing dark colours at a wedding, I think the darkest you can get away with is navy blue but accessorise it with a brighter colour. Don’t be too OTT, flamboyance takes away from the bridal party.”
LT: “A wedding is such a special day I would advise [you] to stay away from black….a guest can still choose a deep/dark tone which has the same properties as black but the look will be less harsh, for example navy, deep purple, deep red.”
BUZZ: Anything else worth avoiding?
AL: “I am not a fan of prints, black, hats that are too big, mini dresses or anything OTT. Nude tights have to be in the right shade to match the exact skin tone and dresses that are a touch too tight are not a good look, especially after dancing the night away and perhaps drinking a bit too much.
I’m also not a massive fan of trouser suits at weddings for women, they seem like a good idea at the time but then when you’re there, they just seem a bit conservative and boring.”
BUZZ: What about hats? Outdated or perfectly chic?
LT: “Hats are fab and can complete an outfit, but are not necessary if the person wearing them will be uncomfortable. The trick with a hat is to choose a hat in line with the scale of the face and face shape. For example, a lady with a small face is better with a smaller hat, smaller rim or fascinator as this will not drown the face… A hat can add in a new tone, colour or fabric to the wedding outfit.”
AL: “I absolutely love fascinators but I am not a fan of big hats unless you spend mega-money on them and go to one of the best milliners in London. Hats that are shop or department store bought tend to look a little cheap and can loose their shape very quickly. Plus most of us actually don’t suit a big brim, so opt for something small if you are going for headwear. Remember either have it going on in the outfit or the hat, but never both. As a rule, the hat/fascinator should do the talking then the dress and accessories should complement it very subtly.”
BUZZ: What if you’re playing a special role in the wedding, such as the mother-of-the-bride?
LT: “This is so personality dependent, I am seeing some mothers’ of the groom/bride staying very traditional with dress and a jacket or a 2 piece skirt and jacket and a hat and others tending to opt for outfits they know they love and enjoy wearing on the day. A mother of the bride / groom can either blend with the colour scheme or they may choose to be slightly more flamboyant in the colour or style of outfit they choose.
I do think it is such a special occasion that does warrant a special outfit and a chance to be proud of their son or daughter in the next stage of their life.”
AL: “I think the mother of the groom should look glamorous and polished; elegant but not dramatic. No mother should take the spotlight away from the bride-to-be. I am really against wearing, cream,coffee or any tone similar to the bride’s dress. Pale colours are fine, but I think sometimes mum’s of the bride get it really wrong and try to hog all the limelight. This is not their big day!
I think wearing something tonal that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses or the groom’s waistcoat or corsage is a lovely touch. You want the photos taken on the big day to look uniform, and that is most definitely down to making sure everyone’s dress matches with each other. I would stay away from flowing, long and printed fabrics; you want the dress or outfit to be all about you. You wearing the dress, not the other way round.”
BUZZ: What do you recommend keeping in your purse to have on hand in case of any fashion/beauty disasters?
LT: “More ladies are carrying clutches so can only fit a minimal amount: lipstick, lipgloss, phone and glasses. But as many travel to the location in a car, I would recommend popping in your makeup bag in case you need to reapply later in the day.”
AL: “I always keep in my handbag for a fashion emergency some compeed foot and blister plasters, as these are a lifesaver for whatever sore foot situation you are in.”
BUZZ: Any last words of wedding fashion wisdom?
LT: “My recommendation for any wedding outfit is to take many items in the changing room and try, you may be pleasantly surprised. Also, do try brands that you may not have looked at [otherwise]…”
AL: “I think a great piece of advice is to invest in a good spray tan, if the wedding is in the Summer. A base tan makes all the difference and can really help by showing off the dress you’re wearing to it’s full potential.
I would also suggest making sure, that if you are wearing support SPANX style underwear ( which by the way all the stars wear no matter how tiny they are) that you wear the right size. I dressed someone in them for a wedding and they were so restricting they nearly fainted and had to take them off half way through the celebrations! Not ideal!
Also when you go to the shops, ask the shop attendant if [the dress you’re looking at is] their most popular style, because if it is chances are there will be a few people at the wedding wearing exactly the same thing. That is not a good look, so avoid the most popular styles.”
Buzz: If you were invited to Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, what would you wear?
AL: “A big, huge smile as I think it’s the best union ever! And a beautiful Peter Pilotto dress. I’d stay clear of red, white and blue for obvious reasons.”