What makes the perfect dress to wear to a wedding? – Sydney Morning Herald
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With a backlog of COVID-19 postponed matrimony, then – as long as Omicron doesn’t get in the way – there’s never been a bigger wedding season than right now. Australian designers have not disappointed, offering a plethora of outfits to choose from. Of course, not everyone will wear a dress: jumpsuits and men’s suiting are also options for women. (Christian Kimber says he sells a lot of his linen suits to women as well.) But what makes a perfect wedding guest dress?
The rule of not wearing all-white still applies, unless the bride has given her guests a pass. Kirstie Clements, author of the book Why Did I Buy That?, says that some things never change: “It has always been considered inappropriate to try to upstage the bride, and wear anything very grand, or revealing, or even white, because the bride is supposed to be the centre of attention.”
It’s important to be clear on the dress code, and even if it’s not specified, Clements recommends taking clues from the venue, formalities involved and the vibe of the couple. “It really depends on what the couple want, and where it is held: is it very serious and in a church, or is it a more relaxed country wedding? Day or night?”
The best outfit takes note of the sense of occasion, so anything too risqué might be best set aside for other summer events. Clements says that good choices include “a lovely floral silk mid-length dress, or pretty linen dress, or a chic pantsuit. You can opt to wear black, but colour or print seems a little more optimistic.”
Choosing comfort – outfits that let you move and breathe – is a good start, but given that one person’s comfort shoe is a Jimmy Choo while another’s is a sneaker, it’s a subjective assessment. The most important thing? Rejoice! Weddings are back, hopefully for good, and someone you love is in love.
Aje’s Caliente Cut Out Dress; Riviera Asymmetric Braided Puff Sleeve Smock Dress; Bonjour Asymmetric Midi Dress.
Aje: Caliente Cut Out Dress, $595
While the cut-out is made for partying, the russet brown colour and tiered skirt turn it into wedding attire. ajeworld.com.au
Aje: Riviera Asymmetric Braided Puff Sleeve Smock Dress, $495
Voluminous sleeves and delicate braiding detail make this mini-dress pack a gelato punch. ajeworld.com.au
Aje: Bonjour Asymmetric Midi Dress, $595
Fitted bodice? Check. Plus frill sleeves with organza layers give this dress extra boost. ajeworld.com.au
Alémais’s Farrah Cut Out Midi Dress and Phyllis Twist Front Pleat Dress. Banded Together: Ruffle Dress in World Print.
Alémais: Farrah Cut Out Midi Dress, $565
The sweet retro vibes of this patchwork dress is given a modern lift by waist cut-outs and a keyhole back. alemais.com
Alémais: Phyllis Twist Front Pleat Dress, $495
A demure high neck is balanced by waist cut-outs; the garden-green colours make it summery. alemais.com
Banded Together: Ruffle Dress in World Print, $485
With side strings that can be tied together to give this dress more shape, it’s 100 per cent silk and can be dressed up or down. banded-together.com
Bassike’s Cross Back Rib Insert Dress. Bianca Spender’s Spiced Red Demeter Lace Gown Pursuit, Pieta Floral Bellini Dress.
Bassike, Cross Back Rib Insert Dress, $395
Who says cotton jersey can’t make it to a wedding? With a square neckline and cross back strap detail, this number combines comfort and modern elegance. bassike.com
Bianca Spender: Spiced Red Demeter Lace Pursuit Gown, $845
When black-tie functions beckon, this stretch lace A-line dress has interesting sleeve detail and a side-leg split. biancaspender.com
Bianca Spender: Pieta Floral Bellini Dress, $795
Figure hugging and flattering, the cut of this dress elongates the body and is given subtle stretch with the crinkle crepe. biancaspender.com
Camilla’s flared Jumpsuit in Brick Lane Beauty and Tie Front Maxi in Palisades Paisley. Camilla and Marc’s Sola Maxi Dress.
