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June 29, 2015 8:38 AM   Subscribe our ability to accessorize. I am wearing this dress to a summer, semi-outdoor wedding, but the only thing I know is that I'm wearing this dress, basically. Help me figure out the rest of it, please!

The wedding is in sort of a gray zone, formality-wise: afternoon July wedding but the reception starts at 6, rustic setting but not fully outdoors for any part of it, sit-down dinner. The bride's dress is very formal & bridal party will be in tuxes, but she and the groom are not overly formal *people* and I doubt the wedding will be at all stuffy.

The dress is cotton poplin, so my inclination is to try and dress it up a little, but not too much, with accessories. I don't really have a sense for what accessories would accomplish this. Purses? Necklaces? Earrings? In particular, what *sizes* of these things should I be looking for, to have everything in the right proportion? I tend to err on the side of tiny jewelry and then find that it adds very little to the overall impact of my outfit, and feel underdressed.

My hair will be up, because July and humid climate and dancing. If it matters, my hair is mostly light brown with some streaky blondness due to summertime.

I have two pairs of high-heeled sandals, one nude and one gold. Both are a mid-height heel and a little strappy. If I can use one or the other and not have to buy new shoes, AWESOME. If neither is appropriate, though, I'll go shopping.

Thank you, AskMe, for once again endeavoring to make me look right on the rare occasions I actually leave my house ;)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I like the idea of the gold sandals plus delicate gold jewelry, but if you want more of a POP, I might do a bigger earring (something dangly) and skip the necklace. Clutch purses in any fun summer color/pattern.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:45 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay, what you need is a shrug (bust-length) with elbow sleeves or longer, in blue (light blue is nice), beaded but not with rhinestones. The shrug should be in a non-itchy knit with mostly natural fibres.

You must wear the shrug during the ceremony but can take it off the rest of the time.

The gold sandals will be fine, but if part of the ceremony is to be outdoors, bear in mind that your heels may sink into the grass and you might be better off with ballet flats. I would even consider Topshop Vibrant ballet flats which you can embellish thusly: get them in ballet colour, then take some ModPodge, slap it over the toes, and pour on some glitter in the same colour. When I couldn't find the right colour of glitter, embossing powder mixed into what glitter I could find, was just the ticket.

Topshop Vibrants are not meant to last for any length of time, especially not outdoors, but they will probably last you the length of the wedding. Same for the ModPodge coating. After that you can use them as house slippers.

I recommend some biggish, impactful MATCHING earrings and necklace, in blue, again with no rhinestones because of the time of day (it's tricky but how about some of that prism crystal like Swarovski tends to make). If you can't match your earrings and necklace pick one or the other as nonmatching sets can be disconcerting to the eye.

Purse should be a blue or gold clutch with a wristlet strap so you can keep your hands free. It should have just enough room for your phone, your keys, your money, your lipstick and lip balm, a mirror, some Listerine breath strips, a little bottle of hand gel, and a small spray bottle of sunscreen.
posted by tel3path at 8:52 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to head off sandal concerns: the wedding is, as per my understanding (I haven't seen the site at all), on some kind of partially-enclosed patio thing, beach-adjacent. So we will be under the hot sun but not staggering in the sand.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:10 AM on June 29, 2015

Best answer: Here are graphics for choosing jewelry based on the neckline of your dress.

You can also add some subtle hair jewelry to your updo to dress it up a little.

I personally hate accessorizing with a purse, as you're going to have to carry it for most of the wedding. and what a drag that is. I would also advise against a shawl or a shrug, as it will be July and hot, and it will be more annoying than anything (IMHO).

If jewelry isn't entirely your thing, you could add a subtle (ie, don't go for the super bridal looking ones) sash belt to add some flare to your dress. They have some rose gold/gold leaning ones that might match your shoes well.

The gold, strap, high-heeled sandal sounds perfect with the dress.

Have fun!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 10:22 AM on June 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

As you mentioned, you are wearing your hair up because of the heat, I would recommend wearing long chandelier earrings, to give you all the bling but nothing clinging. So I would keep it simple with the dress, the gold heels (and if its outdoors don't forget these so your heels don't sink in!), an awesome pair of earrings (love these, but Macy's has loads of these type of earrings and coupons!) and bright lip (this Faint for Fuschia would be great for those earrings, get this color at any drugstore)
posted by xicana63 at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Super pretty. I'd wear black heeled sandals with skinny straps, a light wrap/scarf in a blue print, and some delicate glittery silver jewelry with this. I'd carry a small bag, probably in a neutral like black.
posted by bearwife at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2015

If you truly don't want to shop for new shoes, I'd do the gold sandals, the same light wrap/scarf in a blue print, and a small bag that doesn't clash. I'd limit the jewelry to dangling gold earrings and a delicate gold bracelet and a gold right hand ring.
posted by bearwife at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2015

I just bought and wore the Kayla dress super similar to that one, and after one outing in it I think I'm going to add a belt or chain or something decorative to wear at the empire seamline, because it just looked a little plain and I think it was the poplin-y-ness of it (thought mine was also a pale lilac and that didn't help).

I would say do that and big earrings and skip a necklace unless you have something small you always wear.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:26 AM on June 29, 2015

That dress is super cute. My reccomendations: Gold sandals. Something chunky for a bracelet, preferably a wrap bracelet type deal with beads in various blues and greens, with a splash of red here and there. Big dangly earrings or hoops, preferably gold or with some gold in them. Clutch in red, gold, white, or blue. If you think you'll be cold, a nice scarf worn as a shawl, I'd shoot for something with a white background and a decent amount of blue or red, and preferably with an illustration instead of a pattern.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 11:28 AM on June 29, 2015

Pearls would look nice with that dress and would dress it up. Like, if that were my dress, that is what I would wear and if you were my roommate I would make you borrow them. Alternatively I'd go with gold over silver with that shade of blue. I'd keep the jewelry light, but I have no idea your personal tastes and look, so I'm thinking completely of myself here. I think strappy will go well with this dress and gold and nude both sound nice to me - gold with gold jewelry, nude with pearls, I'd say.
posted by maryr at 2:54 PM on June 29, 2015

...I also have a belt I would try and force on you per Lyn Never's idea, but that doesn't help much.
posted by maryr at 2:54 PM on June 29, 2015

Pearls would look nice with that dress and would dress it up.

I agree but two things I never wear to someone else's wedding are white and pearls.
posted by bearwife at 4:35 PM on June 29, 2015

Response by poster: You guys! It went so great! Thank you!

For the record: I took tel3path's advice and picked up a matching earring/necklace set, where the necklace was kind of big and the earrings were on the smaller side. My gold sandal broke (sob) and so I wore the nude ones, and wouldn't you know--it was like someone sent out a Nude Shoes memo, because that was exactly what literally every other woman wore.

It was honestly the best I've ever looked and the first time I felt thoroughly confident that I was wearing correct, seasonally-appropriate, on-trend but not trendy-looking things to an event. And, I got to feed a baby goat while wearing costume jewelry. WINNING.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:47 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

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