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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

My Outfit Monday: Wedding Week style!



A poofy ballgown on a flower girl. A white veil on a First Communion. A sparkle dress (or a sparkle bow tie because we're not gender-normative here) at a first school dance. And let's not even get started on the backless bra-and-ringlet money pit known as prom. The ritual of event dressing starts early, doesn't it?

But after prom, unless you work for a company with lots of money that throws annual galas (who else is picturing the Nakatomi Plaza building Christmas Party in Die Hard?), there are big, fat gaps where you have no reason to put any extra thought into your outfits. No reason, that is, except weddings!

I'm sure plenty of people hate getting dressed up due to the childhood experiences listed above, but not me! I'm always wishing for more galas to attend. I was thrilled to attend a wedding of two co-workers this past weekend and enjoyed the chance to plan a fun outfit. It was like the 1994 Columbus Day dance at Palm Harbor Middle School all over again, without the controversial holiday and/or short-sleeved angora sweaters and Doc Martens.

I chose a dress from White House Black Market that everyone should just go ahead and buy. You'll recall Katie wore the very same dress (in a different motif, with sleeves) for a wedding in the fall.

What is so special about this dress, you ask? The name of the dress is the "Instantly Slimming dress," and it has shapewear built in. So, what that means is, you look at the price tag (mine was on sale for $80, half of what it normally costs), go "That is much, much, much too high," try it on despite your better judgment because you know it is entirely too slinky and will never work, zip it up, and go, "OH MY GERD, I MUST HAVE IT AT ONCE."

It is kind of a miracle dress.

I paired it with an old pair of Jessica Simpson shoes between a nude and a gold shimmer. I love them because the heel has a pop of baby blue, adding a springtime feel to the neutral. I was also excited to bust out my white chain purse with brown tortoiseshell handle, a vintage Goodwill find.

I wanted a pop of color for the summer theme, so I went for a pink and teal mermaid scheme on the eyes, hot pink lips and what my friend Hilary called my "Pillow Mints manicure" (second pic in slideshow). I had borrowed a pair of orange clip-on earrings from Kameel, but decided they weren't the right match for this dress. I instead went with gold flower clip-ons from my favorite antique mall, Knot on Main Street in Dunedin. How'd I do?

Since it's wedding week, let's talk about what to wear if you're a guest. With any luck, your bride and groom will explain the dress code on the invitation. If they don't, it's more than appropriate to ask for some guidelines.

Here are some of the basics:

White tie: This is the wedding we all dream of getting invited to! Floor length gowns and tuxedos! Kanye West Gold Toilet Tower! This sounds intimidating, but here's a Deal Diva tip: Check stores like Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls for great deals on floor length gowns. I'm always seeing Calvin Klein numbers in the racks there. Or try a rental service, like Rent the Runway.

Black tie: Similar to white tie but not as over the top. Here, let GQ confuse you some more. Many people argue that shorter, cocktail length gowns are also appropriate here, but we say take the opportunity to drop it down to the floor because you need retribution for that lavender nightmare you wore to prom. Emily Post agrees.

Black tie optional: Ugh, make a decision! Basically, the host is giving the guys an escape clause in case they don't want to wear a tuxedo. A dark suit works here, and ladies, you can stay in the same lane as above, with more consideration to a cocktail length. Men's Health has some good tips, bros.

Semiformal: This is the real world where most of us with middle income jobs and four-door sedans live. This is your cocktail dress or your favorite LBD (yes, it's totally cool to wear black to a wedding, as someone asked earlier), slacks and a nice top if you're not the dress-wearing type. Guys can skip the suit coat and opt for nice trousers and a shirt and tie. But for the love of God, no white socks.

Casual: My suggestion here is to think about Casual Friday at work. Yeah, it's casual, but that doesn't mean you should go rolling into the office in your burrito-stained college hoodie and leggings with a rip in the kneecap. Look relaxed but appropriate. Sundresses, khakis or linen pants for days.

Themed: DUDES AND DUDE-ETTES. If you ever are so lucky to score an invite for a themed wedding, please have fun and go all in. Harry Potter wedding? Bleach your hair and go as Draco Malfoy. Halloween wedding? Black corset till you pass out. Gatsby wedding? Find all the feathers in town. And call me. I want to be your date.

[Last modified: Monday, July 28, 2014 5:25pm]


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