Camilla: Flared Jumpsuit in Brick Lane Beauty, $999
Part of Camilla’s Victoria and Albert capsule collection, the jumpsuit is comfortable enough for all the dance moves. au.camilla.com
Camilla: Tie Front Maxi in Palisades Paisley, $799
Adorned with crystals, this centre split-front maxi pays homage to a retro Californian vibe. au.camilla.com
Camilla and Marc, Sola Maxi Dress, $850
The little black dress is reinvented as a sexy, lace-edged number with high voltage style. camillaandmarc.com
Diida’s Farrow Midi Slip Dress; Forever New’s Adrianna Halter Maxi Dress, and Ginger & Smart’s Dream Gown.
Diida: Farrow Midi Slip Dress, $599
The slip dress goes chic with its asymmetrical neck and show-stopping aqua hue. diida.com.au
Forever New: Adrianna Halter Maxi Dress, $139.99
For the Boho Wedding, a breezy maxi dress with patchwork tile print and tie at the open back. forevernew.com.au
Ginger & Smart: Dream Gown, $749
A soft concoction of pastel sherbet and floaty glamour, this dreamy gown with attached capelet is actually thus named. gingerandsmart.com
Ginger & Smart’s Aquarelle Dress and Myriad Shirt Dress. L’idée’s Renaissance Gown Latte.
Ginger & Smart: Aquarelle Dress, $645
A watercolour painting gets transferred to a dress in this silk and linen midi offering, with waist tie for front or back. gingerandsmart.com
Ginger & Smart: Myriad Shirt Dress, $649
The cut-out embroidery and flower design elevates this from shirt dress to special occasion. gingerandsmart.com
L’idée: Renaissance Gown Latte, $349
Shades of Marilyn Monroe shimmer in this halter neck gown with its pleat skirt and dramatic neckline. lideewoman.com.au
Manning Cartell’s Master Key Chain Dress, Fiesta Pleated Dress, and Sweet Escape Maxi Dress.
Manning Cartell: Master Key Chain Dress, $499
This soft lilac dress is made from slinky jersey, while circular side cut-outs can be adjusted. manningcartell.com.au
Manning Cartell: Fiesta Pleated Dress, $449
If weddings are about wearing your heart on your sleeve, in this one it’s the art on the dress: John Coburn’s artwork with chain detailing. manningcartell.com.au
Manning Cartell: Sweet Escape Maxi Dress, $499
This Jacaranda-coloured tiered maxi dress falls to the floor and is detailed with gold snap buttons at the back. manningcartell.com.au
Megan Park’s Leilani Silk Dress, and Lelani Silk Kaftan. MITV Estelle’s Drop Waist Botanical Dress.
Megan Park: Leilani Silk Dress, $569
This silk crepe de chine dress in a unique emerald batik is perfect for soaring temperatures, and side splits make movement easy. meganpark.com.au
Megan Park: Lelani Silk Kaftan, $599
Beach wedding? No problem. This vibrant silk kaftan conjures up the tropics on its own. meganpark.com.au
MITV Estelle: Drop Waist Botanical Dress. $399
It’s a simple drop waist dress with gathered skirt, but there’s nothing simple about this dynamic botanical print. shop.mickyinthevan.com.au
MITV Estelle: Two Tone Handkerchief Dress, $359
The double punch of this two tone dress is delivered its final knockout courtesy of the unlikely delicate lace at the hem. shop.mickyinthevan.com.au
MITV Estelle’s Mercy On Me Dress; Morrison’s Zinnia Dress Pine; and Nevenka’s To Honour Dress.
