What should I wear to a high-end beach wedding in St. Barths?
October 27, 2011 10:31 PM   Subscribe

What should I wear to a destination wedding in St. Barths? It's going to be full of super-swanky people (fashion industry & banker types), and I'm but a 21 year old on a student's budget who has never gone to a wedding before. Dress and shoe recommendations highly appreciated, preferably from stores in NYC.

My boyfriend's friend is getting married on a fancy island in the Caribbean, and I have no idea what to wear. I've never been to a wedding, let alone a beach wedding. What level of formal dress is required on the beach, particularly at a location like St. Barths? And do people even wear shoes to beach weddings?

Here are the constraints:

* I'm a 21 year old on a student's budget. I usually buy my clothes at ASOS.com or Forever21, if you get my drift. $200 is my absolute maximum.
** Needs to be fashionable. The bride is an editor at a very prominent fashion magazine, so the rest of the guests are bound to be super-fashionable. While I know that they probably won't think twice about me or my dress, I'd rather not worry about what I'm wearing when I'm already nervous about hanging out with this crowd and not having anything to say.
* The invitation recommends that women wear long dresses. If it helps, men are asked to wear summer suits.
* It's kind of hard to find summer clothing in stores right now.

Any recommendations on where to look? I'm based in New York City.
posted by melancholyplay to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Asos is a GREAT option for wedding outfits. It's especially good for fashion-y events because you can get British lines there that we don't have in the US and none of the fashion girls will look at you and know you got your dress at J Crew or whatever (not that there's anything wrong with J Crew, as I shop there all the time). Right now they have a ton of maxi dresses that would be wedding appropriate.

I think you definitely want to just make sure, given that you're wearing a long dress, that you don't look like a bridesmaid, so I'd steer clear of pastels and satins. But otherwise, a wedding is just like going to a fancy party, so think about it that way when you're shopping. This is wedding appropriate, for example. Definitely wear shoes, but with a longer dress and on the beach, I would wear either fancy flat sandals or wedges, so you can walk. If you have any interesting accessories -- especially vintage -- consider using them, especially because, in my experience, the fashion-y girl types will certainly notice and appreciate them, and they're great conversation starters. (Since you mentioned you care about feeling comfortable in that crowd.)

Don't wear white! Otherwise, just have fun!
posted by Countess Sandwich at 10:58 PM on October 27, 2011 [4 favorites]

I just found a great dress for my cousin's wedding at Nordstrom Rack. It's a $160 dress that was priced at $50. Since they are selling stock they can't sell at Nordstrom, they have a decent amount of summer merchandise at the moment. Just looked if they had one in NYC and they do, here:

Nordstrom Rack Union Square (#515)
60 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
posted by DoubleLune at 11:02 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

The key phrase is "resort wear".
posted by brujita at 11:03 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hahah Countess Sandwich, I looked at your overall link first and thought "that high necked one is really awesome! and priced well". Seconding flat sandals or wedges, maybe like these? I would probably go with a metallic just because they're fun and kinda fancy. Plus with zappos you can just order a bunch, pick the pair you like and return the rest without having to pay tons of shipping.
posted by brilliantine at 5:49 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can't borrow anything from friends, hit up Rent the Runway, where they even have a section specifically for wedding guests.
posted by evoque at 9:40 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

The price point is tricky, but Calypso St Barths is exactly the store you need for resort wear. I would swing by there and see if they've got a sale rack. Or search for the label on EBay.
posted by xo at 11:20 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you so much for all the suggestions.

@CountessSandwich: I'm not sure why I was so quick to dismiss ASOS. I may end up going with the option you pointed out.
@DoubleLune: I've heard good things about this store and will have to check it out!
@brilliantine: That's definitely the right direction. Thanks for the link.
@evoque: I'm sooo glad you pointed me to this site. It should prove handy in the future.
@xo: That would be the store, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, even their sale items are too pricey!

Thanks again everyone.
posted by melancholyplay at 8:57 PM on October 28, 2011

Seconding Calypso St Barth. Also check out the sales racks at Scoop.

In NYC, you can never ignore the possibility that the perfect item for you is hidden on rack in a forgotten corner of Loehmanns, Century 21 or TJ maxx. Or a high-end vintage store.

Good luck!
posted by slateyness at 9:02 PM on October 28, 2011

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