Choosing that perfect outfit for a winter wedding win

Elegance is key at winter weddings with deeper shades, faux furs, and flattering, longer hemlines being the order of the day, writes Paula Burns.

Pink Dress, €79.95, at Zara.
Pink Dress, €79.95, at Zara.

There’s something enchanting about a winter wedding. It lends well to the concept of a winter wonderland where decadence is the style rule. While attending summer nuptials has the advantages of warmer days there’s no denying the beauty of the autumn light. A winter wedding is all about mulled wine, open fires and elegance. Let’s face it summer attire is not always the most flattering of fashion styles for us Irish women. If asked, most of us would agree that dressing for autumn/winter is our favourite. With our love for dressing for the season, choosing that perfect outfit for a winter wedding is made that bit easier.

As the days shorten we can put aside the floral dresses, sugar induced pastel shades and fake tan disasters. Instead the winter wedding guest embraces the sophisticated side of fashion with long sleeve dresses, faux-furs and chic coats in the warm hues of autumn. Elegance is the theme here. Think longer hemlines matched with fabrics that are made to touch like brocades and velvets. Deeper shades not only suit our Irish skin but they bring refinement to an outfit while adding a touch of drama.

Waist stitch detail coat in dusty pink, €82, at Marks and Spencer.
Waist stitch detail coat in dusty pink, €82, at Marks and Spencer.

The search for the elusive perfect wedding guest dress can be a tricky one. Do you go Short? Fitted? Bohemian? Long? Thanks to Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior lowering the hemlines further this season; the midi is the unrivalled winner. The darker days lend perfectly to fashions new favourite hemline.

Once a style only for those blessed with model length legs, the midi has captured the hearts of all the fashion elite. Opting for a below the knee hemline immediately adds a touch of drama that works so well this time of year.

Metallic satin midi dress, €129, at & Other Stories.
Metallic satin midi dress, €129, at & Other Stories.

The modest silhouette of the longer length allows you to still show off while keeping the showing of skin to a minimum. It’s sexy yet demure, exactly what we need in this post #metoo world. If like me your leg length is more Kourtney rather then Kendall, choose a dress with a lighter fabric like silk. A dress with a slit or a shirtdress style works best as it subtly shows off a bit of leg without cutting your short frame in the wrong place. Match with a higher heel or a platform style to bring it back to its original seventies vibe.

The midi works best with a longer sleeve ensuring the dramatic effect is played to its full potential. This season autumn shades are a must. Think dark berry reds, burgundys and deep purples all in tune with that winter wedding setting.

Red wrap tie front jumpsuit, €75, at River Island.
Red wrap tie front jumpsuit, €75, at River Island.

The jumpsuit has been sitting on the fashion periphery for quite a number of seasons. Originally a favourite of the glamorous Studio 54 set of the seventies, the jumpsuit has been re-energised with a modern twist. Much like the little black dress, the jumpsuit is a hidden sartorial gem. This is a key piece that needs to be taken from the fringes of fashion to the forefront of every wardrobe. Thanks to the sleek cuts of this season, the jumpsuit brings style to wearing trousers. The wider leg matched with heels elongate the silhouette to create a stylish one-piece.

Taking a fashion cue from the Megan’s and Kate’s of the world, in my opinion, isn’t always the wisest though there is one exception. When it comes to coats the royals have got it covered. Living in the colder climates of Ireland our outerwear can often be the only fashion statement that we get to make. This is why your choice of coat can be just as important as the rest of your wedding guest attire.

When choosing a coat don’t be afraid of brighter colours. We can often fall into the trap of going for black during the darker months. Yet what makes more of a bold statement then an injection of colour? If unsure; then look to the Duchess of Cambridge for inspiration. Her elegant coat dresses in an array of pop colours from blues to reds showcase how a coat can offset an entire outfit. If tailoring isn’t your thing then take on the full dramatic effect of the season with a faux-fur. Keeping warm couldn’t be more stylish.

RIXO Coco dress in Ombre Sequin, €420, at Brown Thomas.
RIXO Coco dress in Ombre Sequin, €420, at Brown Thomas.

Even a winter wedding cannot escape the sparkly season. Yes we are talking sequins. With models shining brightly on the catwalks of Balmain and those at Paco Rabanne shimmering down the runway in a dress encrusted with over-sized sequins, ‘tis the season of sparkle. Though maybe going full on disco ball infused sequins isn’t the best option for wedding guest wear. Taking the subtle approach to sequins will create just the right dose of season dazzle. Stay away from the customary gold’s and silvers of the sequins clan. Instead glisten in the fifty shades of autumn that are right on trend.

What’s the best thing about shopping for a winter wedding? Not feeling guilty about splurging on that coveted dress because with the Christmas party season afoot it’s guaranteed to have more then one debut.

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