MITV Estelle: Mercy On Me Dress, $389
For a rock star entrance, this gold dress isn’t too blingy and features voluminous sleeves. shop.mickyinthevan.com.au
Morrison: Zinnia Dress Pine, $369
The cross-over drape of this dress gives a casual silhouette but the colour adds drama. Can be worn belted for more shape. morrisonshop.com
Nevenka: To Honour Dress, $3500
French seaming and frill sleeves make this broderie anglais dress a romantic pick. nevenka.com.au
Oroton’s Poppy Lace-Up Dress and Strappy Sun Dress. Rebecca Vallance’s Amara Bow Mini Dress.
Oroton: Poppy Lace-Up Dress, $649
This simple silk dress in a soft cream and lace-up neck has vibrant florals and large front pockets to store wedding day lipstick. oroton.com
Oroton: Strappy Sun Dress, $549
There’s a Palm Springs vibe to this silk dress with cord lace-up at the back to customise the fit. oroton.com
Rebecca Vallance: Amara Bow Mini Dress, $629
It’s short, yes, but the velvet bows cover the plunging neckline while the full sleeves add elegance and drama. rebeccavallance.com
Scanlan Theodore’s Silk Jacquard Navy Gown and Embroidered Chocolate Shoestring Dress. Shona Joy’s Iris Cut Out Backless Midi Saffron Dress.
Scanlan Theodore: Silk Jacquard Navy Gown, $1200
Dark navy is a modern twist on the black gown: it can be easier to wear, while the high front split turns up the glamour quotient. scanlantheodore.com
Scanlan Theodore: Embroidered Chocolate Shoestring Dress, $800
Not just a simple cotton dress: the rich chocolate cover adds luxe while the embroidery is romantic. scanlantheodore.com
Shona Joy: Iris Cut Out Backless Midi Saffron Dress, $420
You’re ahead of the game when the colour of your dress looks like the sun at the end of the day. Semi-sheer chiffon adds a light touch. shonajoy.com.au
Shona Joy’s Maya Linen Short Sleeve Cumin Dress and Rubi Tiered Linen Cumin Dress. Sir the Label’s Alexandre Ruched Midi Dress.
Shona Joy: Maya Linen Short Sleeve Cumin Dress, $360
There’s a slight sheen to this linen, and the classic style conjures up an Audrey Hepburn-esque carefree holiday. shonajoy.com.au
Shona Joy: Rubi Tiered Linen Cumin Dress, $320
This sundress is made chic by its thick belt and tie-back, while its slight military edge is reiterated through the shade. shonajoy.com.au
Sir the Label: Alexandre Ruched Midi Dress, $390
Cut in linen – making it comfortable for hot summery weddings – the ruching adds shape while the floral print summons up the season. sirthelabel.com
Viktoria & Woods’s California Dress, Timekeeper Dress, and Everlasting Dress in Walker Stripe.
Viktoria & Woods: California Dress, $390
A soft jersey knit means comfort, and it can even be worn with soft pants underneath. viktoriaandwoods.com.au
Viktoria & Woods: Timekeeper Dress, $590
When a silk dress is designed to be crinkled, one doesn’t have to worry about the car drive over. viktoriaandwoods.com.au
Viktoria & Woods: Everlasting Dress in Walker Stripe, $550
Pink-stripe poplin makes this fresh for a daytime do; the cut-outs and resin ring detail give it a modern slant. viktoriaandwoods.com.au
Zimmermann’s Postcard Puff Sleeve Dress, Postcard Puff Sleeve Midi, and Rosa Frill Midi Dress.
Zimmermann: Postcard Puff Sleeve Dress, $1500
This silk linen organza midi dress has ooh-la-la blouson sleeves and its yellow floral pattern feels like a beach resort in Europe. zimmermann.com
Zimmermann: Postcard Puff Sleeve Midi, $1100
If the ombre watermelon isn’t enough to turn your head, the sheer sleeves and floaty skirt should cinch the deal. zimmermann.com
Zimmermann: Rosa Frill Midi Dress, $1250
Sometimes the thrill is in the frill. Add a silk crinkle georgette fabric and the dreaminess of a Zimmermann fabric for complete effect. zimmermann.com
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