Last week I felt like I had a closet full of dresses, but nothing to wear to my cousin’s “beach chic” wedding. I tried on dress after dress, but each one was either too fancy or too casual-or I just plain didn’t like it. I had an image in my head of what I wanted: a flowy ombré halter dress with a handkerchief hem in some shade of the ocean. I could have just bought one but I was already spending so much money to travel across the country (the wedding was in Florida). So I called in a favor to one of my fashion PR pals. Journalism may not pay well but it certainly has its perks. The day before the wedding, I rushed to a showroom in Hollywood and sifted through racks and racks of samples. The obvious choice would be one of the silk maxi dresses I saw in every color. But then I spotted this lavender jumpsuit by Storee. It wasn’t what I was looking for but you know those are the times you find perfection.
Indeed, the jumpsuit was just the right choice for the wedding. It was cool, comfortable and casual yet elegant. I felt sexy, like a Charlie’s Angel but I looked completely appropriate. Above, I’ve posted a picture of myself at the wedding, as well as other looks that I thought worked well for the beach chic dress code.
Use these tips when planning an outfit for a beach chic wedding:
Flow with the wind.
Part of the reason my jumpsuit worked was because of the material. You want to go with something light, like a chiffon. Think about this way: When the ocean breeze blows, your garment should move with it. Many party guests went with strapless dresses. The women who chose a fluid fabric looked relaxed. The few who went with a tighter, stiffer material seemed uncomfortable until the party moved indoors.
Arden B chiffon watercolor dress ($78), Jay Godfrey strapless silk jumpsuit ($495), Diane von Furstenberg Deana dress in patchwork ($325), J. Crew silk chiffon Sophia dress ($165), Aqua chiffon colorblock maxi dress ($88)
Pants are perfectly acceptable.
Quite a few women wore pants to the wedding, myself included. The great thing about pants is you don’t have to worry about your dress flying open when there is a strong gust of wind. A basic black chiffon pant is also a great investment. For a beach chic wedding, wear it with a light colored feminine blouse. For a fancier fete, dress it up with a beaded top.
St. John silk chiffon-pleated pants ($950), Marley silk jersey one shoulder ruffle cami ($228), Forever 21 Fab chiffon blossom top ($12.50), Tadashi Stretch Mesh Pants ($98)
A statement necklace can make all the difference.
Maxi dresses are everywhere right now but a solid colored one is the best investment. With accessories, you can wear it over and over again and look different each time. For a wedding, take inspiration from gorgeous new actress Paula Patton’s Andrew GN dress and make a bib necklace the focal point of your outfit. Blue Earth Jewelry makes some great ones that have an oceanic look.
Arden B braided halter maxi dress ($58), Anthropologie Gardenia bib necklace ($198) Wet Seal empire maxi dress ($26.50), Blue Earth Jewelry multistrand coral and pearl necklace ($179.99), Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent long waisted ruffle hem dress ($242), Banana Republic Glam bib necklace ($69)
Black is right when paired with white.
Even though half of the guests were from New York, I was still surprised by how many people wore black at the wedding. But the dark color really worked when paired with white. I absolutely adored the resort feel of one woman’s black and white striped dress. If you don’t want to wear black, but still want a slimming dark color, accessorize a chocolate or espresso with gold jewelry. Or try slate gray, which is a huge color for spring. The wedding paired gray with orange, which looked very hip and modern.
Adrianna Papell strapless laser cut satin dress ($62.90), Forever 21 ombre silk overlay dress ($39.80), White House Black Market Jacobean Lily dress ($168), Elizabeth and James Oasis jumpsuit ($425)
Any shoe will do.
Most people will tell you to wear flats to a beach wedding but I’m only 5’3. I just feel slimmer and sexier in heels. Plain and simple. So I wore my go-to Jimmy Choos and just took them off when I had to walk on the beach. If you do go for flats, check out J. Crew. They have some really pretty metallic sandals on sale right now.
Hope these tips help you get through wedding season. If you’re off to see a friend get married send me a pic of what you decided to wear!