When I first received the save-the-date for a recent destination wedding, I immediately looked up the temperatures to help me determine what to wear. The average nightly temperatures would be dipping into the mid-forties. When I hear forties, I automatically think that it seems a lot closer to the thirties than the fifties. Similarly, when I’m buying something for over $100, my mind tells me that I only spent $100. To the chagrin of my husband, it seems like I have a thing for rounding down. Since this was my first formal affair at colder temperatures, I was excited to search for something different that I was going to wear to a fall wedding.
Yet, with so many seasonal options to purchase, rent, or borrow as a guest, it can be overwhelming to choose what to wear to a fall or winter wedding. Colder temperature wedding garments often include darker hues, lush fabrics, and long sleeves. In addition to the weather, there are many things to consider when choosing what to wear to a fall or winter wedding. Such as the dress code requested on the invitation, your budget, and the location of the affair. For some of us, it is exciting and exhilarating to find a wedding outfit, for others, it creates pure terror. No matter your personal style or level of exuberance, from black tie to dressy casual, I will help you find something you are going to love to wear to a fall or winter wedding.
What to Wear to a Black-Tie Fall or Winter Wedding
Other than white tie, which is typically reserved for galas, state affairs, or royalty, a black-tie dress code will most likely be the most formal wedding affair that you will attend. Black-tie for women best translates as a long, floor-sweeping number. Select opulent fabrics, such as velvet, chiffon, satin, silk, or lace in rich jewel tones. Before wearing a shorter option, ask someone in or close to the wedding party if a cocktail dress would be appropriate for the dress code. If you are unsure, go long and formal.
Black-Tie Optional Dress Code
The wording itself suggests something slightly less formal than black-tie. This means that a floor-length gown is not required but favorable for this particular fall or winter wedding. You have the option to select either a long evening dress, elegant suit, or more formal cocktail dress.
If the Fall or Winter Wedding Invite Says Cocktail Attire
This is slightly less formal than black tie and black tie optional, which means no tux required for men nor is a flowing gown needed for you. A cocktail dress, dressy suit or jumpsuit is perfect for this winter wedding. For more formal jumpsuit options, view Why You Need a Jumpsuit in Your Wardrobe.
What to Wear to a Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual Wedding in Cooler Weather
Depending on the time of the wedding, you will want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening wedding, or opt for lighter and brighter tones and fabrics for a daytime winter wedding. An acceptable option would be a cocktail dress, jumpsuit, or a fashionable skirt and top.
Casual or Daytime Dress Code
Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans are presumably not apt unless they are expressly noted as acceptable on the invitation. For the purposes of wedding attire, assume business casual to be on the safe side. Select a sweater dress, midi skirt, or pants with a beautiful blouse for this laidback fall or winter wedding.
Should You Purchase or Rent Your Wedding Outfit?
Typically, my buying philosophy is quite measured. I look to invest in long-term, solid-colored staples I can wear for years. But when it comes to special occasion events like a wedding, I am the first to admit this approach kind of goes out the window if I am only going to wear the item once and if I am lucky, twice. Renting unique occasion clothing, like from Rent The Runway, might be just what your closet space and budget warrants.
Endless Fall and Winter Outfits to Wear
While you can choose an outfit based on seasonal hues such as emerald green, rich jewel tones, classic neutrals are also beautiful alternatives for any fall or winter wedding. Even though the color is vital, the style and fabric choices play a paramount role in what you should wear for the right formality of the wedding. So follow my dress code sections as a guide.
There are wonderful selections of shoes, handbags, hosiery and jewelry in the post, New Year’s Eve Outfits for Women Over 40 that would be relevant to your fall or winter wedding outfit. Also, if you need help with your undergarments (as many wedding outfits can be challenging to wear), check out the Correct Undergarments Are More Important Than Your Clothes post for suggestions.
I hope this helps in you choosing what to wear to a fall or winter wedding. It is a time of happy tears and bliss, so go pick out your outfit with confidence. I am curious as to what choice you made from the wedding options above. Share your experience in the comment section below. I can not wait to see wedding pictures! And as always, I am here to answer any questions.