Decoding Wedding Dresscode Jargon

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Check out the article below that was posted on  SAVVYTOKYO.COM.  I dish about what to wear for the season of LOVE, and decoding those intimidating Wedding dresscode formalities.

Wedding season is approaching and for some, it may have already started. As the invitations are coming in, it is likely you’re having internal dialogue, pondering on what to wear to each event. Decoding the formality “lingo” can be mind-boggling. What does semi-formal even mean? Does black tie, mean a ball gown and gloves? How do I look chic and still beat the humidity at a formal beach soiree? Well whether you are planning for your niece’s garden ceremony or a college roommate’s chic reception in the city, you want to find a look that is both stylish and suitable for the occasion. If only it were that black and white!

However, here are a few tips that facilitate you to play the “style-safe card” this wedding season and may take a few question marks out of that conversation bubble above you.

Beach Nuptuals


 Beach weddings get their own little sub-category as they have a wide range of formality depending on the venue, location and whether or not you are physically on the beach. Here are a few golden rules that will keep your style fitting for both a casual and formal beach party.

 Just because it says “beach” does not mean cover-ups, flip-flops or dare I even mention shorts? To pull of a perfect look for a seaside ceremonies opt for breathable fabrics and those that can withstand wind and sand such as a chiffon, linen or cotton jersey. Colors in lush greens, blues and deep coral hues are perfect compliments to the natural surroundings. Aim for a length that hits around the knee, a maxi, or flowing dresses with ethereal draping.  Such as this turquoise, linen dress from (31,655 JPY) or this high low, bandeau dress from H&M (5,490 JPY). For footwear, an esphedrile wedge or cute gladiator sandal are best to maneuver in the sand or grass.

 Additional accessories: Make sure to pack your sunglasses for a daytime ceremony and a carry a soft pashmina to take the edge off coastal winds. For added glam, stack up on the bangles and polish it off with a colorful statement necklace.

Semi Formal:  this is a tricky dress code to decipher and in the summer it is even more open for interpretation. When the wedding takes place during the day, aim for lighter hues and softer fabrics and lean toward a more formal look for evening events. Here are a few examples when a “semi-formal” requirement might make an appearance.



Whether the party is inside an art gallery or a hotel ballroom, this is your time to take your style to the fashion limit. Find inspiration from the urban atmosphere with cutting edge styles, interesting silhouettes and cocktail dresses in metallic’s or rich hues like this BCBG Satin dress in deep navy (around 53,000 JPY) or this vibrant, one shoulder River Island dress (around 6,200 JPY). Both from Strappy sandals or stiletto pumps will compliment the look.

Additional Accessories: A large cocktail ring and modern clutch will look flattering with this evening attire.

Garden Party


The floral trend has beyond blossomed this year but try your hardest to not blend in with the ceremony backdrop. Go for a contemporary take on the trend with mixed patterns or choose a bright or pastel solid hue. Such as these dresses found at the Ted Baker store in Omotesando. Mixed pattern cocktail dress (24,000JPY), graphic print, pastel maxi Dress (31,000JPY). For shoes, choose a wedged or stacked heel to avoid grass stains on stilettos and to avoid irrigating the garden lawn with poky heels.

Additional Accessories: Keep accessories soft and elegant like the setting. Simple jewelry such as pearls or delicate necklaces will look stylish and graceful. A charmng clutch or small handbag will coincide with the rest of the look.

Black Tie


The most formal of all dress codes, Black Tie is the time to bring on the drama. The hosts chose a formal ceremony for a reason so dive in head first with the glam. A floor length gown such as this Alice and Olivia metallic weaved dress (38,156JPY) is an option for an evening gown required party. A midi length formal dress such as this draped crepe dress by Vivienne Westwood (around 50,000 JPY) will also suit the fancy festivities. The sky is the limit for footwear.

Additional Accessories: Be sure to bring out the bling.  All that glitters is gold. Polish off the look with dramatic makeup and coiffed hair.


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