Summer Wedding Breakdown

 Heather floral printed maxi by Badgley Mischka. Rent the Runway. $160 rental.

Editor's note: Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor and plus size fashion guru, Jordan Richardson. This time, I've added in options from Rent the Runway so you can rent a dress to save you a little cash. We've included straight size and plus size examples. The strategies are the same. And, Rent the Runway now includes plus size options. Huzzah!

Did you know that Jordan's research on Sizeism was recently featured in an article in the Everett Herald? Check it out! Love her and you will, too. Enjoy!

 Dear Reader,

As a warm summer approaches so does the up-swing in summer wedding invitations. It can be a bit of a struggle to find the right thing to wear for each type of wedding, so I have created a breakdown of different types of wedding attire requirements and my suggestions for each. As you know, it's important to be appropriately dressed for the occasion without becoming overheated in the warm weather. Don't worry! I'm on it. 

If you are risk-averse, I recommend sticking to a neutral palate. Avoid white, of course. If you are feeling more adventurous (why not?) take a dip into color. Consider either coordinating with some of the wedding colors, or harmonizing with them.  After all, you may be in photos with the wedding party and you want your outfit to work well in photos. Even a LBD (little black dress) can work. Use accessories to brighten it up and stretch the versatility.

Wedding Guest Attire 101

1. White Tie.

For this adventure into classy elegance my recommendations are to stick with formal full-length gowns, playing with flowing gauze fabrics and textures or lovely summer suiting. Neutral tones tend to feel very timeless but really if the wedding colors are pretty punchy don't be afraid to play with a bit of print and color. Adding some dramatic jewelry is definitely a fun addition for a white tie affair. Those diamond solitaire earrings or great jeweled statement necklace can be quite an eye catching supplement, but keep the outfit simpler if you plan to head in the heavy accessory direction. Or get a gown with built in jewelry, aka. sparkle, for a quick solution!

 Adrianna Papell Beaded Illusion Gown. Available in plus sizes. Nordstrom. $335. Also in White and Navy.

 Pastel Petunia gown by Badgley Mischka. Rent the Runway. $80 rental.

2. Black Tie.

A chic little cocktail dress, your classy LBD or even a longer gown would be a perfect way to outfit yourself for these events. Just the barest bit more casual than white tie, these events allow often for a little more color and pattern, and shorter hems. Wraps in linen or silk are a great compliment to strapless dresses that add a bit of coverage to the arms in the shoulder to ward off cold spells or outdoor wedding heat waves.

 Studio Colorblocked Midi Dress. Available in plus sizes. $148.

 Minty Fresh Gown by Raoul. Rent the Runway. $150 rental.

3. Formal or Black Tie Optional.

Again, we are getting closer to the casual side of the spectrum. So whether you go for a more formal cocktail dress, a breezier maxi dress, or even a light and airy summer suit, a lot of different styles work well in this category of wedding attire. Playing around with your accessories can really punch up a simple dress. Alternatively, a little more adventurous clothing choice can be balanced with simple earrings bracelets to bring balance.

 Asos Curve Bow Back Skater Dress. Available in plus sizes. $57.16.

 Lupita dress by Marchesa Notte. Rent the Runway. $125 rental.

4. Beach Formal.

A nice summer dress that hits the knee (it may be breezy) with the addition of dressier sandals is a perfect hit for the beach wedding. Really no heels  since those tend to sink into the sand, but wedges depending upon the location may be appropriate. Think breezy and fun soft pastels, floral, fun patterns and flowing hair as great additions to the beach wedding attire.

 Soft Blazer and Short with Scallop hem. Available in plus sizes. Shorts $47.64. Blazer $66.69.

 Jet Set Jumpsuit by Halston Heritage. Rent the Runway. $75 rental.

5. Semi-formal or Dressy Casual.

A little cocktail dress, the LBD jazzed up with a fun heel and necklace or even dress separates are perfection. No need for something new if your budget doesn't allow. I like to shop my closet and just add in accessories to customize it for the day. I would go out on a limb and suggest that even a great structured summer jumpsuit could be a daring and very smart looking ensemble to rock!

 Striped Surplice Jumpsuit. Available in plus sizes. Forever 21+. $29.80.

 Derek dress by Slate & Willow. Rent the Runway. $50 rental.

6. Casual

Natural everyday hair and makeup are a good start for this type of wedding. As for your outfit, a great little summer sundress with a cardigan or a skirt/pant with a lovely blouse combo are great starting points. While this is a casual event, think about what you would wear to visit the in-laws or your kid's teacher. Look nice but approachable as a rule of thumb.

 Place Lace Striped Sheath Dress.Available in plus sizes. $98.

 On a Roll by Shoshanna. Rent the Runway. $40 rental.

Happy Shopping!


 Poplin Contributor and Plus Size Guru Jordan Richardson. Photo by Emily Dymond Photography.

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Jordan Richardson is a guru on finding fashionable plus size clothes and shares her take on current plus size fashion regularly on the Poplin Style Direction blog.