Welcome 🙏🏻 This month on SIGNATURE STYLE Cindy, Kim and I are going to be talking wedding attire. But before I do, if you would like to comment, please go back up to the top and press on the title (this should reopen the page in commenting mode).
I’ve only been to two weddings in the last four years, both of which were in the Summer. So I don’t currently have much experience or need for a new outfit for such an occasion. And to be honest, if I did, I’d probably wear what I wore to the last one (if appropriate). A beautiful silk Zia Lozen wrap dress (that’s it in the pic above with hubs – and below). I’ve written about it before, in this blog. For that wedding, the dress code called for ”lounge suit” …which got me thinking 🤔 not everyone might know what that means, so lets start with approaching what you do select to wear with addressing the dress code.
Dress codes vary depending on where you live. Here in Australia, they usually fall under one of five categories. Black or White Tie, Formal, Cocktail, Lounge Suit or Smart Casual. And since my most recent invitations called for LS, let’s look into exactly what that is on this blog post. But before I do, I must say that there are two rules I follow when selecting an outfit. The first is I usually avoid the colours the Bride, Bridesmaids and Mothers of the Bride and Groom wear. Secondly, I always try and keep it relevant and appropriate within the dress code itself. For example, for the Wedding in which I wore the Zia Lozen dress, the Bride was Brazilian and asked guests to embrace colour. There were many Brazilian guests, plenty of latin dancing … imagine a carnivale atmosphere…. all dressed in their version of Lounge Suit. So I felt the above dress sophisticated enough but fun with the statement silver accessories I chose. You can see me in it all at the end 😉
So….. Lounge Suit ….it’s a loose term, but generally it means a suit and tie for men (how easy) and some sort of semi-formal outfit for women. I like it because it doesn’t have you falling into a frenzy about what to wear… let’s look at my interpretation of it….Firstly, depending on whether the event is during the day or evening will indicate the outfit length, heel height and type of fabric worn. During the day knee length works, with a flatter shoe and more relaxed fabric (and even perhaps a hat). For the evening the length could be longer and the heel higher – just an option and neither compulsory of course! For the Wedding I went to in the pic above, I mixed it with a just below the knee length dress and higher heel. Pant suits would be equally acceptable too – although I usually stick to a dress. With regards to fabric, I prefer soft silks or chiffons with small scale patterns. But that’s me and block colours would work just as well. Having said all of that, we are a pretty relaxed bunch down under and as long as it’s smart ”you’ll be right mate” 😉
But just for the fun of it, let’s take a look at some current designs ….
There is a lovely local store in my suburb called ASPIRATIONS, it’s been around for 25 years and has a great reputation for being a place to start looking for a dress for a wedding. If I was after a new dress for such an occasion, I would try these two dresses. I love the style -sleeve length and neckline ✔️, the on trend small scale florals ✔️, the soft flowy fabrics ✔️. Perfect for a Spring Garden Wedding! But they also have the added benefit of being able to be worn to so many other smart occasions. I also feel, while young and fun, I could still wear it well.
We are also spoilt with such great home grown designers on my local high street. CARLA ZAMPATTI is one. Although she recently passed away, her exquiste elegance in design continues, and her Waterfall Dress Collection is timeless. It’s a little more serious than the dresses above but I honestly think this dress could take you anywhere. In fact, I like to think of it as a perfect Mother of the Bride or Groom dress! Sophisticated but soft and feminine. I adore the navy.
Which is why Carla’s daughter BIANCA SPENDER is worth looking at as well. Personally, I love the Reflection Dress 🤍 but these structured designs are a nice alternative to it and the flowing ones I’ve shown above.
And of course, I have to mention ZIMMERMANN. Now this label is incredible! Not quite the small scale pattern kind of look I love 😂 … and you can definitely tell when someone is wearing one without looking at the label! But if you scroll their website, some of the designs fall in the dress code Lounge Suit. Like this and this. But because they have a large following and reputation for “unforgettable dresses” you’d be hoping no one else was wearing the same one, which is what happened when “The Accidental Stylist” Julia Perry wore the Zimmerman Billow dress to Lady Kitty Spencer’s Rome Wedding last year (she wrote about it on her IG page). Here she is in it alongside BFF Maye Musk in D&G … (anyone else just realise Maye is Elon’s mum 😳)…. btw, dress code for that was Black Tie….. aren’t these ladies fabulous? I’ve printed out this pic and popped it on my Future Board for my 60 and 70 year old self 🙏🏻
Which is why these statement dresses are often up for resale….. too noticeable to wear twice perhaps ? Speaking of secondhand, never discount this idea when searching for a dress to wear to a Wedding 😉 Vestiaire Collective has an amazing number and range.
