A Guest For All Seasons
June is now in full swing, and as wedding season descends upon us, I want to share with you some of the style secrets I have been sharing with my stylish clients for many many years.
If you've ever attended or taken part in a wedding, you know it's a joyful celebration of love at best...and a hot, stressfully anxious day at worse. I have helped prepare my fair share of brides and bridal parties, as well as attended countless weddings, so here are my personal style tips to make that beautiful day all the more enjoyable.
Dress for Comfort:
If I ever had to choose just one, this would be my top, all-encompassing style secret: always choose comfort over anything. Life is too short to be sucked into Spanx or wear shoes that give you blisters. For years I've only worn flats (or flatforms if my look needs some height). Don't forget to be ready for the afterparty! I love to dance, and you can't dance if you're suffering through bad shoes.
I also always go for dresses that are easy (see my Spanx comment above). "Easy" does not mean you have to sacrifice style; you CAN find a flattering dress with pockets and without a complicated slit. A comfortable dress doesn't require you to stop eating solid foods. Rule of thumb: if you can't breathe or walk, you are not fooling anyone. Chances are you WILL look like you can't breathe or walk, thus ruining the look you are trying to achieve.
Aim for Simplicity:
Comfort almost always, unequivocally, leads to simplicity. Unless you have an endless supplies of dresses or money (which I do not), try to think of how many ways and occasions a dress can be styled for when buying one. I will regularly pick something like a black and white column with an interesting neckline over a flowery lace number any day. Remember, it's not about the dress. It's about you, the wearer. You're the one wearing the dress, not the other way around.
I also happen to believe that a simple dress is a perfect canvas for beautiful and ornate accessories, which leads to my final tip.
Focus on Jewelry and Accessories:
I am a professional jewelry consultant, so yes I will always be partial to jewels. However, I am not the only style expert that agrees that jewels are the lemon buttercream icing on the lavender cake.
A beautifully curated mix of jewels can really elevate a look from stylish to stunning. I can't say enough about a gorgeous pair of statement earrings, an armful of bangles, or some thoughtfully layered necklaces. I have so many dresses that I can make "new" just by updating my jewels. Some I've had for decades, and have fooled even my most detailed-oriented friends.
Another jewelry bonus: conversation piece. Every piece of jewelry tells a story. Most us have a special ring we keep in our jewelry box, or a family heirloom that we cherish. The great thing about dressing in an elegant and simple dress, is that your jewelry shines thru as does your personality. I can't tell you how many conversations I have started at events over a piece of jewelry I was wearing. Very helpful if you are at a wedding when you don't know a lot of people, or don't feel like reaching too deep to make small talk.
Above all, wear your confidence!
This is required if you want to walk in feeling and looking like a million bucks: confidence. It's free and oh so easy to wear. If not, just fake it 'til you make it. I like to take a few deep breaths or even listen to a 5 minute meditation before getting ready to go out. Music while getting ready can do so much more than you might think. It puts me in the right frame of mind and makes it easy to navigate any event, especially weddings, which can be dizzying at times. If I'm calm, I can get ready in no time and my make-up always seems to be just right; worry lines fade, and the smile shines bright.
It's not hard to see that my style is, above all, about feeling confident in your own skin and owning the look. For me, the secret has always been about being the the right frame of mind, feeling comfortable and being able to move and enjoy myself. To not be worried about a hemline, or popping out of my bra. Feeling confident in my clothes and jewelry definitely makes it easier to feel confident in my own skin, and the event is all the more memorable when I don't have to fret about how I look.
Now I've had my share of bad dresses and risky looks, but how else would I have learned about my own curated style? My last tidbit of wisdom, if you want to call it that, would be to be brave and bold. Go figure it out on your own. Although fool-proof, my tips might not be for you. They are not the end-all, be-all, by any means. They are however a great starting point, and I hope they can help you as they've helped me.
PS: All jewelry in this post is by Patricia Robalino and Kitik Jewelry. All is available through me. As always, feel free to contact me to purchase by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.