No matter whether you decide on pattern or plain, I do think investing in a fabulous neutral shoe and clutch the perfect accessory to either. I wish I could find a pic of what Julia and Maye had on their feet. I’m guessing gold or nude for Julia and silver, gold or black for Maye 🤷🏼♀️ Don’t you just love the idea of always having a shoe/bag combination ready and waiting to go? No matter which dress you choose to wear. And because you always wear them, they become so comfortable 🙏🏻 I do, in-fact I find a metallic shoe and clutch bag are the perfect wedding accessory. Think of them as an elevated neutral…here’s mine 😉 All seasons old I’m afraid, but my bag is Olga Berg and my shoes Castaner. Great brands to start with… and btw, I always bring a sneaker to the reception to change into to dance in 😂
I also have quite a nice gold combination (both could be updated) that I used to style my Peacock Bloom Kimono Dress in back in 2020. Did I mention that there is a matching Kimono Jacket as well?
Gold shoes seem to be everywhere right now. So there’s a huge range out there if you want to jump straight in before your next invitation (there Is nothing worse than not finding what you are after when you need it). Here’s a few to start you dreaming…
And of course you’ll need a clutch, mine above has a chain, so doubles as a shoulder bag too. I like this idea….
I feel like I could keep going, this is so much fun! Probably because dressing this way doesn’t currently happen that often 😂 But perhaps it does for Cindy and Kim, so I can’t wait to find out what they have to say…but before you do, scroll down to see the outfit I wore to the last wedding replicated 😉
I adore that picture of those two darling ladies. I adore that look on everyone but me. I wish I could pull it off. I look at them and think…maybe…and then I come to my senses. Anything that even resembles a ruffle on me just isn’t good. This was a wonderful post and I love the pic of you and your hubby. We don’t post pictures of them often enough do we? Oh and Zimmerman….soooo good! Thanks for a great post!
Sarah love that you began your post with a pic of you and the hubs! Same as me and I think our pic was already a few years back thanks to this pandemic.. What a handsome couple you are. I adore the wrap dress and the color on you. Something so fab you must wear it again hopefully. Also you are so right about a great clutch and shoe in some kind of metallic works with a lot and for years looks good. I also want to know where your wonderful earrings are from.
All the choices here are so spot on and elegant. I haven’t heard of lounge attire, but that sounds like a fun wedding! I loved doing this with you two and to be part of this connection! xoxo
Thanks Cindy. I can see you in a skirt version with a plain shirt top!
Thanks Kim. Mr Style is a little camera shy on my page and blog (he doesn’t partake in social media… he prefers to be behind the camera!).
great article Sarah, we finally had a family wedding on a farm by the Barwon River (Geelong) in January. because it was outside under a huge gum tree the invite requested ‘nature colours , smart casual’. The men wore Linen shorts or Chinos and open neck shirts. The women came along in flowy cotton long dresses, in soft colours and everyone had on straw hats often decorated with Wattle or Native flowers. So beautiful , and not a High Heel in sight!
I love that Glenda! So special for you. I really like how they used nature as their theme. We Aussies love to keep it casual 🙏🏻
Look at me, I’m commenting! Thank you so much for the instruction at the top. Absolutely love your wedding look … especially your shoes. I love a wedge, or platform sandal, for an event like this. Gives us the height we (vertically challenged) Desiree with the stability required for navigating all manner of wedding venues. The lounge suit designation used in Australia and Britain cracks me up. My first thought goes to what we in the States call a leisure suit (quel horreur!) or a lounge lizard. Either one is not good. Haha. But it just means suit suit. And, yes, that’s my much preferred dress code for weddings and other big events. I’m swooning over the waterfall dress … in Navy. So elegant. Oh I want it. Love this topic as we have four weddings this year. One coming up next weekend … but its formal. I think the waterfall dress could fit into the category. Don’t you?! xo
I think you could wear a sack and make it look amazing! But the Waterfall would look incredible….